Whispering Pines Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I like this one. Its got a flavor I have been enjoying, though if it gets too cool a little astringency shows up. I got 3 very good steeps out of the leaves yesterday.
For the most part is a mellow flavor, but I find I don’t really have a good vocabulary to describe it well.
I can see myself putting this into my normal rotation on at least a semi regular basis.
Been drinking quite a bit of white this week, mostly by way of endlessly using the same leaves. No complaints, though. I love white tea.
The leaves of this one are beautiful and they smell lightly vegetal dry, sweet and hay-like wet. Followed the recommendations and did this one western style, which resulted in a sweet-smelling, light-colored liquor.
Texture is smooth, thick and viscous, the flavor light and sweet in the first steep and just a bit bolder in the second steep. Enjoyable and easy to drink, and I definitely want to try this one gongfu style next.
Flavors: Hay, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
The more I experience Chinese black teas, the more I’m learning to appreciate black teas in general.
Steeped this one in a gravity steeper with boiling water for about 3 minutes. The result was a nice, red liquor with a deep, bready, chocolatey aroma. Each sip has a smooth texture with the taste of cocoa and bready notes, and a creamy, malty aftertaste lingers for quite a while.
I forgot about the tea during the resteep and let it go for a good 10 minutes, but I still got very nice flavor out of it without any unpleasant flavors. Definitely enjoyed this hong, seemingly more than rhinkle, funny enough!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Creamy, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
Day #2 now and still going on the same teaspoon of leaves. I did end up spreading the leaves out on a paper towel over night. When I got into work this morning, they almost looked like they hadn’t been used at all.
Anyway, they are starting to loose some oomph now. Boiling water at 4 minutes and its starting to get a little weak. The color is now a lovely light honey color.
Astringency is almost completely gone (though you still notice it once it gets cold).
Tried for a fifth steep, but I think I’m pushing it. Nice color still, but not much of any flavor left. Added a tsp of a coconut chai (its wet and chilly out) and that will see me through the rest of the day.
This really isn’t a tea I can see myself buying more of, but it was enjoyable and it was very close to what I was in the mood for.
Any mothers out there ever noticed that as soon as you lock the bathroom door and start filling the tub with warm water that the kids start severing major arteries, break bones, set things on fire, flood what they don’t set on fire, break windows, loose a sibling or two, and electrocute anyone who makes the mistake of approaching the front door?
(Well ok, while I’m not a mother, I have numerous nieces and nephews and have witnessed this phenomena many times.)
I think of this every time I attempt to try a new tea while at work. Its like the universe is psychic, knowing exactly when the water starts to boil in the kettle. Access points go down, someone starts rebooting the router over and over (because the APs have gone down, which have nothing to do with the router). Machines start crashing, servers stop responding, vital passwords have been forgotten and must be reset this very instant, etc.
Yeah, this was one of those days.
So, to the tea. I got this as a sample in my latest Whispering Pines order. The name didn’t ring any bells and it was not listed on the site. With some searching around, I found an instagram post referring to this tea as something being tried out. Yay, I get to be a Guinea pig. :)
The leaves are very pretty and look to be whole leaves tightly rolled. Kind of hay like in color. I’m assuming this is a black (yeah, I’m real educated on tea here).
First steep finishes right before an all projects engineering meeting starts. Great, I need the caffeine. Cup is mostly gone and is cold by the time I realized I haven’t noticed one little thing about it. Try to pay attention to the next few sips. It seems a little astringent to my pallet. Not horribly so like you might get in a breakfast tea, but it is an element I notice the most.
Its now lunch time so after I eat I go for steep number two.
I’ve noticed the leaves have plumped out a little bit, but they really are still rather tightly rolled. Steep for another 3 minutes. The color of the tea is lovely. Kind of reminds me of the color of home made caramel sauce. The flavor is much less astringent, though there is still a little there.
The flavor is hard for me to describe. Mostly because I just don’t have the vocabulary, but also mostly just because I can’t taste all the things people list in their tasting notes. I do like it. The kind of thing I was wanting this morning. Too bad its afternoon now by the time I’m getting a chance to really try it.
Its now late afternoon and I go for a 3rd steep. Four minutes this time and I swear these leaves are still going strong. Color is still that of caramel. Astringency is now almost gone. Too bad its now time to go home.
I’m half tempted to spread the leaves out on some paper towels and let them dry over night so I can keep going in the morning. The leaves are still rolled up pretty tightly
I’m not rating this yet as I really haven’t had the chance to give this much attention. Maybe to be continued tomorrow.
