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Friday, July 11, 2014

House Tieguanyin, Lots #1 and #2 by Whispering Pines Tea

House Tieguanyin, Lots #1 and 2 by Whispering Pines Tea



House Tieguanyin, Lot #1 by WP
I had originally brewed in a glass gaiwan but I've been brewing in a tall glass here lately with a lot of my teas, i find that some of them taste better that way, For some reason they can steep that way and never get bitter or over brewed or anything negative.
#1 has a roasty and slightly sweet aroma to me much roastier than the flavor.
The flavor is slightly roasty with a slight vegetal almost woodsy note with flavors of caramel and honey and even a little floral.
the Caramel notes to me are like the caramel coloring used in whiskey some folks cant even taste the caramel in the coloring but I can. I did get a slight fried banana type fruity note that was hidden in the caramel and some mineral notes too. I like this one, it is quite nice.






House Tieguanyin, Lot No. 2 by WP
Ok so I decided to review these two together because I thought that they would be similar but I was kinda wrong about that, They are slightly similar due to the roasty and caramel notes But the #2 seems darker roasted and kinda complex.
It has a lot going on without too much going on and everything that is going on in this one is wonderful!
I'm just going wing it here because I'm not really sure how to describe all the notes and hints and flavors that I am getting from this one.
I cant really compare it to #1 like I thought I was going to be able to.
I'd have to compare it to a maybe a Da Hong Pao and an Amber Oolong at the same time, maybe even to a dancong I'm really not sure but I know this is surely a roast that I love.
Since I'm not really sure how to describe it I'll post all of the different 
notes that I get from this one some of them may even seem to contradict each other.
The notes I get are Roasty, Caramel(comparable to the caramel in #1),mineral, fruit(grape and peach, citrus even), champagne or wine, earth, wood, grape leafe, Darjeeling??, sweet, honey, slight vegetal, slight astringent, grape leafe, wheat/rye, and ??? i dunno.
Sound not so good to you?? too much?? not really honestly all of these notes appear at different times in the tea or as it cool or as it steep longer.
Ya a little complex to me but in a really good way. I think anybody could love this Tea and I bet you get some of these same notes and more, probably some notes that I couldn't pick upon or just didn't know how to describe. Sorry I know this isn't a very good review but it is the best I could do because i just got so much out of this one. It is good steeped light and it is better steeped long and strong, but it never gets too strong. some slight astringent but no bitter at all. Delicious tea :)
Also it is very smooth and sweet, even better for a rainy day like today.




I liked #2 the best steeped long :)


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yunnan Gold Black Tea from Teasenz

YUNNAN GOLD BLACK TEA from TEASENZ

This pretty much the same review that I posted on steepster with just a little extra at the end and with photos,
Thanks for Reading :)

The Aroma of the dry leafe is really sweet and honeylike, most pleasant.
The leafe appearance is beautiful golden yellow buds with very small visible hairs, very pretty to look at, they look a little different from most of the other yunnan golds I've had.

I steeped this one first as directed on the website 3-5 minutes at about 203degrees, I went for 5 minutes.
The taste is delicious with very nice yet slightly subtle flavors, sweet fruit notes and malt a little peppery on the end, very slight astringency on the aftertaste.
The taste is really good tho it is a little weak to me just not quite as bold as some yunnan golds and dian hongs that I've had.

The second steeping is a little better than the first the flavors are a little stronger but still sligthly "weak" I hate to call a tea weak like that maybe it's just not bold enough for my personal preference, I think perhaps a rinse would have made the first steep even tastier so i'll do that next time.

Overall this is a pretty good tea to me, the fact that it is a little weak to me means not much really because it is still very tasty and enjoyable, perhaps this would be perfect for some folks.

Here are some photos of the leafe, To me it is very pretty to look at, it does look a little different than some yunnan golds I've had just because to me they look a little drier if that makes sense, the leafe tips don't look as "fat" as some do to me and they are quite brittle easily crushed and broken, most yunnan golds that I have are soft so these just look a little different to me but the wet leafe is plumped up and pretty still the same as most others.
They are still pretty to look at tho, some of the leafe are so golden that that are bright yellow even, I hope my photo are good enough :)

















Saturday, April 19, 2014

Genmaicha by Whispering Pines

I've read a few stories online about Genmaicha so I'm not really sure how this tea came to be, I think most likely the toasted brown rice was added to the tea to try and a little bit of tea into alot and make it more affordable, I also think its a Japanese tea. 
I found this really cool story on YaYa Teahouse's Blog section,
Genmaicha - tea with a history of blood and remorse
I don't wanna take their story or anything so I'll share the link for you to go and read it, it's about a Samurai.
I hope they don't mind me sharing it here with you :)
http://blog.yayateahouse.co.nz/2008/02/10/genmaicha-tea-with-a-history-of-blood-and-remorse/

I like Genmaicha tea I've had lots of different variations of it, some with popcorn and other things in it, some of them are pretty good.

