Whispering Pines Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

So I didn’t love this one the first time I had it, however I recently tried it again as a Western style mug of tea to much better success. I honestly don’t know what the difference was; I think I prepared it essentially the same way? However, this time around it tasted a lot brighter and smooth and the top and body notes were dominated by a very smooth, juicy flavour of peaches and nectarines! It was very natural and vibrant, and I was really into the nectarine notes in particular.

Like, just to give some sense of how intense/vibrant they were – had I not prepared the tea myself and seen that it was indeed a straight white tea I would have been CONVINCED that this was just a really well done nectarine flavoured white.

The finish was more like what I experienced with the last cup; very vegetal and buttery. In particular, I thought it was very brussel sprout like. I few years ago that would have been such a turn off, but my palate has changed so much in the last few years and that buttery brussel sprout flavour was actually really nice. I’m not sure that had it not been contrasted against those fruit notes I would have loved it the same way but for this cup at least it was really smooth and pleasant.

Good thick mouthfeel, too.

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Western.

God, I love the little curly snail looking tea leaf for this one. It’s just so strikingly fun and whimsical; I could look at it forever.

- Can’t decide if I like this one or not
- Very, very buttery with a sharply smokey finish
- The body is very, very vegetal: artichoke, green beans, peas, squash
- It’s unlike your typical white tea for sure; just don’t know that I’m into it

Maybe it’s a bit of an acquired taste and I’ll just have to try it a few more times to get into it; or perhaps I just need to approach this one with a different style of making it. I’ll hold off on rating in the meantime, until I’ve tried this a few more times and know what I think of it a little better.

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I tried to drink this tea to escape being literally drunk on Christmas day. The following excerpt is obviously me, hammered:

“This cup is a gentle white tea with flowery cinnamon notes. It’s like a summer morning in a flower-strewn prairie. The tea itself takes a backstage to the dainty main notes.

When I looked up this tea on the Whispering Pines site, the author talks about a cricket song dancing through a desert plain. I was super-hype that I’d come up with the “outside flowers-in-an-expanse” visual.

Were the Whispering Pines dude and I connected? Am I a psychic? Should I take up tarot reading or palmistry or numerology or astrology? Or maybe I could acquire a crystal ball? Where does one acquire a crystal ball? Ebay, as it turns out. It’s also possible to get pendulums, runes, and scrying stones."

http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/01/26/cricket-from-whispering-pines-tea-company/

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83

Design Online Store of Tea , here:
http://sitekhoob.com

Flavors: Apple

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec 100 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML
Webinar Ignition

Thanks. I love tea.

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83

I got this as a sample, so 5g, ~100ml, 205F, w/ 5s wash.

The initial taste I would say is /kinda/ like seaweed and umami, but very little seaweed and a ton of umami. It is quite reminiscent with the other Shou Pu-erh cakes from whispering pines. What’s REALLY interesting is the after taste, it has a very strong cocoa flavour to it. This aftertaste is strong enough to overpower the actual initial flavour, a really surprising find on my end.

There is no astringent taste to it, that I would associate with other strong-flavoured shou pu-erhs. It has some great mineral notes, but nothing ‘rocky’ tasteing like wuyi oolongs.

Comparing this to two other pu-erh’s I had from WhisperingPines, I would classify this as not being as tasty as the 2012 Huron Gold Needle, but generally better than the 2015 Lord of the Lakes.

One thing to note, due to the constant cocoa you get per sip, the bitterness adds up over time, which can be one negative for this cake. Otherwise, it’s pretty decent.

Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Cocoa, Mineral, Umami

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95

This tea it thick and rich with sweet flavors like cherry and vanilla. People talk about tea’s ability to transport the drinker to another place and time and this is one of the few shous I’ve ever found that do that for me. My only regret is that all I have is a sample size of this cake. I will be ordering more soon!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cherry, Spices, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

What a lovely tea! First of all the tea cake is gorgeous, you almost don’t want to chisel through. The initial aroma gave me hints of citrus and spice. The soup started out a beautiful golden and with each steep making its way to an amber. I started my steeps and progressed as follows:
1: 20 sec @170F / 2: 20 sec @170F/ 3: 20 sec @170F/ 4: 20 sec @ 200F / 5: 30 sec @ 160F / 6: 1 minute @ 140F/ 7: 1 minute @ 140F

At the last steep I was loosing flavor…I am thinking I should have gone back up to a warmer temp to try and push it…which will be my note for the next sesh with this tea.

