Whispering Pines Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

Puerh Noob reporting! I got this lovely sample from Liquid Proust who included this as a surprise goodie from his 2016 Sheng Olympic.

This is very different from the shengs I’ve tried. Love the gorgeous leaf appearance and the sweet dill aroma of the dry leaves. Gave it a 3 sec rinse. Combined steeps 5/10 and then 10/15.

I was pleasantly surprised not to get that “sour” taste that I’ve come to expect from shengs. I quite like this! It’s got a very nice pine and dill flavor and the liquor has that silky smooth feel that I really like. Steeps 3/4 introduced a slight astringency that I’m sure will get stronger with later steeps. I’m interested in finding a way to bring out the pine.. it seems to be a flavor I crave! o.O I would keep brewing this but I started late in the evening and the 2 “cups” that I’ve just has just helped bring on that wonderful relaxed feeling .. so I think I shall pop off to bed and add to this review tomorrow evening. ;)

This is the first sheng that I want to buy more of! Thanks bunches LP! I would never have tried this one on my own… and it’s such a winner for me! :D

Flavors: Dill, Pine, Smooth

Rufus

Pine is a great flavor!

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Really enjoyed this chai. Mellow and lightly spicy in terms of heat. The spices at the front of the sip were cardamom and allspice for me. Sage added depth. This tea is somehow grounding and comforting. Really lovely, and I can’t imagine adding sweetener or milk to it.

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100

Finally after having this tea around for a few weeks and a cold that I could not fully shake I am recovered, so it is safe to open up the really good stuff. I’m brewing this tea gongfu in my small dark Tieguanyin yixing pot in the manner that works for my teaware and water.

The first thing that sands out to me about this tea is smoothness of the dark roast with a bit of lingering sweetness. While I personally would no call it as being like cocoa or caramel, I can also reasonably see where they re coming from. Beyond that I am not sure what else there is to say as I am one that generally tries to focus upon enjoying the tea as compared to trying to analyze it which in my opinion takes away some of the enjoyment in the moment. My final verdict on this tea is clearly a very good quality dark roast Tieguanyin, which are sadly becoming more rare as time goes on.

Preparation
Boiling

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99

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #9
I just watched the third Hobbit movie the other day. :D Happy to see this one in the teabox to try! Oolong and Tahitian vanilla? sure! And boy is this an oolong fit for those elves. It’s like nectar of flowers… and fruit… and this lovely vanilla and this oolong is so smooth. The fruits sometimes seem like pear and peach and cherry. So so good & gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve tried an Anxi Ben Shan before… but I think I remember Ali Shan being very fruity and mostly pear. I’m not sure what these cedar leaves bring to the table, but nothing that doesn’t fit with this cup. I couldn’t think of a better name for this one either. I just love the creamy floral fruitiness of it.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 7 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

Daylon R Thomas

Brew it even more if you can, or cold brew it because the cedar will caramelize and stay for a really long time…This is also one of my favorite teas of all time. And the most that I paid for a single ounce of tea.

tea-sipper

Already tossed the leaves from yesterday, but I really should have kept brewing it!

Daylon R Thomas

Your garbage can smells like cedar now, doesn’t it?

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80

Brewed this tea gongfu this afternoon. Who would have thought that roasted cedar would make such a good addition with a blend but Brenden has used it a few times successfully.

The cedar in this tea gives it that evergreen feel and taste. The chai flavours are nicely balanced. I pick up cinnamon and cardamom a bit more than the others. Thank goodness ginger is toned down since I am not a fan of ginger. Overall, it’s blended nicely so that it doesn’t overpower the buttery flavour of the oolong. I also pick up a hint of mint on the finish of the sip.

It’s a really nice tea to have on a cold day as the spices are really warming.

Flavors: Butter, Cardamon, Cedar, Cinnamon, Mint

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I spent almost 3 hours last night scrolling through the reviews of this tea. It was like I was mesmerized by how many fantastic reviews there are…That’s why I can’t forget to take my adderall haha. I went to go order some of this tea and…….they are out of stock. I’m practically in tears now. Oh well guess i’ll just have to wait to try this one

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90

Yeah… so this is now by far my favorite Earl Grey style of tea.

