Whispering Pines Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

85

I like the mix of elderberry and cinnamon in this tea. It’s warm, comforting, and incredibly soothing. Everything a good herbal tea should be.

Thank you, kimquat, for adding this to our swap! I’ll be picking up more of this once the cold weather rolls in.

September Sipdowns: 22

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83

I drank this tea two days ago but am just now getting around to noting that I had it thanks to Steepster’s craziness.

Thanks to Cameron B. for a sample of this tea! I will definitely have to write a better note the next time I have it. For now I will just say that to me this tasted a lot like a Taiwanese black tea. But as far as I can tell this is a mainland tea? It has those fruity notes with a touch of honey. Of course there is that odd fruity character that is present in Taiwanese blacks that isn’t my favorite note, but this was a pretty tasty cup of tea anyway.

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87

I’m not a really big fan of chai tea but that’s not to say I don’t like them. This one seemed intriguing, Bi-Luo Chun Black with vanilla beans and chai spices? I love green bi-luo chun and love vanilla and was curious to try this out. As everyone has said the spices in this tea are done perfectly. A wonderful chai spice mixed with the creaminess an sweetness of the tea. Then there’s the vanilla adding a sweetness too. Yummy! However, this has now got me curious. I wonder how plain bi-luo chun black tastes?

Flavors: Butter, Cardamon, Ginger, Vanilla

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

The answer is: amazing! ;)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

^agreed. The base of this (Golden Snail) is one of my favorite blacks ever. :-)

Cheri

I’m not big on chai, but I quite liked golden snaily yums. Maybe I’ll see if I can try this one.

Cameron B.

I’ve tried two or three different black biluochuns and liked them all. :D

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81

I had a couple cups of this tea this morning. I love mao jian tea and I love jasmine but wasn’t sure the combo would work. I thought the jasmine might overpower mao jian which is perfect on it’s own. I needn’t have worried. The jasmine was so light. A barely there jasmine giving it a jasmine scent but not overpowering in taste. A very nice cup.
It went well with the heavy rains this morning and my book I’ve been reading “The Dalai Lama’s Cat.” What a fun book and there’s lots of wisdom in it too.

Flavors: Butter, Jasmine, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87

mmmmm thanks for sharing this one with me terri. I really enjoyed this one from WP. It’s a different sort of keemun than the ones i generally prefer..less malty, more chocolatey. this will be picked up :)

Cameron B.

I love and miss this tea! :P

Sil

it’s nice because it’s different from other keemuns

Cavocorax

Interesting! I’m a fan of ‘more choclatey’. :P

Sil

I ordered some Cavo – i’ll share when it gets here. you have a box to pick up at my place anyways

Sil

cameron – BUY MOOOAAR! lol

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65

nope. still don’t like this tea even with the newer version. The ingredients just don’t seem to blend well for me, and it becomes mostly a lapsang tea….which i like, but then what’s the need for everything else in it :)

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72

meh. not terrible, not enough to make me want more, glad i tried it. still hate steepster.

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82

again… stupid steepster.

this tea was tasty, and surprisingly so as i didn’t expect to enjoy it. thanks terr i for the samples! since i’m not sure how long i’ll actually be able to do anything in steepster!

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70

dear steepster. I’m so fed up with you. really hard to track what i thought about new teas if you’re always down, unusable. I could write it down on paper, and transfer it later but that’s twice the work, and at that point i might as well just switch over to paper. But then, what’s the point? since half the fun is the interaction with the people. reading notes, being able to respond to them….looking up new teas, adding teas to my cupboard etc. 85% of the time, none of that works.

frustratedly yours,

Sil

Ubacat

I am feeling frustrated with it too.

Ysaurella

agree Sil Steepsters is becoming really boring.

Sil

ysaurella – that makes me sad because i miss being able to interact with friends tasting notes.. but it’s such a hassle now. :(

Cavocorax

It’s really bad! I cut my list of ppl to follow to 50 people who used Steepster quite actively and now I can go a few days without logging on only to see that I missed maybe 20 notes when before it was hundreds… It’s really pathetic. :|

looseTman

Uncertain website reliability can be a significant member disincentive to contributing new forum content.

Kaylee

For what it’s worth, I write my notes in a word processor on my laptop and phone, then copy & paste. It’s more efficient than taking paper notes. I started doing it after the third time Steepster ate my note before I finished writing it.

But I agree, it is frustrating.

