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44 Tasting Notes

From today forward, every ounce of tea you buy will plant a tree! And no, this is not an April fool joke!

Effective April 1st, 2014, Whispering Pines Tea Company has pledged to donate to non-profits specializing in sustainability. Our foremost goal for this pledge is to offset the negative effects of worldwide deforestation to create a stronger, cleaner, and greener future. We pledge to plant a tree for every single ounce of tea you purchase from today forward. Many of these trees will be planted by non-profits in parts of the world where deforestation is a large concern for the ecosystem, and many will be planted directly by the staff at Whispering Pines.

We feel great pride in taking these vital steps to preserve some of the most pristine areas on Earth and we are honored to create a simple way for our customers to do the same.

Anyway, this is my morning cup today because it’s cozy and rich. This and Golden Orchid have become my go-to black teas in the morning recently :)

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Bonnie

You a A+ and I’ve been enjoying your slack-line pictures too! Can’t figure out if you’re in Europe competing or here though?! Hope everyone knows that you are a big time athlete as well as a tea guy!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thanks Bonnie! I just got back…was only a 4 day trip, but I won! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLInST2BVj0

Tea Sipper

I love the tree planting! :D

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Me too! I’m really excited! :D

Bonnie

Wow Brenden, keep everyone posted! Need more vid’s on your Whispering Pines site! You are awesome!

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My favorite mug ever! Note that there are only 10 Winter Edition Woodland Mugs left! Once these are gone, they are gone forever! They are also 10% off right now :)

http://whisperingpinestea.com/woodland-mug.html

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As many of you know, Campfire Blend has gone through TONS of versions (107 counting this one), and each version has been tweaked a little bit to match the memory it was inspired by. So far, they have all been slightly drying, a tad harsh, and had a little hint of citrus. This has been the hardest memory for me to match — a wolf howl and a campfire aren’t exactly easy to create in a cup. =)

Lapsang souchong is a necessity as the base tea in this blend. We have tested tea after tea and finally came to the ideal lapsang for this blend. The new version will be shipping with a very good, high grade lapsang with the perfect smoke and sweetness balance.

The orange peel was always necessary in the tea before. We needed a lingering sweetness that was from more than just the tea. My only issue with the orange peel was that, despite doing its job…it didn’t exactly fit the memory. The discovery of roasted cedar leaves opened a whole new world of possibilities. In the new version of campfire, the orange peel was replaced by caramelly-sweet cedar leaves, slow roasted for 12 hours at WPTC headquarters. Looking back on the memory, cedar trees were present in the forest as well as the fire.

Another change we decided to make was to remove the peppercorn, which seeming contributed nothing much at all to the blend. This opened up the space for something to darken the blend even more and round out the depth of the lapsang, pull the earthyness of the rooibos, and generally complete the blend – roasted chicory root.

The final product is much cleaner, smoother, deeper, and more complex than previous versions. It is so much closer to perfection, so very reminiscent of my memory…but hey, who doesn’t want to leave a challenge for the future? :)

The Inspiration
It was late autumn in the upper peninsula of Northern Michigan. I had the campfire going steady with pinewood and maple leaves. A slight breeze off of the lake brought me closer to the embers while the call of a Barred Owl and crickets echoed through the empty lakeshore. The wind pushed the smoke towards the full moon. The smoky haze in the air played like the moonlight across the water, giving life to an empty sky. Then, as if rehearsed a hundred times, the entire landscape went silent. All I could hear was the crackling of the fire and my own steady breath. The wind had stopped, the owl and crickets wouldn’t dare make a sound. Even the haunting call of a loon was cut short, echoing across the silvery glasslike waters for what felt like forever. There was only the popping of a fire and the lonely breath of a woodsman. At that moment, sending chills down my spine not even the hottest fire could have warmed, the cry of a lone wolf sang out from the pine forest behind me. The silence was broken and, moments later, the orchestra of nature began singing once again.

Campfire Blend uses the finest lapsang souchong as the base, cradling the embers of rooibos, roasted chicory, cloves, and wildcrafted roasted cedar leaves to create a taste and aroma unlike anything you could ever imagine…except for maybe the whisper of an ancient campfire and the cry of a lone wolf on a cool Autumn night.