The “mildest” shou I have had, which is great because I’m a novice, and was about to give up on cooked pu’erh. It doesn’t help that I keep running out of the room to tend to poopy baby boy and my tea keeps going cold. Also, adds to perception of compost smell. :)
Medium infusions had a pretty peach tone. So, visually very nice in my white porcelain cup. It took two 15-sec infusions to get the deepest color.
No bitterness, mineral earthy taste, silky texture.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Clay, Mushrooms
Received a sample of this with my November order. However, it doesn’t appear on the site so I’m not yet 100% on what it is. It looks like a golden tips black tea, which smells leafy and lovely in the bag.
Ok, brewed and stewed. Grassy, lemon aroma off the cup. Then I sip and oh, yum. Smooth, biscuity, toasty goodness. Quite a light and savory black. A nice winter breakfast tea!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Lemon
First infusion, 20 seconds: smells a tiny bit sweet. A lot of mineral taste in there with the earth. Like licking a wet rock (in a good way). Maybe a little hint of molasses.
2-3 infusion, 10 seconds: As soon as I pour over the hot water, the dark, dark cola color BLOOMS in the bottom of my teacup. Fairly bitter and espresso-like. The bitterness is more mineral than vegetal bitterness if that makes sense. Fermentation flavor is not too bad.
Overall a pretty good but one-note shou for me.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Mineral, Molasses, Wet Rocks
More than half the day has gone by, I survived a potluck, head’s killing me and I haven’t had any actual tea. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to try today, but ended up choosing to give this a shot. Cake itself smells mushroomy and is easy enough to break into. I throw 5 grams into the gaiwan, give it a quick rinse and a fairly quick first steep.
The leaves have a spiced, sweetish scent, and the liquor brews up a fairly deep red. I’m taste mushroom and camphor from the very first scent. Super smooth, and I get a sweetish finish as it goes down. I get some hints of cocoa out of the second steep. I got completely sucked into some work and totally forgot about and oversteeped the third go around. But the tea still came out well, not too surprisingly. Still smooth, and a very distinct cacao flavor came through. I did one more steep which confirmed my worry that I probably pulled most of the flavor out during the oversteep, but I enjoyed this one, so I’ll have it again soon.
Flavors: Cacao, Camphor, Mushrooms, Sweet
Ordered this recently as part of my first Whispering Pines order. As many have stated, beautifully packaged, the cake breaks apart easily enough, and—in my opinion—it has a nice, earthy aroma.
I did a quick wash and then had to refill and reheat the kettle. A very quick first steep—5 seconds or so—yielded a dark red liquor with a nice mushroom aroma. It pours with a noticeable viscosity, and the first sip does not disappoint.
Smooth. Sweet. Creamy thick. Rich. I do get mossy earthiness and clay, finishing up with cacao that lingers in the aftertaste.
Another quick steep, less than 10 seconds. I get mineral, more wood and a hint of petrichor, plus a hint of a mushroom underneath it all.
I have to wait a while before I can get to the third steep, but it also comes through sweet and smooth and tastes a bit like coffee. This steep carries me through an underwhelming phone interview.
About 45 minutes after that interview ends I remember that I’ve still got these leaves sitting, waiting for a resteep. The liquor comes out dark and smooth again, with a light taste and an almost buttery finish.
The following steeps make for easy drinking that carries me throughout the rest of the day. All-in-all, really enjoy this one and would definitely get it again!
Flavors: Cacao, Coffee, Creamy, Earth, Mineral, Mushrooms, petrichor, Smooth
The SO’s request for the morning. Didn’t have time for gongfu before she has to be at work, so we did western, following WP’s recommendations.
The dry leaves are dark and twisted, once wet they expand to reveal an even light brown color. The liquor is a nice amber, much lighter in color than I expected.
I sip. The texture is smooth, and I’m getting cocoa notes and some woodiness with a stone fruit aftertaste.
I’m enjoying this. Time for a resteep. 4.5 minutes.
It’s sweet! I’m getting a light sugary taste behind the cocoa and wood, and it’s still mostly smooth. The aftertaste is still stone fruit. And the qi hit me during the resteep, totally taking me by surprise.
Overall, quite enjoyable for me, so I’m very glad we decided to give this a shot.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet, Wood
My first try of Golden Snail!
This is so mellow, so warm, and almost yeasty in flavor and smell. I am reminded very strongly of bread.
I’m glad I’ve got more, as I can tell that there are layers and layers upon flavors, things that would be very fun to try and taste in the depths of this tea.
But today I got a warm, malty tea with an almost “chewy” mouthfeel, and overall a warm feeling.
