Whispering Pines Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

70

Since this @*&^#! sinus infection is hanging on I decided to try the Clari Tea tonight. It’s herbal and it’s supposed to help when you’re sick. I don’t know if it helps or not, but it was great to drink. I got the ginger flavor pretty well, even with no sense of smell. I got a slightly bitter after taste, but I did brew it for quite a while, so that might have been the reason for it. This will probably not be a re-order, but I’m glad I have it.

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90

This is really spectacular, but I can’t help but feel like it could be even more. It is thick and dessert-y, but even when shaking the bag like a loon, I can’t help but feel like the chocolate notes overpower the vanilla. As a vanilla fiend, I want more. I am not sure if it was just my bag or what, but I think this would be perfection if the vanilla were intensified.

I got two good steeps out of it. The second being much more smooth than the first, and light. I could taste the vanilla more, as a lot of the intense chocolate was tamed. Latter steeps were alright, but not as good as the first two. I will definitely plan to keep this around.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ahh but the idea of this one is to make it chocolaty. I use vanilla the way chocolatiers do: to accentuate the chocolate notes ;-)

Leah Naomi

Confession: While I love chocolate, I ALWAYS prefer vanilla. Literally always. I almost never pick chocolate over vanilla given the two options. Chocolate is great and all…but there is nothing like the decadence of a good vanilla. :)

Leah Naomi

The way to describe my vanilla obsession just came to me – hugs. No lie, real vanilla is basically like tastebud hugs. Like cinnamon is a fuzzy blanket. I love hugs and fuzzy blankets together too, but that is a whole different thing, haha :-D

Leah Naomi

The way to describe my vanilla obsession just came to me – hugs. No lie, real vanilla is basically like tastebud hugs. Like cinnamon is a fuzzy blanket. I love hugs and fuzzy blankets together too, but that is a whole different thing, haha :-D

TheLastDodo

To the Elderwood you must go! More vanilla fun-times to be had there!

Leah Naomi

If you say it, I must go. I want to try all sorts of things that aren’t in stock as of now. More to look forward to? :)

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The lovely Dexter sent a sample of this along to me!

There were no steeping instructions that I could find, so I searched notes and then decided… f-it. Western it is.

It’s strong. It’s nice. Sweet and smooth. Very carby. IDK that I adore it, or that the flavours are ones I’d crave all the time, but it’s nice. And she thoughtfully included something like 5 other snaily teas for me to try as well. :D

Edit: Oh, as it cools it goes sour. Weird. I’m stuffed up a bit so I can’t smell much, but the taste is definitely sour, not bitter or astringent.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

I added steeping instructions to Steepster. UGH.

Dexter

Did I not write instructions on the package? If there are company instructions on the original packaging I normally write them – if not then I don’t….. sorry….

OMGsrsly

Maybe? IDK, I just automatically turned to Steepster. Haha. And when I didn’t find the information here, I pouted and said “f- it!”

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85

Thank you to beelicious for sharing this tea in our recent swap! This tea isn’t something I’d normally gravitate toward, as I’m not big into herbal blends and the ingredient list looks a bit frightening (spearmint and cinnamon in the same tea?) But I needn’t have worried…it seems that Whispering Pines is incapable of selling a bad tea! This one somehow manages to be both soothing and refreshing at the same time with just a touch of warm, comforting spice. It was the perfect bedtime cup of tea!

Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Spearmint

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98

We already know he’s a tea prodigy and does things like no one else does.

He decided that dried mushrooms should be incorporated to tea…and that’s exactly what he did, as if it should have been done all along. Cause this is what you’ll think of when you taste this little marvel for the first time: where have you been all my life oh mushroom tea!!

Don’t think this resemble Mirkwood, his other mushie tea, cause it doesn’t…not even one bit.

Mirkwood is more brothy and savory. This is desserty!

Candy Cap Mushrooms, who knew??? They smell like maple candies! My whole kitchen smelled like candy after I opened the pouch, to the point that it got me worried, I sure don’t want my tea to taste that sweet.

But just like all the blends he creates, this tea offers the perfect balance. Dried fruits plus woodsy and cocoa notes. The star here though: natural maple goodness. And no worries, this ain’t Aunt Jamaima type of fake sweetness. This is gloriously tasty, with only two ingredients: Premium Chinese black tea and mushies.

