Steepster has unfortunately now eaten my review of this tea twice, so let’s see if the third time is the charm. I generally don’t go for pu-erh or blended teas, so one would expect this tea to not do much for me, but one would be wrong. This was an absolutely fantastic pu-erh blend.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of the loose pu-erh, cacao nib, and vanilla bean piece blend in 4 ounces of 212 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 20 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 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, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea blend emitted aromas of earth, mushroom, cocoa, vanilla, and marshmallow. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of malt, wood, and wheat toast. The first infusion introduced the aroma of old paper and a subtle scent of smoke. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of earth, cream, butter, malt, mushroom, marshmallow, wood, wheat toast, cocoa, and vanilla that were complimented by subtle notes of cinnamon, black pepper, camphor, smoke, and old paper. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cream, butter, molasses, and caramel. Notes of minerals and dried tobacco appeared in the mouth alongside subtle hints of molasses and a brown sugar note that quickly transformed into more of a caramel presence. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, cream, wood, vanilla, cocoa, and caramel notes that were complimented by hints of marshmallow, camphor, wheat toast, butter, and mushroom.

At this point, all I can do is re-emphasize that I thought this was a fantastic blend. Nothing was out of place. Everything worked together. It was just beautiful. Brendan consistently does an incredible job with his tea blends, and this one was another winner. Anyone looking to craft a quality pu-erh blend should check out this tea and some of Whispering Pines’ similar offerings.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Mushrooms, Paper, Smoke, Toast, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wheat, Wood

Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Nice! I had a black/puerh breakfast blend once that was really good, i will keep this one in mind when I take myself off of tea buying restriction.

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Nice! I had a black/puerh breakfast blend once that was really good, i will keep this one in mind when I take myself off of tea buying restriction.

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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.



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