I thought I tried this one before. Anyway.
There are so many teas in my backlog. Most of them, I need to add to steepster myself. Cheers to trailblazing!
I hesitated on this one for a while since I was not quite sure how I felt on Jasmine Blacks. They tend to be too malty for me personally, but I given how smooth the Golden Snail is, I’d give it a try. I have only brewed it very lightly via western with 3-5 grams in 8-12 oz, but my initial times tend to be between two and three minutes, and then I add 30-45 seconds, and then minutes afterwards. I have gotten between 4-6 solid cups followed by fainter ones. I can see this as an easy Gong Fu tea, but I’ve been working a lot online (TEACHING), and have needed French press to power me through sessions.
First of all, this is a very well balanced tea, and naturally extremely creamy, sweet, and dense with jasmine flavor. The body is viscous, but not overwhelming thick or malty. Like other reviews, I could still taste the sweet potato and cherry malt underneath the jasmine. The cocoa nib notes a little bit more subdued, but they are there. Middle brews give me caramel notes, and later ones lean to honeysuckle from the black tea rather than the jasmine. The first and second steep remind me of buttercream frosting due to its voluptuous sweetness. Sometimes it reminds me of cantaloup, but I point that to the sensation when my buds go from Jasmine to black tea.
When I bought it, I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to buy more Lorien, or more of this one. I wanted the Nepal Gold, but it was sold out right when I went to go through checkout. So I doubled on Lorien because Jasmine Whites are my favorite, and if White Lotus was any indicator of Brenden’s tastes, Lorien would be really good because he topped it above Lotus. So I got less of this one…though I wanted to add more. Curse expenses and my propensity to diversify my Dragon’s Horde of Tea!
So, after trying both, I like both equally, but I prefer the Jasmine to tea ratio on this one’s taste. Lorien can be perfumy if you ever brew it like I did the first time, and I like that this jasmine is not nearly as vegetal, but better yet, not super malty or astringent if you brew it lighter. I like that I can taste both tea and jasmine, and this is the perfect pick me up tea. I used it before work this morning to power through parent phone calls (I HATE talking on the phone), and sustained me through my meeting.
1. Expense (WHICH IS ALWAYS THE CASE, BUT I SUPPORT BRENDEN AND HOLY CRAP DOES THIS ONE HAVE A HIGH DEMAND)
2. Longevity. Lorien’s main advantage over this one is that it yields more cups than this one. It can start to get week around cup 4-5 whereas my other teas tend to get weak at 6-7 western. It’s honestly a nitpick that depends on my leaf ratio.
3. Strength. This is easy to avoid and not a complaint from me, but I can see some people not liking this one because of the florals. It’s balanced enough to win people over and jade them to other Jasmine teas, but if you up the leaf too much, the Jasmine could get to your stomach. It’s more forgiving than most black teas, but it’s still a black tea, and can get astringent if it is over done.
I personally did not entirely picture Alice when I drank it unlike the Jabberwocky, Rivendell, or Lorien, but after reading the notes I can see it depending on how I picture it. When Alice drinks tea at the Mad Tea Party, I always imagine something more British like a breakfast tea, but then thrown in with something whimsical. The jasmine is more otherworldly than whimsical for me. But when I picture her with the caterpillar or with the flowers, this blonde tea makes more sense (ironic because I picture her more as a Brunette in the books over the blonde in the series). This little Geek rant has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the tea though, and Alice is one of the best blends that Whispering Pines has had. I like it more than Earl Gold, but that’s personal preference.
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Caramel, Frosting, Honey, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes