1908 Tasting Notes


Tea #35 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

It’s been awhile since I’ve ordered from Whispering Pines, but I’ve loved a lot of what I have sampled so far. A lot of the teas remind me of being outdoors, something that I don’t get to do as much when we have two feet of snow on the ground and subzero temperatures. As I was riffling through the TTB I immediately noticed this tea, it was particularly eye-catching, the dark elderberries contrasting with the bright orange color of the safflower. Somehow it ended up getting shuffled to the bottom of my “want to try” pile, so I’m just not getting to it. It has a real earthy taste to it from the safflowers, followed up by the tangy sweet/tart flavors of the elderberries. Such a lovely cup of tea, I’m glad I got to try it.

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Tea #34 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

When I first started drinking loose leaf again serendipiTEA was one of the brands I started with because they were selling their teas on Amazon. That meant if I ordered some tea with my books every semester my parents would never notice… not that I would have done that mind you. My dishonesty aside, their teas got me through some long nights studying and they have a number of blends that I really enjoy.

This isn’t one of them, sadly.

Everything started out ok, but then the medicinal flavor from the rooibos seeped in and soured my feelings a bit. There is also quite a bit more chocolate in this than I expected, because now I’m not feeling very well. I try to only drink chocolate in small doses, it makes me pretty ill, and this blend has Cacao Beans, Chocolate Bits, Chocolate Flavor (Natural), and, White Chocolate Bits. No wonder I don’t feel good. I’ve really got to be better about reading ingredient lists before make myself a cup of tea. With all of the chocolate in this tea I’m really surprised that I can’t really taste it. The primary flavor from this tea comes from the black currant, giving it a somewhat tart flavor.

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Tea #33 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

I’m really enjoying trying the teas from Bluebird in the box, they’re a company I’ve wanted to try out for awhile now, but still haven’t managed to place an order with. I doubt I would have chosen to order this one anyway, banana tea just isn’t really my thing, but this tea is really starting to grow on me. I didn’t start off caring for it, but halfway through the cup I decided it wasn’t bad at all. There is quite a bit of banana flavor in this cup, but it is softened by the vanilla, it also doesn’t hide the flavor from the base, which still manages to peak through.

Not a tea I would order again, but one I certainly did enjoy trying it. I will say that my toddler loved it, he snuck the other half of my cup while I wasn’t looking, so perhaps this will be a reorder at some point after all.

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Tea #32 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

I generally have a love/hate relationship with chocolate teas. I want to love them, but end up hating nearly all of them for a variety of reasons. This tea really stood out because it wasn’t trying imitate hot chocolate like so many others do. You can clearly taste the chocolate and there is a smoothness about it that reminds me of the texture of chocolate, but overall the flavor is much more subtle, with a hint of nuttiness. What really impressed me is that this was a keemun base, which I don’t normally care for. I’m not overly fond of smoky teas, but the added smoke from the base only improved on my experience with this tea.

I may have to pick some of this up when I go to Paris this June. At the rate I’m going the list of tea I want to bring back is going to be huge!

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love. this. tea. soo good!


Oh man. I really liked this one. Taking it was definitely tempting!

Short Sorceress

It was tempting for me as well, but I thought I would let someone else enjoy the last cup.

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Tea #31 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

My first few cups out of the TTB today left me feeling a little meh so I decided to find something unflavored to try. This is a nice bold cup of tea and exactly what I needed to shake off the tea blahs so I could finish off the last few teas I wanted to try before sending the box on tomorrow.

This tea is a little malty, a little sweet, a little drying, and not at all astringent. This reminds me a bit of a cross between a Yunnan and a Darjeeling and since I enjoy both, this is the perfect tea for me. The only downfall is that it left me craving something sweet, preferably chocolate, and I don’t really have anything like that in the house right now. Guess that means it’s time to bake some more toll house cookies :)

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Tea #30 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

I’m not much of a kiwi fan, but this tea caught my eye because of the size of the kiwi pieces in the bag, they’re huge! I’m rather curious as to how much, if any, flavor they will contribute to the final brew, so we’ll have to see.

I was a little disappointed right off the bat because the black base is a bit astringent and rather strong. This is likely the reason why I couldn’t taste the kiwi or coconut. There is a bit of a creamy mouthfeel, perhaps from the coconut, but not much flavor is coming through over the strong base. Perhaps this would be better as a cold steep so the base doesn’t overwhelm the flavors.

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Tea #29 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

I find that I’ve become rather picky about rose teas as of late, many of them leave me feel like I’ve steeped potpourri in water and tried to drink it, when what I really want is something much more subtle. This tea falls somewhere in between what I’m looking for and what I refuse to drink. I think the scent of the tea is nice, but flavor-wise it does remind me a of perfume. I think I would have enjoyed this more had I been in the mood for rose tea and had I not just had a cup of elderberry tea that also was heavily rose flavored.

I’m not going to rate this one until it crosses my path a second time. There was only enough leaf for one cup so this tea won’t be continuing on.

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Rachel Sincere

I agree with your potpourri comment. I am really not happy with heavy floral teas.

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drank Elderberry by Culinary Teas
1908 tasting notes

Tea #28 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

This tea wasn’t what I expected at all, but then again the only thing I’ve had before with elderberry was wine, so I really have no idea what it tastes like. This was surprisingly floral, almost rose flavored. I was expecting more of a sweet/tart berry flavor, rather than floral. I the background notes there were hints of sweetness and tartness which somewhat confused the senses. It really runs the gamut as far as flavors go and because of this I can’t quite figure out if I like it or not. I’m edging more towards not because the more I drink of it the more it reminds me of potpourri. I will say that it was much better hot than at room temperature.

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I am always interested in swapping so if you see anything in my cupboard that you want to try just send me a message. Please keep in mind that I order most of my teas in sample sizes and may not have a lot to swap. I’m also trying to keep my swaps limited to one a month so I don’t break the bank.

My favorite tea companies to order from are American Tea Room, Butiki, Della Terra, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Verdant, however I am constantly lured away from my favorites by a good sale.

Ingredients I love in tea
rose, peach, oolong, osmanthus, vanilla, marshmallow root and peppermint

Ingredients I dislike in tea:
spearmint, chocolate, orange, hibiscus, sage and for the most part lemon.

Ingredients I’m on the fence about:

I am a firm believer that sage only belongs in my thanksgiving stuffing/dressing and absolutely not in my tea.

Cinnamon, Chocolate, Burdock Root, and Goji Berries

FORLIFE Curve Teapot, 24oz
Adagio ingenuiTEA, 16oz
Adagio Iced ingenuiTEA, 32oz
Zojirushi Water Pot, 4L
Libbey Country Fair drinking jars for ice tea
TeaVivre Travel Gaiwan

Rating Guidelines:

100 – 90: Pantry essential and some of my all time favorites that I can’t live without.

89 – 80: You’ll have a pretty good chance of finding this is my pantry on a regular basis, but it isn’t the end of the world if I run out.

79 – 70: I might consider restocking this at some point if the price was right.

69 – 40: Not undrinkable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

39 – 20: What in the world were they thinking? Probably still finished this just because I hate to waste anything.

19 – 0: Wow, that’s so terrible chances are pretty good I dumped it out and gave away the rest.

My current top five favorite teas:

China Black – Rishi Tea
Earl Grey Cream – Zen Tea
Lemoncello – American Tea Room
Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong – TeaVivre
White Tea Rose Mélange – Rishi Tea


Oregon, WI



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