Light cocoa and bread. Yum. I think this is one I could easily drink every morning :) Thanks for the sample, Ost!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa
“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
“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
“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
“*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
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.
Our house black tea for good reason — North Winds is the essence of northern Michigan. Sweet fruity notes of apricot and white grape 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. 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!
North Winds is blended seasonally to achieve the most balanced flavor profile. The current offering is a blend of Spring and Autumn 2014 material from Fujian and Yunnan provinces of China.
The recommended brewing style for North Winds is Gongfu Style.
Steep 1/2 tablespoon (1.9g) of leaves in 8 ounces of 205ºF water for 3 minutes.
2nd infusion: 5 minutes.
3rd infusion: 8 minutes.
Use 1g of leaf per 30ml (1 fl. oz.) of 205ºF water
Infusion times: 30s, 15s, 30s, 45s, 1m15s, 2m, 3m
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.
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My first Whispering Pines tea!
My first whiff of the dried leaf strongly reminded me of dried cranberries and nori.
Then I thought I followed directions by putting 1/2 tsp in a cup of water. Later as I was thinking Brendan must like his tea weak, I realized the bag actually said tbsp. doh.
I will use less water on the resteep.
The scent of this tea is crusty whole wheat and rye bread. Crusty on the verge of burning even. I love my bread crust like that. Mmm bread. I also get the dark cocoa, but it’s more savory than sweet. Man I’m hungry.
I gulped this down pretty quick. Now I’m warm. :) let’s see if I can get more flavor out of these leaves with less water this time.
Mmm steep 2 is warm toasted bread sprinkled with dark cocoa. Lovely.
Excellent tea for the price. It will be perfect once winter rolls around.
Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! I’m definitely excited to get to try another Whispering Pines tea since I’ve only had a few, and I’d like to experience enough that I can hopefully place an order, with confidence, sooner rather than later.
I made this one in my timolino, and admittedly I let it oversteep a little bit since I got pretty distracted when brewing it. I’m going to assume it was those couple extra minutes steeping that resulted in that little pinch of bitterness this brew had. But actually, despite that bitterness this was still really solid and tasty. It more prominently had notes of chocolate and malt/bread but there were also some very faint stonefruit notes in the far back. The chocolate notes in this also lingered sweetly.
Maybe I’d order this…
Thank you Kimquat for sharing some of this one! I had around one teaspoon, so I didn’t fill my mug all the way, but now that I think of it, it was probably the suggested eight ounce amount anyway. I’ve noticed that it is basically Golden Orchid without the vanilla, and it’s so good, it doesn’t really need the vanilla. I swear there is some magic in these leaves. I can’t imagine how they are this chocolatey. Definitely the most chocolate tea I’ve ever tried without additions. It even has the consistency of melted chocolate. I love this one. I’d have to stock up on this one… but no orders for a while!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 1/2 min
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.
I like this tea a lot but the first steep seems to have A LOT OF CAFFIENE or is it just me? I needed a boost today so I drank the last (sipdown I suppose) of my free sample! The first steep ahs that great carob Carmel and malt taste the second is more malty not so much carob and I didn’t get much form the third but since I split 1 small sample into 2 different brews I suppose it could be underleafed! Still like this tea a lot and may buy it again. It gave me the boost I was looking for.
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
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!
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.
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