Having said that, I don’t taste mushroom so please mushroom haters, don’t deprive yourself from this little gem. This variety brings sweetness, woodsy notes and layers of complexity. No damp or earthy funk.

Brenden sure is Michigan’s National “Teasure” , he likes to think outside the box and it pays off. Bravo!!

Pics:

http://instagram.com/p/yaozePQh6k/

http://instagram.com/p/yarxVTwh-1/

http://instagram.com/p/yasoxHQh_2/

Kirkoneill1988

if you want a mushroom tea try this one: http://steepster.com/teas/hung-phat/43331-lotus-reishi-senshi

also i have some tasting notes there

Kirkoneill1988

awesome tasting note though :)

TheTeaFairy

Thank you Kirkoneill, I do know reishi tea, very healthy, no camellia sinensis tho. Willow is actually real black tea with the addition of mushrooms, that’s what makes it unique in my humble opinion :-)

Kirkoneill1988

well i don’t see any point of adding an ingredient if one cannot taste it. (unless…. its to make the main taste unique) :)

TheTeaFairy

Lol kirk it DOES bring something unique: MAPLE!! That’s why this variety of mushroom is called Candy Cap. It’s also a bit woodsy, and like I mentioned, it brings layers and complexity to the mix :-)

TippysTea

Candy cap mushrooms are delicious probably Lactarius fragilis or L. camphoratus. Really good addition to food. Also, adding Clitocybe odora to tea would be very interesting as well.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Clitocybe odora would be neat for sure! :)

Lindsay

Are you two tea makers bonding over mushrooms? That’s adorable. :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hahahaha, mushrooms are just…sigh…so beautiful.

Ubacat

Wow, Tea Fairy, great pictures. I love how you captured the detail in the dry leaf. Of course, I love all your tea ware too! So glad I took a chance and ordered this tea. Just got an email a few days ago that it is on it’s way!

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80

Such cute little tea leaves! Like golden snail but silver instead (bet you would have never guess that from the name, LOL). Super grassy tea, this almost punches your tastebuds with the vegetal flavor. Delicious! But be careful not to oversteep or walk away from the brewing leaves for too long or it has a tendency to take on a bitter aftertaste.

Mikumofu

another one for the ever-growing wishlist for that WP order in the distant future :D

beelicious

I’ve been resteeping it all day – delicious!!!

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Thank you, Veronica for sending me some of this tea!

First thing you notice about the dry leaf is that it smells really chocolate-y. I was definitely surprised at the depth of this tea. Very full bodied with cocoa & malty notes and a slight bit of bitterness in the finish. Bittersweet chocolate? yummm. I actually enjoyed this one better with soymilk. If I had another sample I would probably steep this for only 2 minutes which might yield a smoother cup. Anyway I’m really glad I got to try this. It’s quite a good morning tea, however will not rate for now. I had to use some nasal spray earlier which might be affecting my tastebuds.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Maddy Barone

I like that one too!

TeaBrat

tasty it was… -Yoda

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99

Oh Elderwood, you.

Drinking this cup by cup and listening to the Hobbit audiobook on my decade-and-a-half old cassette/cd player combo while making Lembas bread. I love having days off from work. :D
The vanilla is incredible in this blend. They give something delightfully sweet to the creamy milk chocolatey goodness of the base blend. There is also a bit of oak and conifer that reminds me of the name of this blend.

I steeped this western-style, for 3 mins, 4 mins, 6 mins with much success in a 16 oz porcelain teapot. Elderwood is the best of the best out of Whispering Pine’s Vanilla Dreams Collection, IMO. I urge anyone to try it. Wait for a sale, it’s worth it.

Flavors: Chocolate, Oak wood, Pine, Vanilla

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

This one is on my list of teas I need to try. It sounds delightful.

