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Recent Tasting Notes
I received this as a freebie with my latest order. Thanks! The envelope says Spring Harvest with no year indicated and the website states Spring 2017. Who knows.
This tea struck a very positive and uplifting note with me but is a one-hit-wonder following the recommended brewing parameters of 1 tsp, 8oz, 212F, 3/5 minutes. I even did a third steep at what was going to be 8 minutes but turned into 11 due to forgetfulness.
The dry leaf is a sight to behold, full of twisty brown, black and gold needles that smell only of malt and sweet potatoes. The aroma of the first steep promised an exciting session with scents of orange, moss, orange blossom, molasses and milk. Indeed the first steep tasted wonderful, possessing notes of orange, walnut, mossy wet river rocks, milk, malt, light brown sugar and non-spicy ginger. The mouthfeel was smooth and milky, like 1% milk. There was a lively energy in the mouth. I was instantly warmed from the inside-out and happy.
Unfortunately, the second steep fell flat. The aroma of the liquor lost everything but the orange. There was an addition of orange zest and light ginger and the milk faded. The body became very light and watery and the mouthfeel slightly tannic with tastes of orange, apricot and wood. I wanted more than this so I went for a Hail Mary third steep. Sadly, even after 11 minutes, I was left with a nose of orange zest and orange and a taste of apricot. Very watery. There were no lingering tastes, but as I write this review, I notice a pleasant kind of watery, sour apple mouthfeel. I will say it made an excellent post-dinner drink that complemented my salmon, rice, broccoli and sweet corn.
This would be the perfect tea for those gray and frozen winter days when you need a ray of sunshine. I’ll move this one to the back of the drawer for now. Hopefully some light aging will work its magic and allow for some longevity and cocoa notes to develop but I feel like realistically it might not happen.
Edit: I think I was too harsh on this tea. Ratings are tough without clearly defined criteria and I sometimes think about dropping that habit. That said, I’m not ready to drop the habit yet. I was disappointed to not pick up on any of the chocolate I’ve gotten in other dianhong teas. There’s something really nice about this tea that I can’t define. Some of the best things come in short bursts. Increased rating. Still going to let the tea sit for a while.
This is one of the teas with a flavor profile that I used to refer to as “mushroom,” although it doesn’t exactly taste like a mushroom. I associate the smooth, slippery, heavy mouthfeel of it with mushrooms. Now that I have more experience with flavor profiles, I’ve come to learn that honey is at least one common denominator among all these “mushroom” teas.
It’s a flavor profile I really disliked in the beginning, but have slowly acquired a tase for. I especially appreciate it after long breaks from high-end teas. I usually prefer bold, astringent, and malty black teas. But every once in a while, its nice to change things up so that I can appreciate a sense of newness in the flavors I get too accustomed to.
Despite having been on Steepster for so many years, I have not developed the tea-conossier tasting sensitivity so many of you others have, so my reviews tend to be pretty basic (sorry!). What I can say for this tea is that is stands out from the crowd with its subtle minty finish.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Mint, Musty, Smooth
So I am really picky on chai teas..I tend to like when they have a creamy flavor cause all the spices are overwhelming to me.I love Verdant’s chai tea(I forget the name but that’s the best loose leaf chai I’ve ever had)because it’s the perfect blend of flavors. I was hoping this tea would be similar to theirs but it wasn’t. The spices are sooo strong! Took me back for a second cause I wasn’t expecting it to be that strong! If you’re really into chai tea you would definitely like this but it’s just not for me!
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Drying, Floral, Fruity, Pepper, Sweet
Made a pot of this yesterday in my new big 4-cup (I think) teapot I got at the Queen Mary Tea Emporium when I was there last week. Very pretty, pansies, very british porcelain.
This is just as good as it has always been. Yunnan Gold teas are my favourite type of black tea and this one is no exception and is in fact a good exemplar. The dry leaf is so nice and pretty little curls and steeped, it’s delicious. I’m going to resteep the leaves today and have another pot. Mmm.
…what MTCHYG said…ditto
Tasting Alice has been the Eureka Moment of my fine tea odyssey. I don’t have the expertise to define exactly what makes this wonderful tea from Whispering Pines so magnificent, but it is certainly the finest cup of tea I’ve ever tasted. I realize that it sounds as though I’m heaping a ton of hyperbole into this review; please believe me – this tea is exceptional and deserves all the praise I’m throwing at it.
Disclosure: I am a huge fan of jasmine in tea. If you are not, this may not be a flavor profile you would love. I appreciate the scent of both tea and jasmine – having both fragrances surround me just enhances the taste of both for me when a truly great black or oolong tea base is accompanied by the addition of natural jasmine blossoms. (I can skip the jasmine green teas – they usually don’t excite me). With Alice, WP has introduced the ultimate in sensory overload for those of us who love the taste of a truly fine tea coupled with the fragrance of jasmine.
Using Golden Snail Black Tea as the base, I didn’t expect to fall in love. I am a fan of oolongs and have never fully appreciated black teas. I have been converted!
When I discovered Whispering Pines, I think Alice had just made its debut as one of his offerings. I ordered an ounce of it along with several other of his great teas and began enjoying each one in sequence until I opened and tried Alice. This batch was apparently limited in the amount crafted and offered – it was already Out of Stock when I jumped online to order more!!! I am on the waiting list for notification once more is available and I will definitely be purchasing much more than my first measly one-ounce supply – I am rationing myself in the hopes of replenishing my stock before it’s totally gone.
Someone on another site mentioned that they also loved Alice but found it to be too expensive for everyday enjoyment – I strongly disagree. Less expensive tea that isn’t all that interesting is VERY costly, especially if you have to force yourself to drink it just to make it go away. I can’t afford a lot of things, but well-crafted, fine quality tea is an affordable luxury, IMHO.