Whispering Pines Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

I should really explore white teas more, as I tend to really enjoy them.

This one was a nice, light pre-dinner/post-work cup. Oats are definitely the dominant flavour with a honey sweetness that makes it very similar to an oat bar. Light, velvety floral (violets or similar) notes towards the middle/end.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This was good, but I’m finding it difficult to describe. There WERE lots of different flavor notes, but they were all quite subtle and melded together and I can’t really but my finger on what they were, except I could identify a sort of eucalyptus note. So I would say this is advanced level tea, whereas I am still at intermediate level (at best). Also was never convinced I was preparing it properly since I only have a small gravity steeper, none of the gongfu equipment that was recommended.

Nicole

I make mine in a gravity steeper most times. :) Personally, I don’t care for it gong fu style, but I can see that it might make it easier to identify the flavor notes if you were developing them over multiple quick steeps.

Tamarindel

Ahh, glad to hear I’m not the only one :)

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An afternoon tea session covered in chocolate, roasted nuts, brown sugared roasted sweet potatoes, baked bread and so much more. This tea is full of happy notes and amazing aromatics. Beautiful dry leaf and gorgeous wet as well. Syrupy mouthfeel. This is an entire meal in a cup and just when you think it’s done a nice Guinness like malt after taste comes on. This is one happening black…

6g of leaf in a 120ml Seong-il, with 212F water, an unusually longer first steep of 30s and subsequent steeps at 10-15s with 10s climbs for over a half dozen steeps.

The Leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BFrg2vWBUog/

The Session:
https://instagram.com/p/BFr0jYfhUuL/

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
R.F. Hill

I just bought a sample of this from Whispering Pines. I might give it a go tomorrow! However, my main goal is to work through the rest of the Dark Matter teas.

CWarren

So much tea, so little time.

Daylon R Thomas

It does taste kinda like Guinness…

R.F. Hill

Well, shoot. I guess I’ll have to try it NOW. Or have a Guinness for lunch! Ha-ha.

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90

This was my first Shu Pureh and I quite enjoyed it. Of course It was unlike other teas, but I can say now I prefer ripe to raw, but I still have to experiment with other raws, and ripes for that matter. I have lots of stuff from other vendors. but this one I liked. dont remember brewing specifics but i assume everyone here knows how.

Flavors: Artichoke, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Caramel, Cocoa, Creamy, Dark Wood, Mocha, Molasses, Musty, Roasted, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling
AllanK

This is one of the better recent ripe puerhs out there as far as loose ripe goes. The fermentation flavor is a bit muted on this one.

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94

If Golden Snail and Earl Grey had a baby this is it. True story. It’s the best of both worlds.
Baked Bread, Bergamot, Citrus, Malt, Citrusy, Cocoa, Anise, Camphor, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Orange, Wet Wood, Caramel, Peanut, Yams, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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90

What a fantastic tea. Mellow citrus and malty black, it’s soothing and yummy.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Earl Grey, Fruity, Orange Zest, Red Wine

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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82

New to gongfu style, so any tips are appreciated :)

4g leaf in 100ml, 96C/205F. Timing is approximate.

First infusion (15s) : Scents of earth, smoke, caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste is like watery espresso, colour a dull light brown. Maybe I should have poured away this steep as a rinse. I’ve read in another review that someone was rinsing these a few times over because the pellets are quite tightly wound.

Second infusion (20s): Scents of burnt coconut emerge. Slight fruitiness appearing. Sweeter profile. A little drying in the mouth.

Third infusion (30s): Smells and tastes like darkly burnt brown sugar with water aged in an oak barrel.

Third infusion (1min 15s): Burnt coconut is back with a woody aroma. Sweet and surprisingly refreshing. I wonder why my other steeps had a drying quality to the mouthfeel and this one not so much.

Fourth infusion (1min 45s): More balanced aroma, very sweet. This one tastes like a good quality batch brew of light coffee. Favourite infusion so far.

Fifth infusion (2min 15s): Taste is same as above, but a tad lighter and a little oakier. Bit of dryness coming through again. Colour of liquor gets slightly brighter with each steeping, which is interesting.

Sixth infusion (3mins): More or less the same again, but lighter still.

Seventh infusion (5mins): See above.

I’m inclined to believe that any more steeps would be quite similar and I’m rather full of liquid now haha so I might stop here..

Oh what the heck, I’m gonna try for one more.

Eighth infusion (7mins): Yep, same but lighter.

Overall, I’m glad I got to try this tea as the session was quite enjoyable, even with my lack of experience in gongfu brewing. It was my first darkly roasted tieguanyin and it was quite educational to see the different levels of roasting in an oolong.

Will use Western method next time and see if it brings out that golden coffee note I liked so much.