TheLastDodo

It’s pretty much magical.

ashmanra

The recipe for this lembas bread? :D

TheLastDodo

http://lotrscrapbook.bookloaf.net/other/recipes.html#lembas
I made it less like a cookie and more like the hearty “meal” bread Tolkien describes it. Instead of the whote flour I used 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of hemp protein meal. Oh and I doubled the cinnamon and added 1tsp of nutmeg. You should try it! I just finished it all yesterday. :P

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62

This was pleasant enough but not really remarkable to me, particularly not after playing with golden orchid, Cocoa amore, and port. Those are a different type of tea of course but they are so rich and deep. This just didn’t give off the same strength. I think I might need to use far more leaf than I normally would to really enjoy it.

It is warm and spicy and fruity. I like all of those things. But I’m thinking it is an easy enough thing to find, which is why this one just doesn’t stand out to me.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

There’s chicory in there for depth, but it sinks. Give it a shake next time and see if that changes anything :-)

Leah Naomi

Oh thanks so much for the tip! I will be making some tonight…I will try that before being super leaf heavy.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

No worries :) You can also steep as long as you’d like, I find that the sweetness of the elderberries offsets any potential bitterness :)

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90

Golden Orchid has such amazing reviews on Steepster, I think it would be almost impossible for any tea to live up to the hype. And honestly, for me it didn’t. It was very good: strong and malty with distinct chocolate notes and a hint of vanilla. It also re-steeped beautifully. But I found myself craving a bit more of that sweet vanilla flavor than I was getting. I did notice in Brandon’s description that the vanilla tends to sink to the bottom, so maybe there wasn’t enough in my sample? Or maybe I just had over-inflated expectations. Anyway, this was very good, but not something I’ll be rushing out to purchase tomorrow. Thank you to beelicious for the sample!

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla

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

I tried to shake the bag up before scooping out some for you… Never an easy thing to coax vanilla beans to distribute themselves fairly in a cup of tea!

Inkling

Honestly, the tea may have been exactly what it’s supposed to be. I was just SO impressed by Golden Snail and this one didn’t quite blow me away. It was still really good and I am so grateful to you for sharing! :)

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90

I’ve been meaning to review this one for ages! I got it from u/RedSpaceMagic on Reddit months ago. It’s perfect for this morn— er, afternoon after helping host a bonfire party.

Now, I love Whispering Pines. They have tons of truly unique blends. I’ve seen ingredients on their lists I’ve never seen anywhere else, and I’ve liked everything I’ve tried so far.

This blend is no exception. Although I would have never mixed rooibos with lapsang, I think it works! The rooibos isn’t strong enough to leave that weird aftertaste in my mouth, so I’m happy. The cedar is also a very nice touch. It reminds me of the fresh cut logs used in Carolina barbecue. I know those are usually hickory, but it’s a similar scent. The clove could be a tad stronger, but then again, I got this tea second-hand. It might be more noticeable in fresher batches. And the smokiness, it’s very well balanced. Again, I’m getting a sort of bacony, briskety smoke, but I love it.

This is definitely something I’d get again. It’s hearty, warming, and wonderfully smoky with just a hint of spice. Now I kinda wish I didn’t have like 3 ounces of Adagio’s lapsang to get through!

Flavors: Campfire, Cedar, Cloves, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I had to have all the mushroom teas the minute WP put them out. So unique! This one is completely different from Mirkwood. The minute you open the packet, you smell the super sweet aroma of the dry leaf. I love the look of the dry leaf with the little pieces of mushroom in it!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/15742661414/

That sweetness translates into a sweet maple flavor, with notes of malt and wood. I gongfu-steeped this and the flavor transforms from this super sweet maple note into more of the notes of the base tea coming through. The tea tastes more fruity, with notes of cherry and plums.

This tea is ridiculously sweet…no need to sweeten, for sure! Absolutely delicious and unique!

Stephanie

Sounds crazy! I’ll have to try it eventually :)

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94

Thanks to Brenden at Whispering Pines for this free sample!! I have had this sample for a while, but it hasn’t felt like the day to have it yet. Today, though, feels like the day! Time for the Jabberwocky!

I read the poem, which I actually didn’t know before having this tea, right before making it. I love it! (forgive me for not having read it sooner!) It made me even more excited to try this tea :)

The dry smell is super chocolatey and malty, strong, usually the dry leaf of black teas doesn’t have much scent to me, but this one definitely has a good one! I followed Brenden’s steeping suggestions of 3 mins with 205 degree water. The steeped smell is grainy, malty, a hint of dark chocolate.

