Whispering Pines Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

This was kindly sent as a sample in my recent order. I don’t think I’m ever going to be an Assam convert — honestly, I guess I LIKE a bit of bitterness and heft in my black tea — but this was very smooth and seemed (in my very non-expert opinion) like a nicely-done Assam.

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84

Another sample from Brenden! Thanks so much! I really appreciate it. I never tried the Butiki version of this, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. But I think this is also sourced from the same place as the Butiki Wild was? I tried to steep this similar to the PTA I had the other day but I went with three teaspoons here, as Brenden suggests a tablespoon for eight ounces of water (I am using a full mug of water though.) I was worried that would be too many leaves, but I shouldn’t have been worried. The flavor practically can’t be bitter. Which is odd… such dark huge leaves could somehow never be bitter and have the sweetest flavor. The leaves here look similar to PTA, but possibly more wirey (wilder), darker, and have little brown pieces that look like twigs mixed in? I’ve never seen that before. The flavor notes are similar to PTA but subtler and less unique. The flavor is lighter: like peaches and cream, maybe only hints of the strawberry that is so abundant in the PTA. A lighter version of a Ruby black perhaps. Always smooth with an occasional mint hint which is very odd with these types of tea. Three very solid mugs of tea that were very similar anyway. All those leafhoppers must have made this tea extremely sweet. With more leaves for less flavor, I still think the Premium Taiwanese Assam is the better option. But that’s my taste buds!
Steep #1 // 3 teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 9 min after boiling // 3 min
Harvest: 2018

Flavors: Sweet

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For what it’s worth, finally found the eucalyptus. Maybe it only comes out while eating risotto with your tea…

Otherwise, a solid and frequently returned to black tea for me.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Plums, Salt

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99

Brenden over at WP teas saw me mention Butiki’s PTA recently and told me Whispering Pines was now selling PTA!! Somehow I didn’t know this very important fact? I was ecstatic. Then Brenden sent over a sample. Even more ecstatic. THANKS VERY MUCH! PTA was one of Butiki’s glowing jewels (heck that was most of their teas, but definitely PTA). Premium Taiwanese Assam is a very unique tea and when Butiki closed, I wasn’t sure any other shop would ever carry it. I thought it would be lost forever.
I’m happy to report, this tea is in fact, even crazily similar to those harvests from a few years back now! That alone is amazing: similar harvests. On appearance, I compared this PTA to the older Butiki leaves, side by side, and they look exactly the same: color, length, width. Amazing again. Long, dusty, twisty, black leaves with the sweetest scent. The flavor simply can’t be compared to any other tea. How is a tea leaf so sweet? It’s like caramelized strawberry, with hints of grape, a maltiness, brown sugar. The brew is a light mahogany color. The first steep has the most distinct flavors, the second and third steep lose a little bit in the flavor strength, but still very delicious (I think this was because I was delicate with the parameters – I think with the Butiki if I steeped too hot or too long, the flavor would be mostly oaky… so it’s all in the delicate parameters.) The third steep seems to take on a cantaloupe note, while all three steeps have a syrupy mouthfeel. The closest tea I could think of to this would be a Ruby, but even that is entirely different from this tea. This is an essential cupboard tea for me. I’m so grateful that there is a source for this tea again! Thanks to whomever grows this lovely tea, and thanks so much for finding it, Brenden!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 8 minutes after boiling // 3 min

Also, I can attest from my Butiki leaves of PTA that this tea ages fairly well over the years. It might lose a little flavor from the fresh tea, but certainly not as much as most teas can lose flavor. (Yes, I had to hoard the PTA when Butiki closed, but not so much now with Whispering Pines carrying it!)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cantaloupe, Caramel, Grapes, Malt, Strawberry

derk

What a lovely tea! I hope it’s still around when I’m ready for another Whispering Pines order.

Mastress Alita

Noting for when I can intake tea again. Sounds nice!

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89

SAMPLE SIPDOWN!

Hey Guys! I recently did a review on the wonderful Whispering Pines “Cocoa Amore”. Well when I bought that, they sent me a sample of this! It was only enough for two sessions, but I figured I’d review it while I had a bit left.

Ok, I brewed this a bit stronger than it said to. I used a full teaspoon and a half maybe for 16oz of water. Also, the cuppa I’ve got right now I lost track of and brewed a bit over the 5 minute recommended mark. But all that behind us, let’s get onto the tea.

