The Whistling KettleEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Oddly enough, I’m drinking this while watching Grimm and season 2 ep 8, by pure coincidence, includes one of the characters explaining what gyokuro is (while another just wants them to stop, a not unfamiliar dynamic).
Circling back to this tea from Kelmishka’s homemade advent calendar. This was Day 7, but I had put it aside for a day when I can really savor it because it’s one of my favorite types of tea.
This has the expected umami and grassiness for a gyokuro, as well as a smooth, medium-thick mouthfeel. I think it’s suffering by comparison a bit from my having had Ippodo’s premium gyokuro yesterday, which is downright brothy and silky. This was also slightly bitter on the second steep, even though I steeped at a low temperature for a fairly short time. The third steep didn’t have that issue though. Overall, this is a nice gyokuro that I happily savored today – it’s just not the best of its kind that I’ve ever been lucky enough to have.
This is my favorite flavored matcha. Right now I’m drinking it iced mixed with watermelon juice. It is also delicious mixed with lemonade or sparkling water. I am glad there is no added sugar. I also want to try it with fresh mint. Natural watermelon flavor. I bought the individual packets which are perfect for work or trips. I will definitely rebuy. I will definitely have to try their other flavored matcha’s.
My summer tea-drinking has officially picked up again now that I’ve realized I can point a fan at myself to cool off while I work… thus allowing me to enjoy hot tea. :D
I’m currently taking a wee break from a busy work day and made myself a cup of this extremely fruity blend to drink alongside a little afternoon snack plate. This blend is CHOCK FREAKING FULL of ingredients, primarily dried fruit. Dry, it smells really lovely, like POG juice or some other multi-fruit juice blend. It’s visually quite busy, with giant pieces of freeze-dried starfruit, pink peppercorns, bright cornflower petals, and much more. As you might expect, the brewed tea is similarly busy. I can’t really identify any single flavor above the general cacophony, but maybe that’s a good thing. Instead, I get a mild, lightly fruity liquor with just a tiiiny hint of peppercorn at the end and a gentle creaminess, maybe from one of the flowers.
It’s pretty nice! I might try it cold brewed next, but the hot version is very pleasant.
Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Pepper, Sweet
This green tea was included in the final installment of my six-month Whistling Kettle gift subscription. I’ve been pretty ambivalent about the WK boxes—there have been a few really tasty blends, but there’ve been more duds.
This one, however, is not a dud! It’s a gorgeously light green tea with delicate, almost buttery soft and smooth flavor. It’s mildly vegetal, but pretty unobjectionably so. I’m getting the tiniest hint of asparagus in the aroma, but I have to really sniff deeply to find it.
There’s not a whole lot to this one, but what’s there is good. I haven’t been drinking much tea in this hottt weather, but I’m glad I made time for a cup today. :)
Flavors: Asparagus, Smooth, Soft, Vegetal
This one came in my March Whistling Kettle box, and it’s very nice! The dry blend has a great creamy lemon pastry scent; steeped, it’s still reminiscent of lemon pastry or lemon cake without being too sweet or too lemony. I suspect even the rooibos-averse might be able to stomach this one; there’s none of that medicinal rooibos-ness.
Overall it’s really pleasant and well-balanced. I could see it becoming a go-to nighttime dessert tea… but unfortunately I spilled my sampler pouch and now only have enough left for a measly cup. Sigh.
Flavors: Cake, Creamy, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Pastries
One of the more interesting inclusions from The Whistling Kettle’s March subscription box… in theory, at least. In practice, it’s kinda boring! I’m not getting much flavor from most of the ingredients. It’s just a mildly spicy weak black tea with maybe a hint of amaretto. As for the “truffle” in the name… well, there’s no chocolate listed in the ingredients, so I have to assume anything chocolate-y is coming from the generic “flavoring” ingredient. There’s not much to it, though.
“Bland yet inoffensive” is probably the most I can say here.