As for the flavor, wow, this is a great black tea. The inital flavor is very bready and grainy, some malt, then the honey notes hit!! Wow they are strong and delicious! There is also some fruitiness that I found in Second Breakfast, probably from the Ailaoshan black tea that is in both of them. As it cools, this fruitiness leads into the aftertaste, and it’s definitely cherries. I love cherries! There are also some deep dark chocolate notes at the start of the taste before the honey notes hit. I am not getting too much eucalyptus yet, but there is a faint cooling sensation when I breathe in after the sip, so I think that is it. Wow this is delicious, so comforting. And I definitely feel the caffeine in this lol! Edit – I feel the caffeine alertness, but also an immense sense of relaxation and happy feelings. :D oh and I didn’t mention this tea is smooth smooth smooth. Soft and caressing. So freaking good.

Overall, this is a superb tea. It’s so good. Man, if I could drink black teas more regularly I would order this forever. Oh and also if I wasn’t on a self-imposed tea buying ban. Ugh I just tried to reason with myself and the boyfriend to allow me to order this…no dice. :(. I will be ordering this in the future though. Like, 99% sure. Brenden, please re-blend this after the last bag is purchased. I need it in a month or so! Also, thank you again to Brenden for this free sample! I have found the magic in this tea too!

Flavors: Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Honey, Malt

looseTman

Sounds Awesome!

MissLena

It is so delicious!

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80

A wonderful lazy Saturday. The boyfriend and I went to lunch and I mailed of a TTB. Came back and cleaned up a little, only so I could make a new mess in the kitchen. I made my first attempt of “Vicks Shower Disks” using the recipe found here http://beingfrugalbychoice.com/2012/03/homemade-vicks-vapor-shower-disks.html. And I just threw http://www.alexandracooks.com/2008/05/20/i-love-david-archuleta/ in the oven and thought that this tea would complement them wonderfully.

Sadly this is the last of this wonderful tea. This one always reminds me of home. It is for sure going on the re-order list!

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86

I know I’ve not done a tasting note on this tea before, but I do distinctly remember having it around the time I got my Whispering Pines order. This isn’t the type of tea you can really do a backlog on, though, so I waited until now so my tasting note would be more accurate.

This is a great example of a yunnan, I feel like. The dry leaf was so fuzzy and tightly curled, and the smell emanating from the back was all starch and sweet potatoes. I followed the steeping parameters recommended by Brenden and it yielded a gorgeous honey brown liquor.

The taste mostly honeyed wheat with a starchy mouthfeel. Mostly it reminded me of the crust of a loaf of freshly baked honey wheat bread. Sweet, but also savory. This is a very filling, warming cup.

After the leaves are steeped they unfurl and begin to smell almost fruity- specifically like the raisin notes of an assam. That could be because I smelled the Harmutty Assam tea earlier this morning so that scent is fresh on my mind, but I really do get that note from it. And I really like it.

This is quite, quite good. I don’t like it as much as I enjoyed the Jabberwocky, but having a straight Yunnan does allow me to see the characteristics it lends to that blend. Still, I did find it really warming, and as the cold weather will be around for a while yet I’m sure I will be drinking this again soon.

Flavors: Grain, Honey, Pepper, Sweet Potatoes

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

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80

One of two bedtime “Mini Cups” of tea. I packed this with because it’s new to me, and I’ve been fascinated by it since first seeing it – and now that it’s actually in my possession I think it smells really lovely dry; and I needed to try it sooner rather than later. This trip to Regina seemed like the quickest way to sample it.

I’d really like to write a longer, more thorough review but I’m super tired and it’s late, and I know my little sister’s gonna wake me up as soon as she can tomorrow morning. So I’ll be briefer than I want to be.

I was planning a shorter steep time, but my little sister’s Dad stopped by to drop some stuff off for her that she left as his place before heading to Mom’s for the weekend – and I ended up talking to him for nearly eight minutes while my tea sat in the kitchen steeping. I hadn’t seen him in over a year, and it was good catching up. We maybe have a weird relationship because he and my Mom got divorced when I was about… 13? But for nearly all my early childhood memories he was as much “my Dad” as my actual Dad was, sometimes more so. But after he and my Mom got divorced I no longer saw him on a regular basis – just whenever B (I’m gonna not reveal my sister’s name – not that I don’t in general trust Steepster people, I am after all very open about my name and life and such, but she’s really young/underage) was around.