Taste is… very robust, if that is the word I’m looking for. It’s very rich, with a strong black tea flavor, along with (let me try and suss this out here…) I think I’m getting a bit of Malt, Raisin and some Leather too. My palate is not nearly refined enough to pick out all the flavors, but there are a ton of different notes here. Ever so slight cacao flavor, but nowhere near like my Yunnan Golds have. It’s a very warm and inviting flavor, and I think this would be a good starter tea for people wanting to get into loose leaf. Even overbrewed like I made this cup it is still very lovely. This is my first cup of Aliaoshan that I recall actually having, so I think I will have to experiment more in this field. This was wonderful. Highly recommend.

Flavors: Cacao, Leather, Malt, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hi! So happy you’re enjoying the teas you got! Just wanted to add that you are actually brewing half strength on this. I recommend half a tablespoon (a teaspoon and a half) per eight ounces (you’re using 16oz). Just a heads up to maybe try that out, but if you’re enjoying it the way it is then there’s no need to change! :-)

derk

This was one of the first higher quality loose teas I ordered from the internet and agree that it would be great for people wanting to get into loose leaf.

Kittenna

I didn’t check your tasting notes; have you tried Laoshan Black from Verdant or.. I think Yunnan Sourcing also carries it? That was my gateway black tea.

Roswell Strange

Laoshan Black is amazing; that was also a pretty big gateway tea for me. The one that really got me, though, was Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black. That tea was life changing…

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91

Well, here I am finally reviewing this. I had put myself on the “To be notified” list for this one because it just sounded so yummy. I was infinitely intrigued by the concept of a chocolate cherry dessert tea. So, naturally, when the tea was reblended recently, I got myself a bag.

Smell in the bag is heavenly. You really get the cherry cordial tones from the bag alone! I had to wonder, would that translate to taste.

So I brewed this according to their instructions, for the most part – I used my Keurig for water which I think is supposed to be about 200F, and steeped 1.5 tsp for 3 min in 16 oz water.

Taste is… hmmm. It isn’t nearly as sweet tasting plain as the bag smells. I am getting some definite cocoa notes, along with cherry notes, but it is closer to cacao and bing cherry than milk chocolate cordial cherry. I drank the first cup plain. It isn’t really bad, so to speak, just not what I was expecting. The resteep, I added a single splenda to it. Ahhh, there is the cordial cherry! With the addition of a bit of sweetness, I am now getting a strong milk chocolate and sweet cherry flavor. I don’t know why I always need that extra sweetness to be satisfied. Maybe it’s my diabeetus craving sugar. But I must say, I enjoy this tea much more with a touch of sweetener. I did try a third steep for 7 mins but it didn’t work out the best. Guess this really is a two steep tea. Overall, a delicious tea with sweetener that really isn’t that bad plain either. I think I will hold onto this one for a bit, as I have other dessert teas I can alternate this with. But if I’m ever in the need for a chocolate covered cherry pick me up, I know where to turn!

Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Cocoa

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Roswell Strange

If you had asked me about sweetener in tea three years ago I would have adamantly held the position that a tea “simply isn’t a good quality tea if it requires additions to taste enjoyable” – but I’ve since realized that ideology is something I picked up from a crowd of tea drinkers who were somewhat more snobbish than I would like to be personally and would like the community to be as a whole. Sometimes I still have to combat that mindset; it’s like unlearning a negative behaviour…

Sweetener definitely does make your tea different and I do believe that can be both a positive OR a negative. It really, truly does depend on both your own individual taste preferences (and I don’t believe anyone has “superior” preferences; taste is qualitative) as well as an understanding of how different additives (sugar, milk, lemonade, etc.) both pair with and affect flavour. No wrong choices; just different ones. I definitely have my own arsenal of things I add to my tea when the mood strikes.

Don’t let anyone shame you for enjoying the added sweetness!

eastkyteaguy

Piggybacking off of what Roswell posted, but yeah, there is really nothing wrong with adding sweeteners to tea. I don’t have a problem with it. For some time there, my beverage of choice before work was either CTC Assam or Ceylon OP with additions of 2% milk and honey. I’ll even take the blasphemy one step further: I enjoy Southern sweet tea. I can’t have it very often, but it was a huge part of my upbringing and I lived off of it in college when I couldn’t afford better quality tea. I also sometimes like to add mango and apricot nectar to unsweetened iced tea on hot days.