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75

Either the leaves were sitting in my cupboard too long or I oversteeped/overleafed this one. Turned a bit bitter :(

In my other experiences with this tea, it was a solid chocolatey-note black tea. However, I much prefer (and miss) North Winds for the added complexity of a blend, or Golden Snail for the gardenia note.

This is a good tea though, and a good representation of Fujian style black.

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90

Whispering Pines order has arrived! Huzzah! I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while so decided I’d give it a go first.

First sip is malty, chocolatey, and salty with a hint of some kind of stone fruit. After that it turned to sweet potatoes and sweet corn/corn husk. Surprisingly light a refreshing for a black tea, not to mention remarkably smooth. Would definitely consider picking up more of this (though shipping to Canada is sadly a deterrent).

Flavors: Chocolate, Corn Husk, Malt, Salt, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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This is my first Da Hong Pao. No real expectations here as a result, although a cursory sniff of the dry leaves smelled like roasted oolong, kind of like the tieguanyin I tried earlier this week, got a bit of a cool wild dry fly away look to the leaves. It also does NOT taste like the tieguanyin at all, safe to say.

3.5 grams to 100 ml gaiwan. Just off boiling water. 30 seconds to start.

The aroma of the amazingly thick, darker gold liquid that comes out of this is reminiscent of roasted floral oolong with notes of honey. The soup is rich, thick, and lingering in the mouth, with a very heavy buttery, mineral-y, honey taste, but without the intense sweetness of honey. There are also floral notes/tastes in the aftermath of the initial, as well as an increasing sweetness across the steeps. A lot like what I would expect nectar to taste like. Very interesting, I like the richness, I’ll be trying this again.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Honey, Mineral

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89

This tea is such a flowery tea it’s like a garden in your cup. it’s total Spring or Summer. The leaves are huge unfurled and so vibrant. I’m sad it’s out of stock so I’m hording the last of mine.

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Cut grass, Floral, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Gardenias, Honeysuckle, Nectar

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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87

This is a wonderful fruity and creamy oolong. I will concur with a previous reviewer here to be able to take a single tea unprocessed without adding anything to it and get a result such as this and the pleathera of other teas both black, oolong, etc is amazing. which is why tea for me blows coffee out of the water. It’s flowery, rich, fruity although i didn’t notice much coconut.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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95

This is a rich warming blend, malty creamy deep cocoa flavor from the real nibs, not fake at all. When I was running low on both this and one of the plain black teas i just mixed them up, it brewed up nice, so actually this tea can be a multi tasker. nice to get a few steeps out of too.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 30 ML

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70

I’ve made 4 decent purchases from Whispering Pines so I have like 20 types of teas and this is the only one I didn’t like. I’m still new to the tea scene and sometimes you have to learn by not liking a tea, we all have had it happen, but I LOVE the other teas which will be reviewed soon. Too much smoke and fish pond funk, and I hardly noticed the flavors everyone else does.

Flavors: Ash, Asparagus, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bamboo, Camphor, Char, Earth, Fishy, Green Wood, Honey, Musty

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100

The last time I tried this one, I was drinking the old version and I remember really enjoying it. It was on the strength of that cup that I bought a new bag (although after the switch to the new version), and I’m only just now getting around to trying it.

The dry leaf smells just like cocoa. In fact, I could have been convinced that I’d opened a tin of cocoa by mistake if I hadn’t been able to see what I was doing. It’s definitely tea, but SO chocolatey it’s almost unreal.

Once brewed, it’s still amazingly chocolatey! I added a splash of milk just because, although in all honesty it didn’t really need it. The flavour is predominantly chocolate and malt, with just a touch of berry sharpness right at the end of the sip. It seems simple, but it’s SO good. This one could easily become a comfort tea for me.

1 tsp, boiling water, 3.5 minutes. Splash of milk.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

One of these days I need to take the plunge and just order this and Golden Orchid when they’re back in stock. See what all these awesome raves are about!

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83

After a two year hiatus from Steepster, I am now back to my original obsession following the short-lived affair I had with coffee. Still love coffee but after sowing them wild oats, I know where my heart truly belongs now.

Shipping to Australia is $US18/$AU25 which is pretty high considering other international brands are roughly $5-$10. However, it is speedy service (less than two weeks) with reliable tracking. But it’s pretty much the only thing which stops me from ordering Whispering Pines on a regular basis.

This is from my third Whispering Pines haul and the second time I have ordered this particular tea. Leaves are dazzling indeed. And soo soft and pretty!

Cocoa, malt and fruit flavours with the slightest hint of dairy, savoury and forest aromas. Very balanced in all aspects.

A little bit of good qi going on with this tea, even though I’ve only ever also noticed it in WP’s Wildcrafted Da Hong Pao and some pu-erh served at a local tea house. It could also be because I’ve been reading up on cha qi lately and y’know, power of suggestion and all.

