I saved this sample from Daylon for a special occasion and enjoyed it on Christmas Day. (I’m posting my note today because I had a couple more steeps to savour.) Given their high shipping cost to Canada, I haven’t had many teas from Whispering Pines and was very much looking forward to this one, particularly as I have a soft spot for fluffy golden teas from Yunnan. I steeped the entire 6 g sample in 120 ml of water at 195F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
As expected, these fuzzy black and gold leaves are pretty! The dry aroma is of rye bread, dark chocolate, caramel, and malt. The first two steeps have notes of rye bread, malt, caramel, cocoa, dark chocolate, butter, molasses, wood, and fleeting hints of cherry and apricot at the front of the sip. The chocolate really steals the show. The next couple steeps add hints of vanilla, although there is some slight astringency to complement all the decadent flavours. The stonefruit also goes into hiding at this point and doesn’t return. In subsequent steeps, the tea doesn’t change very much, though it seems to get more caramely and bready as the session goes on. The tea eventually fades into faint chocolate, malt, caramel, wood, minerals, and tannins.
If this one is any indication, Whispering Pines has some wonderful offerings. Though I would have been happy if those stonefruit notes had stayed longer, the chocolate, caramel, and rye bread made for a cozy Christmas gongfu session.
Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Rye, Smooth, Tannin, Vanilla, Wood