Whispering Pines Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
So, this is less of a tasting note than a brewing note, I guess. After reading this article (http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/06/how-to-make-the-best-cold-brew-iced-tea.html), I decided to try it out, and this is the tea I pulled out to try it with (don’t know if it’s the best tea for this method, but it’s what I pulled out _ ). I used a full rounded teaspoon in…. I think about a liter of water? I keep forgetting how big that pitcher is. I’ll need to re-measure it one of these days. I did use a teaball, and looking back at the article, it looks like the author left the tea leaves loose in the water, so we’ll see how this works.
I will update in the morning. :)
7/21/2015 ETA: I realize I never updated this. Sorry, life happened. I got three ~10oz cups of tea out of my pitcher. It was very refreshing, but I must admit, I lost a lot of the flavor of the pu-erh. It was there, but much harder to find than before. Also, I tried cold-brewing a pitcher of my Star Trek Earl Grey (currently my favorite EG), and got similar results – I got more flavor from the Earl Grey (the lavender and bergamot) than I did from the pu-erh, but they were still muted compared to hot-brewed. I did like having the pre-steeped tea in the fridge, because I could still enjoy it, and it was easy to just pour and move on to what I needed to do. I am going to try this with other teas – still need to try it with some lighter teas, I think. And some ithers with strong flavors. I suspect that the cold brewing will work better with…. strong-flavored teas. I don’t want to say artificially-flavored necessarily, but I think the subtle flavor variations naturally occurring in tea from different regions may get dampened to almost nothing by the cold-brewing process, and you might as well be brewing Lipton (not that there’s anything wrong with that _). It the article, it mentions that cold-brewing can shorten the distance between a decent-quality and a great quality tea, and after the two I tried (both extremely good quality, as far as I can tell), I think that might be the case, since the cold seems to wash out the variation.
Anyway, I’ll continue to experiment, and try to remember to report my results here.
Sniffing this tea dry gave me notes of bittersweet chocolate and greenness. Steeped, it smells a bit vegetal and earthy. Very earthy. The first sip is also vegetal and earthy, but there’s the slightest hint of sugar and sweetness
Flavors: Earth, Sweet, Vegetal
There was just enough of this left for one session with it. This smells so much like maple in the bag! I was really surprised to read that it’s the mushrooms that are giving off this scent. When tasting the first brew, most of what I was tasting was maple, and a sort of grain like or whole wheat flavor, as well as a sour, fruit like note. To my disappointment though, no mushrooms. Happily, they made an appearance in subsequent steeps, a little in the flavor, but more so in the savoury aftertaste. There’s a slight a stringency and bitterness, but it’s mild. By the third, ah! There’s the chocolate notes, and the fruit notes remain. It just gets more savoury as it goes, as the mushrooms and wood flavors really come out to play. I think I love these mushrooms! The leaves are a milk chocolate brown, and they really expanded throughout my session with them, these are big pieces of leaf, and they lasted well, at 8 sweepings filling the recommended times on the site. Huge thanks to whoever put this in the box. I’ve always wanted to make a Whispering Pines order, but the cost really prevented me from buying blind, even with the good reviews. Now I get all the hype. Chocolate mushrooms are da bomb!
It’s always wonderful when someone swaps with you and you see something from your wishlist :)
I actually brewed this twice before I left for work. Drank around 16oz of it and then took about 12oz with me to work in my thermos. This is a solid green tea. Smooth and strong enough to have a distinct taste that confirms its quality.
I’ve had greens that were better and greens that were much worse, but what I like most about this is the ability to drink a lot in a sitting without any issues of mouth feel.
I guess I haven’t reviewed this one yet! I’ve gongfu brewed it a couple of times, and this one seems to like it if you go heavy and long with it, meaning more leaf, longer brew times. I overdid my third infusion by at least a minute and it came out delicious! Chocolate and stone fruit delicious! Yum! Definitely a good way to start the weekend!
Mmmmmm, smells like chocolate malt with a little bit of grass.
Tastes like chocolate and malt, too. It reminds me of chocolate Horlicks or Bournvita, but without the sugar. At some point, I think I’ll want to try this one with milk and sugar. The chocolate is strong with this one. :)
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Grass, Malt, Tea
This smells spicy, both just out of the bag and while steeping. The strongest flavors I’m getting from this is ginger and black peppercorns. There is something else, too – a warmer taste, like turmeric.
This reminds me of my parents’ house. If I added sugar and milk, it would be just like the tea they used to give me when I had a sore throat
Flavors: Black Pepper, Ginger, Spices
I kind of just let the teaball steeps in the water.
This. is NICE!!! There is a strong, sweet mint scent and flavor from this. It’s not a sharp mint, it’s very soft – reminds me just the slightest bit of Winterfresh gum without the minty kick. It’s like it’s reaching for that kick, but then pulls back at the last moment. Mmmmm……. sweet and spicy and absolutely delicious! Using my oversteeping method, at least (I say that like it’s on purpose), this is by far my favorite from Whispering Pines that I’ve tried so far. There is tulsi (holy basil) in this, which I’m extremely partial to (which might be the almost-mint I’m getting), so that might be a factor.
