Whispering Pines Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
So my lastest order which included this tea took 18 days to get to me from order to arrival on my doorstep (and shipping was only 5 days of this timeframe!) which seems like a VERY LONG time, I mean, a box from Taiwan which was ordered on the same day as this arrived a week ago and it had a much longer journey to make!! I understand this tea is hand blended in small batches but I’m seriously impatient for tasty tea.
Unsurprisingly the wait was worth it! In the bag, this tea smells and looks like many of the other WP blends and it’s not until you take your first sips that you realize the difference… This has some powerful maple notes! The maltiness is very present as is a touch of cocoa and vanilla and it almost reminds me of Golden Orchid except for that intense woody maple flavor that really hits me front and center. It won’t replace Golden Orchid or Cocoa Amore in my cupboard (two of my favorite teas ever) but it has a welcome place as something I can grab when I feel something comforting but a little different.
Thank you Blodeuyn for this surprise tea present!
This is another win from this company! I open this small package and reveal small delicate ebony shards. These little sticks carry a strong roasted dark cacao scent. I imagine WuYi as a granite rocky cliff with silver and black peaks. This mysterious place is shrouded with mist and overcast causing a gray scale effect. I picture wind blowing massive trees clinging to the rocky cliff faces causing them to sway from side to side like a sailboat caught in a storm. I view the WuYi region like this because their teas are a hurricane of a brew. They consist of dark, mineral, roast, cold, and sharp tones. These teas always have a bold brew that is alike the earths crust. The small black twigs I recieved followed suit, except, they gave me a small surprise. This maroon liquor had a decadent dark chocolate palette. This dessert flavor followed me throughout my steeping. I washed these small leaves once and brewed gong fu. I acquired a deep chocolate tone every steep and the background of black grapes creeped up on me. This is a wonderful tea, and I’m so happy to be able to experience it.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Grapes, Mineral
Another tea from the lovely Dexter! :))))
I had not read anything about this tea, so when I opened the bag and smelled smoke, I was surprised. The dry leaf was very smoky and spicy, and I stood there thinking, “hmmm…not sure I’m going to like this…”…
But then I steeped it… and I’m sitting around a campfire right now, smelling graham, creamy marshmallow, chocolate (yes, I DO smell chocolate), and pine…. and it’s not just a tea, but an experience. I like what this is doing more than if it were just a sweet, s’mores tea…
I needed to be transported, as slushy snow is falling outside and I just want spring….
Sitting around a night fire is much more lovely meditation. :)
Thank you, Dexter!
Flavors: Campfire, Chocolate, Graham, Marshmallow, Pine, Spices
This is my first Whispering Pines blended tea. It’s a very well balanced blend of two black teas from notable Chinese regions: Fujian Xiao Zhong and Yunnan Dian Hong. Instead of writing a review about my first tasting, I’ve waited until after enjoying all 4 oz. of my initial C.M. order. So this initial review is also a sipdown and is thus based on many cups of this excellent tea.
I brewed it using the following Western brewing parameters:
2g / 3 min / 205F / 8 oz: A little lighter-bodied for my taste.
3g / 3 min / 205F / 8 oz: These parameters are how I brewed the majority of my 4 oz. stash. Amber colored. Definite Chocolate aroma that’s strong enough to be appreciated when standing at the kitchen counter! A smooth medium-bodied (but fuller-bodied than Laoshan Black) blended black tea. Flavor: chocolate, toasted rustic bread, honey, malt. There’s a definite fruity note (apricot?) with a marvelous creamy finish. Near the bottom of the now cooler cup, the malty flavor is a more pronounced and there is a cocoa aftertaste.
5-min. resteep: Still enjoyable but lighter-bodied than the original steep with a similar flavor profile. However, the chocolate is not as pronounced and the creamy finish is diminished. Some of the twice-brewed leaves are now fully open.
8-min. resteep: Light-amber color with minimal aroma. Light-bodied. I let it steep another two minutes.
10-min. resteep: Light to medium-amber with minimal aroma. Light to medium-bodied with a similar flavor profile to the 1st resteep. This cup is enjoyable but definitely not as much as the original steep. The 3x-brewed leaves are now fully open.
3g / 5 min / 205F / 8 oz: More full-bodied and very enjoyable. My cup was empty before I knew it. However, with a 5-min. steep, the malty flavor overwhelms the subtle fruity nuances, thus they’re not as apparent. There is a definite unsweetened cocoa aftertaste.
5-min. resteep: Light-bodied.
10-min. resteep: Light to medium-bodied. With a 5-min first steep, there is not too much left for a resteep.
