85

This is the last sample I chose from Whispering Pines. I was feeling brave today! What I mean is, the smell of this tea is very intimidating and I was nervous to try it the first time I opened it to take a whiff. It’s like sniffing a campfire. There is such an extreme smoke aroma to the dry tea, along with a hint of pine and herbs. It’s very lovely to look at – a mix of black tea leaves, cloves, a little bit of rooibos, and these lovely straw-colored dried stalks that I can only assume are cedar leaves. I brewed 1.5 tsp for 5 minutes.

The brewed tea also smelled very smoky, although less so than the dry leaf. There was also an aroma of black tea, cedar, and a little bit of clove. I was getting more and more excited to try this unique tea. I was surprised to find that I really enjoy this tea – it is quite smoky but in a lovely way. At the beginning of the sip I get mostly smoke and earth. In the middle it transformed into woody cedar and pine notes, and at the end of the sip I caught hints of clove and a light cooling sensation from the pine. There is definitely a lingering smokiness that stays on the palate long after drinking. It doesn’t sound that pleasant, but it is. Two thumbs up for such a unique and tasty blend! I really can’t wait to try their S’mores tea, I was sad that it wasn’t on the sample list. Soon! :)

Flavors: Cedar, Clove, Earth, Pine, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
donkeyteaarrrraugh

Your review made me less afraid of this tea….I don’t like smoky notes at all, but if it’s subtle and not like a bloody forest fire, perhaps I will be able to try it!

Cameron B.

I don’t know about subtle, but it does blend very well with the other flavors. Definitely worth a try.

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Comments

donkeyteaarrrraugh

Your review made me less afraid of this tea….I don’t like smoky notes at all, but if it’s subtle and not like a bloody forest fire, perhaps I will be able to try it!

Cameron B.

I don’t know about subtle, but it does blend very well with the other flavors. Definitely worth a try.

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-year-old software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Current Subscriptions:
52teas
Bird & Blend
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
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Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/cam...

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