4 Tasting Notes


This tea is amazing. I’m on my second pot as I write this (instead of doing my homework).

The leaf is a beautiful swirl of black and gold with a sweet, chocolatey smell. It’s kind of fun to watch it unfurl as it steeps. Definitely one for the clear glass pot. I used 2 tsp in my 16 oz teapot with boiling water. I let it steep for 3 minutes (5 on the second pot). The tea is a warm, rich, yellow amber with the most delicious roasted nut/malt/barley/baked bread smell (it kinda makes me want to bake actually). It’s hard to pin-point exactly what that glorious aroma is but every time I breath it in I get excited for the sip I’m about to take.

The flavor is amazing. There is a roasted malt, baked bread, nutty, earthy (but not bitter or dirty), complex flavor that is everything I want in this tea and more. It tastes almost exactly like it smells. I could rave about this tea all day. Safe to say I will be buying as much of this tea in the future as possible. Drinking this tea makes me feel amazing.

One note, sugar seems to destroy this tea. Mom tried a pinch in her tea and it was pretty gross. It turns the smell acrid as well. Very unpleasant.

Flavors: Bread, Chocolate, Malt, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted Barley

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I’m going to throw out there right off the bat, this isn’t a negative or positive review. For me, this was a pretty forgetful cup of tea. Neither good nor bad. I am going to mention, however, that I am aging the rest of my batch in the hopes of improving the experience.

The leaf is very pretty with it’s unusual shape and silver-white tips. It has a very gentle, subtle aroma reminiscent of sweet hay or grass. I brewed this tea several ways. Last night, before bed, I made a 16 oz pot using the temperature and steeping guides provided on the Whispering Pines website (2 tbsp at 200 for 3 minutes). The tea steeped to a pale gold with a mellow (almost non-existent) grassy flavor. The second steeping I left in for much longer (15-20 minutes) but it didn’t strengthen the flavor at all.

This morning I made another cup using the alternative method most people seemed to have used. I dropped a whole tbsp straight into my cup and drank it unstrained. I left this one to steep much longer than recommended and while this did make for a slightly more bold flavor and adding hay to those grassy notes, it still wasn’t enough to satisfy. Adding another tbsp to the second steeping and leaving it for even longer still didn’t produce more flavor.

While I do enjoy a subtle tea this was far too mellow for me to really get behind. I will eventually use what is left of my stock but if aging doesn’t help I likely won’t be purchasing this leaf again. If you like those subtle flavors however then this is the tea for you.

Flavors: Grass, Hay

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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My order from Whispering Pines came in this morning and it took me all of 5 minutes to make a pot of this tea. I’m having to restrain myself from dipping into the rest of my order too quickly (I’ve ordered several teas from the same company and I’m really excited to try them).

The first thing you notice about this tea is the aroma. You don’t even have to get the bag near your face, the second you open the seal this tea makes itself known. It smells as sweet as it looks bright, with spicy ginger notes and the minty pine smell of eucalyptus.

I used the brewing instructions on the site and followed their temperature recommendations. I used my 16 oz cast iron tea pot with water from my tap. We’re on a private well with a filter system so the water doesn’t alter the taste of the tea. When I poured the first cup the tea was a VERY dark color, sort of reminiscent of green tinged coffee. The first sip yielded pine and eucalyptus but not much else in the way of flavor. It had the spicy mouthfeel of ginger though which I like, even if I couldn’t taste it. I added honey, lemon, and a little extra sugar. The tea immediately changed color from green mud to a lovely red amber. The whole flavor pallet changed as well. You could still taste the eucalyptus but it was joined by the sharp spice of ginger and the gentle sweetness of the elder berries. I also personally love lemon with my ginger.

Overall I have really enjoyed this tea and I can see why they recommend it when you are feeling a little under the weather. This tea has made me feel awesomely relaxed and has helped calm my stomach which was still reeling from a terrible hotpocket related life decision earlier this morning. I wouldn’t drink it everyday but I think it’s going to be my go to tea for when I can’t sleep late at night.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Ginger, Pine, Spicy, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I have always been a fan of tea but never had the drive to drink anything more than the bagged tea I could buy at the store. Cheap bag of Earl Gray, splash of milk, pinch of sugar, and I was happy as could be. It was the way for years. My addiction to whole leaf began just days before I was to jump on a C-130 with my unit and deploy to Afghanistan. We were posted at Joint Base Lewis Mcchord for MOB training and we were given a 4 day pass into Seattle to enjoy the last few days we had left in country. Long story short, I visited a Teavana out of boredom while waiting for a friend and that was it. I left for the sandbox with 2 lbs of tea and an electric teapot in my rucksack. No regrets.

Since then I have addicted my mother, and to some extend my dad, to the pleasures of a pot of steeped whole leaf. Now we can’t go back. We’ve tried. Whole leaf can be an expensive habit.

Allergies: Cinnamon (I miss chai tea)

Likes: Ginger, Elderflower, Citrus,Lemon/Lemon verbena, Umami, Toasted, Smoke, Earthy, Floral, Grassy/Hay/Herbal, Tangy (think hibiscus), Peach, It would seriously be quicker to say which flavors I DON’T like

Dislikes: Apples, grapes, grapefruit, most berries


Las Vegas, NV

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