Notes
Pinewood Campfire
Sweet, Warm Cedar
Autumn Air
Earth
Honey

http://whisperingpinestea.com/campfire.html

Flavors: Cedar, Pine

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I know…I missed October by a little bit, but hey…who doesn’t want October in February? :)

The Inspiration
The inspiration is October of course! The goal for this blend was to bring you to the October pumpkin festivals as well as create the feeling of autumn, and this blend does not fail! We started this blend by accidentally discovering that roasted yabao tastes like delicious, sweet, salted kettle corn. Blending our house-roasted 2012 aged yabao with cedar leaves (also roasted in-house) created a fantastic fall time medley, reminiscent of the evergreen trees outside of the gift shop at every October festival and the sweet aroma of kettle corn in the air. Opening the door to the gift shop, you are overcome with the mouthwatering smell of pumpkin pie spices, which we achieved by adding the perfect amount of organic cinnamon and cloves!

The final product is light and sweet with the perfect pumpkin spice background, highly aromatic with notes of hay, evergreen, and caramel, all achieved with zero additives and only four ingredients!

Notes
Kettle Corn
Caramel
Evergreen
Pumpkin Spice
Velvety Sweetness
Cornfields
Hay

http://whisperingpinestea.com/october.html

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Amanda Wilson

This looks fantastic!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thank you, Amanda! I’m really excited to hear what others think of it soon! :)

JustJames

really…. i just finished off my mint chocolate chip….. hmmmm. pondering.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Well, if this helps: Golden Orchid, Spring Jade Tieguanyin, and Xin Yang Mao Jian are all 10% off for the next 3 days with coupon code “NEW0214” :)

Bonnie

Did you guys see the video I inserted of Brenden slack-line competing? It’s in the review for the tea ‘December’ (need nee names Brenden…we could help!).

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I want to eventually have a tea for every month ;)

JustJames

sneaky, lol. i believe i have golden orchid on my ‘buy’ list….

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You should have Golden Orchid on your ‘bought’ list ;) hehe

Bonnie

Love your creativity! Steepster should hold a tea expo!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yes! :D That would be awesome!

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The Inspiration
Imagine waking up at your campsite in the summer, stepping outside and rinsing your face off with naturally chilled water from the stream beside your tent. You breathe, stretch, and then head up the ridge to see the sunrise. On the way up the hill, you pick wild berries and breathe the clean morning air. When you reach the top, the sun rises above Lake Michigan and warms the tips of the cedar trees while the soft morning breeze pushes the fresh Michigan air into your lungs, revitalizing your body for the perfect morning hike.

Cedar Ridge was inspired by sunrises and summer camping in evergreen forests. This blend combines slow-roasted cedar leaves with elderberries and cinnamon, slow-roasted peppermint and chicory root, all brought together with a touch a ginger. Sweet, warm, and smooth, Cedar Ridge opens with the indescribable aroma of roasted cedar and elderberries. At the middle of the sip, earthy and warm elderberry combines with notes of pine wood, and closes with the lightest touch of mint and ginger, leaving you with an aftertaste of caramelized fruit! Best enjoyed outdoors!

Notes
Roasted Cedar
Elderberry
Pine Wood
Earthy
Roasty
Ginger
Mint
Caramel
Fruit

http://whisperingpinestea.com/cedarridge.html

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Here’s another new tea arriving early next week, now available at 10% off for pre-order! :)

About the Tea
Our spring harvest Jade Tieguanyin from Anxi, China is a beautiful oolong that has been carefully hand-processed from start to finish! After hand picking the leaves, the long process begins by firing in a wok, steaming, rolling, and steaming again. This whole process is then repeated up to ten times! Due to this skilled processing, our Jade Tieguanyin has an extremely aromatic bouquet with notes of butter, chestnuts, and lightly floral characteristics.

The taste is unrivaled in the world of Tieguanyin as the flavor opens up with an intoxicating sweet buttery body! Smooth, nutty notes combine with the buttery body as the sweet, oceanic scent of the pacific coastline wafts out of your cup. It’s hard to believe that such a beautiful fresh taste can come from these tiny jade-colored leaves. Infuses more than 5 times!

