Tea type
Black Tea
Fujian Xiao Zhong, Yunnan Dian Hong
Baked Bread, Cocoa, Chocolate, Fruity, Malt, Caramel, Grain, Hay, Honey, Plums, Raisins, Dark Bittersweet, Molasses, Cream, Stonefruits
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 10 oz / 308 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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53 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I asked for a sample of this tea from *MissB* because the description was so intriguing. I do end up a little confused since the ingredients list is only "black tea". Based on the flavors within I...” Read full tasting note
    dinosara 1979 tasting notes
  • “How have I avoided this one so long?! This is a beautiful, multifaceted, inspiring tea. I'm looking forward to the re-steeps! The first sips were most definitely dark chocolate, then a bit of...” Read full tasting note
    MissB_Tea 1123 tasting notes
  • “This was one of the many teas *MissB* sent my way, and I am quite happy that she did. I'd never tried any Whispering Pines, and this tea is quite nice. Thank you! It's got that chocolate malt...” Read full tasting note
    cavocorax 1700 tasting notes
  • “*Thank you Brenden for the sample of this tea!* You must read Brenden's discription of this tea no matter what. It's charming! A genuine love affair with a place he should live forever! I'm...” Read full tasting note
    bonniejohnstone 673 tasting notes

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

The Inspiration
Michigan is full of wondrous little towns known for the things they have perfected and small spots of nature that will take your breath away. This tea is inspired by the entire northern area of Michigan, from Traverse City to the Les Cheneaux Islands.

Traverse City is in the northern lower peninsula of the state. They are widely known for their amazing cherries, which are sold alongside other fruits from roadside stands during the summer months. You can get anything cherry here, and it will spoil you for cherries forever. I’ll never be able to eat cherries elsewhere! =)

Heading northward from the cherry capitol of the world and over the longest suspension bridge in the northern hemisphere brings you to Mackinac Island. This island is full of little shops, cafes, and bakeries, and they are very well known for their fudge. Any flavor of fudge you can imagine can be found on this island, but you can never go wrong with a piece of dark chocolate fudge as Autumn is closing in!

As the north winds bring you higher and the first snow begins to fall, the Les Cheneaux Islands and surrounding area of the upper peninsula will send chills down your spine. The wind picks up, the lake begins to freeze, and a snowstorm will keep you indoors with a hefty cup of black tea as company. Looking outside at the winter wonderland, you can’t help but notice that you are in the most beautiful place in the world.

North Winds is the essence of northern Michigan. Fruity sweet notes bring you to Traverse City while heavy dark chocolate notes allow you to have that Mackinac Island fudge desert without having to take the ferry. These smooth, decadent notes combine into a heavy bodied tea with a medium-malty background that makes for a perfect breakfast tea — but you’ll want to drink this all day long!


How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1 tablespoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of boiling water
for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

2nd infusion: 3 minutes
3rd infusion: 4 minutes
4th infusion: 5 minutes
5th infusion: 7 minutes

A blend of Chinese black tea from Yunnan and Fujian provinces

Caffeine Content


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.

53 Tasting Notes

261 tasting notes

This was my first cup of the day yesterday, and the cup that started my Whispering Pines day. I know I’ve had this before, but it looks like I never logged it. And unfortunately I didn’t take very good notes yesterday so this isn’t going to be a proper review of the tea either. What I can say was that this was so very chocolatey. Sweet delicious chocolate, with a touch of malt and caramel and just devilishly good.

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420 tasting notes

So, I ordered a sampler pack… and it came today. This smells pretty good, like malty chocolate. In the flavour I get more fruit, and bread… along with the cocoa. So pretty much it’s chocolate covered fruit, with plums, and some really good bread. Seems a little out of place in the Summer though, I think this is an Autumn morning tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cocoa, Fruity, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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378 tasting notes

My lovely friend JustJames sent me a generous sample of this. I had it yesterday and I liked it, however, my allergies were acting up so I decided to give it another chance.

Today the scent is much richer it has the chocolate, butter and apricot tones I smelled yesterday as well as a lovely bready tone that wasn’t there yesterday.

I remember that the name seemed fitting because this smells soothing and warm, just what you need on a brisk, cool day.

Flavour wise it is smooth with apricot, and bready notes up front and cocoa mixing with butter in the background. There is a slight artichoke note as well hidden among the fruit up front. As it cools the apricot becomes more plum like, a honey note and malt become apparent.

This resteeps very well with fruity notes and malt becoming stronger as the cocoa fades. It is good for at least three steeps.