Also, for a long time, I had trouble appreciating pu’erh and any sort of aged tea. When I tried to get into them and learn more about them, I ran into a lot of very snooty, rigidly dogmatic people who put me off of them in a big way. There are some fantastic, knowledgeable, and kind pu’erh fanatics out there (mrmopar and Liquid Proust chief among them), but there is also a number of very vocal people in that segment of the tea community who look down on anyone who gravitates to other types of tea and consider themselves the gatekeepers of the true tea community. I eventually just decided to ignore them. Pu’erh and aged teas really aren’t my things. I can appreciate them in small doses, but honestly, I would rather have anything else most of the time, and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t ever let anyone make you think their personal preferences and experiences are superior to yours. Do your own thing and enjoy it. You’re in it for your own enjoyment, enlightenment, and/or whatever else.

Mastress Alita

I added sweetener to my tea for quite some time when I first started drinking tea… and suddenly one day I just… didn’t. I don’t even know what changed! I didn’t even “wean” myself from it by progressively adding less, or make a conscious decision that I wanted to drink less sweetener… my palate just changed suddenly. I was used to always needing a little extra sweetness in my tea, and then… just… didn’t. It was odd! But then I’ve heard that our tastebuds and palates can naturally change over time.

When I make tea lattes, though, I still prefer “pre-sweetened” milk in the form of vanilla almond milk… yum!

Shanie O Maniac

One thing that weighs on me heavily is my IRL BFF who claims to be a tea snob because she refuses to drink any tea that isn’t palatable without sweetener. She keeps ragging on me for adding sweetener, and keeps telling me “If it was good tea, you wouldn’t need sweetener”. However, HER idea of “Good Tea” is hyper-tart grocery store hibi and the occasional raspberry royal from Bigalow. I actually once offered to buy her some loose leaf for Christmas and, long story short, after two months worth of arguments, we didn’t exchange presents this past Christmas. sigh I really need better IRL Friends.

Shanie O Maniac

And if it sounds like I’m shaming her for liking grocery store tea, it’s not because she LIKES it, it’s because she isn’t willing to accept or try anything else. In her mind, tea ENDS with Bigelow and Stash.

eastkyteaguy

Shanie, it’s no joke, but I recently made the statement, “I really need better IRL friends” in conversation. I had the same issue you did. A lot of my IRL friends just got to this weird point where we couldn’t interact without a disagreement or an argument. I’m a pretty liberal, easygoing, live-and-let live kind of guy, but a bunch of my friends and colleagues got way into radical activist culture, and suddenly, every interaction was problematic. Everything turned into a political discussion and then an argument. They also seemed to stop having interests or lives outside of their individual causes of the day. I couldn’t talk to them about anything going on in my life and couldn’t expect any form of understanding or support from them. I also got annoyed with the constant condescension. These people would try to explain the concepts behind sociopolitical movements and trends to me, and I’m a former integrated social studies teacher who taught government, economics, US history, sociology, and psychology who made the jump into the community health field! I was pretty positive I knew more about that stuff than they did. Eventually, I just got sick of their hysterics and constantly being disrespected, realized that I had outgrown these relationships, and moved on with my life. Making real life friends is harder as you get older, but it’s far from impossible. Moving on from those people allowed me to reconnect with some older friends and acquaintances with similar interests and gave me tons of time to work on myself. If I were you, I would take a step back from this relationship to carefully evaluate its course, and if you feel that it’s worth saving and should be saved, great. Go for it. If there just isn’t some level of mutual respect, tolerance, and acceptance there, it’s okay to move on from it. Sometimes people change and have to go a different way. Don’t feel bad about it if that ends up being the case.

Kawaii433

Interesting conversation. Love it. FWIW, the only reason I don’t add sweetener is that I like sour stuff. :P I’ve always been anti-social IRL so I can’t give you good advice like eastkyteaguy. I’ve never had patience IRL for anyone’s BS. My best friend was my dad growing up and now that he’s gone, they are my furkids :D. Hope things improve for you Shanie. (hugs)

mrmopar

The best tea is made the way you like to enjoy it. It is a personal experience for you in your cup. Every one has different taste buds. Drink it the way you like it.

