Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Baked Bread, Earth, Malt, Sweet Potatoes, Anise, Caramel, Clove, Cocoa, Cream, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Honey, Mineral, Molasses, Orange, Vanilla, Wood, Chocolate, Grain, Sweet, Lemon
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 6 g 6 oz / 185 ml

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From Whispering Pines Tea Company

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About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.

13 Tasting Notes

30 tasting notes

I adore the name of this one, and it’s beautiful when dry with all the buds – they do look like fox tails! Beyond that, it’s a cozy and comfortable tea. No bitterness, nothing deep and dark. A little earthy, sometimes just a hint of a little peppery/herbal in the background. The sweetness is pretty mellow too, it doesn’t taste like fruit or desserts or anything like that. I didn’t think of sweet potato while drinking it, but seeing other people describe it that way makes sense. It’s not my longest lasting tea, but I got several good cups out of it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

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804 tasting notes

This was my first sipdown of the week. At some point over the course of the year, I acquired a pouch of this tea. I’m not certain whether it was from 2016 or 2017, though if I had to guess, I would say the former. I did not quite know what to expect when I cracked this one open. I had seen multiple reviews online, and despite the general reception being mostly positive, it got more mixed reviews overall than I would normally expect from a Whispering Pines offering. Personally, I found this to be an excellent hong cha.

Before I provide my usual rundown of my brewing method, allow me to state that I deviated a little from Whispering Pines’ brewing instructions. The brewing instructions on the pouch recommended a water temperature of 212 F, but that seemed a little high to me. I am used to using temperatures between 194-205 F for many tippy Yunnan black teas, and once I saw the profusion of golden tips, I knew I would not be using the recommended water temperature. I’ve had a lot of luck lately with using 194 F water for Yunnan black teas, so that is what I went with here. The rinse was only a couple seconds. I more or less did it water on, water off. I stuck with my usual 6 grams of loose tea in a 4 ounce gaiwan. Infusions ran as follows: 5 seconds, 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea emitted pronounced aromas of baked bread, sweet potato, and molasses. After the rinse, I found new aromas of vanilla, malt, and brown sugar. The first proper infusion brought out a touch of woodiness on the nose. On the palate, I found light notes of baked bread, malt, brown sugar, sweet potato, and molasses. Subsequent infusions brought out impressions of cream, cocoa, clove, anise, wood, caramel, fennel, orange, honey, minerals, and eucalyptus. The later infusions offered lingering impressions of minerals, brown sugar, sweet potato, malt, and wood chased by gentle, cooling herbal notes on the finish.

In my opinion, this was yet another really nice Yunnan black tea from Whispering Pines Tea Company. I particularly liked the little herbal notes it offered and was extremely impressed by both its smooth body and respectable staying power. Overall, I would have no issue recommending this tea to fans of traditional Yunnan black teas.

Flavors: Anise, Baked Bread, Caramel, Clove, Cocoa, Cream, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Honey, Mineral, Molasses, Orange, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Wood

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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7795 tasting notes

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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443 tasting notes

Sipdown. I had one very last underleafed cup of this. 205F. Malty, bready, honey. Good, but not repurchase.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt

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91 tasting notes

Nice Dian Hong. On the delicate side, which I happen to like.
Nose; Slight floral, wildflower honey, sweet potato, light aloeswood.
Palate; sweet potato, butter, slight umami, moderately full mouth feel, almost a Dancong like sweetness.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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31 tasting notes

I have a sizable stash of WP teas and finally got around to trying Foxtails. YUM. The leaves are tight, long and light gold, and I could smell the cocoa malt aromas off them. I love when light colored black teas deliver big flavor. Although I didn’t pick up the sites described mushroom notes, there was a savory element but mostly a toasty baked goods choco flavor dominant. I used 5 grams for a 100 ml pot and for a black, this was a decently long running tea with many steeps. Very smooth, comforting.

