Whispering Pines recently had a BOGO ounce of tea sale, and I ordered a few teas, and this one I had to try. I actually got one ounce of the light level smoke and one ounce of the medium-light smoke.
This review is for the light smoke. Check future tasting notes for a review of the medium-light level.
I normally do not like smokey teas. It’s not that I hate them, they are just VERY smokey to me and it’s hard to taste anything. So why this tea? Well it really jumped out at me for two reasons:
1) You could choose the level of smoke you want. Since I’m sensitive to smoke, I knew I had to go with the light.
2) Unlike hojicha, which is heavily roasted, this tea was still green, so it was hopefully something that wouldn’t be too intense.
And the verdict? Not bad. Even with the light there’s still a definite smokiness there, but I bet someone used to drinking smokey teas will think it’s too light. There’s no bitterness here and I can definitely still taste the green tea. The smokiness is not overpowering. Not a bad tea, and I’m definitely glad I went with the light version. I’ll have to see how the medium-light stacks up.
By the way – don’t google “smoked green tea” if you’re looking for varieties of green teas smoked over a fire. You’ll instead get a bunch of articles about smoking green tea a la marijuana ;)
Edit: The one bummer about this tea? It doesn’t seem to hold up to resteepings. The second steeping had a bit of smell of smoke, but I didn’t taste it like I did in the first. It was just generic green tea.