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Very balanced and refreshing. It’s definitely close to a Mao Feng green in its minerality and morning dew quality, but it stands out as a Bao Zhong with the usual lilac note that you can fall in love with. Daffodil and gardenia are also prominent. It’s also super friendly Gong Fu, and very thick. This note is more footnote than essay right now, but just know that I think this tea should have more appeal than it does currently. That is all for now.

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70

*Edit: I actually like this tea a bit more as it cools down. Could make a good black iced tea. Slight rating boost. from mid 60’s to 70.

Received this from Brenden as a sample. It is a rainy spring day here in Michigan. I had boiled some water in my electric kettle in order to make a jello brain (using a mold) for my book club tonight. We read The Hunger by Alma Katsu which is a supernatural retelling of the Donner Party so I’m making the jello brain and also providing beef jerky (heh). I’m excited to see what others bring. Anyway, I had some water on the boil at the ready so I thought, “Why not pour the rest over some tea?”

After steeping, the leaves had a smokey/char type of scent. It reminded me of a campground in the early morning. Now, that is not to say this tea tastes smokey. It doesn’t. The taste for me is… lacking a little bit. It is a perfectly acceptable tea but lacks something special. It has kind of a basic… I’m leaning towards malt but I don’t really want to say that because I associate malt with a sweeter note (right or wrong as that may be) and this doesn’t really give off sweet as a first impression for me. I also don’t want to say cardboard because while the flavor lacks and might be a bit flat it’s also not completely bland. It is somewhere between those two notes.

Either way, I’m not huge on cream and sweeteners in my teas but this one might take to it fairly well. It is a straight forward, semi-bold tea that lacks any defining character. Safe and dependable might be the way to describe it. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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91

I just received another order with several teas from Brenden at Whispering Pines—I am always happy with my purchases from Brenden! My order arrived very quickly too.
This is another delicious black tea with clear hints of cocoa, cherries, and light vanilla as the name suggests. I’ve wanted to try this one for a long time but it was so often found to be sold out.I would definitely buy this again…
I am giving Ancient Spirit a slight edge for now (so good).
Up next….Alice and Ambrosia =P

Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Cocoa, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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98

Luxuriously complex…rich & velvety. Just smelling this brewed tea makes me happy.
If you haven’t indulged in this lovely tea yet I highly recommend you do! Sip & savor.

Flavors: Almond, Berries, Cherry Wood, Jasmine, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

I’m a sucker for hints of cedar in my less oxidized teas, especially when vanilla is in the mix. It’s the reason I bite the bullet and buy blends like Bellocq’s overpriced White Wolf. It’s also why I decided to order from Whispering Pines again, one month later. I’ve been meaning to try this tea for years. Also, no one told me WP carries Taiwanese Assam and Wild Mountain. Hello again, long lost friends.

It’s been a while since I read or watched LotR, but isn’t Rivendell essentially a spa retreat hidden away in the middle of misty mountain wilderness (with elves)? That’s this tea to a “T” (although, possibly minus the pretty elves). This cup and hot springs are meant for each other.

Main flavour notes are vanilla, cedar, fruity pear, vegetal somethings, floral fruit blossoms, cedar, citrus, frankincense (sort of like eucalyptus/mint but sweeter/muskier and with more tree resin). Floral berry aftertaste like cherry and/or pear blossoms and chocolate.

I oversteeped the second steep just a tad and now it smells a little like banana runts. Still good though.

Steep Count: 3

Flavors: Cedar, Cherry Blossom, Chocolate, Citrus, Eucalyptus, Floral, Mint, Pear, Pine, Resin, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Daylon R Thomas

I ordered some myself. I almost got the Assam, but I hesitate with Malt. The Wild Mountain is my favorite so far besides Ancient Spirit.

derk

Daylon, the Premium Taiwanese Assam is not the malt-bomb you might be expecting. It’s really as the description suggests. Thick mouthfeel to boot.

Daylon R Thomas

Hopefully that comes in the sample cause I know I’d like that!

CrowKettle

I haven’t had Taiwanese Assam since Butiki closed shop (will fix that tonight), but I also recall it being an smooth, “easy drinker”. Six years ago, it was one of the only black teas I would drink during my “I don’t like black teas” phase.

CrowKettle

Daylon, If you don’t receive a sample and it fulfills my memory’s high expectations, maybe I can send you a little.

Daylon R Thomas

That sounds good. :)

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Catching up on teas of the last few days…finished off a bag of this when I needed something to get going while waiting for breakfast.

