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This is a special note…

It’s my 3333th Tasting Note! What a fun number!

I chose this tea to write about for that tasting note for a couple reasons. Firstly, it’s definitely a more popular tea here on Steepster and I liked the idea (which I think was suggested by Equusfell) of dedicating a more monumental tasting note to something I’ve been saving for a special occasion or a tea that’s very well regarded within the community. Secondly, it’s sort of a miracle I’m trying this at all. And by that I mean that, when I placed my Whispering Pines order on Black Friday there was a definite goof made on my part. Instead of sending the order to my new address in Regina I accidentally sent it to my old Saskatoon address.

It shouldn’t have made it to me. By the time I noticed the error and managed to get in contact with Brenden the tea had already been shipped off and there was nothing he could do. I spoke to postal workers both in Canada and in the states and there was nothing they seemed to be able to do to reroute the package. Initially, my former roommate wouldn’t reply back to me about sending it my way either (we didn’t part on good terms). It seemed like a lost cause and a write off of an order. However, like a week after tracking was showing the package as delivered in Saskatoon I got a message from him saying he’d sent it my way. Three weeks pass and, well, nothing. Saskatoon and Regina are three hours away from each other so that’s not normal shipping times. Then, out of the blue, Whispering Pines order! I think that’s my 2016 ‘tea miracle’ all used up already. But hell; I’m not complaining.

So yeah; I think this tea has a fair bit of significance that makes it worthy of being note number 3333! And of course I drank it Gong Fu! Actually, I had the session with my mom who’s starting to appreciate pure teas quite a bit more as of late – though she still prefers, as she puts it, things that are “Coconut Cream Pie” flavored over “Mud Tea”. But we’re getting there…

Here’s the TLDR; of my tasting notes from the session:

- Eight+ Infusions
- Starts off very robust with a brothy, thick mouthfeel
- Very mushroomy with kind of meaty notes, earth notes, and wood notes
- Also starts off surprisingly sweet despite a strong savory/umami profile
- Evolves into a more lightly woody/earthy body sip
- With definite rich vanilla notes!
- My mom described it as a sweet pork rind flavour…

Very awesome Shou all around! I can see why people who are drinking WP Pu’erh as some of their first time pu’erhs fall for Pu’erh so hard. It’s such a unique and interesting kind of flavour and it really holds your attention.

VariaTEA

hahaha I think your mom and I are on the same page with regards to “mud tea” :P

__Morgana__

Wow, that is a lot of 3s!

OMGsrsly

Ha! Sweet pork rind. That’s an interesting note. :) Congratulations on 3333!

Christina / BooksandTea

Happy 3333!

I love reading your tasting notes because you describe flavours that are really subtle, unusual (to me), and precise. I wish I had your palate!

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Comments

VariaTEA

hahaha I think your mom and I are on the same page with regards to “mud tea” :P

__Morgana__

Wow, that is a lot of 3s!

OMGsrsly

Ha! Sweet pork rind. That’s an interesting note. :) Congratulations on 3333!

Christina / BooksandTea

Happy 3333!

I love reading your tasting notes because you describe flavours that are really subtle, unusual (to me), and precise. I wish I had your palate!

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Profile

Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer originally from the prairies, but recently relocated to Quebec. I was introduced to DAVIDsTEA and started drinking tea fairly casually about six years ago. At some point, that casual hobby became an ingrained part of my daily life; I became a part of a greater community, incorporated tea into my daily routine, and it became my career.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

I drink a balance of flavoured tea and straight/traditional teas – in all formats. I prefer to have a wide, and general knowledge over many types of teas and catagories rather than focus on any one specific tea: a jack of all teas, master of none. Loose, bagged, matcha, Western style, iced, latted, Gong Fu…

You name it, I probably drink it.

In that vein, I’ll drink just about any type of tea – those only ones I have a particularly strong distaste for are green teas and Chai, with some exceptions of course. I have a weird relationship with Sheng pu’erh, but have been gradually increasing the amount of it I consume – currently I have a particular fascination with Yiwu Sheng. Other types of tea that I greatly enjoy are Yancha and other dark, heavily oxidized or roasted oolongs, most shou, black tea, and compressed/aged white teas. I’ll absolutely try anything once though; and I like to have an open mind and explore lots of tea types, even if I have reservations. I’ll probably never leave that “Exploratory” phase…

Usually I drink my tea straight, but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea, I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though. If I’ve not mentioned an addition, you’re safe to assume it’s been prepared straight up.

I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gong Fu. Often I curate very intentional tea and music pairings, and sometimes I share them here in my tasting reviews. Music is something that I find can deeply affect the experience of having tea.

Favourite flavour notes/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strong Chai spice profiles, mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, artificial tasting mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/obsessed with: Sheng from Yiwu, Yancha (Qilan in particular), anything with a strong sweet potato note. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas! Searching for a really good caramel flavoured blend, ideally with a black tea base.

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Jade Pixiu Dragon: Whitaker
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Dragon: Pablo
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Sculpted Pig: Nelly
Sculpted Tuxedo Cat: Pekoe
Sculpted Tabby Cat: Marmalade
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Old Man: Leopold

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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