Malty Golden Snails meets the citrus of bergamont oil? You wouldn’t think it (or maybe you would) but the match is amazing.

Thanks to Nicole for sending me this sample. Now I have to wait for it to come back in stock!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Citrus, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Nicole

While not as malty to my taste, Blue of London by Palais de Thes is an EG with a Yunnan base. Not the same as this, but I like it better than standard EGs.

mtchyg

Thank you for that tip! Off to research :)

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98

Trying this for the first time tonight. Wow is it a beautiful tea. Drinking this with my wife by the fire place this evening.

1st steep, 20 seconds: Wet leaves give off a strong dill scent. That is amazing! The color of the liquor is a golden orange. The flavor certainly has a slightly sweet dilly type flavor. So unique. And smooth too!

2nd steep, 10 seconds: The wet leaves give off the dill aroma. So fascinating. The liquor itself is a light tawny brown. The flavor seems to be less dilly and a bit more sweet. Wildflower sweet. Not cloying and not quite tart. A tangy sweetness.

3rd steep, 10 seconds: Strap in, baby. Dill is here to stay. And that is fine by me. I should mention this isn’t a dill pickle type of dill. This is more fresh picked dill from your garden. And even then, not overpowering but still definitely in the forefront. And in this steep, the sweetness seemed to finally be it’s equal, dancing along side it on my tongue.

4th steep, 15 seconds: This isn’t going to be too detailed probably from here on out. Why? This stuff is so smooth and delicious that I am drinking it faster than I can really think and type notes on it. The main thought I had from this round is that I would drink this all day long. No problem.

Well, I’m on my tenth steep of this (5 minutes) and it is still pretty flavorful. I might have to buy another cake of this.

Flavors: Creamy, Dill, Flowers, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Lion

I am so curious about this tea! I love Moonlight White and I’m always pretty curious about teas with flowers, as I tend to like them. Will have to give this a try sometime. I recently had to make the tough decision of ordering this or a loose Moonlight White from Bana that I’ve tried before and loved, and I had to go with that one just so the purchase wasn’t a gamble.

mtchyg

I would highly recommend buying a cake of this. For $12, it is a bargain in my opinion. It has that sweetness of white tea but also an earthy, herby (dill plus some) flavor from the flowers.

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85

i received this tea the other day. i open it up and i tell you the aromatics are great with the smell of the vanilla, white chocolate and i think cedar. i gong fu’d this and went about 8 infusions in, probably 2 too many, but it was still a good yield i thought. what i believe to be vanilla and cedar “dust” lines the inside of the bag and comes out fairly heavily as sediment, so use your strainer! im a big tolkien fan however i have yet to read the silmarillion or the lotr trilogy, terrible i know, but i dont mind since i have something to look forward to. ps. i’ve read the hobbit multiple times.. its a good ol book.

from what i remember the first infusion- to me, was one of the best (5 or so sec) it was light and floral and sweet in a natural sort of way. the second and third became more robust and unfortunately i lost some of that sweetness, but the tea in itself is so nice i was happy with what i got. to me it gives more natural sweetness (like a sweet water) than a floral sweetness.. i could be wrong on that, i must drink moar.

i used the recommended brewing tips provided by wp ( will have to mess with the stats.) i will try to flash brew this western style, and full infusion ws. im also coldbrewing the spent leaves to take everything out of this awesome tea.

i must add: i think there is a bit too much cedar in the mix for me.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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90

I’ve been having Earl Grey cravings and this really satisfied my need for one. It also turned out to be a uniquely light one.

When you drink it, there is no doubt that this is an Earl Grey and you would not notice a great difference between any other. But if you drink it carefully, there is actually a lot of subtle things going on with the taste.

The bergamot is the most immediate thing you smell from the dry leaves and the immediate thing you taste from the brew at three minutes at nice, boiling temperature. But as it goes down the throat, some tastes of malt, citrus, and cocoa roll in very slowly and nicely. The longer I steeped it, the more tea “chocolaty” it got in every steep. I followed Brenden’s recommendations precisely, but I also got more tastes as I let the leaves strain in my cup. There was a very slight butter and caramel note every once in a while, maybe closer to a very LIGHT sweet potato, but they were fairly subtle. The spices and honey are really the different tones of the citrus.