Best enjoyed with your worries left behind!

Notes
Buttery
Oceanic
Chestnuts
Gardenias

How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1 teaspoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of boiling water
for 2 minutes.

2nd infusion: 3 minutes
3rd infusion: 4 minutes

Ingredients
Oolong Tea

Caffeine Content
Medium-High

http://whisperingpinestea.com/jadetgy.html

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Our Xin Yang Mao Jian is now available for pre-order at 10% off! It will be arriving early next week! :)

About the Tea
Xin Yang Mao Jian is a famous green tea produced in the Henan province of China. This tea is harvested in the early spring and is comprised of tiny, hand-twisted leaves. The leaves are so small that each ounce of Mao Jian has nearly 3,000 leaves! Mao Jian is harvested just before the monsoons, after long periods of fog, which leads to a very sweet, fresh flavor with notes of agave, citrus, and a lovely nuttiness. The aroma of Mao Jian is stunning, comparable to a summer morning walk through a deciduous forest! With a history dating back to around 800 BC, the processing of this tea has become absolutely perfected and will please any green tea lover. This is my favorite green tea!

Notes
Herbaceous
Agave
Citrus
Chestnut
Dark, Mossy Forest

How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1/2 tablespoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of 180ºF water
for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

2nd infusion: 2 minutes
3rd infusion: 3 minutes

Ingredients
Chinese Green Tea

Caffeine Content
Low

http://whisperingpinestea.com/maojian.html

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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About the Tea
Pure decadence, this black tea blend is packed full of heady vanilla and creamy cocoa notes! My goal for this tea was to bring the ice cream shop on Mackinac Island into your cup! I began with North Winds – our black tea with dessert notes inspired by the island’s famous fudge. The next step was to add freshly chopped organic vanilla beans from the vanilla orchid to the tea and allow it to cure. Over time, the tea will absorb the vanilla notes and become a much smoother blend. Once finished, we have the final product — a purely blissful black tea blend with the most beautiful vanilla and chocolate notes!

Notes
Vanilla
Cocoa
Apricot
Honey
Malt

How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1 tablespoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of boiling water
for 2 minutes.

2nd infusion: 2 minutes
3rd infusion: 3 minutes
4th infusion: 4 minutes
5th infusion: 5 minutes
6th infusion: 6 minutes
7th infusion: 8 minutes
8th infusion: 10 minutes

Ingredients
Black Tea
Organic Vanilla Beans

Caffeine Content
High

http://whisperingpinestea.com/goldenorchid.html

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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The Inspiration
Tucker Lake is an inland lake in Glen Arbor, Michigan. In the summertime, a thin layer of fog forms around the lake during the night. Each sunrise brings a light breeze to the lake, pushing the fog northward. If you row out to just the right spot and wait for the sunrise, the breeze pushes the fog right into your canoe. There is a freshness to this fog that defies all explanation. Through the trees to the south of the lake and over Dunns Farm Road, the essence of this place becomes captured in the fog. The journey begins at a small dock across the road at Fisher Lake where the rustic scent of old wooden boats and crystal clear water billows into the fog. Warm and inviting, the fog pushes through the narrow stream connecting the lakes, rolling over summer trilliums and whispering through the pine trees, becoming as sweet and warm as everything it touches. When the sun rises, the fog warms, energizes, and just before disappearing, it reaches your canoe. The last breath of fog is vanilla-sweet and saffron-warm with an energy I can not even begin to describe. As the sun rises above the trees and the bald eagles soar the skies above, you wonder why you’d ever leave.

Port was inspired by this unexplainable scent and moment in time. I wanted to create the best blend I could, something to match one of my most beautiful memories. The base of this tea is a wild-picked black tea from Dehong, China, carrying intensely complex notes of sugarcane, eucalyptus, and barley over a deep rustic body. I tried all of our usual herbs, spices, and flowers, but nothing came close to matching the freshness of this memory, so I took the plunge and used the two ingredients that I knew would bring me back to Tucker Lake – organic madagasgar vanilla beans and spanish saffron. The result was a more perfect incarnation than I could have ever imagined. Port has the most beautiful vanilla notes, a rustic base tea, perfect saffron warmth, and is rounded out with the evergreen sweetness of roasted red cedar tips.

