Whispering Pines Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

Again, I have to say that Steepster has changed my life. Thanks to this wonderful community, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy 100x what I would have on my own; through recommendations, swaps, stash sales, and even gifts. This was one of those swaps :)

I drank this every morning for an entire week at work and found that it does best to brew bold and less than 4 infusions. Taste somewhat like what I would expect sweet bread made with dianhong with citrus splash ontop. Baked bread more than malt which is just fine, but it was a bit surprising. A warm cup in the morning. The one downside to this is that it doesn’t taste all that great when it is either lukewarm or cold; but I think this is true with all earl’d teas.

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100

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90

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84

Savory, smooth, cocoa, peat, bakery, a wisp of smoke and the faintest bit of anise. Medium-rich for a black, full-flavored. A nice cup, would be delighted to find this tea in a restaurant.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke

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79

Sipdown (143)!

Thank you Scheherazade for the sample!

I drank this one on the commute to work this week, I’d have loved to brew it Gong Fu but I was a little hesitant that the sample wouldn’t be quite enough leaf and my session would be a little week. And, in the end I ended up putting the rest of the sample in the GCTTB because Jillian had asked to try it, and I just had to take advantage of the chance to share a WP tea since everyone wants the chance to get to try them. Usually for good reason.

You’ll have to forgive my lazyness; I’ve built up a queue of posts this week and I’m feeling too tired to reword all of the jot notes into paragraphs, so these next few notes will likely just be copy and pasted jot notes for convenience/speed.

- Brisk/Astringent at first
- More of a round/clean flavour as it cooled
- Malt/Raisin/Honey top notes
- With some woody, cinnamon, and nut body notes
- Little bit of a sweeter marzipan finish?

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Sipdown. Keep in mind that I don’t have a well-developed palate for unflavored black teas, but to me this just seemed like a weaker version of Jabberwocky. It was still pleasant and I enjoyed the sample, but if I was purchasing again, I’d definitely go for the Jabberwocky.

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I tried cold brewing this, which was a mistake. I was like ‘what could go wrong?’ Most other green oolongs are great cold-brewed. Buttery and tannic and awful. At least there was some flavor versus the hot brew. Not good flavor, but flavor.
Ended up pouring it out.

Flavors: Butter, Tannic

Rasseru

Interesting, do you mean you didnt like the hot brew?

hawkband1

Hot it didn’t have much flavor at all :( It had creamy mouthfeel, but didn’t taste like anything. I’ve tried it both ways.

Planning on trying it hot again just to see if I can’t coax out what it’s supposed to be like.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve been having that issue with most of my Jin Xuan’s lately…Are you at least getting some grassy fruity aftertaste? Like literal pineapple skin instead of fruity pineapple? If not, darn.

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I really don’t get this one. Tried this both westren and gaiwan and I haven’t been able to get much out of it. Dry leaf smells sweet and floral and hay. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, but it doesn’t have any taste.
190F, 180F, long steeps, short steeps. I can’t seem to find the right brewing conditions. Very confused by this tea.

Flavors: Creamy, Thick

Daylon R Thomas

I had a hard time getting that one to brew right-I hope that I wrote it in my notes. The Gong Fu Brenden recommended did not quite pull out the tropical taste he described.

Daylon R Thomas

You probably already tried this, but here’s how I did it: 2 min, 30 seconds 3-4 g with water at 190. I would then sip it, let it cool down, and sip it more.

hawkband1

Thanks! I’ll try it that way.

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First off a Happy Birthday wish to Brendan of Whispering Pines Tea Company and much thanks for offering so many awesome teas such as this one! Now on to the tasting note…

…This was a perfect recovery tea from a night of indulgence in Greek food and wine. It also followed a viewing of the Warcraft movie which I definitely need to watch again.

The aromatics are like chocolate and raw sugar toffee. Flavor notes of caramel and wet autumn leaves. Beautiful leaf both wet and dry and a gorgeous liquor. Much love for this one.

6g of leaf, 100ml Purion, boiling with 30s first which was too long, 10s second, 15s third and climbing slowly till the leaf waned.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BGf1QGghUtA/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGgBXtmhUmR/

On an unrelated note…

The feast:
https://instagram.com/p/BGfRd7dBUtk/

The wine:
https://instagram.com/p/BGfYxEfBUvW/

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
caile

Quite the feast! :)

CWarren

It was, is and will continue to be a feast until I foresee its demise by Saturday night/Sunday afternoon. More wine and tea to follow as well. Grin.

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95

Well, it’s the weekend at last! I must admit that it was a LONG week dealing with cranky kids. However, Summer Camp is going pretty smoothly, despite the small mishaps that happen with moody children.

Anyway, I wanted a tasty cup of tea (I must admit that I’ve been drinking coffee all week in the mornings). Ugh, I know. The ‘Art of Darkness’ from Whispering Pines was poking itself from the top of the cupboard. Therefore, I made a batch of it in my gaiwan.

Yum. There are so many chocolate/cocoa notes. Nice smooth dark chocolate flavors. Pretty sweet on its own. I’m thinking about buying more of this sometime before the summer’s over. It’d be a great winter/fall tea.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGfFtYlA-03/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1

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A late night tea session with these awesome little furry creatures. Aromatics upon opening are rosemary, sage, bold black pepper, balsa wood, light oregano and subtle but present cotton.