Delicious stuff.

Evol Ving Ness

Hey, welcome back!

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I have had an awful lot of black tea lately, I’m not sure how this happened… I think I’ve had something like six different black teas in the past week and that’s roughly perhaps half of the ones I’ve acquired this past couple of weeks somehow. Anyway, moving on, got this in the $5 sampler that WP is now offering to try their teas, awesome deal.

Threw about 4.5 grams in an autobrewer since my attempts at gong fu black tea so far have been a bit discouraging (I think I may be too heavy a steeper). This had a nice, surprisingly floral scent coming from the leaves, which were a bit moist feeling and yet a bit crunchy as well, very unique and pretty. The liquor was an attractive orange brown, the taste was a surprisingly moderate malt flavor that shifted into chocolate with a malt body as you sipped. There was a definite flavor of sweet potato or yam in the second steep along with that touch of raw sour that seems to accompany black tea and potato. The aroma turned floral again, surprisingly, around the third steep, and it became lighter, with a bit of hay. I probably could have pushed it more, but ran out of time and ended this there. I’m going to have to revisit the rest of my sample with a gaiwan soon to see what all I missed out on.

Overall, it was quite pleasant and much lighter than I’ve come to expect of black tea, not to mention the surprisingly floral aromas I caught. I’ll need to revisit my other samples to see if this is due to the auto brewer or a character of this tea. There is indeed quite a bit of buzzy energy from this tea, though (either that or a helluva lot of caffeine), as I was a bit frenetically enthusiastic and dropped the lid to my pot a couple of times (thankfully not far) while refilling after the second cup.

Additional note amendment, when you push it past three steeps in a gaiwan, it really opens up a crazy sweet sweet potato/yam flavor explosion in the back of the mouth and throat I was NOT expecting on steep 4 as I thought the flavor was fading in the third steep. Floral tastes start standing out late game as well, flavor is more delicate overall. I quite preferred the later steeps, honestly, especially as they lent well to the heavy steeping my intuition generally wants, haha

Flavors: Cocoa, Floral, Hay, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 11 OZ / 325 ML

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I used about 4.5 grams to 11 oz of water in a Smacha autobrewer (feeling lazy today). This brewed a beautiful deep orange color with a malty spiced aroma. It turns almost neon orange on the second steep, crazy color.

Taste was a good balance of black tea malty body with a pinch of cinnamon, cocoa nibs, and a light creamy character. Nicely balanced and aftertaste of something kind of like sweet potatoes, although a bit bitter and raw in later steeps, closer to raw potato. A nice, pleasing tea to get you started on a rainy day.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Creamy, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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93

If hot cocoa and black tea had a baby without adding cocoa nibs or anything this would be the tea result. It’s thick, rich, malty and chocolaty. I even think my housemate who says she hates tea will like this.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 75 ML

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85

As I’m entering the world of loose leaf teas Whispering Pines has been a solid company and I like how there is much variety yet it’s small attention to detail. This tea got my attention by how bold it stated to be. Indeed the brew (in a giawan gongfu style) brewed up a nice amber elixir that was very fruity, jammy and a bit musk not very much cocoa noats as some of the other teas, but this is just me, and it’s a rich mouthfeel this one is a wake you up fruity yet earthy black. I liked it very much and the name is just too cute.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Broth, Brown Toast, Cherry, Citrus, Cream, Dates, Fruity, Honey, Molasses, Muscatel, Musty, Red Fruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 90 OZ / 2661 ML

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92

I had a ridiculously awful few days this week. I agreed to take care of a couple of infants my in-laws are fostering, so they could drive their college-age kids back from college a few states away since it’s the end of the school year. So laugh at me all you want, because I should have known better than to agree, even though they promised that I wouldn’t also have to take care of their hundred or so farm animals (yeah . . . you can imagine how that turned out). But when I got home yesterday there was a box of Whispering Pines tea waiting for me, so the week wasn’t a total loss and I’m reconsidering my professed hatred of the entire world (present company always excluded, because I’m not trying to be inflammatory when I say that I hate the entire world, lol).

Anyway, I prepared this tea as directed (Western style) and I think I can safely say that it’s the darkest tea liquor I’ve ever seen. So good job on the name, I guess. And I’m greatly enjoying the flavor as well. It’s not too heavy, but manages to blend actual cocoa with good shu pu-erh in a very effective way so that they complement each other and present a unified flavor profile; the chocolate notes don’t seem out of place alongside the woodsy pu-erh. I realized immediately that I’ll surely end up buying a lot more of this, and I’m now trying to decide whether I should steep the rest of the sample today so my husband can try it too or hoard it all for myself so I can put off my next tea order until next month . . . lol.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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