I can say that this was a light, but nicely balanced and almost oily Earl Grey. It’s lightness and subtlety make it unique to me. It kind of makes me curious what Earl Gold tastes like in comparison, if it is a chocolate orange as Amanda describes it. At least I have this chocolate orange for now.

This was actually one of the best blends that you can get for a decent price from Whispering Pines. Some of you might be under impressed because its lighter taste, but others might like it for the lightness as I did. And if you want to try Whispering Pines, this tea is a good start.

Flavors: Bergamot, Chocolate, Citrus, Cocoa, Honey, Olive Oil, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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This is a black tea that requires attention. Very complex. In the first steep, I tasted prunes, caramel, what I imagine wet leaves to taste like, a subtle hint of pine at the back of the tongue and milk chocolate at the middle. It was dry at the end of the sip and sweetness lingered.

The second steep introduced pine gum at the front of the sip, but geez, I haven’t chewed pine gum since I was little so it could be my imagination. In the third steep the sharpness hit my tastebuds as dill!

I really enjoyed this tea. As I said, I will drink it when I can pay attention.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

I tried it Western to see what I get. I knew that Gong Fu was probably better, especially for a caffeine kick. But it tasted just as good. I got the same array of tastes but in a blended form. The white grape taste that Brenden mentions also turns out much stronger, the same with the grapefruit note. More than likely, though, the white grape taste is what I taste as grapefruit. Still really like this one.

Flavors: Citrus, Dill, Grapefruit, Honey, Spicy, White Grapes

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90

I hesitated to get this one at first though I was immediately attracted to it. I’ve started a quest to look for white teas, and I nearly got the Glendale Silver Needle because of how rosy it was, but, I’ve also yet to be satisfied with a Pu-Erh. Amanda and Haveteawilltravel’s notes had me convinced that I might otherwise enjoy this for the price. I did, and I gotta say it’s pretty unique.

Followed the steeping suggestions save one extra five second rinse. Pepper corn and light citrus like tangerine are in the tastes. But they are so strong that they really fall into the category of flavor. Twenty seconds, and it has a very present dill taste with more florals, citrus, and honeyed sweetness. The next two are more herbaceaous and malty, but still spicy, and I get the grapefruit taste Haveteawilltravel is talking about. I expected it to be more of a hint, but no, I actually tasted grapefruit changing back and forth from tangerine. It gets sweeter to me in these two steeps because the honey and light citrus tastes remain with the spiciness. Later on more fruity, but not as sweet and very near being vinegar like in texture and taste. This is past the minute and thirty second point, and it can probably go on. I’ll stop for now.

I would say I feel like I got my money’s worth for this tea and it is definitely a Pu-Erh that appeals to me. Yunnan Moonlight Whites are actually my favorite, and as with any of them, this tea gives me a really controlled but enduring energy flow. I’m just not sure how often I’d drink it.

The tasting notes of peppercorn, dill, citrus, and a bit of the honey sweetness are all highly discernible and not flavors I’d all want over and over again. Like I said before, they are so strong that they are practically flavors. I’d be surprised if someone, even if they don’t drink tea that often, would not taste the strong spiciness, herbiness, and fruitiness this tea has. I’d recommend this if you’re exploring white tea and pu-erh because this shows a dimension to the teas that you may or may not imagine.

Flavors: Citrus, Dill, Floral, Grapefruit, Honey, Malt, Peppercorn, Spicy, Sweet, Tart, Vinegar

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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85

this is a delicious cup. It reminds me a little of some of the TTC teas, with that sweet, almost honeylike profile up front….on the tail end i get more of an almost cocoa like, malty goodness. I am a fan of this one. I brewed it western today for a couple cups…next time i’d like to try a gonfu session as i think this one would work really well that way.

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85

Again, thank you Brenden for letting me sample this!

I agree with LuckyMe and HaveTeaWillTravel entirely. It tastes just like a Mi Xiang Dan Cong with a slight Da Hong Pao sweetness. Followed the instructions exactly, and get most of the notes described but in fainter amounts. This could be due to the leaf amount I used, but the same consistencies are there. Chestnut, butter, and a bit of toasted coconut are in the first two steeps at five seconds. Almond is in every one of them including a taste really close to butternut squash. Mineral and oak are more in the next two at 10 and 20. Still almond like with barley and a bit of oak at 25 and 30. 45, I kinda get the white wine he was talking about or a light beer like taste without the sweetness. Oak and mineral are more obvious to me. Finally at 1 min and 30, and about the same but smoother and fuller bodied, yet otherwise very, very mellow.

