Whispering Pines Tea Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
There is so much fudge here.. I’ll never have to buy fudge again. This tea is my new, regret-free, fudge, that doesn’t make me feel violently ill after consuming too much of it (yay).
Golden Orchid has quite a few similarities to North Winds, such as the delicious stonefruit and cocoa honey notes, but the additional vanilla makes this tea it’s own individual entity (aka-fudge). There’s some waffle cone malt too. My only hold up is that it doesn’t have the multi-steep prowess that North Winds demonstrated, although it’s still adequate.
Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Stonefruits, Vanilla
This is one of my favs, Brenden use to sell it back before the new site update.
I bought up a bunch of it because I liked it so much hopefully I won’t run out anytime soon but if I do maybe I can get some more.
It bews up nice and dark and it tastes roasty toasty and sweet with some slight fruity notes, very yummy :)
A great rainy day tea :) I love these type Oolongs on a rainy day.
Flavors: Fruity, Roasted, Toasty
I wish I had the fairy powers (and the money), to travel all around and drop a sample of this marvel of tea in each of your mailboxes, Steepster friends…
Sweet goodness coming from what seems to be a Vanilla Tee Tree.
It’s just blissful in my newly seasoned VANILLA DREAMS yixing clay pot.
Upping the rating, it’s just perfection!
(See previous note for more details)
I had two steeps of this earlier this afternoon.
I really really enjoyed both of them.
This tea is smooth and chocolatey with a nice thick mouthfeel.
Did I mention cocoa?
It would be impossible to not have a good afternoon when you are drinking this tea.
It’s one of those “Serenity now” in a cup types of teas.
This was the sample included with my first order from WP! Thank you!
This is a lovely oolong! This turned out very light for as dark and twisty as the leaves are. I drank WP Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Oolong 2 nights ago and I believe in comparison this tea doesn’t have as much citrusy/fruity tang to it. It is more a roasty nutty flavor. This is more comforting while the Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Oolong has a little more flare. This isn’t the dark, dark side of oolongs, but there is a hint of roast that says hey I am not a green oolong. They are both wonderful and I will definitely reorder this one at some point. Thanks again for the sample and the opportunity to try this one.
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #12
Another tea with just a little left in the teabox so I steeped another not-full mug. I love these types of white teas. The flavor notes sound DIVINE. The highest quality white tea can become a favorite, even if you don’t think you will like a white tea at all. Just give the best ones a try! Obviously a white tea from Whispering Pines would be delicious. The leaves are different colors, different textures. None of the usual fuzzy nonsense here… somehow this one is super creamy, tiny hints of sweet citrus… it’s almost like a lemon cream cake. Definitely one of my favorite white teas, right next to Verdant’s Bai Mu Dan which also happens to be in this teabox. The second steep was a little disappointing, but I left the leaves for 24 hours a probably steeped it wrong. The flavor just wasn’t nice on that cup. I remember Verdant’s Bai Mu Dan’s second steep was even more flavorful than the first and just creamy lemon…so distinct I remember it months later, so I guess I liked that one more. This one is in a nice metallic pouch, so I don’t think it’s due to road weariness.
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // ??
This is one of those teas that when I have, I want to smack old me on the head. For some reason I used to avoid unflavored black teas like the plague. I guess I assumed all black tea tasted like McDonalds sweet iced tea (which, as much as saying so might get me stoned by the cult following said tea has down here, I can’t stand).
Thankfully, and to my total surprise, straight black teas can actually be good! Especially this tea. I get a great amount of cocoa out of this tea. Cocoa and caramel are the two strongest notes I get. I’ve never had caramelized plum (sounds divine) I can imagine that the dark, tantalizing, fruity undertone that I’m getting here is just that.
Absolutely amazing, this tea is a symbol for everything I was missing when I was shunning black teas.
This sample is courtesy of MzPriss. Thank you!
I can’t believe you shared this one with me:) This is such a special tea. I will be honest, I was really scared to try it for fear of the price point and the hype. I finally caved today. This is all it is cracked up to be. This tea brings me back to all of my favorite back packing trips, staring at stars around the fire in places that make you feel so small. I can’t really explain the flavor. There is a lot going on here. Black base, sweet, vanilla, cold figure tips and chilled nose. Opps, I am letting my memories slip into my taste buds. This is really good and it has brought a smile to my face this evening! Thank you MzPriss for this special treat.