5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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1184 tasting notes

Mmm, bready chocolate pure tea is my favourite and this one is right up there high on that list. It is complex with many layers of flavour.
I think there will be a black Friday order in my future!!

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356 tasting notes

Got a free sample of this from WP in both of the orders I’ve made, so I’ve been meaning to get around to trying this. Steeped it gongfu style last night, and had to take some time to just admire the beauty of the dry leaves. Golden with a very fine down and an earthy aroma.

Each cup of the first steep tastes quite different to me. There is a hint of sweetness rounding out the earth and malt in the first pour, but the flavor is very subtle overall. The next cup tastes like whole grain cereal and has a sweet aftertaste. The last sip, from the very bottom of the cha hai, has the deepest flavor, and after emptying the cup, a bold sweetness clings to it.

I find the flavor really comes out in the third steep, which brings more depth and distinct cocoa notes. I have one more sample of this one and haven’t decided if we’ll do it gongfu again or western. Gongfu is our preference for almost everything, but I’d like to see how it tastes both ways.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Grain, Malt, Sweet

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49 tasting notes

Any mothers out there ever noticed that as soon as you lock the bathroom door and start filling the tub with warm water that the kids start severing major arteries, break bones, set things on fire, flood what they don’t set on fire, break windows, loose a sibling or two, and electrocute anyone who makes the mistake of approaching the front door?

(Well ok, while I’m not a mother, I have numerous nieces and nephews and have witnessed this phenomena many times.)

I think of this every time I attempt to try a new tea while at work. Its like the universe is psychic, knowing exactly when the water starts to boil in the kettle. Access points go down, someone starts rebooting the router over and over (because the APs have gone down, which have nothing to do with the router). Machines start crashing, servers stop responding, vital passwords have been forgotten and must be reset this very instant, etc.

Yeah, this was one of those days.

So, to the tea. I got this as a sample in my latest Whispering Pines order. The name didn’t ring any bells and it was not listed on the site. With some searching around, I found an instagram post referring to this tea as something being tried out. Yay, I get to be a Guinea pig. :)

The leaves are very pretty and look to be whole leaves tightly rolled. Kind of hay like in color. I’m assuming this is a black (yeah, I’m real educated on tea here).

First steep finishes right before an all projects engineering meeting starts. Great, I need the caffeine. Cup is mostly gone and is cold by the time I realized I haven’t noticed one little thing about it. Try to pay attention to the next few sips. It seems a little astringent to my pallet. Not horribly so like you might get in a breakfast tea, but it is an element I notice the most.

Its now lunch time so after I eat I go for steep number two.
I’ve noticed the leaves have plumped out a little bit, but they really are still rather tightly rolled. Steep for another 3 minutes. The color of the tea is lovely. Kind of reminds me of the color of home made caramel sauce. The flavor is much less astringent, though there is still a little there.

The flavor is hard for me to describe. Mostly because I just don’t have the vocabulary, but also mostly just because I can’t taste all the things people list in their tasting notes. I do like it. The kind of thing I was wanting this morning. Too bad its afternoon now by the time I’m getting a chance to really try it.

Its now late afternoon and I go for a 3rd steep. Four minutes this time and I swear these leaves are still going strong. Color is still that of caramel. Astringency is now almost gone. Too bad its now time to go home.

I’m half tempted to spread the leaves out on some paper towels and let them dry over night so I can keep going in the morning. The leaves are still rolled up pretty tightly

I’m not rating this yet as I really haven’t had the chance to give this much attention. Maybe to be continued tomorrow.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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61 tasting notes

Received a sample of this with my November order. However, it doesn’t appear on the site so I’m not yet 100% on what it is. It looks like a golden tips black tea, which smells leafy and lovely in the bag.

Ok, brewed and stewed. Grassy, lemon aroma off the cup. Then I sip and oh, yum. Smooth, biscuity, toasty goodness. Quite a light and savory black. A nice winter breakfast tea!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Lemon

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I got a sample of it in my order as well. It sounds interesting. I’m going to have to give it a go tomorrow morning. :)

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