This is Whispering Pines Genmaicha, a simple take on it, just tea and rice nothing extra. 
Brenden uses California grown brown rice and a Chinese tea rather than a Japanese tea.
The tea used Xinyang Mao Jian made in Henan Province of China. Mao Jian has a history dating back to around 800 BC,
legend says that this tea was brought down from heaven by 9 faries and given to humans to enjoy, it also says that you can see the faries dancing in the hot steam of the tea, I didn't see any faries this time tho, maybe next time.

The aroma is really good and comforting cuz it smells like Sugar/Honey Smacks cereal, mmmmm memories :)
The flavor is really nice its nutty, toasty and sweet with a slight citrus note to it, taste like a good genmaicha to me.
The leafes are pretty to me also, very small twists that untwist into little bitty leafes some of them whole, the leaves are so small that each ounce of Mao Jian has nearly 3,000 leaves.

I like this version of Genmaicha better than my own blend that I usually drink, thats because Whispering Pines has good teas...
Good Tea makes Good Blends..
http://whisperingpinestea.com/genmaicha.html












Saturday, April 12, 2014

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Whispering Pines Tea Company
"Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.


At Whispering Pines Tea Company, our blends are a pure incarnation of nature."
Go visit Whispering Pines Tea and get yourself some great tasting tea blends inspired by Nature, Speaking of Nature Did you know that Whispering Pines Teas will plant a tree for each Ounce of tea that your order?
Trees for Teas???
Effective April 1st 2014, Whispering Pines Tea Company has pledged to donate to non-profits specializing in sustainability.
"We pledge to plant a tree for every single ounce of tea you purchase from today forward. Many of these trees will be planted by non-profits in parts of the world where deforestation is a large concern for the ecosystem, and many will be planted directly by the staff at Whispering Pines."

Lance and I love Whispering Pines Teas, Our Favs include Sleeping Bear Blend, Manistee Moonrise, North Winds, Fujian Black, Imperial Gold Bud, December and October.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea

I was looking on Facebook last week and I saw a post from Red Leaf offering this Caramel Matcha on sale
so at like 80% percent off I couldn't pass it up I even got 2 instead of just 1 which proved to be a good decision.
http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html


Here at our house we drink Matcha in the mornings with milk and a little sugar, we never use water for our matcha But just to be fair I made this one with water and no sugar also just to make sure I tasted it the best I could.
First the Smell from the packet was incredible, a most wonderful caramel like Aroma with a hint of something that I honestly wasn't expecting which reminded me of Whiskey, I'll talk about that again later*.


Made cold with Milk and Sugar the Caramel Matcha was very Delicious and creamy sweet, no joke just like drinking a Caramel candy But the aroma while drinking still reminded me of Whiskey. The Aroma of the milk Matcha was pretty much the same as the aroma in the packet very nice strong Caramel like aroma that reminded me of whiskey in a strange way. I actually really enjoyed that tho, I didn't mind it at all.

*Now I'll say something about the hints Whiskey I get from the aroma of this Matcha, You may not get that at all But I'm sensitive to caramel coloring that is used it some whiskeys for some reason, I can smell and taste it somehow, most folks can't but I can and I believe that is the ONLY reason that this is reminiscent  of whiskey to me. It's just the Caramel :)


Made with hot water and no sweetener the way it is suppose to be made this one was still super yummy,
Still tastes very much just like caramel just not as sweet or creamy of course and this time with just a touch of bitter but not in a bad way. Also made hot killed the whole whiskey thing too.
I do notice a lingering sweet caramel aftertaste in the unsweet Matcha too, That is were the magic is for me, right there in the aftertaste, pure Caramel Perfection!
Any way you wanna try it, This is an awesome flavored Matcha and I bet it is delicious either way!


One more thing!
 I see on the Red Leaf site that you can kinda customize your Matchas flavor and strength there and I don't remember the details on This one that they offered on sale but I really couldn't imagine it any other way. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Medium Roast Jin Xuan by Whispering Pines Tea

I'm such a procrastinator I was suppose to post this days ago, anyways This tea is a Roasted Jin Xuan from Brenden of Whispering Pines Tea Company http://www.whisperingpinestea.com/mediumroastjinxuan.html.
Jin Xuan means "Golden Lily" also referred to as Milk Oolong. 
It is a wonderful roasted oolong, I tried it a few different ways and it was delicious every time.
I steeped this one is a clear glass Gawain, with hot water. My steeping times varied from just 30 seconds to 3minutes to even 10 minutes.