I have been excited to try this since my favorite Teacret Agents: TheTeaFairy and MzPriss, posted their reviews from the samples they received. So here we go…
Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 200 degrees, 3 minutes, brew-in-mug strainer & Dr. Who mug
Dry Leaf Aroma: I do not work for WP and I am telling you the honest to goodness truth – this smells EXACTLY like those gooey chocolate covered cherry candies, specifically the ones with the cherry surrounded by cherry goo and vanilla goo, then covered in chocolate. I brought the bag of tea into the living room, and I’m sitting on the couch, opening it and smelling the tea, then closing it to let the aromas accumulate again, then sniffing. It’s like a cherry-vanilla-chocolate heaven.
Brewing Aroma: Oddly, this just smells like tea, with a light creamy note. I don’t smell cherry. I start to get a little sad.
Flavor: I take a sip. Tastes like black tea, with a lovely sweetness, but WHERE’S THE CH…
Ooohhh. There you are, sneaky monkey. The cherry is hiding on the end of the sip, and it’s not on every single sip. However; when it’s there, it’s just lovely.
I have a feeling that this one may even get better with a little age. I have about 8000 lbs of pu’erh to keep me busy for awhile, so I’d like to try not to drink this, let it sit just a couple weeks, then see what’s what.
Even though I know this isn’t scented or flavored with cherry, my mind doesn’t seem willing to believe it. What tea magic is this??? :)
Any references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass make me happy. Partly, the reason is I’ve learned some of my English in their company. Crazy, right? The riddles and the unintelligible language just had me fascinated. I had both the French and English versions and used to read both at the same time to understand. Well at least try to understand. This quote was tailor made for me:
“Speak in French when you can’t think of the English for a thing – turn your toes out when you walk – And remember who you are!”
How could I not fall in love with this magical world?
I find also that magic in the tea blends concocted by our Tea Whiz Of The Woods (aka Brenden of Whispering Pines) or better yet, tea hobbit Brendenol PinePeaker as MzPriss affectionately calls him.
I think his teas have put a spell on me, cause every time I am sent a new sample to evaluate, I keep thinking, how could it be better than the previous one? I mean, I can’t go higher than 100 on that rating scale anyways!
HoneyBelle (aka MzPriss) and I did our tastings simultaneously, like we always do.
First thing to notice is it has in its base two of my favourite black teas: Fujian Black and beloved Ailaoshan Black. At the first sip, I went, whoa!!! This is good.
But what’s that fresh menthol taste that feels like a light winter breeze?
I am told it comes from a high-mountain wild picked purple leaf tea. Same as in my “Gold” tea PORT!
The taste opens with subtle floral notes and quickly transforms into a honeyed creme caramel mouthfeel, I call that feeling “pudding mouth”. It’s thick and coats the entire mouth.
This tea is so smooth and sweet, it will take any steeping abuse. (I tested it!) There also a certain saltiness to be found, a bit like honey crackers if you’ve ever had one.
The smell is out of this world, fresh baked crusty bread.
But what really gets me to the core, is that complex morphing eucalyptus ending. It provides such a warming feeling…a great tea that opens your mind the way a good Sheng does.
Hard to explain how special this is…
If Alice was drinking this Jabberwocky, she’d say the same thing she said after reading the poem:
«Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate.»
Well this tea fills my own head with beautiful things….Then who killed what you may ask?
This Jabberwocky… yes, this tea nearly killed me: that’s clear, at a hundred rate :-)
Somewhere out in the Wild Piney Woods dwells a Tea Hobbit, Brendenol PinePeaker. He spends his days in his wild piney woods collecting pine needles to roast, picking mushrooms and dreaming up dreamy teas.
One recent morning, he chortled to himself as he mixed:
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
I was chortling the same thing as I sipped this tea. The very first thing you notice as you sip is the sweetness. The honey-nectary sweetness rolls around with the warm bready bottom while a wee bit of minty freshness breezes through at the end. The sweet fruity-floral to me is very slightly reminiscent of that bug-bitten/Oriental Beauty sort of flavor. My beloved malt makes an appearance to keep everything reassuringly grounded.
The Lovely Tea Fairy (LTF) and I were given this tea to preview. As is usual for our first try, we followed the steeping instructions Brenden provided to the letter: ½ tablespoon of tea to 8 ounces of 205 degree water , steeped for 3 minutes – no more, no less. LTF and I are both what I call “heapers and steepers” in that we generally use more tea than called for and we frequently steep for a longer bit of time. We agreed Brenden’s parameters for this were perfect. On the first sip, the following conversation ensued:
LTF: “Oh crap, not another one.”
I don’t know how The Tea Whiz of the Woods keeps dreaming up these amazing teas that demand a permanent place in my cupboard. But he does. When he says he is a Tea Mixologist, he speaks the truth.