I can proudly say that this is my greatest achievement!

Notes
Vanilla
Saffron
Evergreen
Cedar
Sugarcane
Eucalyptus
Barley
Summer

How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1 tablespoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of 200ºF water
for 2 minutes.

2nd infusion: 3 minutes
3rd infusion: 4 minutes
4th infusion: 6 minutes
5th infusion: 8 minutes
6th infusion: 10 minutes

Ingredients
Black Tea
Roasted Red Cedar Tips
Organic Madagasgar Vanilla Beans
Spanish Saffron

Caffeine Content
High

http://whisperingpinestea.com/port.html

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
MissLena

This sounds like a wonderful blend! Definitely going to be a part of my next order!

JustJames

sounds very intriguing….

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I personally didn’t think this tea could get better…It was already a perfect embodiment of the love I have for my hometown in Michigan. As my homesickness grows stronger, my memories of the pine forests and the recollection of the spring breeze off the river linger on. The more I miss home, the harder it becomes to create teas that bring me back. I recently took my Christmas vacation to Ohio…a land of deciduous pine forests scattered with sunlight. There, I had my first sip of White Pine – the same species found in my home, The Sleeping Bear Dunes. The White Pine is soft, smooth, and fresh with sweet buttery notes and a hint of bitterness. I decided to remove the bitterness and enhance the buttery notes by processing the pine needles as a lightly-oxidized oolong. After cutting, withering, and drying I packed up the pine and headed back west. The entire plane ride home had me thinking of how I could improve the base of The Sleeping Bear Blend. Upon landing, I had a plan…a theory to tie together a new green tea base and the beautiful White Pine needles. When I got home, the only thing on my mind was to test this theory. I switched out the mao feng green tea with a small-leaf xin yang mao jian green tea, and kept all other ratios the same. Mao Jian is soft, buttery, and reminiscent of spring grass and deep forests. The outcome was closer to my memory than anything I had ever been able to achieve. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is my first perfect embodiment of a memory in a tea, and will set the benchmark for all of my future blends. I’m proud to be able to offer the new version immediately!

Breathe life, sip inspiration.

http://whisperingpinestea.com/sleepingbear.html

The Inspiration
The current batch of pine needles was harvested on December 27, 2013 in Bellbrook, Ohio.

Imagine a place with rolling pine forests fringed with open meadows and brambles of blackberry bushes just begging you to feed your senses. Imagine a place bursting with wildlife — a new ecological wonder behind every blossoming cherry tree. Imagine being knee-deep in crystal-clear water with pine needles floating by and spring in the air. Imagine love. Imagine my home: The Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Every sip of this tea brings with it a burning passion. Fresh, wild, green pine needles are sustainably wildcrafted from the deepest reaches of the wilderness and processed as a light oolong of around 20-30% oxidation. After cutting, withering, and drying, the needles are mixed with our purely blissful green tea blend, River Rain.

The final product is a lovely blend of green tea with the perfect amount of fresh pine flavor and a hint of jasmine. This tea is based off of the memory of a spring morning walk along Glen Arbor’s Crystal River with the birds singing and otters splashing along that pure, beautiful water. I have created my masterpiece. I have put my heart and soul, The Sleeping Bear Dunes, in a cup.

Breathe life, sip inspiration, and let my beautiful homeland warm your soul.

Please note: There will only be 8-10 ounces of The Sleeping Bear Blend produced each month. Due to this, we would like to limit this blend to 2 ounces per customer per order. If you’d like more, please contact us directly.

Notes
Pine Forest
Sugarcane
Chestnut
Jasmine
Spring rains
Soft Breeze

How to brew the perfect cup:
The ideal way to brew The Sleeping Bear Blend is in a 4 ounce gaiwan with 180ºF water.
Use 1 tablespoon of leaves and begin with 2-5 second infusions. Enjoy 10-15 infusions!

Alternatively, brew western style:
Steep 1/2 tablespoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of 180ºF water
for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

2nd infusion: 2 minutes
3rd infusion: 3 minutes

Ingredients
Green Tea
Sustainably wildcrafted white pine needles

Caffeine Content
Low

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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