Golden snail! I love that there are teas call Golden Snail.
Let me just say, where it sates " …mixing up the tea prior to scooping out your desired amount of leaf is recommended…" – Do it!
I had to rewrite my review as the first brew was very floral and I could not note much Vanilla in the cup. So, second time around, yes, very lovely Vanilla. Pleasant and sweet aroma. Later steeps are still somewhat floral, sweet grass, carnation… very nice tea over all, with a sweet treat or a bit sugar.
Update: Drinking this one again today. I’m getting closer to the bottom of the bag, and it seems that’s where all the Vanilla lives ;) Wow, vanilla! Super rich, glorious aroma, reminds me of Tonka Bean, with floral noted. Luxurious, velvety, just wonderful. I’m still smelling the carnation in the base tho in the first two steeping, its a bit confusing. Something in the black tea is throwing me off I think, but its a nice complex cup. I’m starting to enjoy this one a bit more. It has a bit of a bite to it, and minerality, touch of bitterness and it lingers on your senses. Ah third steeping, and I think I finally have it. It has notes of bergamot. Oddly enough;) somehow the aroma profile opened up into this lovely perfume, still strong vanila, sweet yet crisp.
Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Honeysuckle, Orchid, Vanilla
I have to say that I might have got over zealous on my first brewing and added too much tea. The liquor came out too bitter for my taste. So second try here we go: It’s a lovely aroma, vanilla, cream, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and hint cherry, somewhat earthy, malty note. It has a bit of a mineral taste, and I was expecting it to be sweeter, richer, more full bodied. On the second steeping it has an earthy, grassy, forest taste, very vegital. Like sweet fresh cut grass, and flowers of some sort. I added some sweetener and it brings out the lovely desert notes. Over all great tea.
I had to revisit this note… I really want to love this one, but It just doesn’t do it for me. It smells really Fantastic, but lacks in body and balance. I add extra tea in hopes to get more taste out of it but it comes out bitter. I think Whispering Pines is either hit or miss for me, unfortunately this one is a miss.
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Flowers, Forest Floor, Grass
I had the delight of tasting this amazing black tea today, and it surpassed my expectations. I followed the western brewing methods on the WP website and did my first steep for 3 minutes in just under boiling water. Second steep was 5 minutes at the same time.
The liquid is a beautiful brown, and it smells more like a standard black tea than anything else. The first few sips I thought it was a bit tannic, but after that, the flavours of cocoa and rich dark chocolate came out of hiding. It really does have a strong cocoa flavour, and a bit of sweetness that comes with good quality teas.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Mineral, Musty, Sweet, Tannin, Tea
A very interesting tea that was a gift from a friend. The dry leaf smells of strong herbaceous grape leaf, fresh rain fallen forest floor, white grapes, clay, and milk thistle. A medley of unique scents. I warmed my gaiwan and placed some inside. The scent opens to slight menthol, malt honey, hot hay, and dark cherry. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste is of pure earth. I don’t mean soil or wet clay, I mean Earth. The naturalistic taste begins with oak, maple wood, and autumn leaf pile. A soft tone of supple soil rises up with a cool sweet sap pushing out of it. The cooling sensation envelops the mouth and moves down the throat. A long lasting sweet honey tone rises from the back of the throat and lingers on the tongue. The background consists of blood red roses. This tea reminds me of early morning autumn hikes in the woods by my house. This is a fantastic nostalgia tea. The tea lasts steep after steep and ends with sweet harsh tangs that nip at the tongue. A very good tea.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cherry, Clay, Dry Grass, Eucalyptus, Forest Floor, Honey, Malt, Maple, Menthol, Oak wood, petrichor, Wet Moss, White Grapes
Ugh, but I do not want to be awake. It was a late night, it was a warm bed, and today is a busy day at work AND the first day of Nanowrimo.
So, very hard to get up.
I’ve decided that I’m going to try to sip something down or try something I have not logged yet most every day. I’m not going to commit all the way to every day, as I’m sure I’ll have days where I just need to be with my favorite and familer teas, but I’m reminding myself to live a little!
Plus I own so much tea. I really gotta work on that.
That’s a long intro to the review proper.
It was a cold morning, and so I cracked my first smokey tea of the season. I love smokey teas, so I’m excited for the cold weather.
This has very nice smoke to it, but even better, its pretty well balanced. Its not an overwhelming campfire of a blend, but a savory delicacy, which heightened all the flavors, instead of flattening them.
Whispering Pines has yet to give me a dud, and this is another one for the winners column.