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Campfire Blend from Whispering Pines Tea Company

campfire-blendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black & Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Whispering Pines Tea Company

Tea Description:

It was late autumn in the upper peninsula of Northern Michigan. I had the campfire going steady with pinewood and maple leaves. A slight breeze off of the lake brought me closer to the embers while the call of a Barred Owl and crickets echoed through the empty lakeshore. The wind pushed the smoke towards the full moon. The smoky haze in the air played like the moonlight across the water, giving life to an empty sky. Then, as if rehearsed a hundred times, the entire landscape went silent. All I could hear was the crackling of the fire and my own steady breath. The wind had stopped, the owl and crickets wouldn’t dare make a sound. Even the haunting call of a loon was cut short, echoing across the silvery glasslike waters for what felt like forever. There was only the popping of a fire and the lonely breath of a woodsman. At that moment, sending chills down my spine not even the hottest fire could have warmed, the cry of a lone wolf sang out from the pine forest behind me. The silence was broken and, moments later, the orchestra of nature began singing once again.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Campfire Blend from Whispering Pines Tea Company represents a first for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever tried a tea with roasted cedar leaves before.  If I have, I certainly don’t recall it, and I have a feeling that I would have remembered trying a tea with roasted cedar leaves!

That’s one of the things that I really appreciate about Whispering Pines – their blends are crafted without artificial flavors and they utilize locally sourced ingredients like the roasted cedar leaves to create something completely unique, something that you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

And this blend is really quite tasty!  I like the cedar!  It lends a very rustic, woodsy sort of flavor – as does the chicory and cloves.  These three ingredients work very harmoniously together.  This tastes like a walk through the woods.  Leaves crackling beneath your feet as you walk, the air is crisp and fresh.  There is a log cabin not too far away and a fire is burning in the fireplace, scenting the air with notes of wood that is roasting in the fire.  But mostly what fragrances the air is the smell of the trees that surround you.

This tea has a very autumnal sort of taste with it’s resinous cedar leaves, and the warmth of the cloves and chicory.  The black tea adds a rich, flavorful backdrop.  I don’t taste a lot from the rooibos … maybe just a hint of woodsy flavor from the rooibos, but it seems to lighten up the black tea flavor just a little bit so that the flavors of the cedar, chicory and cloves can be experienced.

A really nice cuppa to curl up to – any time of year!  Any time you want to evoke the thoughts of an autumnal walk through the woods, that’s the time to break out this tea and let it take you on that journey.

Wintergreen Woods from David’s Tea

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  David’s Tea

Tisane Description:

Looking to get in touch with nature? Try this outdoorsy blend of wild herbs and plants handpicked in the Canadian wilderness. We swear it’s like drinking a fresh forest breeze. It has wintergreen leaves for a lightly minty taste, cedar and pine for a bright, evergreen aroma, and sumac berries to add tartness and a pretty pink colour. Overall, it’s delicately sweet and totally refreshing. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the most unusual looking tisanes I’ve yet to come across.  It looks a bit more like something that might be blanketing the woods in the summertime:  large, whole leaves, pine needles, and berries all tossed together.  It smells a bit like the woods too:  leafy, evergreen-ish, hints of mint.  The aroma is very fresh and lively.

The brewed tisane has a stronger minty kind of fragrance, with mere hints of the woodsy/leafy kind of notes I was experiencing with the dry leaf.  The above description suggests a “pretty pink colour” but, my cup has a golden hue, no pink-ish tones to be seen.  It’s still quite beautiful though.

The flavor is almost as interesting as the presentation.  It is very crisp and exhilarating with its wintergreen minty tones.  I like that the wintergreen is not overwhelming here, the way mint can sometimes be.  It doesn’t overpower the cup, and if I were to compare it to other minty tisanes, this is actually quite light.  Distinctly mint, but, light.

However, the overall cup is on the light side.  With no hibiscus to thicken the cup, the leaves, needles and berries create a somewhat softer tasting tisane … but that is NOT a bad thing!  In fact, I think David’s Tea should be commended for not jumping on the “hibiscus in every tisane” wagon here, and letting these more delicate herbs speak for themselves rather than being bullied by the often aggressive hibiscus.

The sumac berries are said to offer some tartness to the cup, and they do, but again, the berry-ish flavor is soft … but its soft in keeping with the overall profile of the cup, where it is pretty evenly matched with the other ingredients.  The same is true for the cedar and pine, they offer a slight woodsy tone to the overall cup but these flavors marry well with the others, and help to provide a pleasantly balanced tisane that is both refreshing and soothing.

Quite unusual, yes, but also quite enjoyable!