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Whispering Pines Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

92

Oh yeah – this tea. What a luscious blend. There is light cocoa and a little malt and a bit of a bright sweetness that is very pleasing. Nice and round with a tiny bit of tingle on the tip of my tongue at the end. This is a bright and happy morning tea to be up with ridiculously early for Easter. It’s smooth and has an entirely different groove from a lot of the black teas I love most. This blend reminds me Sam Cooke – but not Sam Cooke alone – specifically the blend of Sam Cooke’s voice with Lou Rawls on this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRGRKMWEe-c&feature=kp

I really like this tea and dealing with Brenden is a pleasure.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Love this, and would love to have a tea that grooves the way Sam Cooke’s music does, awesome:-)

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, baby!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Haha that’s an awesome comparison…and I can totally see it, too! :) So glad you’re enjoying this one!

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92

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100

Yum. Yum, yum, yum. I love Whispering Pines’ Mint Chocolate Chip, and this tea has all of the great flavors of that tea combined with the amazing blend of spices they add to their chai. Then there is a malty, bready note that makes my eyes roll back in my head. Seriously good stuff. The only possible bad thing is that this is a sample. And I’m not supposed to buy tea until May. I’m not going to make it until May. :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Sadly, this tea was never offered…but was a custom blend for you only :)

If you’d like more, however, I can definitely make some more!

Veronica

Oh! Wow, that is the coolest thing ever. :) I would love more of it. I’m planning on placing an order next week, so we’ll have to talk.

Thank you for the amazing tea!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) I’ll message you for more info!

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76

This tea is very different from the last time that I had it. The first main difference was that as soon as it started steeping, it smelled very smoky, almost tobacco-like, which I did not detect at all last time. The seaweed flavor that I remember from last time was still there, but only came after an initial smoky taste. Both times, though, I’m confused about where the “dark chocolate” is supposed to be in this tea. I’m lowering my rating because of the smokiness, but this is definitely unlike any other oolong that I’ve ever had. Thanks bluebelle for letting me try this!

Edit: Oh, and this is a sipdown (121)!

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91

Brenden sent this as a sample in my order, which is rather uncanny, since I’d almost ordered it, but had to take it out for budget concerns. :) I was very happily surprised!

I ended up steeping this four times throughout the course of the day… and it really says something about a tea that I’m willing to go back to it that many times in one day. Usually at some point I say to myself, “Eh, I’ve had that already, let’s shake it up.” Not this time! It was very malty and bready and had some light hints of honey, just barely. Sadly, through all the steeps, I just wasn’t getting the chocolate notes. Maybe next time? I suppose I should try it once without sugar, too… I forgot to, in my hurry that morning.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

Had this tea this morning, in a travel mug with milk and sugar. The smell is wonderfully light and fresh for a black tea, with some lovely toasty maltiness. It tastes like… rye bread, with honey, maybe some hints of maple syrup, and heavy cream… it’s making me think of bread pudding, minus the cinnamon. Highly delicious, a very good choice for breakfast! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

my second tea from whispering pines! and i had no idea that breaking into it tonight would come along with another celebration as i sipped…..

i hate waiting for grades; classes are done- I WANT MY MARKS! …..please. but profs get busy, sadly it isn’t a immediate thing. i was just starting into this chocolatey assam-esque tea when the message came that the final grade for the class that had me working my butt off all semester had been posted.

i could see the grades, but the student numbers had been scrambled! i was supposed to write for a code…… was i getting extra marks for this? gimmethecodegimmethecodegimmethecode.

there was a lone 87.3. highest in the class by 6%. mine. Mine. MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there were two others that were close, just a hair under 1% off. my team was 3……. this was us, i was sure. that 87.3 was MINE. i took a real beating this semester….it’s a long story. short story? that number was MINE.

gimmethecode.

-check email…. wasn’t there yet. sip tea.
-rinse
-sip tea
-repeat
-the code was in…..

second time with this prof…. highest mark in the class. he isn’t easy. he poked fun at me this semester about having no life! but he sent me a beautiful letter of congratulations….

this is an excellent celebratory tea. not malty to me, which suits me fine. a dark chocolate assam. lovely and rich…. i used some turbinado sugar and a bit of cream. i don’t miss dessert! very nice.

just waiting for one more grade =0)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
__Morgana__

James, what wonderful news! Many congrats! So well deserved!