2.6g (All the N.W. that was left!) / 5 min / 205F / 8 oz: Full-bodied and very enjoyable with a marvelous creamy finish to the sip. None of the flavors were overshadowed by a dominant flavor. My cup was empty before I knew it! I wish I had discovered these parameters sooner. To my taste buds, this is the full-bodied version of 3g / 3 min. There’s a less pronounced unsweetened cocoa aftertaste that persists on the tongue. There was zero bitterness or astringency. The once brewed leaves were now fully open.
I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor as opposed to natural unsweetened cocoa profile. Given my preferences, my two favorite Western brewing parameters to date were:
- 3g / 3 min / 205F / 8 oz.: Fuller-bodied than 2g and the fruity note (apricot?) was more apparent.
- 2.6g / 5 min / 205F / 8 oz.: Full-bodied with a less obvious cocoa aftertaste.
Impression: An excellent unflavored blended Chinese black tea especially for those who enjoy a wonderful chocolate aroma and flavor with a cocoa aftertaste. And who doesn’t like chocolate? : – ) !
Well done Brenden! Thanks also for your superb customer service!
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
Brewed western-style conveniently using a digital variable-temp electric kettle in a tempered tea mug with a brew basket:
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Creamy, Fruity, Honey, Malt
Of course when I’m sick I want to drink all the tea that I can’t even taste. This is my favorite go too. And I’m almost out!
I can’t comment on taste too much. Medicinal but in a comforting way? A bit fruity? I remember having it when not so congested and liking it. It’s defnitly better than the majority of cold/flu type teas on the market. It’s immensely soothing, especially with some honey and I really feel like my breathing is better.
Long steeps are best with this tea. The instructions say 5 for first steep but I go way over that.
The Cookie Lady included a generous sample of this tea in her HUGE swap package last week. I’ve loved the other things I’ve tried from Whispering Pines and I’m a huge Tolkien fan, so I was really excited to sample this one. However, I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting to. It’s certainly a high quality black tea blend with beautiful large twisted leaves and it’s good for multiple re-steeps, but it isn’t my favorite flavor profile for a black tea. I found it to be quite light and fruity with a touch of floral in the aftertaste. I’d certainly drink it again, but I don’t feel like I need this one in my cupboard.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Stonefruits
This tea is quite interesting. The first brewing had a nice woodsy taste to it and would be ideal to sip inside during the winter. The second brewing has that mild puckering taste that comes from the plum notes, which I picked up and my friend did not. This is one of the better black teas I have had thus far but there is still a desire to have a stronger aroma and taste to come out of steeping. I used about 5g of this tea and brewed it for about 5 minutes with water around 208-210 degrees. Overall it was an enjoyable tea to drink between steepings as the flavor changes but I still find myself with a somewhat of a dry taste after finishing cup even when the woodsy notes are gone which is an odd feeling.
A sample from the lovely Sil. Thank you!
4g in my 100ml pot of cuteness. Everything is a disaster because I just went for groceries and haven’t put them away, so no photos. :) (I found gluten free ravioli!!! I’m going to make baked ravioli lasagna mmm…)
Anyways. One rinse. One flash steep. It’s very earthy and mushroomy, but not quite in the damp pine forest way. I think I really prefer mushroom when it’s accompanied by pine or cedar or camphor…
This first steep also smells a little fishy. I drank it anyways.
Second steep is just pure mushroomy forest. Mmm. This is steeping up super dark as well.
Third steep is very similar to the second steep. A touch of freshness now at the end of the sip – camphor? Mint? IDK. But I’m liking it more and more.
I’m really enjoying this, although I’m not sure I’d buy more. I know they have a shipping deal, but the dollar is just SO bad right now. :/
I will update with how many steeps I got.
Amazing. I’m used to black teas from India or Nepal so this one was a surprise. It’s tasty and complex. The sweet flavour is really complemented with some rock sugar (and even milk, why not?). I think I’ll need to buy more of it because the pouch I got is so tiny… I was not overwhelmed by the Jabberwocky but this one is a win!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt
Another hit from Whispering Pines. This tea has depth. Honey, malty bread, cocoa and a mild earthiness. It’s very forgiving as well. I accidentally brewed the first steep for almost 5 minutes. My cup was still smooth and delicious with no signs of bitterness or astringency.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Wet Earth
This was one glorious week of tea: received my Republic of Tea order on Monday and my Whispering Pine Teas order today, right on time for breakfast. I was a little puzzled by the fact that most of their teas are constantly out of stock but I guess it’s a good sign? And they sell small quantities which is perfect for me considering I always have a hard time finishing all the teas I order…
I’m not really used to Chinese black teas so this is going to be interesting. The Jabberwocky has a very comforting smell. Muscatel and warm bread. I can see myself drinking this for breakfast with French baguette and jams :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Muscatel
Really good tea, one of my favorites of the Whspering Pines samples I got. Chocalate, malt, baked bread. Just to keep tabs on my drinking, I’m gonna need more of this, as well as some of the Golden Snail and Yunnan Gold Tips. They’re all fantastic black teas. I like this one far better than Laoshan Black, but in fairness to Verdant Tea, I had a cold the day I drank that sample and probably missed the complexity others noticed. I’m also pretty sure I under-leafed on that one. All in all, a really really good tea. No complaints. I am on the first steep, and others complain that it doesn’t resteep well. That’s disappointing, but not a dealbreaker or something I always expect of black teas. I continue to pick up peanut notes in many of these teas, but I seem to be the only one.