Flavors: Amaretto, Peppercorn, Spicy
Another one from my January Whistling Kettle box. It’s… kind of odd? The vanilla scent in both the dry leaf and steeped tea is very strong and, to my nose at least, fairly artificial. It reminds me of something else I can’t quite identify… some kind of creamy vanilla candy I had as a kid? It’s a bit off-putting, yet I keep coming back to sniff it again.
I don’t really taste vanilla, though—I’m mostly getting warming spices with a bit of heat. I thought oat milk might help and meant to add a splash but accidentally added a large glug instead, and now that’s kind of overpowering the actual tea. Oops.
Flavors: Artificial, Black Pepper, Spices, Spicy, Vanilla
Sure, cherry/almond/marzipan/amaretto-inspired teas are a dime a dozen, but I haven’t tired of them yet! So I was happy to see one in my second subscription box from The Whistling Kettle. Dry, the leaf smells of super sweet amaretto, and the scent carries over into the brew. The taste is heavier on the cherry, with a flavor that veers toward cough syrup. There’s a hint of orange that helps temper it, but yeah—definite notes of cough syrup in this one, and I’m not getting a baked good flavor to evoke the biscotti element. The pink peppercorns bring a verrry tiny bit of heat toward the end, which is unexpected and a little odd—it seems to enhance the medicinal flavor! I’m not getting anything from the green tea base.
This is not the most sophisticated cherry-almond blend I can imagine. If you’re sensitive to that medicinal cough syrup flavor, steer clear.
Flavors: Almond, Amaretto, Cherry, Medicinal, Pepper
Ashmanra’s Sipdown Challenge | February 2023 | A least favorite tea
Getting another sipdown in today! I cold-brewed this last night and sipped on it this afternoon. I guess I prefer it iced to hot, but I won’t seek it out again — the fruit just tastes artificial, and there’s nothing special about the base. Meh.
2023 sipdown count: 26/75
I had a feeling based on the scent and appearance of the dried leaf that this was going to be a fairly generic fruity flavored black, and I was right. It’s got a somewhat astringent black base with notes of that artificial peach candy flavor we all know. (I don’t mind it, but YMMV.) There’s also something almost floral there? I’m not getting any strawberry, though.
Interestingly, the ingredients on the Whistling Kettle site include concentrated peach puree, concentrated strawberry juice, tangerines, and more; on the other hand, my packet lists only “black tea, flavoring, peaches, strawberries.” I’m wondering if it’s just a shortened list because it’s a tiny taster bag with space constraints, or whether it’s a totally different blend than what’s listed on the website? A mystery!
Anyway, this is fine, but not something I’ll crave and not my first choice when it comes to fruity black tea. I’ll probably try it iced when the weather gets a bit warmer.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Peach
For a tea with so many delightful-sounding ingredients (elderberry! passionfruit! kiwi!), this one does not live up to expectations. I was looking forward to a juicy, fruity delight, but all I can taste is a mouth-puckeringly tart hibiscus, even though hibiscus is fairly far down the list of ingredients. :(
Flavors: Hibiscus, Sour, Tart
Oh, yum. I’m not sure I’ve had peony petals before, but I’m on board! They remind me of a more floral, less tart hibiscus flavor.
This tea features a black tea base (unspecified, and I’m not well-versed enough in black teas to identify them by taste alone), peony petals, tiny sugar crystals, and “natural flavours.” It’s not exactly plummy, but it’s definitely got a deep fruitiness to it that comes out the more it cools. It’s not terribly sweet, either, despite the sugar crystals.
I like this a lot. It’s very cozy, and I could see enjoying it year-round… it might make an interesting cold brew.
Flavors: Drying, Floral, Plum, Stonefruit, Tannic
We celebrated Christmas/Hanukkah with my in-laws today, and my mother-in-law gifted me a six-month “tea of the month” subscription to The Whistling Kettle. I hadn’t heard of the company, so I was excited to try one of the brews that came with this month’s box!