JustJames

=0))) thank you… you know when it’s over, but it doesn’t feel over? as the grades come in i’m starting to feel it. whew!

CK

Congratulations! and this sounds likes an awesome tea moment :)

JustJames

it was an excellent tea moment…. had it been coffee i’d have needed someone to peel me off the ceiling, lol.

boychik

Congrats!!! Im sure you are going to remember that guy.

caile

That’s wonderful – congratulations!

greenteafairy

Congratulations!

JustJames

i believe this prof is the one i’ll be mentoring with for my phd. i’ve asked and he’s already agreed. you know when you meet someone that you would genuinely like to be at the end of it all?

thank you for the congratulations! sorry i’ve been so absent lately!

Amariel

This is the one I selected for the contest.

JustJames

which contest?

Amariel

Whispering Pines Butiki combo contest…they were supposed to announce a winner on the 15th, but I have not seen anything about the winner yet.

JustJames

man…. i really need to come up for air when i’m studying.

Amariel

I would have missed this too, only I saw something in my FB feed, I think from Cavo about it…

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I can’t describe the individual flavor notes from this tea just yet, but overall, it’s very smooth and rich with deep flavors. It’s storming rain outside, and this tea seems like the perfect drink to counteract the weather. All I need is a good book and down blanket and this tea to cuddle up and avoid the rain.

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93

This is the latest Campfire Blend and I think it is wonderful :)
The earlier campfire blend was very good outdoor tea perfect for sitting by the fire, The new mix tho is even better I consider it a “wilderness” tea.
The smokey lapsang in here is very smooth yet full flavored, the cedar replacing the orange peel and the added chicory really turned this version around for me, it adds just the right touch and make for a really nice balance in the flavors.
Smoke and Cedar/Pine is the main notes I get from this one with minor sweet earthy almost mint like notes.
This is a great remake of Campfire Blend i hope the Cedar stay around for awhile.

Also, I’m not sure if it can be oversteeped but I know it can handle a pretty long hot steep and make a very bold exciting tea thats just all smokey sweet cedar goodness, try it really strong you may like it that way.

Flavors: Cedar, Pine

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94

This was my morning tea. It’s such a unique blend, and I love the creativity and thought that went into it (or if this was a moment of inspired genius I love that, too:)). The lemongrass, spearmint, pine smoke, and berry flavors combine into something amazing.

A great first cup of the day.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You missed the “recommended” button ;) hehe. Glad you like this one! :D

Christina

But your tasting note says “Not Recommended” at the top. Waitaminute, you just want to keep this tea all to yourself. Sneaky! Well, I’m onto you….

Veronica

Oops! This is what happens when I attempt to write reviews using my phone. All fixed!!!

@Christina – I’d love to have this tea all to myself, but I’ll share if I have to. :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Haha :) I might just have this one right now, too. It’s been a while!

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90

this is from my first whispering pines tea order… first tea from my first order! i held out trying this blend until today for A REASON!!!!!

the semester is OVER! insert soaring freedom music of your choice….. but only for three weeks, lol.

must admit, it was quite awesome- i changed my status on FB re the exam and who should inquire about how it went down? Brenden… the owner of whispering pines, lol.

saving this as my celebratory tea was a good call. dry it smells like vanilla chocolate ice cream. malt, but not the bitey kind. the base is a very deep chocolate- not a cacao, certainly not a milk. very smooth. vanilla is the first taste and surprisingly honey is the last!

superb. a gorgeous tea. brenden says it resteeps brilliantly…. i’m off to do that now =0)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

Freedom! YES. I have two weeks of exams to survive, then a week off before spring term haha. :P

JustJames

you too? we must be connected. we shall commiserate! i just need to get it done before another distraction creeps up. spring compression classes= no fun, but it also means i’ve accomplished a pretty normal year even on a disabled student course load. yippee!

Courtney

Yay! Haha I overloaded my courses the last two terms, which was hellish, but it means I’m closer to this degree being complete. Yes! I will fully enjoy my few days off before spring for sure. :)

JustJames

we should be friends on FB…. we can whine to one another when exams roll around, lol.

ifjuly

yay! phew, congrats on the end of the semester.

this one sounds so amazing. one of these days i’m going to spring for some!

gmathis

Happy Independence Day! I keep an MP3 of the Hallelujah Chorus on my computer for hitting “SEND” on a writing assignment.

