435 Tasting Notes


So yeah, Mirkwood… I just watched The Hobbit movie for the first time so why not review this tea now.

When I think Mirkwood and Hobbits, I think of course adventures, deep dark forests, and… mushrooms!

But maybe that’s just me… see, I have a thing for mushrooms. I love them…I observe them, I photograph them, I eat them, and with this tea I now drink them more than ever (!!!)

Cause people, mushrooms will you find in this tea. Not any kind of mushies… Da Best!!

Attention, attention: Morel alert!!! YES!!! If you are a bit of a foodie like I am, you know what morels taste like. They are so scrumptious and fancy. They make me drool.

But who could think of adding them to puerh?

Who? Well, a Tea Hobbit of course.

Attention, attention: Puerh alert!!!! YES!!! Ontario 1357 is the base tea!

Brace yourself and prepare for an effective and very warming qi. (Just read some of the Ontario 1357 reviews if you want proof)

But enough bells and whistles…how does it taste, right?

Think creamy and buttery mouthfeel, with woody notes.

This mushroom soup renders a light saltiness. Yes, it’s a little briny, as if a few drops of soy sauce were added to the cup. I know, I know, it sounds weird, but it works! Makes the tea somewhat savory, and combined with the natural sweetness found in 1357, you get full on umami taste! If you’ve had a good asian broth, you know what I mean.

This is very different, fresh, innovative.

I love being taken out of my comfort zone without being too shocked. Cause as surprising as it is, it’s still very comforting. The only shock you will get is how good it is. Yes, it’s shockingly delicious!

P.S. So you’re not a mushroom fan? No worries…morels don’t taste damp and very earthy like most mushrooms do. I promise, there are no residual taste of Hobbit feet in this tea.

Pics of the session:

http://instagram.com/p/xX1kDNQh_F/ (Big chunks of morels!!)


Roswell Strange

Man, that sounds so fascinating and cool; it’s a shame I’m like super allergic to mushrooms…


Allergic to mushies? Man, that really suck!! :-(


No residual taste of hobbit feet? What’s wrong with hobbit feet?
I have to try this tea now, though. Your review is filled with awesome.


@ThainofBuckland: lol, thank you! And nothing wrong with Hobbit feet, love them, just don’t want their juice in my tea! And yes, you MUST try this blend ;-)

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If you think there’s no need to try North Winds cause you’ve already tried Golden Orchid and have it all figured out, well think again!

Yes North Winds is Golden Orchid’s base…but…they are two completely different teas.

And this is the new NW version…Yes, new and improved!

Smooth, rich and malty with no astringency.

When Yunnan meets Fujian, creating the perfect fusion. Pure symbiosis!

This is the tea I want in my cup on a lazy and cozy Sunday afternoon, in front of the fireplace.

Dark chocolate, dried fruits and toasty notes. It’s so warming!

It deserves a lot of love, it is after all Whispering Pines House black tea!

A real “maltfull” of happiness :-)

Pics of the session:





On CM I purchased 40z. of NW. What are your recommended brewing parameters? Thanks!


that’s 4 oz.


Always enjoy your tea pictures. It’s the full tea experience.


I just placed an order a few days ago – can’t wait :)


Thank you looseTman! For brewing parameters, I’m so sorry I can’t help much… I gongfu and I never measure or count time, i eyeball everything, lol, so sorry!

Ubacat, you are sweet…photography is a hobby that I enjoy a lot with tea ;-)

Lupiressmoon, you will not regret this….in fact, when you buy at WP, not only do you get tea….you also get magic!!!


:) I’m even more excited now, thanks

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I’ve tried many different Wuyi oolongs, Da Hong Pao for the most part, but never had Qi Lan.

Thanks to my generous friend boychik, I got to experience it for the first time today.

I was expecting a very similar taste profile…and yes thats what I got to some degree.

Nice mineral mouthfeel, roasty and nutty…I’m a fan!

But…the big difference lies in the extreme sweetness I get from this tea, feels like a sweet nectar!!

A lot sweeter than any rock oolong I have ever had.

People…it’s yummy.

But this type of tea must be prepared gongfu in order to fully appreciate all its characteristics and nuances. (Only in my humble opinion of course)
It’s easier to control this way…rock oolongs tend to turn bitter very easily. But when done properly, they are amazing and so rewarding!

This tea is nothing short of greatness.

I am impressed so far by Joseph Wesley…Integrity always wins at getting my business ;-)

Thank you boychik for introducing me to them, I see an order in my near future!

As usual, pics of the session:





Welcome back! You’ve been missed. Qi Lan’s “sweet nectar!!” – Yum!