Rosemary and sage flavor notes along with pine, extremely subtle smoke, an odd but not unpleasant lime like flavor and even stranger pickle like brine present that all seemed to work well in unison with each other. Light buttery hued liquor more pronounced as the buds start to open up during each subsequent infusion. This needs to re-explored to see if I get these same characteristics in a future session.

6g of happy little buds, 120ml bone china teapot, 190F with 30s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 30s and counting up for numerous infusions as the buds just would not quit.

The buds o’ love:
https://instagram.com/p/BGa4cFWhUg7/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGbDkyqBUl6/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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75

I get mainly orange blossom honey from this tea. Not too much in the way of sweet potato, malt, chocolate or spice.

Verryy citrusy actually! Almost as if it were blended with an essential oil, even though it’s really just pure tea. I can see why it is the base for their Wild Grey blend, where bergamot oil is actually combined with the Dian Hong.

It’s not my favourite but if you love a citrus note without actual added citrus, you’ll love this tea.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve only had the Wild Grey version, and it is good. “Chocolate” is a weird tasting note anyway. THere’s only a few straight teas that have actually had it.

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90

Puerh Tea TTB. This is a nice shou. But I think it is not as good as his 2012 Huron Gold Needle. It is good though. There was a little bitterness at first and there was a fair amount of fermentation flavor. This was not an unpleasant fermentation taste though. It was dark and rich in the early infusions. I’d say it had some notes of chocolate in there. I wouldn’t say it developed a fruity taste. It did get fairly sweet after the bitterness was history. The bitterness lasted only about two steeps. This is a fairly long lasting shou. I gave it fourteen steeps and it was not quite done. I could have gotten somewhere between two more and maybe four more steeps out of it. But fourteen steeps in a 120ml gaiwan is a lot of tea.

I steeped this fourteen times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec,10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. This is one I will have to look into buying eventually. It is my guess that he has a lot of these to sell. I think he really invests in his shou cakes.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 9 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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I thought I wrote a note on this a while ago. What I was going to say was that this was a clean black tea with a very light berry sweetness, a pine woodsy aged quality, and a calm qi. All thanks to Whiteantlers. Anyway.

First steep Gong Fu with a generous portion of close to 4 grams. 190 F.

15 Seconds

Clear air, pines, and berries in the meadow. Smooth overall, and fairly light and sweet. There was a bit of a malty body, but a body closer to what tea noters call caramel. But a VERY LIGHT caramel. That is something that can be discussed…Oddly enough, it tasted similar to a Yunnan Moonlight, or a thicker body white tea. Interesting.

20 seconds.

Much of the same thing as previous, but more of the allusive cocoa note this time. Good tea. Good, good, good tea.

30 seconds.

Fuller body and smoother. More Yunnan sweet potato, but on a much lighter note. There’s a lot less tension in my shoulders. Interesting.

More later…

And more later. The last two steeps were fairly simple and plain. Good Yunnan black tea with the qualities of a Yunnan moonlight. I thank Whiteantlers for this gift. I would not pay the thirteen dollars for this personally, but I do think that this is an excellent black tea that is well worth a try.

Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Cocoa, Herbs, Malt, Maple, Pine, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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100

Wow. This tea is just wow. There’s just so much going on here I wish I wasn’t in such a rush to finish it off so I can get to work. Opens with very strong sweet potato notes followed by dark chocolate and caramel (actually very similar to some salted caramel truffles I made last week). Next there’s cantaloupe and white grapes and a faint hint of multi-grain bread and oats. This is quite possibly one of the first teas I’d be interested in re-steeping — perhaps next time if I’m in less of a rush.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cantaloupe, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Oats, Salt, Sweet Potatoes, White Grapes

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

Sounds amazing!

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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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91

Okay. This makes the list of one of my top teas ever.

I wrote an extensive note about it some time ago and my laptop shut down by itself when it was almost complete. So here it goes again, albeit a little less detailed.

The vanilla note is one of my favourite things in Da Hong Pao. Vanilla isn’t listed as a note on the website, and it’s definitely not an ingredient either but it is what I taste. A light vanilla, with a fair amount of oak and lots of pure minerality. Throw a little bit of white wine in the mix. But what makes this particular DHP stand out to me is just how juicy it is. That, and the qi.

So juicy. Like stonefruit nectar. And the qi. It’s a calm, happy qi.

It is a little on the light side though, and so the flavour does start to peter out by perhaps the fourth steep Western style. I follow the website directions for Western ( yixing, 87C, 1tblsp, 150ml for 2min, 2min, 3min, 4min, 6min and then I rest the leaves for a few hours in the yixing and try for 7mins and 10mins).

I have purchased this twice and simply can’t afford to purchase anymore due to the cost of shipping to Australia. It ends up being $AU4 per session which is pretty damn high.

As Brendan hasn’t answered my question on the future availability of this product, I assume it’s a limited offering.

Go on guys. Buy the last six ounces left on the website. I’ll just have to hoard what I have left.

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91

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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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