Well, I quite enjoyed this tea. I’m really picky when it comes to Da Hong Pao because of how certain tastes, like oak or sugar, can dominate the cup. Here, it is incredibly mellow, relaxing, but focusing. I sampled this to see if I would like it enough to get an ounce, but I like the sample amount that I have. Doubtless worth a try to see the variety of forms Da Hong Pao comes in.

More for pickier tea drinkers and supertasters than newer drinkers. Some might like the nutty mellowness of it, or they might be bored. Yet that really needs to be decided after I try it Western.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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82

Received this cake in the mail yesterday so I’m spending some time with it this morning. The leaves separate from the cake fairly easy so that is nice.

10 second rinse.

First infusion, 30 seconds. The tea is already a deep cherry mahogany color. The flavor had the familiar ripe puerh notes but there was a hint of bitterness for me. That was a little surprising since I don’t remember reading anything about bitterness in most people’s reviews. Onward!

Second infusion, 15 seconds. The bitterness fades a bit but is still there in the middle and back of the tongue. I can however see what people are meaning when they say a smooth airy quality. This is a very light feeling tea that glides over the mouth and down the throat.

Third infusion, 30 seconds. Okay. There is the sweet spot. Warm, creamy, slight chocolate notes. Again, just reeaallly easy drinking. Found myself swallowing/gulping rather than sipping on this steep. Oops heh. The color of the liquid appears as a hazelnut brown.

Fourth infusion, 45 seconds. The color has lightened ever so slightly here. Still in the same color zone but just… lighter. This steep is much like the last one. Smooth and creamy. Picking up scents and flavors of cocoa.

Random thought break. I’ve taken to listening to “nature sounds” on Pandora or Spotify when I am able to brew gong fu while I am alone. Things like, “Rocky Seacoast” and “Babbling Brook in a Sunny Field at Noon.” Anyone else do this? I find it sets such a nice mood, relaxes me, and fully immerses me in the oneness of the tea drinking experience. Could be I’m just a super nerd though… Nah… heh.

Fifth steep, 2 min. While following along on the website for the steeping suggestions with this tea, my mind went, “45 seconds to 2 minutes? Whoa, really?” But my silly mind apparently doesn’t know what my heart knows by now. Trust Brenden with your tea experience. So I did. And, of course, this 2 minute steep is actually one of my favorites so far. Yes, it is getting a bit lighter but it is allowing other flavors to develop on the tongue. Or maybe the same flavors are there but because it is lighter they are playing a different song in my mouth.

Hey speaking of playing a different song, I’m now listening to what is titled, “Torrential Thunderstorm,” but the thunderstorm in question sounds off in the distance, in the background, and at the forefront is the sound of pouring water. Like, a storm drain emptying continuously into a shallow pool of water. It should be titled, “Water pours steadily, as if poured from a vessel, into other water while there are some faint sounds of thunder in the background.” Probably not as catchy as “Torrential Thunderstorm” though.

Steep 6, 5 minutes. Also, probably my last steep on this one before I have to go and pick up my son from preschool. Color on this one looks to be a deep orange-brown. And yup, flavor is getting a bit thin, watery. I see now what people mean when they say this is a bit of a light steeper. Not in a bad way. Certainly the lightness contributes to its airy quality while drinking.

Overall, a nice first session with this. It didn’t blow me away as much as maybe I had expected based on some other reviews but I did find it enjoyable and something I would love to spend more time with to see what other discoveries I can make with it. But maybe next time, no more “Torrential Thunderstorms.”

Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Cream

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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89

Thank you Brenden for spoiling me at my request! And I KNEW I should have snugged some Jabberwocky for myself. Oh well. Callooh callay there’s only three before it goes away.

But I knew I had to at least try this tea. I hesitated with this one because Ben Shan is a green oolong, and green oolong+spices is a risky mix because green oolongs have delicate flavors and are usually buttery or floral if strong. But I knew that the cedar would be the central actor for this tea, and Brenden’s description are telling.

