I was away from my apartment for three full weeks, and of course came back to a veritable flood of mail. It was about 20 packages, and half of them were tea! Opening them up wasn’t exactly what I imagined: it was more overwhelming than joy-inducing. For once I sat there and said “what am I going to do with all this tea?!” Thankfully it is almost all samples, so I suppose it won’t take too long to go through. I’ve tried to compensate by drinking more tea than usual per a day, but it’s still slow going. And of course now I need a bigger sample basket…

Anyway, I ended up getting my samples from Whispering Pines really late compared to most people. On one hand, it might be a good thing since they got to sit and have all the flavors mingle! On the downside, my entire package smelled like s’mores so it was hard to distinguish any individual tea smells. No cross-contamination, but I picked this for a cold brew based on the name rather than an enticing smell.

This is pretty much what I expected: a nice but demure green base backed by a very nice floral jasmine and a hint of tropical coconut. I could go for a bolder coconut taste, it seems a bit odd that it’s muted since there are so many flakes in the bag! But it’s nice: maybe not in-your-face creamy coconut, but enough to give a distinctive beachy taste to the tea. The jasmine is really the most prominent taste, and I do like iced jasmine teas!

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Tea has always been a passion of mine, though I got away from it during college. A lack of cupboard space and a constant influx of people into my suite made me pretty much abandon my teas at home. But now that I’m done with school, it’s definitely come back with a vengeance—to the point where I’ve purchased about 65 different kinds in the past 3 months!

I like most kinds of teas—yes, even peach, which I used to think I disliked!. Oolongs are definitely my favorite, and I’m an avid fan of earl grey, floral teas, and chai blends along with anything melon. The only kind of teas on my “no” list are rooibos blends (which gives me headaches) and banana flavored ones since bananas are public enemy #1 in my mind.

The best thing about tea for me is how you can be passionate about it and still have it integrate into all of your other hobbies. I like a lot of things: writing, video games, books, sewing, figure collecting, astronomy… it’s a long list. But whatever I’m doing, I can have a cup of tea in hand!


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