I know the base of Jabberwocky is Fujian Black and I know some of the high mountain wild picked purple leaf tea that is in Port is in there as well. This is not a big chocolate fudge bomb – there might be a very light waft of chocolate here and there, but you don’t immediately think chocolate. This is a medium bodied tea that will serve multiple purposes for me – a sweet comfort after a hard work day, a sprightly little wake up or a nice afternoon treat. This could easily be a daily drinker.
As I write this, I’m sipping on my last little bit, but I know I have more on the way (maybe even today or tomorrow) so I’m not sad, but I am savoring every mouthful, rolling it around my tongue and inhaling the malty-sweet updraft and enjoying that fresh little breeze at the end. It makes me hear this:
And because I think everyone should read The Jabberwocky as often as possible:
This tea? ‘Tis brillig.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Eucalyptus, Honey, Malt
Sooo…some awesome person that may be the creator of this fabulous tea has suggested the idea of a pot devoted to the VANILLA DREAMS family of tea. My own family of VD teas consists of GO, PORT, ELDERWOOD, and soon to be received COCOA AMORE. (Not counting new EL DORADO cause it’s a chai).
Since all those teas are blended with hand-cut vanilla beans, I can only imagine what kind of flavour this will be rendering later.
I started the seasoning process very late last night, and kind of fell asleep during the soaking part. Oops. Does that mean that my pot bathed in awesomeness all night long?
Hell yeah! Now, that cannot be a bad thing…
Well, let me tell you I am drinking GO right now Gongfu style for the first time and it is just dreamy….Awwwww this is soooo gooood!!!
It’s a lot more concentrated this way, and the vanilla seems a little boozy somehow, hard to explain. Probably the minerals from the pot has to do with that.
It maltier this way, also fruitier and more fudgy. All the flavours are so condensed and smooth.
This will turn into a serious addiction, I can tell. Oh my.
Great idea Brenden, and this will make me drink even more of your tea, if that’s possible!!
This is from my WP sample pack. This got left off the purchase list this time around but only because I see myself drinking this more in the fall and winter instead of the summer. This is my last cup of this tea and it is putting me in tea heaven. A warm cup on this polar vortex summer day. It dipped down to high 50’s in July! Bring on the cold. RAGBRAI is next week and cycling and camping in cool summer days would be a dream!!! Amway, back to the tea. This is my 3rd time with this tea and I think I finally got it right. I steeped it a tad longer than suggested and added a bit more leaf. It is nutty, it is has that roasty, citrusy tang that I really like in some oolongs. It is slightly sweet and oh so yummy. Definitely needs to be on the next order.
So…our little Snaily has a new playground: spice!
Chai lovers of this world, this is something to try.
I like that this is pretty traditional and not too over the top. Chai blends are often too busy or not enough. This one is an excellent example a true balance.
But there are many other decent chai blends out there…
What makes this one special?Vanilla beans and Golden Snail.
The naturally creamy base tea paired with the vanilla bean soften greatly all those spices. They are usually bitter when you don’t add milk or sugar. But here, you end up with a dessert-like cup of spicy honeyed goodness, without having to add anything.
And the beauty of this blend is that I can taste all the spices…ginger, cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Add to that the buttery taste of the base tea, and you have something reminiscent of grandma’s apple pie.
Today, we had thundershowers all day. Grey sky, cool temperature. Thought it was the perfect day to try this for the first time.
But the next time I have it will be on a hot day, cold brewed in almond milk with a little maple syrup…mmmm.
I had Golden Orchid yesterday evening, and this morning I had the base tea for GO! North Winds is unmistakably the base blend but it lacks the smoothness and the creaminess of GO. (Those vanilla beans make a huge difference.) It has notes of cocoa, honey, fruits, chocolate, and grain. It’s chocolate but it’s not a DARK chocolate. The fruity notes are simultaneously like plums, cherries, and raisins, but then it’s not quite any of them. There’s a hay-like flavor as well. Some caramel sweetness peeks out in the aftertaste, but it’s subtle. I want to say there’s a somewhat mineral quality to it, too. Maybe I’m crazy!
Now that I’ve had the two, I think the main differences between GO and NW are texture and sweetness. While GO is like satin and velvet—soft fabrics—NW is like freshly sawn wood. It’s soft, but there’s a graininess to it. GO = glossy. NW = matte. I hope that makes some sense.