I think I might grab an extra packet of this now, in case it runs out.
Flavors: Mint, Sweet
This tea had a sweet flowery, grassy scent as I took it out of the bag, with the slightest hint of cocoa.
The scent I’m getting off of this is chocolate and hay. Or really, chocolate and malt. First sip is pretty much chocolate and malt. The malt still has a floweriness to it.
This is nice and mellow.
Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Malt
Bought a one ounce sample of this with my last order. It is quite good. There is some astringency, and their are notes of malt and what I would either describe as cocoa or dark chocolate, not sure which description is better. I am only western brewing this this morning but it is good nonetheless.
I steeped this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 2 min. I will probably rebrew the leaves in a little while.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt
Picked up some of this with my last order (which was spurred by the return of Art of Darkness!) This has beautiful leaves and tastes like sweet potato drizzled with honey. So yummy! It’s probably the first potato black tea that really tastes sweet potato-like to me…maybe because it’s sweet!
Oh man! This smells so sweet and gorgeous right out of the bag!
This smells a bit darker than I expected – heavier on the caramel and nuts, and lighter on the sweetness. My first sips match the scent, with a bit of plum added in. The more I drink, the more sweetness I get, along with a touch of bitterness, bridged with maltiness.
I like this tea, but I got thrown off a bit by the plum flavor.
Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Malt, Nutty, Plums, Sweet
Gosh golly gee whilikers, I think this is my favorite tea right now. I’ve had it a few times in the past day, and have savoured every sip. I need to try it next to the normal (smoked) version, to see which one I like more… although I think this was a short-term offering, as I don’t see it on the site.
The base is exquisite, and there’s still a smokiness to it, but it’s not like a lapsang. It’s more of a richness than smoke per say, and then there’s the marshmallow, chocolate bits…. gawd this is amazing.
Flavors: Campfire, Chocolate, Marshmallow
Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum. Wooooooo. So much nice woo.
This is great. I love it with a longer steep. It ’s smooth and a little sweet. I want more, immediately.
It steeps for a very long time. I started this AM, took a break, came back for more. Nice and relaxy. Perfect for when people are working your nerves!
Backlog from yesterday morning. I sampled it from the GCTTB4
This reminded me a lot of Golden Orchid – that lovely fudgy vanilla note. I oversteeped it a bit, though – 4 minutes instead of 3. It covered my tongue and was nice and thick, with no astringency. I did get a sweetness, which I guess was the candy cap mushroom, but it wasn’t that strong.
Good tea, but I know I won’t restock just because of the exchange rate between Canada and the US. I’d love to find a similar blend that would be more accessible.
I’ve had this tea three times now. It is tasty. There’s cocoa, but it’s not dominant, more subtle. There’s also some fruity notes, like cherry or plum. It’s incredibly smooth. I really enjoy it but have a hard time describing the notes. Maybe my tastebuds are messed up due to allergies. Anyway, I can safely say it’s good. Go get some! ;)
This was the first tea I have steeped over 10 times. I reached 11 steeps with this guy. However, steeps alone does not equate to excellence. The first few brews were a bit rough and had a musky taste I wasn’t a fan with but I was able to tell that it was going to get brewed out and allow the silky texture to show its taste.The texture, aroma, and the taste remind me a lot of the pu’er I bought in Tokorozawa.
Oversteeped it just a touch, but I think this is a lovely tea nonetheless. Rich, a tiny bit sweet, some smoke that isn’t lapsang souchong -y, more like smoked salmon or something along those lines. Smoked chestnuts? There’s a lot of complex layers to this one, and I’m loving all of them in different ways.
This is really good tea. It had a lot of fermentation flavor in the early steeps. It had a delicious thick tea soup early on, I think that you would use the word creamy. It was slightly bitter in the first two steeps but this did not linger. It was naturally sweet in nature and lasted quite well. I steeped it ten times with only a seven gram sample in a 125ml gaiwan so ten steeps is impressive considering that I’m sure I could get two more steeps out of the sample. I usually use 10g in this gaiwan but I like the way this gaiwan pours so the 125ml it was. I will definitely want to purchase at least one or more of these cakes. I think this might be worth a tong purchase.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 125ml gaiwan with 7g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, and 2 min.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Sweet
Whispering Pines just put out a limited batch of this new tea, and it’s already out of stock! I absolutely love his puerh and the last puerh blend he did with mushrooms, Mirkwood, was one of my faves! So, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one!
This puerh is flavored with cocoa and black cardamom. I’m not sure I’ve ever had black cardamom, although green is common in chai. I looked it up and Wikipedia said it has a smoky character, like camphor. Okay, that could definitely go well with puerh, since puerh can have camphor notes too.
I brewed it up western after shaking the bag vigorously, as recommended. It brewed up very dark. :) Verdict? I love it! It’s like drinking a dark chocolate bar that has cardamom in it. Thick, rich, and flavorful! Mmmm! I also steeped it a second time and it was almost as good as the first steeping. So good!
TheTeaFairy told me that it tasted like peppermint patties to her, and I can definitely see that. The black cardamom has a character that can be taken as minty…probably the camphor note.
Needless to say, I put myself on the notification list for when it’s back in stock. ;)