Overall, I loved this tea, it was very very delightful….although this m y first go around with this tea it left a very good impression on me. I plan to explore this more throughout the week.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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100

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85

Enjoyed a tea sesh with this tea yesterday morning. First ripe puerh I have gotten into (been drinking raw puerh up until now) and the darkest tea I have ever drank. The dry leaf had a dried salted fish aroma but also earthy. I did the recommended steeps and got a thick & velvety soup, rich molasses color and it overall reminded me of coffee (which I rarely drink). This was a great introduction for me into ripe puerhs – looking forward to more exploration. (Gong Fu Style in a glass gaiwan)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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85

“Tonight’s energy brought to you by…”

I needed a cup of coffee tonight, but didn’t want to grab any while working, so I grabbed my Kamjove and brewed this instead. It was very nice to have tea for once at work. I rarely have the time do make tea or even move from my desk. They take the whole, “Look busy” thing seriously. However, I figured to heck with it, I need tea; otherwise, you’ll have an angry worker who was already anxious for the day to end.

Notes; Chocolate, nutty, and oranges(?). Drank this for nearly two hours. Better than coffee.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve always wanted to try that one. I’ve had the Earl Grey Version and was fairly impressed with it.

S.G. Sanders

It’s very good. Definitely made me want to get a few more blends to try.

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81

Sloppy Gong Fu.

- Four infusions
- Really smooth; thick mouthfeel and no astringency
- Malt, cocoa, sweet potato, grains, honey, stonefruit
- In that order!
- Also some red fruit undertones
- Some of the most gorgeous dry leaf I’ve seen in literal months!

Really enjoyed it; will try to do better notes next time.

Daylon R Thomas

Sloppy Gong Fu. I love it.

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75

This is the first of 7 teas I ordered from Whispering Pines, that I have tasted. First I would like to note I am a newbie, an amateur, so my tasting notes will reflect that of a novice. Second, I keep hearing from seasoned Chinese Tea drinkers that puerh is no good to drink unless it is at least 10 years old – any younger than that, you will not get much flavor or body. With that said — each time I try a raw puerh, I seem to get the same flavor results & thought = green/bitter. After drinking the 2016 Silver Fox, I definitely got similar notes – I went through 6 steeps. At first it started out very bitter but with each steep it dissipated. It tasted very “green” and around steep 4 I noticed a dry sensation in my mouth. The tea was not bad at all – but I wonder what it will be in 5, 10, 15 years down the line? The question is should I purchase another cake to store? I will have to go through a few more sessions to determine that for sure.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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80

I’ve been holding off on this review for most of the day, but I finally decided to just go ahead and post it. This is apparently intended to be Whispering Pines’ house green tea, the sort of basic tea one may generally refer to as a “daily drinker.” I do not know much about this tea’s origin-the Whispering Pines website did not go into specifics-but I’m willing to bet this tea is Chinese in origin. A glance at the leaves revealed that this is a Bi Luo Chun, so this has to be Chinese, right? Teas of this type traditionally come from Jiangsu Province, but these days they also come from Yunnan, Sichuan, Zhejiang, and even Fujian Provinces. If I had to place it’s origin, I would guess Yunnan Province, but beyond asking the vendor directly, it’s not like I can be sure. Regardless of this tea’s origin, I found it to be a basic, pleasant, drinkable green tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. I usually do not rinse green teas, but I decided to do so here. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 35 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of grass, asparagus, bamboo, sorghum, and smoke. After the rinse, I detected wood and straw. The first infusion brought out hints of nuts and spinach. In the mouth, I detected mild notes of smoke, asparagus, grass, straw, wood, bamboo, and sorghum underscored by traces of nuts and spinach. Subsequent infusions brought out spinach, chestnut, hazelnut, seaweed, mandarin orange, lime zest, pine, green pea, corn husk, and mineral impressions. The later infusions were dominated by straw, mineral, seaweed, spinach, and wood notes underscored by subtle smoke, pea, grass, and citrus impressions.

This was not a bad tea. It would most definitely do the trick as a reliable, basic house green tea. I, however, had difficulty giving it my full attention over the course of a session. In truth, I found it kind of predictable. It did not surprise me much at all. I expect a lot out of the offerings from Whispering Pines Tea Company, so maybe I’m being somewhat harsh, but I just don’t think this tea compares to many of their other offerings. Also, I feel that while it is a quality green tea, I think it may be a hair too expensive for what it is. In the end, I would say that this tea is worth a try, but there are better teas of this type out there, and it is certainly not representative of the best this particular vendor has to offer.

Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Chestnut, Citrus, Corn Husk, Grass, Hazelnut, Lime, Mineral, Peas, Pine, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Straw, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I think Whispering Pines is better for the blends or pure tea that you rarely see. The other stuff is overpriced for me if I can find an equivalent for cheaper. I enjoyed the mouth feel of that particular tea for how clean it was along with its overall crispness. I’m also looking forward to the Jade and Four Seasons Oolong from What-Cha. I’m so close to pulling the trigger on them lol.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, I used to order from Whispering Pines rather frequently, but I have increasingly turned towards other vendors over the last 6-8 months or so. I adore their Yunnan black teas, some of their oolongs, and their blends, but their catalog is small and I have not been favoring the kinds of teas Whispering Pines tends to offer lately. Yunnan Sourcing, Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company, and What-Cha are my favorite vendors at the moment.

