Silver Needle from Whispering Pines

Usually, I’m like “WHITE TEA, WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU?” but with this one, I think that I might have an inkling. I think that this tea bottles the spirit of that static electricity feeling that happens before a storm. It tastes like sweet flowers and quivering, excited air. It has a very distinct, kinetic-energy vibe.

My difficulty in untwisting this tea’s flavor is transparent. You, dear reader, are not sure whether you want to try this tea. My description is mangled and unhelpful, and I know it.

So I went over to the official description of the tea on Whispering Pines’ site for an assist. Surely THEY know what they made.

Um. They said, “Silver Needle has a dry leaf aroma of summer bluegrass and clover, where the wet leaf opens with wildflowers, jasmine rice, cinnamon, and a light touch of cannabis.”

This smells like… THE DEVIL’S LETTUCE? Really? I have a tragically limited knowledge of the Mary Jane, but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t. I sniffed it carefully and declare it Not Dank.

No, I’m afraid it smells like a summer storm on a bed of flowers.

But if you’re a more free-spirited type, please feel free to try some of this tea and get back to me about whether I’m right or wrong on this one.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:   Whispering Pines
Description

Our Silver Needle White Tea was harvested in early Spring 2017 and carefully processed to preserve the purity of the leaf. With pure nearly-opened buds covered in down white hairs, this tea is as beautiful to look at as it is to taste! Silver Needle has a dry leaf aroma of summer bluegrass and clover, where the wet leaf opens with wildflowers, jasmine rice, cinnamon, and a light touch of cannabis. The taste begins with a velvety sweet body with base notes of honeysuckle, horchata, and ripe pear. Mid sip presents a creamy feel similar to avocado and also hints at sweet clover and papaya. The aftertaste is reminiscent of osmanthus flower and a sweetness lingers on for minutes after the last sip. A fantastic silver needle!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cricket from Whispering Pines Tea Company. . . . .

Today I’m drinking tea to try to cut through the hazy, dizzy feeling from too many of my mother-in-law’s mimosas. My in-laws are a rowdy, touchy bunch that imbibes, as opposed to my silent, book-readng, tea-drinking clan. I’m not with my family today, so I have to channel them via tea.

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.

I could become a full-fledged witch.   I think both my families would be accepting. If they aren’t, they can throw back mimosas until they can handle it.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Whispering Pines Tea Company
Description

The summer air was dry and warm as I watched the sun set over the high deserts of Prescott, Arizona. I could see the monsoon rains forming in the distance and feel a chill in the air as the plants braced for what was to come. A soft breeze carried the aroma of desert sage, juniper, and mesquite across the open land. The manzanita painted crimson lines into the sandy ocean of a desert, perfectly matching the sunset. An owl flew across the darkening horizon and the lizards scurried into their places, decorated with wildflowers. The land was silent, for no creature was brave enough to stay out in this storm. As the storm rolled in and I turned to leave, I heard the soft chirp of a beautiful cricket. I smiled and wondered how such a seemingly small creature could fill the entire desert with just a simple song.

Cricket is a desert-inspired chai blend. The base is a sweet white tea with strong notes of sage, and it’s blended very delicately with safflower and elderberries. The final touch is adding our classic chai spice blend and to pull it all together, adding a small amount of rubbed sage. The finished blend is immensely sweet and delicate with smooth spice and warm sage notes. The aroma of desert berries and mesquite spice fill in the final pieces of the experience, creating a synthesis of flavors that can bring anyone to the high deserts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cocoa Amore from Whispering Pines Tea Co.

cocoaamoreTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Whispering Pines Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Blended with two rich and chocolaty black teas and the irresistible cherry-chocolate notes of top-grade Tahitian vanilla beans, Cocoa Amore is pure decadence. The aroma of the dry and wet leaf is pure cherry chocolate with a hint of malt. The flavor is unimaginably smooth with creamy melting chocolate and rich vanilla fudge. An ever-present cherry note stands out in front of the warm barley sugar background. Light mineral notes play through the sip along with a light hint of sweet cinnamon and a malty finish. Later infusions are just as creamy and rich, eventually presenting a beautiful powdery mouthfeel reminiscent of cocoa powder.
Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

I am so excited to try this tea since it’s been on my wishlist for ages. This tea is quite expensive so I’m really hoping that the cherry and chocolate flavors come through and that it’s just as delicious everyone says it is.

