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Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Cookie, Drying, Honey, Raisins, Salt
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From Whispering Pines Tea Company

This heavily oxidized GABA oolong is bursting with rich aromatics and a super complex body! First impressions are of chex mix and chocolate, and it actually strongly reminds me of a baked chocolate chex mix that my mom makes sometimes. Other notes are a tartness almost akin to cherry and some slight spice in the finish. Really active mouthfeel and a creamy sweet finish! One of my go-to’s recently, Sparrow is also one of the best cost/value ratio teas I’ve come across.

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.

2 Tasting Notes

1606 tasting notes

I’ve been meaning to try this one because I was curious about the notes people got from it, especially the chocolate ones. I still have quite a bit of Echo-Cha Gaba teas that I need to finish, though I admit I have a hard time with them because they are resilient and durable teas.

I’m only going to write my impressions of this tea so far from the rinse and the first steep. It tastes a lot like the several more oxidized jin xuans I’ve had. The first rinse was a light brownish orange, and had impressions of honey, chex mix, and raisin. My current sipping continues with the raisin and honey flavor overall, with a bit of a grainy texture like a raisin oatmeal cookie, and sometimes, it’s making me think of those packs of sunflower seeds with raisins and M & Ms. No raw chocolate notes yet. The tea is a little bit drying or maybe salty, but not too much. I’m getting a little bit of a tea sauna sweat too.

I’m not wowed by this one so far. The honey notes are nice, and it’s not a boring or a bad tea-my big thing I’m not digging is the raisin quality. Later steeps might change my mind.

Flavors: Cookie, Drying, Honey, Raisins, Salt

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2953 tasting notes

I placed my first ever order with Whispering Pines! I am trying to get some small orders in during the quarantine to support the small businesses. I have had a number of their teas, but they were all ordered by other people as gifts to me.

I really wrestled with what to order and settled on the aged white tea pearls and a Bao Zhong, but I really, really wanted to try Sparrow. I guess Brendan read my mind across the miles because I had a generous sample of it in my box!

Now here’s the thing – I am not allowed to review it here yet because I reviewed it for Sororitea Sisters, so I won’t say what it tasted like but rather what happened after drinking it.

This is a GABA oolong, and those are supposed to be very helpful during times of stress. There might be a little of that right now, right? That is one reason I really especially wanted to try it NOW.

I made lots of steeps and shared it with my husband rather late at night. I went to sleep and had a vivid dream. I can see it all even now, and I really haven’t been dreaming much lately that I remember.

The Dream – I was across the street at my neighbor’s house sitting in the front yard with my daughter who lives with us. I do go there five days a week to let his dog out. Suddenly a neighbor came out of her home, very agitated and frightened. She told me that a woman standing on the corner was a vampire. I looked at the woman from the distance and she was dressed in a long white gown, not very vampire-ish but definitely anachronistically dressed. Women began hurrying into my neighbor’s house carrying crystals and brooms, all banding together for protection from the “vampire.” I did not feel alarmed or frightened at any point in the dream.

I looked across at my house and saw the cars of my oldest daughter and son. I was surprised to see them there and I hurriedly put away the lawn chairs and headed home, but when we got there, they had already gone. They were only stopping for a moment to get something and left quickly because of the social distancing orders.

I sat down on the sofa, leaning my head against the back, understanding that it had to be but sad that I missed them and wishing I had been there to see them even if only for that brief moment. Then I woke up.

As I puzzled over the dream, which may have meant nothing at all, I wondered if the ”vampire” was the coronavirus, or social distancing. I assumed my brain was just processing the fact that I am a little sad at not being able to see my kids who don’t live here. I haven’t seen those two since January 4th. My youngest daughter did come for my birthday in March right before distancing began, so I have seen her fairly recently.

So now I wonder – was it the GABA that made the dream so vivid? Did it help me realize how much it bothers me that I can’t see my kids when I didn’t realize what a stressor it is to me?Was it helping me process or understand what I am feeling right now or was it purely coincidence that I had such a vivid dream that night?

It didn’t fix anything – I still can’t visit my kids! But I was so calm in the dream. The “vampire” didn’t scare me, the odd neighbor didn’t worry me, I just wanted to get home to see my son and daughter. And then I wasn’t devastated, I was just a bit sad. Is that the GABA working? Has anyone else experienced anything like this with a GABA tea?

Since I just drank the rest of the sample, it will be interesting to see if I dream again tonight.

Martin Bednář

I don’t know if tea can trigger dreams like that…
But interesting dream and somehow frightening.


Hope you don’t have another dream like that!


Whooie. Chamomile for you tonight.


GABA always relaxes me but I don’t think it’s ever triggered such a vivid dream. I think anxiety and stress happening in the back of our minds interferes with our ability to dream normally. The calming effect produced by GABA might free the brain to dream more easily by removing some of those stressors.

This does make me curious about the effects of GABA tea again. I have a bag of Mei Leaf GABA oolong – a souvenir from my trip to London last year – sitting in my cupboard. I may just experiment on myself tonight :-)


National Geographic online just had an article about an increase in vivid dreaming during the pandemic – “The pandemic is giving people vivid, unusual dreams. Here’s why.” It’s about the subconscious mind handling the stress of this horrible situation – “For all their variety, the one thing many pandemic dreams have in common is how weird they seem to participants in the studies. “It may be one of the mechanisms used by the sleeping brain to induce emotional regulation,” says Perrine Ruby, a researcher at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center.” It’s a fascinating read. I have had some very strange and vivid dreams myself here lately!


Thanks for the link, Teatotaler!

To clarify – I didn’t mind the dream or find it frightening. It didn’t bother me. I really feel that I had not acknowledged how I miss seeing them, and being asleep gave my mind a chance to nudge my brain into seeing and admitting it. I think it may actually helped in that I realize it is a bigger deal to me than I thought and I want to stay in touch better and maybe video chat instead of just texting. I was just wondering if the GABA perhaps gave that awareness a little boost.


Okay, read the article. Based on that, the dream was classic reaction to the quarantine and probably had nothing to do with the tea, but since GABA is calming maybe that is why I was pretty chill about there being a possible vampire, and not getting overly distressed about not seeing my kids. And maybe the dream was just a statement of my state of mind – I miss my kids but I am dealing with it, and I am not frightened of the virus though I am exercising all the recommended precautions.


Okay, I read the article,

Martin Bednář

Interesting Teatotaler. Luckily (?), I haven’t got that vivid dreams yet. But I dream more than usual, that’s true!


My dreams are usually very vivid – just like real life. So I wouldn’t really notice a difference in these times.

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