But the point is; this is quite a forgiving tea just like is claimed in the tea description. It got very, very close to a ten minute steep albeit at a lower temperature, and it’s not bitter or astringent at all. In fact, it’s very sweet! I get incredibly prominent honey notes and a rich silky mouthfeel, as well at light notes of hay, oats, and rosemary. More of a sweet rosemary than a savory rosemary, though. I’m also drawing comparisons to the Corn Silk tea I tried not too long ago; I am definitely experiencing a sort of “corn chip” like flavour to this, but I don’t see anyone else has observed crazy that so I feel a little crazy admitting it.

I’ve been wondering lately if the way I view “pine” as a flavour is different than how others do; because when I think of “Pine notes” I think of the sort of pine flavour that’s so strong and common with Juniper berries; crisp, clean, a little woody? There’s no way I’m tasting that here; and I’m disappointed because this is the second WP blend I bought on BF described with “pine” as a flavour, and I’m just not getting it.

I loved this though! Despite seemingly absent pine notes and relatively different observations than others. Maybe my prolonged steep time messed with the flavours present? Or the balance of flavours?

And hey; despite trying to be concise in my wording this ended up long winded afterall. Darn!

OMGsrsly

I actually really like yabao. Although I think the one I tried from Norbu was the best so far. Verdant’s is super piney, which is neat, but it sounds like this one isn’t.

Mikumofu

I feel like yabao is more pine wood than pine needle/juniper, maybe that’s the difference?

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Okay all, Mirkwood is finally in my tea cupboard! Woo! I’ve wanted some ever since the teaplets went on and on and on about it! ;)

The dry leaf is pretty cool. Lots of dried morels in there. Smells good.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/16164830670/

I brewed it up gong fu-style because that’s how I like my shou. Right away, I could tell this was going to be more savory, like soup. It tastes slightly salty, like a broth. You can still taste the earthiness of the puerh but the broth flavor blends in over the top. I also noticed spicy notes that appear at the end of the sip. The liquor is smooth and clear with absolutely no funk. The texture/mouthfeel of the tea includes a mushroom creaminess, or slime, whatever you want to call it! In a good way! Ha!

I looked up morels, as I’ve never had one, and supposedly they have a nutty taste. I can see that.

Overall, this is like drinking a super refined and deliciously smooth and clear mushroom broth, but better. It’s really good. Really freaking good.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

hopefully i’ll be able to get some in my cupboard soon :)

TheTeaFairy

I love the Mirk!!

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100

This tea is absolutely incredible, as is every other tea that I have had from Whispering Pines Tea Co.(Golden Orchid, North Winds, and Ailaoshan). I used the recommended tea brewing instructions( 1 Tablespoon, 190degree water, 2minutes) and the first thing that I noticed was the very intoxicating, sweet, caramel, toasted coconut smell. The toasted coconut note really comes out for in the smell of the tea which is the best way to describe the teas smell in my opinion. After all of that smelling my mouth was watering and yearning to taste the sweet nectar from this tea, I knew it was going to be amazing. On the first sip I immediately noticed a very very sweet taste which I have never before noticed in an oolong, much different than the sweetness from leaf hopper bitten oolongs that I know and love. This better, and a lot more intense, imagine a fruit crossed with a flower if that makes sense and you are left with a not overly strong sweet taste. Its very hard to explainable. As soon as the tea hits the tongue it can be described as very floral but then you are hit with the sweetness and once swallowed the taste of the teas sweetness lingers, leaving you wanting another sip of the tea. As of right now this is the best oolong(possibly the best tea in general) that I have ever had. It is an experience that everyone needs to try. Also to let everyone know Whispering Pines Teas are completely handcrafted by one person and the quality of everything that Brenden makes is incomparable to anything else I have tried(Verdant, Butiki, Wild Monk, many NATC winners, and numerous others) Nothing has been better than anything by Whispering Pines Tea Co.

Flavors: Candy, Caramel, Coconut, Floral, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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