The scent of this tea is certainly malty with a strong vanilla note and a touch of rich chocolate. I’m so impatient that I might just burn my tongue! The start of the sip is weirdly fruity.. and not something that I’d necessarily pin as cherry. The more that I think about it, the more I think I really do taste cherry, but with a strong floral touch. It reminds me of a fruity perfume. I really like that this cherry flavor doesn’t come across as artificial, but bright and natural.  The cherry fades into strong vanilla and chocolate flavor that reminds me of fudge. What’s amazing is that sipping this tea makes me feel like I’ve eaten a piece of dark chocolate with a sliced cherry center. It’s so good that you want to keep sipping!  I will say that you have to sort of look for these flavors and that they are a bit on the soft side.

Before I know it, the cup is empty and I’m left a little bit confused. While I did enjoy the chocolate and cherry, I’m not sure that the cup as a whole was what I wanted it to be.. the notes were too light for me. I’m not sure if I would buy more of this tea simply because it’s so expensive. I wouldn’t pass up a cup, but I certainly can’t afford to have this as a regular pick in my cupboard.

North Winds from Whispering Pines Tea Co.

NorthWindsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Whispering Pines Tea Co.

Tea Description:

My house black tea for good reason — North Winds is the essence of northern Michigan. A blend of a malty and chocolaty black tea from Fujian and a rustic high mountain dian hong with subtle fruity notes, this tea brings me home every time. Sweet fruity notes of apricot and white grape bring you to Traverse City while heavy dark chocolate notes allow you to have that Mackinaw Island fudge desert without having to take the ferry. Notes of toasted rye with cherry preserves show up mid-sip with a beautiful malt and wildflower honey finish. Light hints of sweet potato and clean white pepper mingle through the malt. These velvety smooth, decadent notes combine into a medium-bodied tea with a bold and rustic feel that makes for a perfect breakfast tea — but you’ll want to drink this all day long!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is Whispering Pines’ house black tea, and it’s become one of my house teas as well. It sits in a little tin at the front of my tea cupboard, and I drink it several times a week. When I feel like I’m beginning to run low I place an order for a couple more ounces because I never want to run out of this one. Given that I love trying new teas there aren’t too many teas that I say that about! It’s a delicious blend of Yunnan Dian Hong and Fujian Black Tea that makes me happy each time I drink it.

When I first sip this tea I get a nice mix of dark chocolate and malt. The chocolate note is deep but has a sweetness that makes me think chocolate rather than cocoa. There is also a sweet, fruity, cherry note that is eye rollingly good combined with the chocolate and malt notes. The mix of flavors reminds me of the braided cherry chocolate tarts I sometimes buy at Redding Terminal in Philadelphia.  Both the tea and the tarts are sweet but not overly so. There is an underlying earthy flavor to North Winds which I appreciate since it grounds some of the brighter flavors and makes this a tea that’s good both in the morning and the afternoon. I’ve paired this tea with eggs and biscuits for breakfast. I’ve also served it with sour cream chocolate chip cake at a tea party, and my guest really enjoyed it. Overall it’s a nice, versatile, and down right tasty blend.

Whispering Pines recommends Gongfu Style brewing for this tea. I have always brewed this Western Style using 1/2 a tablespoon of leaves in 8 ounces of 205°F water, steeping the leaves for  3 minutes.  I am curious to try the Gongfu Style brewing to see if it’s possible for me to enjoy this tea more than I already do. If you use different brewing styles with this tea leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

North Winds is a winner for me and one that I’ll happily repurchase again. I’d recommend this tea to black tea lovers and anyone who enjoys or is curious about Chinese black teas.