Whispering Pines Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

I received a sample of this tea from The Cookie Lady. I haven’t yet tried anything from Whispering Pines Tea Company, but I’ve been wanting to, so I was excited about trying this tea as well as the Mountain Nectar tea that I received. I like the flavor of this tea, though I doubt I could easily describe it. It’s complex, and both fruity and toasty. I wouldn’t say it’s very bitter. I’ve tried a few teas described as tasting like plum, so based on similarity, I could say that it does taste like plum – or at least it has a comparable taste to other teas that are described as tasting like plum… All I know is that I like it, and find it more agreeable than some of my other black teas. I’m steeping the tea a second time, but I knew I liked the tea the first time I drank it. I need to buy Whispering Pines teas, so I think I’ll put this on my shopping list.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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After yesterday’s debacle involving Jabberwocky tasting like pretzel dough, I decided to brew this up using filtered water. I do think it’s made a difference, but how much I can’t tell….

The smell when this first brewed up was definitely sweet potato with a bit of malt/honey. The taste was very similar, but I wanted to let it cool down a bit.

Now that it’s cooler, a new variety of flavours are coming out. I can smell honey, but I also think I taste a bit of plum along side the smooth maltiness.

I’m not getting caramel the way others have, but that’s fine. Glad I got to try a bit of this!

This was originally a swap from Ost. I had half, and am saving the remainder to send off to Variatea so this is technically a sipdown.

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87

This is a fairly tasty white tea with notes of honeysuckle, as well as floral notes. It is fairly sweet for a white tea. It is good a worth a try. I only bought a one ounce sample and will probably not end up buying more, not because it isn’t worth buying, but because I already have way too much tea.

I brewed this one time in an 18oz teapot with 185 degree water and 4 tsp leaf for 3 min.

Flavors: Floral, Honeysuckle

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
mrmopar

Don’t we all…..

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87

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Picked this one tonight because it is caffeine free, I’m not actually sick. This is an interesting tea, tasting strongly of ginger and spices as well as honey. I added honey so I am not sure how much of what I taste is the tea. The spices give it a zesty flavor.

I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 5 min.

Flavors: Ginger

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
AllanK

I didn’t give this a rating because I don’t know what to compare it too, it is good.

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70

I have to admit that I am a bigger fan of the old version of this blend. This version is more minty/smokey where the old version had the mint/lemongrass/tea flavor that I liked so much. This version is also much heavier which wasn’t what I was looking for in this tea.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm…you sure you have the new version? There’s no lapsang in the new one and the spearmint was halved.

Veronica

I know it’s the new version. Maybe I contaminated it by keeping the bag of Foxfire Chai next to it?

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm…don’t think so, as the bags are air/smell proof. That’s really interesting though. The old version was 20% lapsang by weight and the rest was a keemun that I discontinued because it was too heavy for the blend. Hmm…who knows?!

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I’m beginning to think there’s something wrong with the water in my house, or with the kettle I’m using. I keep on getting this sort of savoury, alkaline taste with my black teas that I’m not too fond of – think of the flavour of the outside of a pretzel.

It showed up when I drank this tea, which was not what I was expecting. The tea smelled lovely upon first steep – I could definitely get the chocolate and menthol notes that people had mentioned. But the flavour was relatively underwhelming. Sad. :(

This was a swap I got from Ost – I’ll be sending the rest along to VariaTEA soon.

Kittenna

Entirely possible that it’s the water or kettle. I use Brita filtered water, and notice a difference when I use unfiltered.

darby

Did it start recently? I’d think the kettle if so, but you never know if your regions water changed.

Ost

Oh that’s so weird….I’m sorry it wasn’t good! :(

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98

Oh wow. This tea just stopped me in my tracks, after just one sip, and made me sit, for the few minutes that it took me to finish the cup (yes, piping hot and I just couldn’t stop drinking it) and just give in to the joy that came with every sip. That has only happened to me with two other teas. Verdant’s Laoshan black, and Teaspring Tan Yang. And now Jabberworcky. Also, I normally drink unflavored black tea with a touch of milk. Not so this tea. It just feels like that would be doing this tea a disservice, as it deserves being center stage with my full attention.

This is from my first Whispering Pines order and I must say so far I’m really impressed.