Brewing, started out with three minutes and I get the evergreen he writes about. The Ben Shan itself is on the greener side: green oolongs are really just creamier, fruitier and often more floral green teas. At least to me, or that’s what they are like to a newer drinker. This indeed has the creamy, slightly buttery and floral background. But they are the back ground, and thus the canvas. The chai spices are the paints and hues, with the spearmint and tulsi dripping into the foreground like dew on the eventual cedar. There’s even a little bit of a caramel texture going on, but again, that’s the cedar beginning to open up.

The second brew at four minutes continues the first one’s tastes with a more noticeable cedar, tulsi and spearmint combining into a very distinguishable eucalyptus no matter the palette. Quite green, and very, very fresh. Like a breeze from the Upper Peninsula without a doubt.

And finally, the third brew at five minutes and beyond, and the cedar with the oolong take over. So fresh, and crisp. It becomes the same lingering eucalyptus as Rivendell, but with a spicier finish. Technically, this tea is done but I can brew this even more for the notes of the cedar.

I am very glad to have tried this tea. The cedar, mint and tulsi blend incredibly well with the chai spices. My main criticism is that the oolong fades a little bit too much for me in the background, but the oolong really shouldn’t be that strong for this blend anyway. The other big hesitation is price and I’ve unfortunately had green chais pretty similar to this tea, but the cedar makes the biggest difference. Personally, I prefer the Harvest Chai to this one, but I do like that I get the best aspects of Rivendell save the vanilla in this cup.

This tea is for mint lovers hands down. Actually, it’s like turning an Altoids into a tea and drizzling it with honey.

Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Creamy, Eucalyptus, Green, Spearmint, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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93

This tea could not be better than it is right now. It’s a warm (30 degrees) windy winter day here in Minnesota. I warmed up a cup I had made of this a few days ago before I ventured out for a walk after listening to some Bear’s Den music.

I came home, ate a piece of ma’s meatloaf, sat down, and drank this divine liquid. I love it when food pairs with tea. I sat in the rocker for about 30 minutes just listening to the dance of the air and snow particles.

This tea has notes of cocoa and minerals. It is sweet and earthy.

I’ll be honest. I can’t drink shou everyday. It’s like chocolate cake to me. I can have it once or twice a week. It’s rich and is a lot to take in.

I’ll enjoy the last 8 ounces of this while listening to Winter Winds by Mumford and Sons. Simply having a beautiful moment right now. Super grateful. Thank you for this sample, Brenden!

Flavors: Clay, Cocoa, Earth, Mineral

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90

I celebrated the full moon last night with this gorgeous tea! This is truly a unique and special tea. There is no question why it was used to catch fairies. The wrapper is yet another beautiful design from this company, and it complements well with the cake itself. The tea beeng is an array of spectacular colors of silver, ebony, and brilliant orange. Honestly, the tea’s beauty is what had me hooked on trying it. I gave the cake a sniff and took in some dry grass with a slight tang in the background. I warmed up my gaiwan and placed a hefty chunk inside. I sat for awhile and enjoyed the full moon. There was some clouds covering the sky, but it was still simply incredible. While I gazed at the moon, I could smell the magic from this tea already begin to fill the air. I lifted the lid and let all the aroma spread through out my tea room. I was picking up strong notes of grapefruit, flowers,and nectar. These platinum leaves were crisp and sweet with citrus scents and smoothed and woody with a herbaceous undertone. This was going to be a treat. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The liquor was a deep and vibrant orange. The steeped leaves moved into a sweet tang with an alcoholic white wine finish. The grapefruit scent had been replaced by a fresh tangerine. I took an inhale of the sweet liquor and took my first sip. The initial sip was super sweet with potent citrus scents filling the air. This such a good feeling tea. The flavors are crisp and sweet and remind me of a summer fruity drink. The drink begins stevia sweet and moves into a crisp sparkling tang. The tea clears the head and lifts the spirits. This brew has an almost detoxifying feeling. The drink moves progressively into a strong heavy body of syrupy sugarcane sweetness. I didn’t detect the grapefruit taste until later steeping. These silver leaves lasted for a long time, and they continued to yield a heavy orange liquor with fresh sweetness. The leaves unfolded and my gaiwan was full of a flowery arrangement. The qi was long lasting and quite powerful. The feeling was an uplifted sensation with lots of energy and giggling. This is a perfect tea for any gathering, and is likely to bring a lot of laughter. I noticed that if you add more leaf the brew becomes heavily sweet; if you use less leaf the brew moves into the more grapefruit and tangy tones. This is a wonderful tea, and it’s beauty alone is enough to show off. I’m so happy to have been able to try this.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BA6L3lbzGTc/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://www.instagram.com/p/BA6MafszGUk/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Dry Grass, Flowers, Grapefruit, Herbaceous, Honey, Sweet, Tangy, White Grapes

