4 Tasting Notes
No. Just no.
This tea arrived in a pretty black tin with a Klimt label, so that’s good – I’ve got that. As for the tea inside the tin, I cannot recommend it to anyone.
I’ve brewed up a little bit of it again today alongside some very good Jasmine black tea from another source for comparison, and the difference is striking. The fragrance of the dry tea is overwhelming and does not change/evolve with the addition of hot water – it remains a strong scent that is NOT floral, much less jasmine – it took me a long time to place the scent but it reminds me of the fruity fragrance often added to lip balms meant for the teenaged girl market. Surprisingly, this overripe-fruit essence does not come through in the taste – the tea doesn’t have much taste at all, either of Tea or Jasmine/Whatever. Brewing it using different methods or for different durations doesn’t change the taste profile for me – it remains understated for tea, per se, but with a definite mustiness that is unpleasant. I perceive no jasmine scent/flavor present.
This blend lists black and green teas with jasmine and vanilla, and states both natural and artificial flavorings are used. I have to assume that both the jasmine and vanilla additions include artificial flavorings in rather large quantities, and it certainly degrades the taste of this tea. The tea leaves are in small, broken pieces with lots of stems and may also be of less than stellar quality – it would make sense…why use excellent tea if you’re going to add artificial flavorings?
…what MTCHYG said…ditto
Tasting Alice has been the Eureka Moment of my fine tea odyssey. I don’t have the expertise to define exactly what makes this wonderful tea from Whispering Pines so magnificent, but it is certainly the finest cup of tea I’ve ever tasted. I realize that it sounds as though I’m heaping a ton of hyperbole into this review; please believe me – this tea is exceptional and deserves all the praise I’m throwing at it.
Disclosure: I am a huge fan of jasmine in tea. If you are not, this may not be a flavor profile you would love. I appreciate the scent of both tea and jasmine – having both fragrances surround me just enhances the taste of both for me when a truly great black or oolong tea base is accompanied by the addition of natural jasmine blossoms. (I can skip the jasmine green teas – they usually don’t excite me). With Alice, WP has introduced the ultimate in sensory overload for those of us who love the taste of a truly fine tea coupled with the fragrance of jasmine.
Using Golden Snail Black Tea as the base, I didn’t expect to fall in love. I am a fan of oolongs and have never fully appreciated black teas. I have been converted!
When I discovered Whispering Pines, I think Alice had just made its debut as one of his offerings. I ordered an ounce of it along with several other of his great teas and began enjoying each one in sequence until I opened and tried Alice. This batch was apparently limited in the amount crafted and offered – it was already Out of Stock when I jumped online to order more!!! I am on the waiting list for notification once more is available and I will definitely be purchasing much more than my first measly one-ounce supply – I am rationing myself in the hopes of replenishing my stock before it’s totally gone.
Someone on another site mentioned that they also loved Alice but found it to be too expensive for everyday enjoyment – I strongly disagree. Less expensive tea that isn’t all that interesting is VERY costly, especially if you have to force yourself to drink it just to make it go away. I can’t afford a lot of things, but well-crafted, fine quality tea is an affordable luxury, IMHO.
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I thoroughly enjoy the scent of jasmine as well as the flavor it brings to oolong, white or black tea. (Notice I omitted green tea from my list). I appreciate the producers and vendors who provide true, scented teas using only jasmine blossoms and eschewing the addition of any flavoring to enhance the jasmine aspect.
That means I often end up with lots of tea that smells like jasmine but tastes like nothing much at all. Not this time – this is the real deal if you enjoy jasmine teas. If you don’t enjoy jasmine teas, please send your leftover Jasmine Snow Dragon stash to me.