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

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99

They say that the date 12/13/14 is a lucky number. Well it is for me. While I am still grieving over the loss of my cat Pandora, tonight I am celebrating. For over a year I have been involved in a legal dispute with the insurance company for my employer. I have been suing over occupational asthma. Over a year ago I won my initial case. The slimebags, represented by slimebags, appealed the case. While the case was in appeals they paid none of my medical bills. Today I got a letter in the mail saying the case had been decided in my favor. The insurance company has lost their appeal. Hopefully they will not appeal again. In any case, today I celebrate with the best tea I have enjoyed in ages.

This tea is sweet with a mild amount of fermentation flavor. It is incredibly delicious. I would venture to say notes of chocolate and berries. Dark chocolate in the early steeps, berries in the later steeps. This is the best tea I have had in ages, on par with the best shou I have enjoyed.

I steeped this eight times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 8.6g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, and 4 min. Judging by the strength of the eighth steep I would say that there were 2 to 4 more steeps in this tea. I hope he doesn’t run out of this soon, because I want to buy more. It is not cheap but it is worth it.

Flavors: Berries, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 7 OZ / 207 ML
MzPriss

I need to bust into one of mine. I do think $18 for a 100 gram cake is reasonable for a good tea though

Whispering Pines Tea Company

So glad you enjoyed this! There’s 5 more cakes available now and 270 more arriving in Feb/March :-)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

And congrats on winning your case!

MzPriss

Yes! Congrats! Im drinking this now

cookies

Oh, looks like another WP shou I need to order.
Congrats on your case. Insurance companies are absolutely awful.

AllanK

I just hope they don’t appeal again. Hopefully the insurance company will realize it is cheaper to pay me than to keep paying the lawyers. Plus, hopefully by now they realize they have no case.

caile

Yay – that’s great news about winning the case!

AllanK

How many cakes are in a tong? I might be interested in a tong when you get the 270 cakes in stock.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

There’s 10 cakes in a tong, and i do a 15% discount on a tong :-)

Anlina

Congrats!

AllanK

Now I just hope that the slimebag insurance company does not appeal. They had no case before and would have no case again. Hopefully they realize they have no legal case and don’t want to spend thousands.

TheTeaFairy

Congrats Allan…

And I’m glad you liked the cake, I do too!!

TeaBrat

Sounds like good news! Do they also have to pay your attorney’s fees?

AllanK

I don’t pay the attorney unless I win, then he takes 15% of any award. If they keep appealing and this goes to the NYS Court of Appeals I may have to pay an attorney.

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100

OMG I love Rivendell. I really loved it before. I loved it so much it was taking me forever to figure out how to write about it. And what did The Hobbit do? He went and made it BETTER with the anxi ben shan oolong base. This one of the very, very few teas I rate at 100. I require this tea.

It is ethereally beautiful – green, creamy, floral-fruity.

I love it so much I gave it TWO songs on my blog:

https://atasteofmzpriss.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/rivendell-whispering-pines-tea-company/

Flavors: Flowers, Green, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML
Nightshifter

Sounds fantastic! It’s been out of stock with my last two orders.. maybe next time!

MzPriss

You need it.

Veronica

It’s out of stock every time I’m making an order, too. Someday…. :)

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Continuing on with older samples! This one came from Mikumofu. What a unique and cute tea! It’s made up of little white tea buds (literal buds, with their protective outer layer and everything). They don’t have much of a scent while dry. I used the whole sample in my 8 ounce cup after looking at the suggestion of 1 T on the website.

It smells very herbal and reminds me of sheng in a way. The taste is actually quite musty, which I did not expect (almost like raspberry leaf or something). It’s a very herbal flavor. I can also taste some of the pine and rosemary notes mentioned in the description. The liquor feels quite thick in the mouth, although I wouldn’t necessarily call it smooth, as it leaves my mouth feeling a bit fuzzy. There’s a definite sweet aftertaste, similar to honeysuckle nectar. Overall, this is strange and it’s not something that I’d drink, but I’m glad I got to try it.

Flavors: Hay, Herbs, Honeysuckle, Musty, Pine, Sweet, Thick

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

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95

Breaking a puerh cake is always exciting…breaking one from the first series of cakes in the history of Whispering Pines is beyond exciting!!!

Yes, Huron Gold is the first cake pressed under the Great Lakes Label, awesome concept from WP.

First, those little 100g goodies were filled with love and it shows. Brenden the owner made sure we would notice. They come in those very practical and cute rustic envelopes, made of 100% recycled brown paper, perfect for storage, allowing proper breathability. How cool is that? Very innovative.