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Nicole

Dang. Y’all are making me want to place an order.

Haveteawilltravel

It’s really good :)

Daylon R Thomas

For $12 bucks a cake, that’s actually a pretty awesome price. Your review suckered me into getting it along with Amanda’s. And out of all the Pu-Erh’s I’ve had, Moonlight White ones are the only ones I really like. So, is the cha qi a more subtle and sustaining one, or the kind that give you the jitters?

Haveteawilltravel

It’s neither. I experienced a clear head and just “up” feeling. It’s not subtle, but it’s not overwhelming either. It was a nice smooth good feeling. It’s a great deal, and an easy drinker.

Daylon R Thomas

Again, awesome! This may be the Pu-Erh white I’ve been looking for. Thank you!

Haveteawilltravel

Anytime! Let me know what you think :D

Zennenn

Ditto what Nicole said! Trying so hard not to order more tea….

Haveteawilltravel

It’s a killer deal, and he’ll throw him some samples for ya @zennenn #enablinghard

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There is absolutely EVERYTHING to love about this cake. The wrapper is gorgeous. Once you open it, your eyes get to feast on a confetti of fabulousness. This cake is so gorgeous, you’ll have a hard time breaking into that beauty. But DO it because a mouth party awaits.

Moonlight Sonata is a blend of The Hobbit’s moonlight white and snow chrysanthemum. When I first heard about this tea, I wasn’t sure I was gonna love it. I should know better by now.

This? Well basically, it tastes like candy y’all. Reallyreallyreallyreally GOOD candy. Like honey flower candy. It is nectary and golden delicious lovely florals. There is some stonefruit, but to me the honey is the thing here.

I’m not generally a white tea drinker or even a lover of the snow flowers – but this combination works so beautifully. And that is the bottom line here – simply EVERYTHING about this tea is beautiful.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey

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Happy first full moon of the year! According to the various almanacs that divulge such info, January’s full moon is the Wolf Moon, named so because of the hungry wolves that would prowl around settlements. It is a fun bit of American folklore, some of which originated with this country’s indigenous people and some brought from Europe with settlers, and of course some is a blend of both! Since I grew up either near or in the Appalachian mountains, I was very fond of learning that region’s folklore, and they called it the Snow Moon…and considering my mother, nestled in Cumberland Valley near the Susquehanna River between the Blue Mountain and South Mountains Ridges, sent me photos of a massive blizzard they are having, I think the Appalachian name might be more accurate!

So what’s with this sudden obsession with the moon you might ask, well it is not really sudden, but it is certainly egged on by Whispering Pines Tea Co’s newest tea Moonlight Sonata! This is a blend of 2015 Moonlight White Tea and 2015 Snow Chrysanthemums ‘originally blended to steal the heart of faeries’ and as the daughter of a changeling, this should be right up my alley!

After ogling the wrapper and flowers compressed with the ‘Shadow elf tea’ as I lovingly call the Moonlight due to it being shadowy dark on one side of the leaf and silvery on the other, I chipped some off with my pick and gave it a good long sniffing. The aroma is quite delectable, blending notes of aster, wild flowers, honey, hay, sugar cane, sweetgrass, and dill flowers with a touch of tomato leaf and dried tomato. I am not really sure why Moonlight smells like dried tomato and tomato leaf or why Snow Chrysanthemum smells like dill flowers to me, but they do and I admit I kinda love them because of those notes. At the very end of the sniff I pick up subtle notes of pollen and tangerine, which add an extra depth of sweetness.