Edit: Brewed this Western style and the second steep is quite good. I did 3 minutes on the first, then 6. I probably could’ve done 2 and then 4 instead. It definitely has a lot of flavor left. So I don’t agree that this doesn’t work for resteeping. So far it’s working quite well.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted nuts
from the Sheng and Shou TTB
I did not follow the directions from the website. I didn’t even think to look until after I was almost done with this tea. I went for short and sweet.
It’s got nice flavor. I enjoyed it. It just didn’t last nearly as long as I would have hoped it would. Oh well.
I also apparently didn’t like this as much as everyone else reviewing it did. It was nice, but I’ve had way better shou.
This tea is one of the best I’ve ever tried. I’m not exactly an expert on tea but I know quality when I taste it and this is quality. The smell upon steeping, heavenly. Almost like a baking cake with vanilla and chocolate notes. The taste is malty, raisins, with a hint of chocolate undertone. 3 steeps and each one was wonderful.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Raisins
It’s a good tea. I made it in my gaiwan as god intended. I’ve had a few different da hong paos at this point, and this is definitely the best one. Still, I don’t really think da hong pao has my favorite type of flavor profile. The roasted barley flavor is a bit too much for me. More natural sweetness would balance this out a bit, but I don’t really detect it as others do. I know this is a good one, but I think I’m done trying to like da hong pao. I have a few remaining samples of it that I’ll try, but after that… I don’t dislike it. I just don’t really need it in my life.
Edit: You know, as I drink more infusions of this, I realize that it’s not the barley I dislike, but the oak. I don’t care for oak in my wine or tea, as it turns out. I think that’s what I don’t really like about da hong pao, so if I could find one with no oakiness…
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This was the most festive tea I had, so I served it up in my antique cream white and green teacups, a la a Irish breakfast.
I may have underleafed here, because the flavor was lacking. It was thinner in body than I had hoped, and there was not much to it. Maybe some wildflower honey and bread crusts? But all very subdued.
Sigh. I will have to try this again at elevensies.
Thank you blodeuyn for this perfect sample!
I heard about Port from various tea friends and was intrigued by the name. I then saw that the company had named this its “greatest achievement”, so I knew I needed it in my life, hahah. Luckily, a tea friend came to my rescue, again, and I was able to indulge in this discovery.
This is truly the most unique blend I’ve ever had. I peer through my package at the strange assortment of leaves. I can spot long ceder with creeping black tendrils surrounding it. Then, scattered about this smokey mixture are small wisps of fiery saffron. I opened my small pouch to inhale. I am tantalized with an array of scents. It reminds me of this old italian shoppe my father used to take me to when I was younger. I remember in the back room there were large wooden casks filled with wine and various liquor. The room had an enticing erie scent. I used to just stand back there to inhale the soft wooden aroma. I remember there being a light leather scent in the background. I class this aroma as pure ethnic. I am already flooded with memories and can’t wait to brew. I pour my steaming spring water over these dry leaves and it hit with a slight sizzle. I can describe the scent as if one of the casks in the back room of that italian shoppe had burst open. My tea room was flooded with a deep cedar smell covered by brandy and wine. It had a slight undertone of a robust vanilla. The liquor was a golden brown with a tinge of crimson. I took a sip of this aromatic beverage and was greeted with a smooth wood tone and hearty vanilla. It calmed my tongue and left me with an eucalyptus feel. I drank heartly and whisked my mind away back to that italian shoppe. My favorite attribute of good tea is its ability to let you travel. I enjoy being able to travel across the globe without even leaving my tea room. I’m not sure if others do this, but I do. This is another superb blend by this company! I’m very happy I was able to experience it.
Flavors: Brandy, Cedar, Leather, Smooth, Vanilla
I adore this tea. I was gonna write something poetic and gorgeous, but if you take everything that TheTeaFairy said and add everything that MzPriss said, and then multiplied it times Pi, because it’s Pi Day, then you would have my feelings on this tea.
Oh, and it’s fruity. Like very juicy fruits. I super dig it!
Love mob, coming through!