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I mostly tasted spice and a hint of cocoa. I would love to be able to find the graham cracker that is supposed to be in here. I’ll work on finding that next time and wait to rate it because I also think I oversteeped this just a tad. I prefer Golden Orchid so far from my tastings of Whispering Pines. This was another sample from Ost from when I ordered from her :)

Flavors: Cocoa, Spices

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83

This was tasty with a lot of fermentation flavor to it. I only had one of these and either I wasn’t using enough tea ( I used the whole thing) or it is a fairly weak tea. I only got four good steeps out of it no matter how much time I gave it. I steeped it in all about seven times. The four times where I got tea of relatively good strength were good. The last three were weak. I would probably have noticed some nice notes to the first four steeps but I admit I was not paying attention as I was watching Haven.

I brewed this in a 130ml Yixing teapot with boiling water and one mini tuocha, about 3g. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 5 min, and 10 min.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 130 OZ / 3844 ML

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85

This sample came from mj. Another vanilla dreams tea to try! Now, I’m not generally a fan of green oolong, but I still wanted to try this one since vanilla is my favorite flavor. The oolong pellets are a dark green/yellow and medium in size. There are also roasted cedar leaves mixed in. Dry scent is very sweet with pear and floral notes, and a smidge of vanilla. I steeped it for 3 minutes in 190 degree water.

Brewed aroma kind of reminded me of a wet dog… HAH. Once I got past that it was strong floral and pears. Hmm… I’m kind of underwhelmed by this one based on the amount of hype it’s gotten and its high rating. It mostly just tastes like the usual green oolong to me – very lightly vegetal, mineral notes, peach, floral, etc. I don’t really pick up on a ton of vanilla, maybe a little bit. The cedar leaves give it a nice roasty aftertaste. So overall, it’s good, but I don’t love it.

Flavors: Floral, Peach, Pear, Roasted, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
AllanK

I sampled this tea last week and gongfud it. I loved it. It may not be at its strongest brewed western style. I got some nice notes with 15 sec steeps. I bought a small quantity of it, arrives tomorrow.

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87

My first tea of the day, and the last of samples (mj) sent me. The dry leaves smell pretty foresty. After I brew, I get some more floral scents. There is a tangy, and kinda creamy flavour. Not really what I was excepting, but good on a rainy afternoon.

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I recently purchased a set of samples from Whispering Pines which included North Wind and this one. I wanted to compare the base tea to the vanilla version. I have to say, this tea is pretty fantastic with vanilla beans added. You can’t go wrong with vanilla. Not getting the decadent fudge people are describing but it is good.

I feel inspired to add vanilla beans to all my teas. I had requested a pound of beans for a birthday 2 years ago and I still haven’t used them all even though I made a half gallon of vanilla extract. I’ve cut down on dessert foods lately so I guess tea is the best place for these beans now. It doesn’t take much vanilla bean to flavor a tea. I could probably do a bean or two for a pound worth of North Wind. :D Or add some to Laoshan Black. :D Plus cocoa nibs. :D Or I could play around with WP’s Fujian Black since it’s a tasty cheaper tea that would take well to vanilla and cocoa.

Dinosara

OMG vanilla beans added to LB? Genius! I think I need to order some LB just for that purpose now…

ashmanra

Have you ever tried the beans from Olive Nation? They are so much better than the ones I bought at the expensive grocery, and cheap. They are rich and moist. I wonder how they compare to other companies, though?

Mercuryhime

I haven’t! I think I was gifted beans from a seller on eBay. I’m not a vanilla expert, but they were delicious. Sweet . Aromatic, plump and sticky with moisture. Of course they are dry now 2 years later, but still great for simmering into custards and cutting up for vanilla sugar. :)

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81

Smell this tea before you brew it because it’s amazing. The aroma is what sets up your palette’s expectations. The actual taste is not quite as amazing as it smells, but is still pretty good. It has a smooth, general good black tea feel to it, with nothing that jumps out and surprises you. Good for drinking when you don’t know what kind of tea you feel like and just want something good. Add sugar to make it a wonderful dessert tea and bring out the amazing vanilla taste.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87

Another WP sample from Cameron B.! Get used to seeing that line, because I have a bunch to go through. :)

This is quite delicious. A very nice golden yunnan tea. Nice and sweet potato-y, and with a hint of molasses as well, like a sweet potato with brown sugar. Mmmmm. A little bit of cocoa flirting around the edges, and overall the texture is thick and creamy. Thanks for the sample of this one Cameron, it was very enjoyable!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

Holy chocolate, Batman!