When steeped light this tea had a nutty roasty taste with a creamy mouth feel, delicate and nice. 
When steeped a little longer about 3 minutes and so on the taste was very roast and nutty still a lot more so than on the lighter steep with pleasant vegetal notes and a creamy sweet almost buttery smooth mouth feel , very nice.
Steeped at about 10 minutes this tea is much darker still roasty and nutty but this time also slightly woody, the vegetal notes were still pleasant tho now slightly bitter but not in a bad way at all and the creamy smooth mouth feel was still very much present.


I think I preferred this one steeped at about 3 minutes or so without sweetener the best, it can be enjoyed for many steeps this way and you get the leafes full potential.

I also tried this one also with sweetener at one point and it was delicious and roasty with almost like brown sugar type sweetness, it kinda reminded me of raw chocolate chip cookie dough in some strange way, very tasty.
Once again another great tea from WP, this was a very delicious tea and I'm looking forward to having it again soon.
I took a lot of photos of this because I thought the leafe was pretty :)


















Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cold Brewing Tea

Does anybody cold brew their Iced Teas? 
I recently started to do so (this spring & summer) and I've realized that for Lance and I it is the best way to go.
Cold brew tastes so much better to us, it last longer and it is easier.
It really easy just add tea leafes in your pitcher, pour in cold water, a stick it in the fridge for a while, that simple!


I had 2 main questions about cold brewing before I started so I did a little reading online about cold brewing and founds lots of useful information. 

My first question about cold brewing of was -How long should I cold brew my black tea?- from my online reading I found many different brewing times and overnight seemed to be popular with lots of folks so that's the time I started with.

My second question was -should I use a Glass pitcher rather than a plastic one?- I know that's really all just a matter of preference but I still wanted to know what other people liked to use.
I discovered that most people prefer Glass over Plastic, I experimented with that also and I agree Glass container for some reason Does IMO make a tastier tea, but we have several plastic tea pitchers and my glass thing is a huge gallon jug with a small opening and it's not easy to get the leafes out, So we use a plastic pitcher still.
I'll be buying a glass pitcher soon.

A few months ago I saw a post on Steepster about over steeping cold brewed teas and I saw a reply that said Upton's Tea Imports recommends steeping blacks a minimum of 4 days So I went to Upton's site and found the article "A customer shares his cold-water iced tea method" in their General Tea Information section(I'm including that link on the bottom of this post).
In that article this customer states that 4 days was the minimum for cold brewing Black Tea and that you won't get the full flavor before then, he also said that the flavor would still get stronger after 4 day and it will be drinkable up to 7 days.
I at first thought No Way! but I tried it myself with Black Tea and from my experience I found his advise to be good and useful.

I only tried the 4 day brew a few times because although it tasted good it wasn't very practical for us for 2 reasons.
First and main reason is because We drink lots of tea and between the two of us we can drink an entire pitcher in one day sometimes specially if company stops by.
Second reason is that I'm too impatient to wait for 4 days every time lol 4 days is too long to cold brew a tea that we would just drink all up on the 5th day lol.
If i was patient enough to wait 4 days each time then for us to always have a pitcher ready to drink that would mean many pitchers of tea sitting in the fridge at one time cold brewing and that's just too much we don't have room for all of that. 
I will still brew some for 4 days from time to time probably just not often.

After reading this on Upton's site and trying it myself it brought up another question for me, Can I re-steep?
It just made sense to me that if I could leave it to cold brew for 4 days straight but overnight is sufficient for us then maybe I can just brew it overnight, drink it the next day and re-steep it overnight again a few times. 
I decided to just go ahead and give that a try and see what happens, What happened was it worked quite well and the second cold brew was tasty also.
Now We don't even strain the leaves anymore they just sit in the pitcher and I keep filling it back up and doing it over again, we use the same cold brewed leafes sometimes 3 or 4 times, after about the third time I usually ditch the leafes and start over unless I feel that it can go one more time. 

That's the way we cold brew our tea now, it don't get nasty or funky or anything it taste good all the way through. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has tried to re-brew and cold brewed tea.
This is just for black teas for us, but I've also cold brewed raw puerhs twice, Cold brewed tea taste really good.


So, Do you cold brew? How do you Cold Brew?
Please comment and let me know :)


P.S, we drink iced tea here all year round so cold brew is not only good for summertime but for anytime :)


Here is the Upton's link for "A customer shares his cold-water iced tea method"
http://www.uptontea.com/shopcart/information/INFOicedTea_coldwaterMethod.asp

Here are a few more links about Cold Brewing :)
http://www.samovarlife.com/how-to-make-cold-brewed-teas/
http://www.teafromtaiwan.com/cold_brew_oolong_tea
http://www.arborteas.com/teablog/tea-preparation/cold-brewing-tea-why-you-should-and-how-to-do-it/