96

I’m continuing to clear out the backlog with this one. It took longer than expected for me to get to this tea. I was aware that it was very popular and had a great reputation here on Steepster, and I think that may have played a role in my initial lack of desire to review it. Everyone had already said so much about this particular blend, what, if anything could I add? Well, now I am finally getting around to reviewing this blend and I have to say that I found it to be incredible. I have long felt that some of the best offerings from Whispering Pines Tea Company are their blends and my experience with this one only further reinforced that opinion.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a flash rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose blended material in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of vanilla, chocolate, honey, spices, and stone fruits. After the rinse, I found new aromas of raisin, malt, orange, leather, and wood. The bouquet of the first infusion was practically identical. I found mild notes of vanilla, malt, cream, wood, and chocolate in the mouth. Subsequent infusions brought out orange, black cherry, raisin, toast, leather, honey, plum, and mineral notes. I also found touches of camphor on the finish. When I focused in, I could detect additional notes of baked bread, clove, anise, nutmeg, menthol, and eucalyptus as well. The later infusions primarily offered mineral, baked bread, toast, cream, malt, and wood notes underscored by fleeting impressions of vanilla and calming, cooling herbal notes.

When I first tried this, it took me a couple minutes to adjust to it. I think I was expecting it to be much sweeter than it was, but fortunately, this was a very balanced, complex blend with a wonderful mix of aromas and flavors. The vanilla never came close to overpowering what the tea base had to offer. Instead, they complimented one another beautifully. Furthermore, I greatly appreciated the fact that no artificial ingredients were used in this blend. Overall, I have a hard time imagining that there is a much better vanilla black tea blend on the market. Definitely make a point of trying this one.

Flavors: Anise, Baked Bread, Camphor, Cherry, Chocolate, Clove, Cream, Eucalyptus, Honey, Leather, Menthol, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange, Plums, Raisins, Toast, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I’ve always wanted to try Cocoa Amore, but it’s out of my price range personally.

eastkyteaguy

Same for me, though I think I still have a one ounce pouch of Ambrosia somewhere. I used to be able to afford pricier offerings, but I am now having to budget for pretty much the first time in my life.

Daylon R Thomas

Dang, that stuff is coveted.

Daylon R Thomas

Does it live to the hype?

eastkyteaguy

I haven’t tried it yet.

Daylon R Thomas

Dang. I’m still jealy. Want to do a swap in the future with samples? It’ll be late because I’m busy as f and waiting for a few samples to come my way anyway, but given our similar preferences, it might be very doable.

Daylon R Thomas

Only other thing to consider is what both of us already have. My selection is actually decent right now, though I bet you have more variety.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, I would be very open to a swap with you. I checked earlier and I do indeed have an ounce of Ambrosia that is unopened. I would be more than willing to split it with you.

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Comments

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve always wanted to try Cocoa Amore, but it’s out of my price range personally.

eastkyteaguy

Same for me, though I think I still have a one ounce pouch of Ambrosia somewhere. I used to be able to afford pricier offerings, but I am now having to budget for pretty much the first time in my life.

Daylon R Thomas

Dang, that stuff is coveted.

Daylon R Thomas

Does it live to the hype?

eastkyteaguy

I haven’t tried it yet.

Daylon R Thomas

Dang. I’m still jealy. Want to do a swap in the future with samples? It’ll be late because I’m busy as f and waiting for a few samples to come my way anyway, but given our similar preferences, it might be very doable.

Daylon R Thomas

Only other thing to consider is what both of us already have. My selection is actually decent right now, though I bet you have more variety.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, I would be very open to a swap with you. I checked earlier and I do indeed have an ounce of Ambrosia that is unopened. I would be more than willing to split it with you.

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Profile

Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

Location

KY

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