Definitely good to see you here again! :D


Thank you so much looseTman and Blodeuyn, that warms my heart, missed you also!

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

I just returned from a little R&R and noticed your nice review. I’m happy to read that you enjoyed the Qi Lan. Happy new year. Cheers, Joe


Happy new year to you as well Joe, and it was with great pleasure that I reviewed this wonderful tea!

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Breaking a puerh cake is always exciting…breaking one from the first series of cakes in the history of Whispering Pines is beyond exciting!!!

Yes, Huron Gold is the first cake pressed under the Great Lakes Label, awesome concept from WP.

First, those little 100g goodies were filled with love and it shows. Brenden the owner made sure we would notice. They come in those very practical and cute rustic envelopes, made of 100% recycled brown paper, perfect for storage, allowing proper breathability. How cool is that? Very innovative.

The cake’s artwork is beautiful…a map of the five Great Lakes.

Love the golden color of the dry leaf. Smells almost like sweet caramel. The pressing is pretty loose, making it very easy to break into.

The taste is remarkably smooth and silky. No sign of heavy earthiness or leather here.

Think light moss with rich cocoa notes.

There’s a faint sweetness to it, reminiscent of ripe figs. It feels syrupy and round in the mouth.

It’s very accessible and mellow. It provides a nice warming feeling, it’s such a cozy tea.

Another excellent product from WP. No wonder I’m such a fan, they never disappoint me!

And I’m so happy I got two of those babies :-)






Talk about craftsmanship… it looks beautiful. Sounds like it taste beautiful, too!


I need to try some of WP’s pu’erhs! Haha if I can ever get my cupboard to a manageable level…this is on the list!


I purchased this shou. It’s my very first puerh cake!

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So how do you even describe what the sky tastes like?

Well if I had to, I’d say it tastes just like Autumn Jade Tieguanyin… New tea from WP!!!

Yes, this tea is heavenly good.

The greenest of the greens, it wears its name really well.

The taste is pure and ethereal…

Feels like a light fluffy cloud in the mouth.

Sweet and delicate with a buttery mouthfeel.

It’s floral, lilac lovers you will love this!

The smell is intoxicating…

Imagine being in one of China’s most luxuriant garden in the springtime. Never been to China, but that’s how I imagine it would smell like.

I get a hint of spice that translates as nutmeg for me. I often get that from good quality green high mountain oolongs. There’s a minty fresh finish to the sip that just makes my mouth feels so clean.

This tea will give you angel breath!

I highly recommend it to all green oolong lovers…

I’m still floating on my oolong cloud after 6 excellent steeps. Get this. It has all the noms you need.

Here’s some pics:




This sounds…so incredible. Just amazing. Man, I gotta try it sometime! I’ve been on an oolong kick lately :P


what a beautiful review, I find that really good Tieguanyins remind me of springtime in China (where I have been) as well!


Wow, the colour of that tea alone is magnificent.


Another WP-inspired poetic review – Well done TheTeaFairy!


Ooh sounds delicious! May have to try this sometime


@Ost: oolongs kicks rock!!

@Fjellrev: yes, it’s good AND beautiful :-)

@Mikumofo: thank you so much, I’m so happy you agree with me ;-)

@looseTman: Thank you for such nice words :-)

@Krystal: You can try in confidence, it’s a great tea!

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(Backlog from last night)

This week, an Instagram tea friend gifted me with one of the nicest care package I have ever received. Teas, teawares, gemstones, silk pouches….I was overwhelmed.

This person is a wonderful being…

Most of his teas are pu’erh, unique and very special cause you can’t just go and purchase them…they are for the most part private reserves.

Among all those puerh teas, there was a pouch that just caught my attention. Flowers!! Chrysanthemum buds that he blends himself with rose petals.

Not only is this blend the prettiest thing I have ever seen, but it also tastes like heaven. IF you like florals of course.

I am a notorious insomniac. He told me this might help me relax at night. I was skeptical, cause really, no infusion ever helped me before.

Well guess what…it did help! After quite a few steeps, my eyes became heavy and a soothing wave of relaxation started to flow inside of me.

I brewed it in a small glass gaiwan, and it steeped forever… I had to stop and go to bed.

This is such a nice discovery…Tea people are just the best peeps I know!





Finally you will have some rest. He had to send it to you long time ago ;). Amazing pics dear


glad you were able to find something that helps you sleep.

what kinds of pu’erh did he send you? i saw the shou on IG.


I’m so glad it helped you ! lovely pics as always.


@boychik: thank you for all the love, right back at ya! For the sleep, now we have to see if it works every time, haha!