There is a LOT going on in this Gingerbread Cookie tea—rooibos! candied fruit! toasted nuts!—but I’m digging it! I’m not getting much actual gingerbread flavor, probably because there’s no ginger in it (other than “natural flavours,” perhaps). Instead it’s like some other dessert I can’t quite put my finger on, with a hint of creamy sweetness from the coconut and a toasty breadiness from the nuts. It’s got a nice full body to it, which I appreciate. It reminds me of DT’s Forever Nuts, but maybe sweeter. I could see getting burned out on it if I drank too much in one go; I think I’ll stick to a single small mug at a time.
Flavors: Cookie, Nuts, Rooibos, Spices, Sweet, Toast
Shae Advent Day 3
This is a tea I’ve added to my cart before, but I never actually made a Whistling Kettle order, so I guess you were reading my mind, Shae! Hot, it doesn’t taste like much, but when I waited for it to cool, some nice fruity notes came out, and I’m enjoying it! Milk and sugar complement it nicely. The fruit flavor is complex, not just the same fruity flavorings added to every tea. I’d say it tastes somewhat like plum or fig. And the sparkles are so pretty!
Grabbed a few teaspoons of this from a tea box. I wanted to use it all up at once, so I sort of ended up overleafing. I taste a pretty strong, sharp clove. The flavor is dominated by the spices so that I don’t notice any chocolate. I don’t feel like I’d need to have this one again, but I thought the name was fun.
Ehm… not sure if I even have time for this tasting note. So sorry if you have been expecting something funny, light-hearted or anything. Nothing from that from me today. I just get an email saying tomorrow there is an exam from Forwarding. Yes, she decided on that in the first week of semester, but she could at least remind us week in advance.
Shae’s ADVENT CALENDAR, December 8
The concentrated aroma in pouch, in the morning I have opened it was just… too strong. But then it was much, much better and now I think I am close to “love it” mark. What a coincidence I bought prunes today to use in the Christmas cookies. At least I think so. They aren’t on the photo though, as I don’t know how much of them are needed and the package isn’t that big at all.
I think I notice cinnamon in as well. At least based on the aroma; among the prunes. Seeing sugar crystals in the blend is nice, but for me, who almost never sweeten tea, well it’s going to be bit tricky.
Are those prunes in liquid form? I was afraid it would be sweet, or exactly opposite, but… it is just right. A bold black tea base, prunes and cinnamon. No alcoholic note as another thing I was afraid of, as I had tried few plum teas. I can imagine the cinnamon bit more prominent, but maybe adding it next time and it will be just great.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Plum
Thanks to amandastory516 for this tea! I can’t tell that it’s pumpkin specifically, but I can definitely taste the toffee bits in this one. I’m drinking it as a latte, and it’s so desserty and good. So not really a pumpkin tea, but a really nice dessert blend. And definitely no spice. Really it should be titled toffee black tea, or something like that.
Another sample from Shae! I don’t think I’ve had anything from this company before, but their packaging is really cute. The tea itself really did smell like an oatmeal cookie, but the flavor was mostly cinnamon and not much else.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cookie, Oats
I’m so sad to give this such a harsh review, but it is just terrible. Even worse than the strawberry. It’s a very muddy reddish/brown color. There’s a bit of an artificial raspberry flavor, but it is so incredibly bitter. Pretty terrible. I couldn’t drink past the first sip, and dumped it.
I’ve been looking for flavored/unsweetened matchas to try, and just ordered quite a few from The Whistling Kettle. I made this one this morning and was very disappointed. The directions call for 16oz of water for each single serve packet of matcha. I used about 12oz of water/oat milk. It turned a light brown color, which was a bad sign. I could taste no strawberry, and no matcha. It just tasted like oat milk. I have quite a few others to try, so I’m hoping for better results.
Day 8 of our Advent Tea Swap. From amandastory516.
Our department moved buildings this week and I have been so incredibly busy. I missed my tea time for the last couple of days so I’m making it a priority this morning before I have too many interruptions. I’m so glad today’s tea is a caffeinated one because I feel like I really need it. I’m finding I’m really enjoying the oolong teas from my Advent box. Oolong has never been a favorite of mine, but I’m appreciating it more and more. I’m not picking up cinnamon or rice pudding in this one, but the flavor is solid and just really enjoyable.