This tea has a nice simple flavour profile which is comforting delicious and suits its name! Thanks James!

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218 tasting notes

Originally I wanted to make Golden Orchid but I wanted to save that for after work tomorrow since it’s bound to be a stressful day. But North Winds was supposed to be smiliar-ish and since I had gotten that in the three tea sample pack that I had bought, I figured what the heck.
So I was kinda confused on how to make this. The package said use a 1/2 tbsp for an 8oz cup but everyone here seems to say use a full tbsp for their 8-12oz cups. And since there was just the tbsp in the package and I usually make 12oz-ish cups I just dumped the whole thing into the infuser. Kinda bummed that I can’t make another cup, but I guess I should’ve just done the 1/2 tsp for an 8oz cup. Oh well. Hindsight right? Lol.
The brew reminds me strongly of Laoshan Black to be honest. It’s got that same sort of roasty, chocolaty sort of scent that I remember from the Laoshan Black.
Taste wise I get a very heavily roasty sip, with a bit of sweetness in the sip. I don’t really get fruit when I get that sweetness though. Mild-ish astringency. I could see if I drank alot of it that the astringency might get a bit much after awhile. It’s mostly just a roasty sort of brew to drink for me.
After adding a bit of Truvia, the roastyness has backed off a bit and a more chocolaty sort of note has come up. Very nice actually.
Since I used my whole sample for this cup, I’m going to give resteeping this a second try at least. Just to see if that makes a different brew.
But I’m not sure if this is a reorder for me. I’m honestly not too enamored of teas that are so roasty tasting. But it’s certainly still a nice cup of tea to sip at.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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104 tasting notes

I had Golden Orchid yesterday evening, and this morning I had the base tea for GO! North Winds is unmistakably the base blend but it lacks the smoothness and the creaminess of GO. (Those vanilla beans make a huge difference.) It has notes of cocoa, honey, fruits, chocolate, and grain. It’s chocolate but it’s not a DARK chocolate. The fruity notes are simultaneously like plums, cherries, and raisins, but then it’s not quite any of them. There’s a hay-like flavor as well. Some caramel sweetness peeks out in the aftertaste, but it’s subtle. I want to say there’s a somewhat mineral quality to it, too. Maybe I’m crazy!

Now that I’ve had the two, I think the main differences between GO and NW are texture and sweetness. While GO is like satin and velvet—soft fabrics—NW is like freshly sawn wood. It’s soft, but there’s a graininess to it. GO = glossy. NW = matte. I hope that makes some sense.

I hate to compare the two because they are not the same. They are teas for different occasions. (At least for me.) North Winds is for mornings; Golden Orchid is for evenings, a time where you can devote your attention to something luxurious. I now have a greater appreciation for the latter.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Plums, Raisins


Lovely review. I enjoyed your textural descriptions!


wow, thank you so much. this is perfect. your descriptions & comparisons of texture are so helpful. i recently had Verdant Tea’s Laoshan Black (which i love) & it sounds a lot like what you’re describing here, though i don’t doubt there could be a world of difference between them! i read so many rave reviews about Golden Orchid which naturally drew comparisons to North Winds. i was dying to know the real difference. your review answered so many questions, again thank you :) both go on my wish list!


Thanks you guys!

@pyarkaaloo I’m so glad I could help you out! There is bit of difference between LB and NW. NW is a little darker and heavier, as far as texture and flavors go. I prefer it for that reason. I do hope you enjoy it!

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2973 tasting notes

Trying out a sample of this, & I want to have more to say about it, but my sipping reverie was interrupted by a client dropping off a harp for restringing, & I lost my train of thought.
I adore both Fujian & Yunnan Blacks, so there isn’t even a chance of this tea NOT being a winner, since it combines the best of both worlds. Toasted honey wheat bread, molasses, chocolate, a lovely thick mouth… sigh…

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I do hope all of my teas make you sigh of contentment :)

Terri HarpLady

I’m saving the manistee moonrise for the full moon :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

That’s a good idea :) It’s a great evening tea, too!

Terri HarpLady

& the full moon is this weekend


I got my first order of Manistee Moonrise and I think saving it to try for the full moon is a great idea

Terri HarpLady

I think we should make it a steepster thing. Everybody who has this tea should drink it as the moon is rising tomorrow (friday) night.
Actually, I can’t do that, I’ll be playing a gig…
Well, I think the moon is officially full on saturday at 7:20 am, so how about Sautrday night as the moon is rising?