The cake’s artwork is beautiful…a map of the five Great Lakes.

Love the golden color of the dry leaf. Smells almost like sweet caramel. The pressing is pretty loose, making it very easy to break into.

The taste is remarkably smooth and silky. No sign of heavy earthiness or leather here.

Think light moss with rich cocoa notes.

There’s a faint sweetness to it, reminiscent of ripe figs. It feels syrupy and round in the mouth.

It’s very accessible and mellow. It provides a nice warming feeling, it’s such a cozy tea.

Another excellent product from WP. No wonder I’m such a fan, they never disappoint me!

And I’m so happy I got two of those babies :-)

Pics:

http://instagram.com/p/whmkn1whxx/

http://instagram.com/p/whnWt-Qhy9/

http://instagram.com/p/whsI7swh5q/

Veronica

Talk about craftsmanship… it looks beautiful. Sounds like it taste beautiful, too!

MissLena

I need to try some of WP’s pu’erhs! Haha if I can ever get my cupboard to a manageable level…this is on the list!

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95

This is a very tasty tea and just the sort of tea I needed after the passing of my cat. I hope my apartment complex management lets me get another cat. They allowed Pandora fifteen years ago. In this tea I get the notes of chocolate and stonefruits and of course the vanilla. Also in the steepster description are caramel, graham cracker, and toasted rice. These also seem to be there but less so. There is also a bit of malt. Malt can be a flavor that I don’t like in tea but here it is mild.

I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 3 min.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Graham, Stonefruits, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
boychik

So glad you like it Allan. Welcome to the club of lovers of GO !

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Okay, I have to say I’m a fan of Whispering Pines’ Shou offerings. This is my kinda shou! Like the Ontario Shou, this one is dark and syrup-like. Very smooth. The flavor here is less sweet, more mellow earthy. Yum yum yum. Glad to have both shous in my cupboard!!

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I think I messed up my parameters on this one. I was really excited to try it as I love a good chai. The dry leaf smelled like vanilla chai. Yum! I steeped it for 3 minutes and added a little sugar and a splash of almond milk. Unfortunately, I think the milk muted the base tea. So, I did a second steep without milk and found it tasted more balanced, but I still think I under leafed it. Hmmm. Soooo, next time, I’m going to add more leaf and skip the milk. The spices are delicious, though. Very spicy and nicely balanced. I just want that base tea to come through more. I also got a buttery taste which was interesting. I’ll reserve final judgement until next time!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I definitely recommend this one without milk or sugar :-) give it a try straight with the directions on the bag. There is much balance in this blend ;-)

boychik

i tried it both ways and i really like it without milk but tiny touch of maple syrup, just a drop

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ohh that sounds good boychik!

Cameron B.

Ohhhh boychik, queen of the maple syrup. :D

boychik

Cameron, i also like condensed milk ;D what i like abt maple it doesnt change completely, doesnt make sickly sweet. but you know me, i can drink without anything pu, Lapsang Sauchong, spicy teas.

Tealizzy

@boychik – I’ll have to try that! It’s weird for me to not put milk in chai, but I think i could get used to it.

boychik

Tealizzy, do you normally put milk in Chinese black tea? I don’t . I tried first this tea with milk and sugar like any other chai. Milk muted the base.

Tealizzy

boychik- I have to admit that I do add milk unless I’m steeping it gongfu-style. I usually only add a little splash. ☺️

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I brought this adorable little bag of loose Puerh with me when I recently returned to Oxford for a talk, along with my Gaiwan and little tea cups. I then ended up having to stay up horribly late to finish a self-study assignment that I’d kinda neglected…

With that in mind, I wanted something energising and dark and thought this Puerh would fit the bill. However, without any way to measure it and any Gong-Fu instructions for it to hand, I had to do a bit of guesswork and definitely guessed wrong. I overleafed this spectacularly. A 2-3" infusion produced tea that was a black as fresh coffee and probably a little stronger :P

It was really smooth, though – just like a delicious, dark-roasted, full-bodied coffee. It was so strong, though, that it hurt my tummy a little… XD

Still, given the promising flavour of the tea (it really was delicious, extreme strength aside), I think I’ll rebrew it according to Brenden’s written instructions in a mug at some point and write a proper review XD And maybe I’ll do a milder Gong-Fu session using the instructions I had for the Canton Tea Co “White Dragon” loose Puerh, which was similarly tippy and delicious looking!