@apt: thank you…so do I!! And for the pu, if I knew I would tell you…but I don’t, lol. I got a few shengs but mostly shou. Total mystery except that some are from 1000 year old trees. Some are made exclusively for certain families in China, and he happens to be friends with one of them. The beauty is I don’t really feel I need to know…I just feel very lucky and greateful that I get to experience them :-)

@Ysaurella: merci ma très chère amie ;-)

hippiechick 42

Follow me Please.

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Well hello good Steepster people!

So I needed warmth…what better tea than this beautiful golden Dian Hong?

First, the look. I mean, have you had a close look at those buds? PURE GOLD!!

So soft and fury, I want to pet them ( ok, I admit…I did pet them…I am a first class TeaGeekette after all, why hide in shame?)

The brew is all glitters and gold, a beautiful sunny light in the glass pitcher.

I forget how good this is…I rarely have it cause, well, I just have so many teas!!

It qualifies for my “pudding-like” tea list, cause of how sweet and thick it feels in my mouth. Unlike any other Yunnan I have had.

The sweetness reminds me of barley sugar candies. I also get cocoa and sweet potato notes.

It’s very fragrant, I find a certain floral quality to it.

Not as damp and earthy as one might expect, but a little “mossy” and yeasty.

Full of beautiful nuances and complexity, this tea screams for gongfu brewing. And it’s so forgiving, you can’t mess it up, it never gets astringent or bitter.

I had a lovely session earlier…another wonderful tea from Whispering Pines :-)

Here are some pics:





i love dian hong teas! never gets bitter for me. :D awesome pics :) love the cat :)


Hehe, thank you :-)


Welcome back TTF!


Hi Tea Fairy! I got an insight when reading about petting the furry tea. Now I know why mr. mopar has the Chairman, she keeps him from tea petting.


Thank you my dear Boychik xox

Nice to see you Cwyn!! Hahaha!! I wish there was a “like” feature for this comment!! :-)


Your photos are always so beautiful! And I love this tea. Your description of it is perfect. :)

Holly Faye

What are your experiences with Whispering Pines? I’ve never had their teas, but I’ve seen their name come up a lot. Should I try them?


@katBender: you are so sweet, thank you!! This tea is truly a gem…

@TeaKlutz: OMG! you must place an order!!! Just read my tealog, lol, you’ll understand why I’m saying this…most of my reviews are for their teas cause well…I drink them 75% of the time!! And I drink LOTS of teas believe me…I have tried MANY sellers…and I’m a total WP addict cause not only do they sell some of the best tea I have ever had, but they also have a work ethic and philosopihy I fully endorse and agree with. “Breathe life, sip inspiration” is a slogan that speaks to me greatly.

And I promise: I DON’T GET PAID A PENNY TO SAY ALL THIS, all true :-)

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I know I have professed my love for this tea many times…but what can I say? I just can’t get enough of it.

So friggin good.

Sweet dried fruits with big caramel notes, I always want moarrrr!!!

Gongfu this baby, and you have a whole new dimension of flavors.

This was my first tea of the day, using my brand new little cutie pot.

Have a lovely teatime everyone :-)

A wonderful tea friend spoiled me by sending me a beautiful mystic crystal. I like to honor my tea with such good vibes and energy…

Pics of the session:



Cameron B.

That is the most adorable little pot! And the quartz is gorgeous too. :)


Thank you swetie pie :-)


I just love reading your tasting notes, they are always so happy..I love it!^.^


@albertocanfky: what a sweet thing to say, thank you :-)

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Time to update this profile of mine…it’s 2015!!

I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect :-/

My relationship with tea in a nutshell:

I’m married to straight Black. I have torrid love affairs with Oolong and Puerh. I party with Green and White occasionally. Flavored are not my BFF, I usually stay away from them.

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others.

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who they are and expect the same in return.

Books! I love classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

Music is also something I can’t live without… From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Animal and nature lover, amateur photographer.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

Not a big «swapper», but will occasionally. Not because I don’t want to share but because I’m trying not to hoard so much.

Also, I have narrowed down the teas I really like over the years, and I don’t feel the need to try and buy everything the way I used to. (Maybe I have become a tea snob? Sigh…)

My ratings: because I pretty much drink only teas that I judge exceptional, my ratings are usually high. Don’t be shocked to see lots of 90’s and a few 100’s. That’s because I’ve had my share of crapy teas and I’m done with that ;-)

You can find me on Instagram here, I post about my tea sessions mostly, but also about the beautiful nature that surrounds me, and my fury companions :-)



The Laurentians, Canada

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