JustJames

gmathis…. you are Wonderful. =0)

ifjuly- it’s lovely… i can see you loving it. like a vanilla hued black lotus.

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98

Seriously amazing! This is beautiful green tea with the most gorgeous pine flavor, it seriously tastes like a winter hike in an alpine forest. I may have to hoard this stash as whispering pines tea company is currently out of stock and I don’t know if I could handle being out! In fact, Im busy steeping a second infusion as we speak :)

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96

Yum. This is exactly the chocolaty minty treat I wanted today. So glad I have this in my cupboard.

Tommy the Toad

I love this tea :)

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84

Gosh I’ve missed Drop Dead Diva, my junk-food-for-the-brain TV fix. This tea went along with it beautifully!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Suziqzer

I love that series too. Been recording it on DVR, buy need to take some time to catch up on it.

mewakeling

I just starting watching it on Netflix. It is tons of fun so far. I was getting through the first season really quickly, but then I got distracted rewatching Grimm.

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84

Had several cups of this last night, and now another today. Every cup has varied considerably, although this one was steeped for close to an hour, it’s my favorite of the group so far. Still less gingery than the last batch, but I’m okay with that. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

Tea of the morning. A few cups of this delicious chai and then I’m off to play outside. It looks like we are finally going to have a sunny, mostly warm day here, and I plan to do as much outside as possible! I think I might even take my third steep of this outside and sit on my porch. Yay spring!!!

If you haven’t tried this tea yet you need to! This is such a yummy chai. Well balanced and full of flavor. Don’t be afraid of the smoke if you aren’t a big smokey tea fan. It really is added with care and a light hand so that it enhances rather than overpowers the great chai flavors.

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84

Reached for this last night as I’ve been feeling… off. Like I have a migraine and the stomach flu coupled with that-time-of-the-month crampiness. It’s a very weird body-place to be! Clari Tea always makes me feel better, so I brewed some. Still have some left over today (was too sloshy to drink more last night) and it’s less biting than normal, yet still really tasty. I will always have this in my cupboard.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
Courtney

I hope you’re feeling better soon!

Kaylee

Feel better!

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87

Best tea of the morning, by far. I oversteeped it though when the mailman showed up, so I expected it to be horribly bitter. Surprisingly, it’s only a touch bitter, and I’m getting primarily jasmine with a sweeter nut. Zero pine, which surprised me. Even with the oversteep though, this is an excellent tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Zero pine? Hmmm…perhaps the green tea took over because of the long steep time?

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100

I decided to have this as my evening wind-down tea. I steeped it according to the package directions and added 1.5 teaspoons of sugar. I probably should have tried it unsweetened first , but oh well. Next time!

This tea is REALLY sweet. Definitely should have tried it unsweetened. There’s a lovely harmony going on among all the flavors, similar to what happens in a baked good: the ingredients get real friendly with one another, until they just mush into each other and become a new flavor entirely. That, and the fact that it’s really very sweet, makes this tea taste like a Hubig’s apple pie. For those of you not familiar with Hubig’s, they make individual size fruit pies, kind of like a turnover except with pie crust instead of puff pastry, deep fry them, and douse them in glaze. You don’t really want to know how many calories are in one of those things. ;) Anyway, I’m completely captivated by the bakey apple flavors going on here, and the cinnamon plays a perfectly in tune second fiddle. The oolong adds some nice honey and nut notes. Delicious!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Note that you can get 5+ infusions with this one :)

teataku

I’m actually on my fourth steep this morning! Every time I would go to empty my infuser, I smelled the leaves again and I could STILL detect cinnamon! So I steeped it again, and again, and again. It’s not as rich and thick in the mouth as it was the first time, but the flavors are definitely all still there (though the apple is pretty weak now). I am loving this!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) yay! So glad you’re enjoying them all!

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From today forward, every ounce of tea you buy will plant a tree! And no, this is not an April fool joke!

Effective April 1st, 2014, Whispering Pines Tea Company has pledged to donate to non-profits specializing in sustainability. Our foremost goal for this pledge is to offset the negative effects of worldwide deforestation to create a stronger, cleaner, and greener future. 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.

