1227 Tasting Notes
I seriously haven’t written a note on this one yet? Fail.
Anyway, it’s hands down one of the best Assams I’ve had. The caramelized brown sugar note really does me in, and I cannot pin down the rest of the top of my head other than being fairly fruity, and well, Assam like and sweet like dark chocolate or cocoa nibs. I feel like I have to check my bloodsugar with it. It does have the rounded raisin-malt taste of a good Assam, but it barely becomes astringent keeps a unique sweetness that few teas have. Now, the tea can become bitter or astringent if I mess around to much, but for the most part, it’s a forgiving tea with less leaves. It’s been my go to breakfast tea so far. Deserves the praise indeed.
I think this teas covered in detail, but since I have a decent amount of it, I’ll probably write about it pretty often. I’ve stayed towards a western style in a french press as of late, but even then, I easily get 4-6 cups out of it. Very, very good. I do like the Wild Mountain a little more, but I drink this one more often. I am excited to see how the Guan Yin turns out when people write about it. It’s a shame I’m over budget for tea.
Interesting tea that I am glad that I got 50 grams of. The dryleaf scent reminded me of molasses, honey, and fruit leather, with a particularly woodsy smoothness to it.
I attempted Gong Fu, and I was not sure what to think. Malt and fruit were there, but it was mostly ASSAM through and through, albeit sweet like honey and perhaps mineral.
The second steep was a Western Accident. It’s very bold, brisk, and energizing, but smooth and sans astringency or true bitterness. Malt came in a velvety smooth mouthfeel, with an accent rising like eucaluptus but a fruity sweetness. Nectarine popped in my head, but it was very dry. Someone might disagree. Plum is probably more accurate. I can see the red apple and currant a little more as it cools, but more so red apple. That’s all I have right now, and that’s using eastteaguy’s notes as reference. Otherwise, I am a little bit overwhelmed since I drank so much tea today. I need to slow down a bit.
I enjoyed this one. A little bit more chai-esque than I expected, but definitely a nice smooth assam base and orange flavor. There are more similarities to a Emergency packet in its zestiness, but the cocoa nibs come in the background nicely in scent and smell. It does taste a little bit better for me with agave to sweeten, but it’s still good. I might write more, but for now, it’s roughly between 75-85 for me.
Mixed feelings about this one. The flavors are overpowering for me in the jar, but not so when I brew it hot.
It’s very marzipan-y, and not quite as astringent as I expected. Like some other reviews have suggested, the almond cocoa combo makes this tea taste like a darker oolong or Yan-Cha. It has the Assam bold malt and cocoa, but it’s much more subdued and smooth. It takes agave well, but it’s not bad unsweetened. It does taste natural, but it is still a little bit overwhelming and bordering on sun tan lotion. I’ll have to figure out the way I like to brew this one.
When I first came across this online, I thought “Oh look-obligatory chai blend.” Like the breakfast blend, I expected this one to be relatively generic, but when I looked at the loose leaf they advertised online, I wondered if the tea base was in fact an oolong because some of the leaves looked rolled an light brown. I could have been wrong, but that would not be a bad thing considering how good their Zealong black is.
Since I could not find a single bag sample, I risked a whole box. Luckily, I had Kiwi credits, but I found it was worth it. I drank as many as three bags in a day during work, and that’s including re-steeping it.
As for the taste and smell, the spices are doubtlessly warming chai, but with that edgy char in profile. Tasting it and drinking it, it’s extremely well balanced. The pepper is fairly prominent with the cardamom, the ginger is more obvious mid body, and clove and cinnamon finishes it off nicely with the tea’s cocoa-char note. The overall body is very smooth and a little bit malty, but naturally soothing. It’s not as malty in the second brew with the clove and ginger taking over a little bit more, but the tea is a little bit sweeter and nearly caramelized. It’s not THAT sweet, but the tea is incredibly pleasing on the palette.
I feel like I’m missing something in the description because the tea is just that good, and someone who pays more attention to their palette might describe it better. If it weren’t so expensive, I’d be getting a lot more since this ranks as on of my top three masalas. The roasty Zealong base makes a difference, and whoever blended the spices did a fantastic job balancing everything out. Foodie recommended-it may be too mellow for some, but it’s great for those looking for smooth and balanced chais. I’d also rate it a 90, or something close to it.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Char, Cinnamon, Clove, Cocoa, Ginger, Malt, Roasted, Smooth
I caved in to a need for sachets last month. I got this as a free sample, and it pleasantly surprised me. I expected something bold and astringent like an English Breakfast, but this was an incredibly smooth tea with a much desired roasted cocoa profile in aroma and taste, with an accent clearly identifiable as honey. It is in fact as mellow as the company describes, and it does have a nice citrus note. The mouthfeel is also pretty great-it had a little bit of the nectar profile some Taiwanese blacks have.
I could easily see drink this every day if it were not so expensive. It may also be a little bit too mellow for some people, but it pleases this foodie’s desire for flavor and just a hint of complexity. It is a straightforward tea, but still very enjoyable. If you can find this or want to treat yourself with a good breakfast sachet, this is not a bad bet. I’m personally rating it 80, though I think 85-92 is really the tea ratings range.
Flavors: Citrus, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Nectar, Roasted, Smooth, Spices, Wood
Sipdown, and a sad one at that. I wish I ordered more of this one than Ancient Spirit. It can get a little bit woodsy, whereas this one is like drinking fruit leather. I have tons of Taiwanese blacks to drink anyway, and so many frickin’ notes to write, but I wanted to start off with this one. I’m seriously surprised there are not other reviews because this is easily one of the best blacks Whispering Pines has offered.
I know I promised more description, but I only have energy for a rating and a comment. Like I said before, I think that this tea should garner more attention. It’s certainly on the greener side, but there’s enough oxidation to make it savory and to give it a sweetened edge. Gardenia and lilac are still apt with green apple, honeysuckle, butter, nutty hints, grass, melon, sweet pea, and others. I’ve gotten mineral on occasion, but more like the minerals of sugarcane sugar overall because it is green. It’s actually a very friendly brew with light leaves and long steeps, and it serves me well grandpa or gong fu. I actually prefer this one to some of the other oolongs on Whispering Pines’s selection because it’s refreshing and well balanced. It also compares considerably well to other’s I’ve had. There are some Bao Zhongs that are much greener than this one, and I actually think it’s a decent balance overall. I keep coming back to it and remain satisfied.
Very balanced and refreshing. It’s definitely close to a Mao Feng green in its minerality and morning dew quality, but it stands out as a Bao Zhong with the usual lilac note that you can fall in love with. Daffodil and gardenia are also prominent. It’s also super friendly Gong Fu, and very thick. This note is more footnote than essay right now, but just know that I think this tea should have more appeal than it does currently. That is all for now.
Got to try this at a bougie, but incredibly pleasant coffee shop to complete the Trifecta of Harney’s European City named Earl Greys. This one was very light and took a bit to steep, but it was very smooth. It starts out subtle, and then transitions into the flavors nicely. Malt and tea are the obvious notes with a little bit of a cocoa note and some vague spiciness. The caramel coats the background, and as it steeps longer, the bergamot emerges as a friendly accent, and the currant tags a long as that sultry friend that gets around, and together, the form a creamy desserty tea with just enough fruit to add some character. I think that I may prefer the Tower of London blend a hair more, but if I were to have an entire tin of this tea, my mind could change depending on my mood. I will say it is the smoothest out of the three, and this tea is one of Harney’s best sellers for good reason. It’s the kind of fancy desert tea that anyone can love with just enough complexity to satisfy even the more particular customer.