Very straightforward, unsurprising green tea. Clean, green, and just a tiny bit nutty. I don’t drink a whole lot of green teas, but this is one I sometimes have on hand for when the mood strikes. Just a little astringent, which I think makes it a nice wake-up tea. I only made one cup this time, but on previous occasions have gotten quite a bit more out of it.

Flavors: Nutty, Pine, Vegetal

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82

This sample was generously provided by Whispering Pines

Everything about this tea tastes like delicious stout. The cereal. The chocolate. The sweet, almost syrupy, rich malt. Stout… I swear it has some carbonated fizz too. Beer vibes all around.

I don’t drink alcohol that often because even small amounts make me feel like crap, but I miss my old staple stout Dark Matter (Hoyne’s Brewery, Victoria, BC). It’s such a local favourite that I’ve see a few food businesses incorporate it into their products- the most noteworthy (to me) being Cold Comfort’s ice cream. I miss Victoria sometimes. (thank you for taking me to that happy place, tea).

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Roasted Barley, Spices, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
derk

I would love to visit Victoria! The closest I’ve been are San Juan and Orcas Islands. Stouts are one of my favorite beers but they don’t go too well with central California weather. Maybe I’ll pass on GABA Black Pearl?

CrowKettle

Yeah, It’s a fun tea but I would try to grab a sample first. And while central California weather may not be great for frequent stout drinking, I think it’s perfect for yearly consumption of “summer” Hefeweizens. I could die happy with that. Or a tea that tastes of wheat, banana, and clove. :P

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Wow, this is almost too decadent for an at-work tea. I think it’d be better suited to a day of indulging in a good book somewhere comfortable where I could really enjoy.

First cup is a little malty and sweet with a whole lot of vanilla. Honestly reminds me of these chocolate scones at a local coffee shop – something warm and freshly-baked (there’s a hint of chocolate here, but it’s not the main point). Texturally, it’s kind of silky and easy to drink.

Second cup is way more intensely chocolate, with a little more dimension to the sweetness – it’s described as cherry, which I guess works as long as you’re thinking sweet cherries and not tart ones (so…not what I was expecting, oops).

Back to work I go, will make more tea later throughout the day, but so far this one is really lovely.

Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Malt, Sweet, Vanilla

Kawaii433

I liked this one very much, and I really love the Ambrosia which is this tea blended with Tahitian vanilla. :D

Dustrose

I haven’t tried Ambrosia, but it’s tempting. Now that I think of it, I actually do have some vanilla I could experiment with myself. Time to see how much vanilla is too much vanilla…

Kawaii433

hehe Keep us posted how adding vanilla goes. I have some Imperial North Winds left and maybe I’ll try too. By itself though, it’s yummy as you said.

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93

This is the first true tea I am trying from the new set of samples I got from derk, thanks a lot my friend! :)

As for the tea, it’s magnificent. Bitter-sweet. Very mouth-watering, soft and biting mouthfeel. Perfect balance of the jasmine florals and dian hong maltiness. Long lasting and evolving aftertaste. One of a kind.

Flavors: Anise, Biting, Bitter, Citrus, Coffee, Floral, Jasmine, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
derk

yvw. I’m getting close to starting on your box :)

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85

I initially thought two things when I first tried this tea: 1) Holy Bergamot, and 2) Sil would not like this at all.

The Bergamot is strong but not enough to curdle milk. I wouldn’t normally add milk to a Dian Hong but this scented tea takes it well- Like a freshly baked citrus loaf, with sweet potato and butterscotch notes. Someone else mentioned taro root and that is spot on. I also get a marmalade finish, which sours into a red wine aftertaste (and man, is that noticeable after cooking with our old syrah tonight).

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Butterscotch, Chocolate, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Honey, Red Wine, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Taro Root

Sil

Hahahaha BLEEEERG

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98

This tea needs no explanation from me. Sorry if that’s what you’re looking for. Exceptional for the price.

Thank you for the sample, Brenden.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Sounds more lovely than I expect from these words

derk

It is a great Assam that I think would keep even the most ardent milk and sugar adorners from adding anything to their cup. I hope some more people try it soon.