Definitely nothing wrong with this tea, as far as I could tell. Hopefully a proper brew will leave me as impressed as I certainly wanted to be!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hey Red! Just so you know, there’s gong-fu directions for each of my teas on the website. Unfortunately I can’t fit it all on the bags :-( Here’s a link: http://whisperingpinestea.com/2012-huron-gold-needle.html#product_tabs_Brewing

Red Fennekin

Awh, thanks! :D The problem I had was that I didn’t really have any good internet access… Still, thanks for the info and I’ll deffo brew it carefully, as per your instructions next time! :D

(Like I said in the review, I have no doubt this is wonderful tea! I’m totally to blame for just guessing and getting it so horribly wrong XD)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Oh, no worries! I’m looking into trying to find a way to let customers know about all of the extra info available online without having to print little flyers for each box (i try to keep paper use minimal). Will probably put a little note that pops up on the order confirmation page :-)

Red Fennekin

Heh, I definitely can’t fault you for cutting down paper usage! :-) I’ll deffo re-try this Puerh properly some time during this week – I’ll be sure to actually follow the instructions this time XD Thanks Brenden!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Looking forward to hearing results! :-)

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Dark, thick, smooth, vanilla, caramel, cocoa yummy-ness!!!

When I got home late last night and I opened this, I had a feeling it was going to be great. It smelled so good! Well, it tastes amazing too! Uh oh, this is bad for my tea budget! ;)

Nightshifter

Oh I’m so excited I decided to give this a try! My last puerh experience was not a good one (from David’s).

Tealizzy

Excited to see your note! And ya, David’s is not so good for puerh!

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So I’m finally trying this. I guess I can see why Sil didn’t like it. Very jasmine. So floral. Wow.

Also kinda resiny (almost minty). And grassy.

This is really neat. I think I like it a lot. Not something I’d need all the time, but the flavours are super unique and it’s a nice change from the black teas I tend to prefer.

Thanks so much, Sil!

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100

So how do you even describe what the sky tastes like?

Well if I had to, I’d say it tastes just like Autumn Jade Tieguanyin… New tea from WP!!!

Yes, this tea is heavenly good.

The greenest of the greens, it wears its name really well.

The taste is pure and ethereal…

Feels like a light fluffy cloud in the mouth.

Sweet and delicate with a buttery mouthfeel.

It’s floral, lilac lovers you will love this!

The smell is intoxicating…

Imagine being in one of China’s most luxuriant garden in the springtime. Never been to China, but that’s how I imagine it would smell like.

I get a hint of spice that translates as nutmeg for me. I often get that from good quality green high mountain oolongs. There’s a minty fresh finish to the sip that just makes my mouth feels so clean.

This tea will give you angel breath!

I highly recommend it to all green oolong lovers…

I’m still floating on my oolong cloud after 6 excellent steeps. Get this. It has all the noms you need.

Here’s some pics:

http://instagram.com/p/wP5k11Qh3n/

http://instagram.com/p/wQAfcKQhx3/

Ost

This sounds…so incredible. Just amazing. Man, I gotta try it sometime! I’ve been on an oolong kick lately :P

Mikumofu

what a beautiful review, I find that really good Tieguanyins remind me of springtime in China (where I have been) as well!

Fjellrev

Wow, the colour of that tea alone is magnificent.

looseTman

Another WP-inspired poetic review – Well done TheTeaFairy!

Krystal

Ooh sounds delicious! May have to try this sometime

TheTeaFairy

@Ost: oolongs kicks rock!!

@Fjellrev: yes, it’s good AND beautiful :-)

@Mikumofo: thank you so much, I’m so happy you agree with me ;-)

@looseTman: Thank you for such nice words :-)

@Krystal: You can try in confidence, it’s a great tea!

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93

I snagged this one from the last round of the ’Here’s Hoping’ teabox. I had pumpkin pie for breakfast and I really think CHAI goes with pumpkin pie. This particular blend contains the golden snails that I tried before: a light sweet potato flavor. Not the deepest darkest chai, but sometimes it’s nice for a change. I love the mix of spices in this one and it’s the perfect balance. Sweet potato base with just the right spices. I like that this one has the vanilla beans (the occasional crunch in my teeth) and also the holy basil to give it a little bit of a vegetal flavor. The second steep was just as spicy. This one is very good… it would be my choice for a lighter base chai, but I think I’d usually go for a brisk chai.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5min

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