That is a BEAUTIFUL idea! I’m in

Terri HarpLady

Then it’s on!


Well I would happily join you lovely ladies, if my order wasn’t being held at Customs…so can I take a rain check and join you for the next full moon?

Terri HarpLady

Maybe we’ll make it a monthly Full Moon Festivity?


That would be awesome, Love the full moon!!


Awesome idea! Fairy maybe there will be a full moon miracle and it will come today or tomorrow


I was wondering how you would rate this one. Sounds like it is right up there with the kind of teas we both love. :)

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544 tasting notes

This sample is also from Nicole (although I did also order a sample of this, hah!). It’s a blend of Yunnan and Fujian teas, which is pretty obvious by looking at it. It has the longer, lighter colored tippy Yunnan leaves and then there are also shorter, darker Fujian leaves. It smells very nice – bready with malt and honey and a little cocoa. Steeped according to the package directions.

The aroma is similar to the dry leaf, with an added dark raisiny note. The taste is definitely a hybrid. It’s like a light Yunnan that has been dragged down into darkness by its Fujian counterpart. It still has those lovely lighter malty bread and honey notes, but there’s an underlying depth and richness from bitter cocoa and syrupy molasses. In the middle is the lovely raisin fruitiness that helps to tie these two together. A very nice combination! I’ll have to be sure to try the Fujian on its own soon so I can fully appreciate this blend.

I will say one thing, this has given me a much greater appreciation of Golden Orchid. While this does have some dark and bitter cocoa flavor, it’s nowhere close to the same. So clearly those little vanilla beans have a huge effect! Can’t wait to try that one again later today… :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Raisins

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

See, I knew my taste buds were tin-foil-hatting again. I got smoke off of this one. :(

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1938 tasting notes

Oh North Winds, you really are quite lovely. Tbh this cup is more astringent than I remember the last one being but it does not mean this is unpleasant in any way. It is chocolate and honey that lingers long after the sip is done. Yum. Thanks again Cavocorax!!

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499 tasting notes

This was generously included as a surprise sample in my Whispering Pines order. Thank you!

I can see why this tea gets a lot of love. Not only does this have that delightful cocoa note that I adore, but the texture is also thick with a milk-like quality.

Although I drank the first steep too quickly to discern any other qualities past “creamy”, I’ve had more time with this second steep. The cocoa and milk are still present, but there is also a distinctive fruity note, like sweet, tangy plums.

It’s a delicious cup, and I think I’ll appreciate its profile even more in the fall or winter. As it was, it turned out to be an awesome rainy evening tea.

Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Sounds like pure yummy awesomeness…thank goodness I have some on the way. I was always forgetting to order that one!


I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! I think it may have made my evening.. receiving the parcel and finding this sample definitely made my morning. :)


Aww, so happy it made your evening CrowKettle :-) and yes, receiving a tea parcel is a great way to start your day :-)


I don’t remember hearing about this tea company even a couple of years ago, but some of their stuff sounds really good. Will have to try! :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

@Nightshifter, I started the business in 2012 :)

Glad you like this one, CrowKettle! :D

TTF, I think you’ll enjoy this one, too :)


Ah that explains it. Sounds like you are off to a great start though! I have already started making a little list of teas I want to try. :)

Tea Sipper

Oh my gosh, this tea has the best flavors!


@WP: I know I will…i’ve already tasted what it’s made of ;-)


Nightshifter, you know I’ve been on Steepster for a while…believe me when I tell you, this company has some of the best teas I have ever tried, and I’m not that easy to please!!


Awesome! Will be ordering for sure. :)

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201 tasting notes

Thought this was gonna be stronger, but it was still good. I don’t like teas that only taste like honey, but I love teas with the perfect combo of honey and malt. Also pretty chocolatey. So it’s definitely a win!
Black teas are always gonna amaze me, I tell ya! I still think it’s crazy how much flavor black teas have. I never even tried them because I thought they’d just taste like…I don’t know…Wood or something….Which makes like 0 sense. But I’m not too bright.
Haha I’m just so glad that I have come to realize how freakin’ magical black teas can be! Anyway, this tea is definitely a win! I have a bad feeling I’m gonna spend a lot of money on these WP teas. I blame TheTeaFairy…she makes all of the WP teas sound amazing. But hey, least her reviews are spot on! :P

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt


Aww, don,t ever say that about yourself, you are as bright as sunshine :-) I’m so glad you are enjoying more black teas, they are my first love!


I can see they’re your favorite. Your tasting notes make all of them sound magical! ^^

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