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I adore the name of this one, and it’s beautiful when dry with all the buds – they do look like fox tails! Beyond that, it’s a cozy and comfortable tea. No bitterness, nothing deep and dark. A little earthy, sometimes just a hint of a little peppery/herbal in the background. The sweetness is pretty mellow too, it doesn’t taste like fruit or desserts or anything like that. I didn’t think of sweet potato while drinking it, but seeing other people describe it that way makes sense. It’s not my longest lasting tea, but I got several good cups out of it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

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79

I finished off my bag of the Spring 2018 harvest several days ago and it took a while to background process my opinion.

While this tea is complex and layered flavor-wise because of the mix of Chinese red teas, I feel like the Jabberwocky’s bark is bigger than its bite. It’s an easy tea to slay, one I could drink all day but I was always left longing for something a little deeper, a tea I could sink my teeth into, a beast that would put up more of a fight. I may have preferred this tea gongfu actually, because each type of leaf in the blend waxed and waned. There was however, always a bit of flatness to the body regardless of brewing method. The description is mostly apt, but I was missing out on that camphor and eucalyptus.

I think this tea would be very appealing to those who like slightly sweet and softly poetic Chinese reds.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Milk, Mineral, Plums, Salt, Smooth, Wood

Dustrose

I almost went the Jabberwocky route this morning! I initially picked it up because I was intrigued by the eucalyptus and was also disappointed that it wasn’t more prominent. Still tastes good though.

Kawaii433

I’m wondering if that’s one of the reasons I liked it better than I expected. I’m not a fan of camphor and hesitated when I bought it and didn’t really find much there.

derk

I think my tongue and brain have been changed by drinking some heavy-duty puerh in terms of mouthfeel, cooling effects and camphor taste. My preferences be a changin’. I know a lot of people will love this tea, though.

Natethesnake

I used to dislike camphor note when I’d drink Keemun teas and when drinking China reds went for those with chocolate, plum and floral notes like Fujian red monkey and Jin Jun Mei. Sheng from Lincang has helped me acquire the taste for camphor…

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85

A word to cold-brew fans.

I typically leaf my cold-brewed greens lightly. Last night, I used 3 grams to 500mL and tasted the tea this morning. It’s really light, even for me. I won’t at the time recommend doubling your leaf amount since I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll be doing so tonight. The wet leaf smells so lovely sweet and creamy. I’m hoping a heavier hand will bring out some of that in taste.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 3 g 17 OZ / 500 ML
Mastress Alita

I’m normally light in leaf too, and it is close to that ratio. I tend to do 5g of green tea or 6g of white tea for a quart.

derk

Little update: 6g to 500mL was fantastic. Hint of creaminess, sweeter, stronger Mao Feng green tea character — at least I’m guessing it’s a Mao Feng.

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85

Hello and good day. I’m excited about having my first green tea of 2019. Spring is here in this region of the states. I welcomed its arrival by prepping the garden which had fallen victim to snails, Bermuda grass, Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and baby palm trees. Mowed the grass, weed whacked and set to work digging up all the bristly ox tongue before it bolts and flowers. I also spent Friday cutting down 8 trees on a friend’s property for a nice sum of cash which bought me a new mattress and the leftovers of which will feed my recent puerh buying habit. I haven’t been drinking much tea this past week because I’ve been so damn busy.

I tried this a few days ago using Brenden’s parameters Western style, with 1T, 8oz, 180F and 3 steeps at 2/3/5 min. The tea was ok. It didn’t really awaken the crisp, spring green desire within me, being rather vegetal and muddled in flavor. I tend to like my green teas light and gentle, so I will have to play around with amounts and temperatures Western style.

This morning, though, I opted to brew the leaves gongfu and am much happier with the result. 6g, 150mL, 175F, 8 or 9 short steeps. The dry leaf smells soft, sweet, floral and young grass. Rinsed, I picked up on white chocolate, steamed veg and spinach and soft florals. The liquor is a crystal clear very light green-yellow without much aroma. The taste is crisp and light with fresh grass, minerals (salty), and florals with a light stonefruit-osmanthus aftertaste. In the mouth, the tea is thick and glassy early on moving quickly to a light body with soft astringency. The flavor ends more vegetal, perhaps green bean with a hint of oat creaminess. I thought maybe the tea got a little fruitier in the late steeps, but it was just the aftertaste that lingered.

Overall, brewed gongfu, it’s a very mineral yet delicate, light and crisp green tea that embodies what I’m looking for in the first days of spring. I imagine I’ll finish this bag today since the weather will be warm and sunny. A few more cloudy and rainy days are on the horizon.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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