We feel great pride in taking these vital steps to preserve some of the most pristine areas on Earth and we are honored to create a simple way for our customers to do the same.

Anyway, this is my morning cup today because it’s cozy and rich. This and Golden Orchid have become my go-to black teas in the morning recently :)

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Bonnie

You a A+ and I’ve been enjoying your slack-line pictures too! Can’t figure out if you’re in Europe competing or here though?! Hope everyone knows that you are a big time athlete as well as a tea guy!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thanks Bonnie! I just got back…was only a 4 day trip, but I won! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLInST2BVj0

Tea Sipper

I love the tree planting! :D

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Me too! I’m really excited! :D

Bonnie

Wow Brenden, keep everyone posted! Need more vid’s on your Whispering Pines site! You are awesome!

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97

Went for this one out of my Whispering Pines box this morning. Feeling like I need a comforting tea. Morning just came too early… and I’m a morning person. But I could have easily slept another two hours, were it not for the 11-month-old climbing all over me.

Anyway, I’m so glad to get to try this one, because someone FINALLY did it: made a chai with a Yunnan Dian Hong, instead of Assam or Ceylon like you see most chais made with. (If there’s another company that’s done it before now, I haven’t found them.) This must be a new tea, because I had to add it to Steepster’s database. First review, what what?? XD #isadork

The loose leaf smells great! The first thing I smell is the cardamom, then the cloves, and then the cinnamon. Can’t quite smell the Dian Hong over those very strong spices, but hey, I like my spices to have some staying power.

Anyway, I made this the way I’ve been brewing chai nowadays, a little closer to the traditional way, but still pretty American—two parts water and one part milk. Basically, I steeped it for a while in less water than normal so it would be nice and strong, then filled the cup the rest of the way with milk. I will eventually try this the fully traditional way, but the husband currently has all our stock of paper tea bags, and he’s three hundred miles away. Might have to break down and use one of our tea balls. I digress.

Oh, man. This is soooo good. I might even venture to prematurely propose that this might be my new favorite chai. I don’t like chais with anise, and this one has none. It’s made with my favorite type of black tea. It ‘s spicy and rich and robust and not astringent. I kind of hope the cardamom mellows out a little with age, ’cause right now, it’s kind of taking over, but we’ll see. I’m still thoroughly enjoying it. Kudos, Brendan!

Edit: So, on a whim, I tried resteeping. I didn’t have high hopes, because resteeping chai hardly ever works, right?

Well, this one works! :D

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

:D so glad you enjoy this one as much as I do!

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90

Mmmm, spicy, fruity, yum! I am not quite certain exactly what elderberries taste like, so I can’t really identify if I’m tasting it now or not, but there is definitely a berry-ish quality to this tea that could possibly be them. Regardless, it has a deliciously thick mouthfeel and a wonderful spicy bite from the cinnamon and chicory. Well worth the money! I will be going to this one in the evening, especially when it’s cold.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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86

I got home last night from going visit my husband (sooo needed that, I miss him so much), and my order from Whispering Pines was waiting for me! So, naturally, I busted it open first thing this morning, and this one was calling my name.

The loose leaves smell faintly dusty and woody, with the barest hint of smoke. Oh my gosh, these leaves are HUGE! Some of them are EASILY two inches long! They’re very darkly oxidized, too. I love dark oolongs, so that’s a plus for me.

I thought I would break from my usual steeping method and do what it says on the package (although I used more water than it said to). The brew smells VERY nutty, with a slight hint of charcoal, like the nuts were just a teensy bit scorched.

Mmm, I’m getting a heavy hit of that roasted nut flavor that I love in dark oolongs. This is warming me to my toes on this rather chilly morning. After sipping a while, it doesn’t get astringent or too dry in the mouth. It’s not what I would call “juicy,” but it definitely is not drying, so I appreciate that. I’m enjoying it very much. It’s not something that I will go for very often, probably, knowing the type of teas that I tend to gravitate toward , but when I am in the mood for it, I will be very glad I have it. :)

Edit: The second steep was just as good as the first, and I even got some hints of chocolate, which combined with the nuttiness made it taste like almond bark or Nutella. :) Yum !

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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