This was my first tea of the morning. I don’t think I was fully awake yet, so I didn’t pay super close attention, but I remember it being delicious. :)
“This was my first tea of the morning. I don’t think I was fully awake yet, so I didn’t pay super close attention, but I remember it being delicious. :)” Read full tasting note
“Some of these well-loved teas get the most imaginative flavor descriptions in tasting notes. People taste orange, plum, blackberries – never just fruit. They taste particular loafs of bread...” Read full tasting note
“Today I have the pleasure of trying this tea, which I've been curious about for quite a while. Even though I have tried blends that contain Ailaoshan Black, this is the first time I'm tasting it on...” Read full tasting note
“Another sipdown! TerriHarpLady’s really given me the urge to clear out my cupboard! This was a swap sent to me by Ost around my birthday, and there was just...” Read full tasting note
About the Tea
Ailaoshan Black Tea is one of the most breathtaking teas I have had the chance to indulge in. This tea is grown at over 2000 meters above sea level and shrouded in warm mist nearly year-round. It is harvested from tea bushes that have been cultivated on the edge of one of the most diverse subtropical ecosystems in the world — The Ailao Mountains (Ailaoshan) Nature Preserve. This nature preserve is home to at least 550 plant species and 460 animal species, including the black gibbon and bengal tiger.
Harvested in mid-spring of each year, Ailaoshan Black Tea is carefully processed and carries a warm aroma of toasted cocoa and caramelized plum. At first taste, a range of fruit notes can be identified amongst the delicious cocoa and caramel undertones. The most noticible fruit note is that of caramelized plum, followed shortly by a mix of black currant and longan fruit. A savory quality is experienced at mid-sip as well as in the aftertaste, and salted caramel with a hint of roasted fruit lingers on past the last sip. This is a truly memorable cup of tea and will please any connoisseur of rare and extraordinary black teas!
How to brew the perfect cup:
Steep 1/2 tablespoon of leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water for 3 minutes.
2nd infusion: 5 minutes
3rd infusion: 8 minutes
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.
Black Currant Black TeaSimpson & Vail
Black Forest Black TeaTeaFuse
Black Currant Black TeaTropical Tea Company
Black TeaAsian Taste
Some of these well-loved teas get the most imaginative flavor descriptions in tasting notes. People taste orange, plum, blackberries – never just fruit. They taste particular loafs of bread and specific vintages of honey. I just love reading through them. My palate is not so finely tuned.
What I’m noticing most here is that this is a very “breathy” tea. After I take a sip, I can sit, breathing in and out for a few minutes, and I re-taste the tea on every breath out. The breathing is almost more pleasant than the actual drinking of the tea. Overall, the tea affects every portion of my mouth. Whether while drinking, or on the breath out, the flavor hits everything – my gums, all of my tongue, the roof of my mouth. My teeth? That is perhaps stretching the point… but my teeth do taste rather like this tea as I tongue them.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Fruity, Honey, Malt
Today I have the pleasure of trying this tea, which I’ve been curious about for quite a while. Even though I have tried blends that contain Ailaoshan Black, this is the first time I’m tasting it on its own.
The dry leaf has a warm cocoa aroma. Upon brewing, there’s more of a baked-good sweetness, maybe a touch of caramel. The tea is sublimely smooth, and the taste leans more toward malt and bread than cocoa. There’s a complicated little hint of something like dark berries in the background. As it cools, it has more of a petrichor quality for me, or as others have described, something like wet leaves. While there’s a lot going on here, this is also a comforting tea that can be easily enjoyed without thinking much about it. Thank you beelicious for the sample!
TerriHarpLady’s really given me the urge to clear out my cupboard!
This was a swap sent to me by Ost around my birthday, and there was just enough in the baggie for a pot of tea. I’m on my second steep. I agree with the notes on the WP website about this – the tea smelled a lot like fruit after the initial steep was done. I think the smell I got the most of was plum.
However, the taste was a bit more muted and cocoa-like. Glad I got to try some of this, but I don’t know if this would be a restock for me (especially considering how the CDN dollar has turned the exchange rate into murder.)
The snow is drifted high in front of my garage door, and my poor shoulder screamed at the idea of trying to shovel my out, so instead of going to church this morning, I am drinking tea and knitting. I still have some of this left from the sample WP sent me so I decided this would be my morning cup. Mmmm, delicious. So smooth, so silky. There is nothing better than a cup of hot tea when the wind is howling outside.
Mmm tasty. Very chocolately and fruity, with a bit of a red wine intensity. Sweet and smooth. A bit of baked bread on the nose.
I was worried I under leafed this initially, but an extra 30 seconds of steeping was all it needed.
Drinking this around room temp, since I got distracted by phone calls just as I finished steeping this.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Fruity, Red Wine, Smooth, Sweet
Another Whispering Pines sample! I needed a treat to make this morning at work even remotely bearable, and obviously I turned to tea in my time of need. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, and gave it three minutes in water just cooled from boiling. No additions. While brewing, the scent is wonderfully savoury – I’m thinking rye bread, in particular.
To taste, it’s just as wonderful as I’d hoped. It reminds me of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black (which I loved), and even a little of Verdant’s Laoshan Black (although that’s a relatively distant memory now). Initially, it’s quite chocolatey, although it’s an almost bittersweet dark chocolate/cocoa flavour. Then, in the mid-sip, the fruitiness emerges! Plum and blackberry are the descriptors best suited; a little tart, a little sharp, but with a wonderful juiciness that makes this an absolute pleasure to sip. In the aftertaste, I’m picking up mostly bread. It matches the scent almost perfectly, in a savoury, lightly malty way. It’s a wonderful combination of flavours – sitting here, it’s almost got me thinking of summer pudding. Or maybe craving is the right word, if I’m honest.
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but black tea like this makes me wonder why I bother with flavoured tea at all. This tea tastes vibrant and fresh, and is so utterly, perfectly smooth; almost like honey. Definitely one I’ll be needing to repurchase!
Very interesting. I can honestly say that I have never tasted a tea anything like this one. Very unique character. I just didn’t get very much in the way of chocolate notes. It’s there, but very subtle. What surprised me most were the floral, almost rose notes – Almost Darjeeling-like, but not a trace of astringency. The anise/ licorice notes surprised me too. Adding to the eclectic mix were pronounced notes of wood, plum, and an orange cream flavor.
Although this tea is absolutely nothing like I had anticipated (The chocolate notes being ever so subtle) I thoroughly enjoyed every sip. The pleasantly complex uniqueness of the flavor should definitely be experienced. Very nice indeed.
Flavors: Anise, Autumn Leaf Pile, Chocolate, Cream, Flowers, Licorice, Orange, Plums, Rose, Sweet, Wood
Thanks a bunch for the sample Cameron B.!
This is a delightful little tea. If honey wheat bread took a liquid form, this would be it. I don’t find the cocoa others did, but that’s okay. The honey and malt notes are good enough for me. I’ll definitely add this to the list of WP teas I need whenever I get around to making that order I’ve been planning for… 3 months now :)