I was teaching some 4th and 5th graders today when I took the first sip of this. Apparently…I made a face. I know this to be true because my normally rambunctious students stopped dead in their tracks and stared at me.

“Miss O….what’s wrong?!?!?!”
“Chocolate….there’s…it’s….there’s chocolate in my tea!”
“Chocolate tea????” (At this point, they commenced their usual frolicking around the classroom, only now they were chanting “chocolate tea” in a really creepy but funny way.)

So, yeah. I actually couldn’t remember what this one was supposed to taste like when I grabbed it. I just knew I had really been excited to try it when I got samples from both Ost and Beorhthraefn almost back to back. Thanks you guys!

I think I’m in love. Oh dear.

Flavors: Chocolate

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88

Okay, so this isn’t going to be a very good note… Curse you, Diablo III, for causing me to ignore my teas! Ahem. These oolong pellets are super dark in color, almost black. Dry scent is roasty and sweet with mild cocoa notes. I brewed it for 5 minutes at 200 degrees.

It’s pretty tasty! Definitely reminds me of coffee, as a lot of really dark and roasted oolongs do. Also somewhat sweet and with a little bit of dark cocoa flavor. Yummy, and even very good cold! There’s no bitterness here whatsoever. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cocoa, Coffee, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

So, now that I have worked down on some blends club blends and I am actually at 100 teas in my cupboard (not counting the samples from Cameron), I feel like I can finally start trying those WP samples that Cameron B. so generously sent me. You might have heard that WP is kind of a big deal around on Steepster lately, so eventually I decided I should probably give them a try. The only WP tea I’ve had before now is North Winds, which I understand is the base for this tea (?).

I followed the steeping parameters exactly for this one; it was convenient because they happen to be my default black tea steeping parameters. It left me kind of… what’s the big deal? This tea has just a little crapton of hype about it, so I guess I was expecting nothing short of heaven on earth. For most of my cup, it tasted pretty much exactly like North Winds, which is to say bittersweet-chocolatey, not unlike some Fengqing pearls I’ve tried in the past. I had no vanilla or related flavors (creaminess, etc) until I got down to the very bottom of the cup and it was pretty much stone cold. Then the last couple of sips were vanilla bombs, no doubt thanks to the little vanilla seeds swimming at the bottom. It was a tasty cup, but it was not liquefied fudge or a chocolate sundae or any of the other superlatives people use for it. I have another small serving of it, so I will happily try it again, and I could even imagine getting another sample of it sometime just to give it another shot. I could always order some North Winds at the lower price and cut some of the roughly 1 kilos worth of Madagascar vanilla beans I have in my cupboard into it (a perk of doing fieldwork in Madagascar). :)

I will say that I feel like my tastes in teas are diverging from a lot of the Steepster crowd these days, so I guess you can take my note with a grain of salt. Thanks again to Cameron for the sample! This is why I wanted a sample first. :)

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla

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

It is refreshing to see someone not jumping on the bandwagon just because.

Fjellrev

Wow, that is a lot of vanilla bean! Your cupboard must smell like heaven.

Dinosara

I have all the beans in plastic bags in a big plastic sealed tub, so it the smell is pretty well contained, but open the tub and whew it’s a vanilla bomb! I think there are a few blocks of baking chocolate in the tub too (stored during various moves) and I’m sure they are vanilla-infused now!

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100

I like this it, highly recommended for all.

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95

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

“Wisdom begins in wonder,” says Socrates on the baggie I picked.

A malty, chocolatey aroma rises from the teapot when I take away the lid. The leaves even look like chocolate. The liquor – golden, full-bodied, thick – has the same notes as the aroma, only they are 10x stronger, bolder. It tastes a little aged. I ate Nutella on toasted bread with this and the two complement each other wonderfully. Freshest chocolate fudge, dark pure honey. With this pair, the tea overpowers the actual chocolate. That’s not something I find in a tea very often.

This is one heck of a cozy tea. Not hugging, but the kind that warms every inch and part of your being. For the darkest, coldest winter night, while a heavy snow falls.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

This is a lovely review. Thank you :-)

KiwiDelight

You’re welcome! A lovely review for a lovely tea :3

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m glad you got to try it!

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