Gaiwan time! I kinda agonized over which gaiwan would compliment the colors best, so I picked one of my celadon ones, and I was pleased I did! Holy wow is the wet leaf fruity smelling, strong notes of nectarine and dried apricot mix with warm honey and wildflowers with a finish of dill flowers. For anyone who has not sniffed a dill flower, it smells like a blend of dill (but faint compared with the leaves) and hay, it is very pleasant, and tasty too, though they taste stronger than the leaves. The liquid is a blend of nectarine and dried apricot with honey, hay, and clover flowers with a finish of faint dill flower and wildflowers. It smells very sweet!

First steep and already my notes are crooked! I consider it the mark of a good tea when the notes in my notebook start to go sideways. It starts with a creamy mouthfeel, coating the mouth while also being light and smooth. The first taste to pop up hay and clover blossoms with a slight mineral note, this moves to rich honey and nectarines, which in turn moves to apricots and wildflowers with a finish of lingering sweetness and pollen. The first steep is light and refreshing with a slightly cooling feel to it, similar to drinking a large glass of water on a hot day, it quenches the thirst.

Onward to the second steep and the liquid is getting dark, it looks like a moon low on the horizon on a summer’s day. The aroma focuses on the hay and honey, with side notes of pollen, aster, and clover flowers, while the finish has a blend of nectarines and dill flowers. One thing I am really liking about this tea, other than the taste, is the refreshing thirst quenching quality it has, each steep even though the tea is hot, reminds me so much of drinking spring water on a hot day. The slight mineral notes at the start do not dissuade me of this either. This steep is richer, though not sweeter, with strong notes of nectarine and apricot, dill weed, hay, pollen, and honey. Towards the end of the steep the feel, while still refreshing starts to go to warming internally, making me feel extremely relaxed.

The third steeps’s aroma stays strong with the honey and hay, with an accompaniment of strong clover flowers, pollen, and nectarine. The notes that are present are subtle but their presence is strong. This steep loses its mineral notes and picks up a subtle malt note, giving the tea an extra depth. There is a strong nectarine and honey taste to this steep, much like eating a nectarine drizzled in warm honey, this moves to wildflowers and a touch of dill with a nice finish of hay and pollen. I got many steeps from this one, it is one of those you can sit with for a while, perhaps while watching the moon or while being snowed in!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/01/whispering-pines-tea-co-2015-moonlight.html

MissLena

This sounds so good! I ordered a cake today, definitely will have to break my no caffeine streak for this!

Daylon R Thomas

Curse you budget. Just when a Pu-Erh is released that I might really like!

hawkband1

Love your descriptions. Trying to be good with the tea budget.

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88

This a great example of a heavy roasted oolong. The leaves are tightly curled black pebbles. They carry a lot of weight in a small amount, so you don’t need too many embers. They give off a deep charcoal and roast scent, yet there is some lingering sweetness in the background. I placed them inside my warmed gaiwan and let these little guys relax. I opened the lid and inhaled a warm roasted aroma. I was picking up fresh espresso, burnt sugar, and a brief background of dark bitter chocolate. I washed these a few times;because of how tightly wound they were. Finally, the liquor began to darken, and I took in a hearty sip. The flavor is smooth and light bodied. The characteristic I love about this tea is that it’s not poorly roasted. I’ve experienced numerous heavy roasted oolongs that taste like licking a burnt out campfire. This a nice crisp roast with plenty of curbing flavors such as; caramel, burnt sugar, and underlying oak. This tea has the nice roast to warm you up, but it also carries the oolong sweetness that keeps you steeping. Personally, I like to brew this heavy and with longer steeping times, for I want a drink that packs a punch. This was really good; however it took awhile to full open up. Don’t give up on this tea; it just needs to be pushed a little. In my experience the rough brews need to be treated rough; boiling water, longer steeps. This is a nice experience, and the brew lasts for a long time. The tea offers tons of flavor and complexity for a heavy roasted TGY. I’m planning on trying the treat version of this with some heavy brewing and coconut milk. I’m pretty excited to try it!

https://www.instagram.com/p/8Da3-OzGV_/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://www.instagram.com/p/8DosFlzGe5/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Comparison Shot
https://www.instagram.com/p/8DxlHgTGRz/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Char, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Espresso, Oak wood, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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