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85

Midday cuppa.

I definitely steeped this one way longer than I had originally intended to. When I saw how intensely, deeply orange the liquor was I knew I was in for an experience – I just thought it’d be a bad one. I expected it to be pretty bitter, but it actually wasn’t. The flavour WAS really intense though. It was very savory/herbaceous with a mix of really strong, dominant chrysanthemum, dandelion, rosemary, pine/wood, and hay notes.

I actually liked how unabashedly herbaceous this tasted! It was brilliant, and different and very comforting. I’ve enjoyed that element of this tea in the past, it was just ten fold here.

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85

Mmmm…

I’m really loving the complexities of this one.

I just made it as a simple, late night Western mug but I feel like I got such a great array of flavours even with that straight forward preparation. The sip started off with sweet hay notes and hints of white peach, and it sort of evolved into this mix of gentle spice notes, herbaceous rosemary/thyme, driftwood. It finished with a very clean, crisp soft honey note, and the entire time all of this had smooth undertones of very floral chrysanthemum. It was both very relaxing, and also quite engaging because of the complexities. I very much enjoyed it.

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85

Western style tea pot!

Is it wrong to admit that I blindly bought this cake just because I love the aesthetic look of it so much? Like, I was pretty sure I’d enjoy the taste BUT visually this is just so stunning.

- Medium to full bodied flavour
- Notes of hay from the white base
- Floral undertones; chrysanthemum, gardenia?
- Also very herbaceous with strong rosemary notes
- And a bit of a woody/pine quality
- Overall does a great job of delivering a smooth profile that evokes the feeling of nature

I can’t wait to try this one Gong Fu because if it’s this fascinatingly nuanced and unique as a Western styled brew I can’t wait to see the fascinating layers of flavour it’ll have Gong Fu! I’m glad I enjoyed this one a lot, on top of it just being so pretty to look at.

tea-sipper

Oooo… it does look nifty.

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The first raw/sheng pu’er I’ve tried, and the second 100g cake I’ve purchased. (The first one I ever got, as a present, was the Ontario pu’er 100g cake from WPTC.) This is also the first tea cake I’ve ever attempted to crack apart. I think I did ok, although of course I did break a few tea leaves. This cake doesn’t seem so tightly compacted that it’s going to be hard to break some off for a cup of tea. The leaves are beautiful, of course, all twisted and varying in color from a light silvery color to dark walnut brown.

Since I’m still new to pu’er, I decided to follow someone else’s steepings on here as close as I could—first steep at 5 sec with 6.5 g of leaves and 5 oz water, though I skipped doing a rinse; the leaves I managed to get off were individual and not in a chunk, so I felt it would be unnecessary to do a rinse.

The dry leaves smelled amazing and the wet leaves did as well, with little difference between the two that I noticed. A nice floral aroma, sweet, perhaps more like hay or grass. The tea brewed up a pale green, similar to a silver needle tea I recently had. It actually tastes very similar, too, although the floral notes are stronger and it seems sweeter than the silver needle. Not a trace of bitterness, happily.

Second steep of about 10 sec. Tastes similar to the first cup, not much difference that I can tell. Third steep ~15 sec. This one has a more sour note to it, possibly the grass flavor I have seen others mention? Fourth steep ~20 sec. Grassy note is gone; back to the sweeter, more floral green tea taste. Fifth steep ~25-30 sec. Touch of the sour note again. Otherwise, the flavor is slightly fainter than before. Six steep ~40-45 sec. Tastes much like the first cup, with a faint hint of the grass.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Hay, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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75

I received this in JakeB’s sale a while back — a whole cake! Thanks JakeB! I’m not sure if I tried this before because there is a piece missing, or if I just removed a piece to send to someone else. It would be surprising if I didn’t write a tasting note for a tea the first time I sipped it…. especially as this is the highest rated tea on Steepster at the moment (whoa!) Sadly nothing is special about it, so I probably had it before but didn’t write a note. My rating might drag it down from a 92 though, despite so many glowing reviews from other Steepsterers. I’m not sure if I’m steeping this wrong but this seems like your average ripe pu-erh… very smooth and dark but not as dark as I love my pu-erh to be. A smooth pu-erh seems like black tea to me (that somehow never gets astringent) but my favorite pu-erh needs something MORE there. Of course I’m very happy when none of those icky pu-erh flavors are there. All three steeps had relatively the same flavor, despite vast differences in steeping. I’m missing the magic that others see in this one though! Ah well, different tastes.
Steep #1 // 16 minutes after boiling // rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // MANY minute steep

Edited to add: Honestly, I lowered the rating on this one until it was among the 90 rated teas and wasn’t the only tea as a 91! (Yesterday it was 92!) But my original rating would have been 80 anyway.

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