I hate to compare the two because they are not the same. They are teas for different occasions. (At least for me.) North Winds is for mornings; Golden Orchid is for evenings, a time where you can devote your attention to something luxurious. I now have a greater appreciation for the latter.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Plums, Raisins
I love mint chocolate chip. I usually love anything that tastes like that. But this tea…I don’t know. It definitely tastes like mint chocolate chip, but the mint really got me in this tea. Maybe I’m beginning not to like mint in teas? I’m not really sure now. 0_0
They are pretty hit or miss for me.
Not gonna rate this yet. I’ll have to try this one again. :S
I live in what is weather-wise, sort of the armpit of hell. For much of the summer it’s close to 100 degrees with 100% humidity. It’s during those times that the TV warns people not to go outside due to the heat index, and we hear of people dying due to no a/c. I remember some of our Danish family sort of pooh-poohed the weather (how bad can it be?) and then then came here in July. They tried to walk to the end of our street and my brother-in-law almost stroked out because he was so hot. Amateurs!
So today it’s July 15th, and the temperature outside is 66! It’s so unusual, and so wonderful! We have the windows open and I am just thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t even mind so much my weather induced headache.
Oh yeah, tea! My first cup of tea this morning was a sample I was sent to evaluate, and it was a little disappointing. So I really didn’t want to gamble with the second cup, and I’m having this. I think I am getting a little tea spoiled, because I have so many awesome ones here by now and I am turning my nose up at the more pedestrian ones. It’s nice to be moving out of the “must try all the teas” phase though.
I’m drinking the last of my preview sample which would be sad except I know Brenden mailed my new supply yesterday so it will be here soon and I can have all the chocolate covered cherry tea I want. I think this one will also do that thing Golden Orchid does: it starts out incredibly awesome and then it sits around with that vanilla bean and it gets better and better ad better. This will be a chocolate morning as I have (FINALLY!) Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha. Hopefully all this chocolate will compensate for not enough sleep. I’m really about to lick my cup on this one
Chai was calling my name tonight. I shouldn’t drink tea so late, but it seems that I’ve been reverting to a nocturnal schedule over the past weeks. I’ll just embrace it. Also, why has only one other person reviewed this tea?! Get on it people. Brenden’s chai is the best.
I used almost 1.5 TB for 10oz of water which, after brewing, I realized was potentially crazy. It made a STRONG cup of tea. Fortunately it doesn’t overwhelm! It’s quite tasty. There’s a lot of warm, tingly spice that’s refreshing and invigorating. As teataku pointed out the cardamom is a little strong. Luckily I like cardamom. A lot! And the base tea, my god. It’s thick and malty with notes of cocoa, caramel, sweet potato, and the suggestion of dark red fruits. Plums and cherries and things of that nature. It’s creamy like pudding; luscious, visceral! It’s a sexy sexy tea. This is the first time I’ve used “sexy” to describe a tea, ahaha…I think it’s appropriate! “Intoxicating” is another good word for it. Plus, it’s good for resteeps. The spice and the cocoa pull back a little, the caramel and fruit come forward. Mhmmm. I’m all about it. I love Yunnan blacks and I love chai spice. This is just a marriage of awesome. Bravo Brenden!
Flavors: Caramel, Cardamon, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Red Fruits, Spices, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick
Wow, did this tea get better? I’ve had it once or twice since my order came in a couple of weeks ago, and somehow it seemed…lacking. Maybe it was because I wasn’t in the right mood, maybe it was because I had different expectations. (It does seem different from the old version but it’s not just the vanilla bean.)
Oh! I just realized, the last few times I brewed I forgot about drinking it until it was lukewarm. It could be an issue of temperature…I’ll take note of that. It’s much better when it’s still hot.
The dry and wet leaves smell absolutely decadent, like cocoa and sweet sparkling vanilla. The tea liquor has an aroma of chocolate fudge, whipped cream, and cherries. Mouth-watering delicious. The taste is very similar, too! It tastes like dark chocolate! Thick, rich, wonderful dark chocolate. I for one think that the darker the chocolate, the better, so this is heaven. It’s so smooth too. Mmmmm. The vanilla bean adds an element of sweetness and smooths out the tea base. Makes it velvety soft, creamy. It’s like a liquid chocolate dessert. I’m noticing fruitiness but it’s not quite cherry. I was thinking plum, then I second-guessed myself and read the tasting note. I guess it is plum! Neat. It’s not very strong, it’s just a subtle hint beneath the chocolate and vanilla. After sipping there’s a slight nutty aftertaste and caramel sweetness. The notes of cocoa carry through. Oh my, my, my. This is so good and I can’t get over how SMOOTH and RICH and VELVETY it is! It’s a keeper. I was unsure, but I’m convinced now. AND it’s good for resteeping. I am so on board.
Upped my rating.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla