Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Baked Bread, Sweet Potatoes, Molasses, Raisins, Floral, Malt, Plums, Tobacco, Butternut Squash, Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cherry, Herbs, Jam, Wood, Caramel, Chocolate, Fruity, Berries, Cocoa, Grapes, Nuts, Dates
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 9 oz / 267 ml

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59 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I drank this tea two days ago but am just now getting around to noting that I had it thanks to Steepster's craziness. Thanks to *Cameron B.* for a sample of this tea! I will definitely have to...” Read full tasting note
    dinosara 1963 tasting notes
  • “This is really really good. I taught my first lesson today for student teaching, a social studies lesson. Went really well overall, and only made a couple very minor mistakes out of nerves. But it...” Read full tasting note
    Zimaleah501 296 tasting notes
  • “I'm starting the day with a sipdown from my *TeaFairy* collection, :) This is such a rich & nuanced tea, that I don't know where to begin. It's sweet, thick, & tangy, heavily, but naturally, ...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2914 tasting notes
  • “sweet potatoes and bread and..honey? Thanks for sending this one my way *dexter* While it's a lovely tea, I prefer the way the eldergrove blend tastes. This was one that i would have picked...” Read full tasting note
    Silaena 4939 tasting notes

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

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!

March 2014

Toasted Cocoa
Caramelized Plum
Black Currant
Longan Fruit
Salted Caramel

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


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.

59 Tasting Notes

1963 tasting notes

I drank this tea two days ago but am just now getting around to noting that I had it thanks to Steepster’s craziness.

Thanks to Cameron B. for a sample of this tea! I will definitely have to write a better note the next time I have it. For now I will just say that to me this tasted a lot like a Taiwanese black tea. But as far as I can tell this is a mainland tea? It has those fruity notes with a touch of honey. Of course there is that odd fruity character that is present in Taiwanese blacks that isn’t my favorite note, but this was a pretty tasty cup of tea anyway.

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296 tasting notes

This is really really good. I taught my first lesson today for student teaching, a social studies lesson. Went really well overall, and only made a couple very minor mistakes out of nerves. But it meant that in the morning (and this whole week) I am waking up extra early (I leave at 6:40am) to rehearse my lesson and such, and this is perfect to wake me up. It is toasty and a bit fruity and earthy and super yum. I steeped it a second time to take in the car with me.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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2914 tasting notes

I’m starting the day with a sipdown from my TeaFairy collection, :)
This is such a rich & nuanced tea, that I don’t know where to begin. It’s sweet, thick, & tangy, heavily, but naturally, perfumed with an oolong like floral quality, sweet potato & apricot. And more.
That’s all I can say, I gotta get out of bed & cook breakfast!




Mmmmm, I need my fix of this almost everyday!!


I looooove this


It was so good, but I don’t have anymore.


This is still my #1 favorite tea. It’s held that spot for a while now

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4939 tasting notes

sweet potatoes and bread and..honey? Thanks for sending this one my way dexter While it’s a lovely tea, I prefer the way the eldergrove blend tastes. This was one that i would have picked up, so i’m happy to be able to cross it off my list, though it IS tasty. Keep up the great work brendan! :)

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13 tasting notes

Wowzers! This tea sure was delicious! This is hands down the best black tea that I’ve had up to this point. It just makes me feel all warm and cozy on the inside. Like many others state about this tea, it reminded me of baked bread and sweet potatoes. A year ago I would have been disconcerted if someone told me that their tea tasted like bread and potatoes. Now I’m like “mmmm bread-tea om nom nom”

I definitely plan on attaining more of the delicious nectars that are Whispering Pine teas!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Sweet Potatoes


Aila is simply addictive, I drink it almost every morning, and I can’t read about it without having to fix myself a cup, so here I go, cheers!


Haha! Well, I’m glad that I made your day better then! This will definitely be my new morning tea. I can’t wait to drink it on cold winter mornings!! Eeeeee I get excited for such random things…..

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912 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample Marzipan!

Everyone is right, this is very good stuff! Rich, sweet malty and full of cocoa goodness. I feel a Whispering Pines order in the future…my husband is in love with Golden Orchid :)


Good plan, get the hubby hooked.


I keep offering mine teas I think he would like while I’m drinking them, or sniffs of teas that I think he’ll like when I get them. Every once in a while now he’ll ask me for some tea.


Mine’s dedicated to his coffee, but enjoys tea on occasion too :)


I’m glad you have an SO who also likes tea. I enjoy morning tea time with my boyfriend, even if he doesn’t like my pu’erhs. :)

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407 tasting notes

Cameron B sent me so I could try some Whispering Pines teas. After I brewed it, I got a scent of sweet potatoes, and a some baked bread. The flavour made think of raisin bread, except a bit dark, and maybe molasses.

This is very nice blended with the Fujian black tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Molasses, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes

Cameron B.

I’m so glad you like it. :) But then again, all of Whispering Pines’s teas are good, which you will soon learn. I now wish I had brought this one with me on my trip. :P

Lariel of Lórien

I added this to a sampler I ordered. Because… tea reasons.

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247 tasting notes

This is one of those teas that when I have, I want to smack old me on the head. For some reason I used to avoid unflavored black teas like the plague. I guess I assumed all black tea tasted like McDonalds sweet iced tea (which, as much as saying so might get me stoned by the cult following said tea has down here, I can’t stand).
Thankfully, and to my total surprise, straight black teas can actually be good! Especially this tea. I get a great amount of cocoa out of this tea. Cocoa and caramel are the two strongest notes I get. I’ve never had caramelized plum (sounds divine) I can imagine that the dark, tantalizing, fruity undertone that I’m getting here is just that.

Absolutely amazing, this tea is a symbol for everything I was missing when I was shunning black teas.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I love this review Mandy…me and Aila have a very special relationship as you may or may not know :-)
If you like them, try eating fresh cherries with it….divine!!


Oh I can’t help but notice all of your favorite little tea babies. You’re definitely one of the reasons I have such a hard time not placing more orders for more tea!

I really need to get some cherries! Seeing you mention them all the time has got me craving some!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Cherries are the best. EVER. :)


It is cherry season…..

I have the same relationship with straight blacks, although not because I thought of McD’s sweet tea…but I have avoided them, but I’m working slowly on changing that. Mostly because people write all these amazing tasting notes.

Tea Sipper

Oh my gosh, you need to introduce those McDs iced tea fans to actual tea!!

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263 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. Nom nom nom. We are off to a Ticket to Ride tournament because we are geeks. Have a good Saturday!


WHOOHOO!! sounds fun!


Are you just watching or participating? Have fun!!


Have fun!


I came in 3rd place


Woot! Nicely done :)


What is a ticket to ride tourney?


It’s a board game :)


Ahhh:) fun!


Hey I played that one for the first time just a couple of weeks ago! Nice!

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223 tasting notes

Whispering Pines is going to be the death of me, but at least I’ll die a very happy, tea-drunk death.

Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 203 degrees, 3 minutes, French Press

Dry Leaf and Brewing Aroma: light malts and honey

Flavor: Why, WP, WHY?!?!? Every time I think I’ve found my favorite tea, I end up with another beauty. And then I have to go order some. This was a sample from MzPriss(HoneyBelle) and I was dying to try it after her glowing review.

This tea is just lovely. Really wonderful. It has a very mild, smooth feel. It’s naturally sweet, and very noticeably so. It has a light malt flavor, but then there are these juicy fruits on top of that! I’m really amazed at how good this is. This is going on my list of teas that I want to drink every day.

I had a wonderful evening last night with dinner at the Macaroni Grill and then some RiffTrax Live Sharknado! I woke up in a great mood and this tea just enhanced my morning. I’m starting to think that MzPriss may be a Tea Secret Agent, writing amazing reviews and then sending out samples to make me buy more tea! LOL. And her co-conspirator is TheTeaFairy!!!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

They are both registered Teacret Agents. That is all I can say on that subject, the rest is entirely confidential :P


Laughing extremely hard


I KNEW it! I look forward to the day when I am recruited into the Teacret Society as a Teacret Agent. Wait, I mean, no. Not interested. You keep your Teacret Societies to yourselves. wink wink


All these people blaming my totally innocent self for their tea addictions. TeaTiff blamed me for her Golden Monkey problem this morning too.


I call shenanigans on your innocent act! :p

In all seriousness, I think we all love you and TTF and your passion for awesome tea. My bank account doesn’t appreciate it, but I know I do. :)

You two make excellent Teacret Agents. I hope you’re well-paid! With extra tea hazard pay!


Well the thing is there is awesome all over the place. The one thing you won’t ever see is me being passionate about tea that isn’t spectacular IMO. So whether it’s this or the Golden Monkey or Special Dark or Golden Orchid or Wee Snaily Yums (I mean Golden Snail) or Wild Monk or Laoshan Black (etc, etc, etc) I will assault you with superlatives – but I will also share amazing tea :D


No one will ever accuse you of being blasé about tea while I am around! Or else!


Hahaha! Too bad i missed this post this morning :-)
Oh, this is so hilarious.

Thank god me and MzPriss have some kind of credibility here…at least I’d like to think we do:-) (we’ve both been steepster members for 3 and more years)

I have tried and seen many companies through the years, I’ve also been approached by a few to get “involved” with them. I can tell you that WP is at the top right now with just a few other places I order from, and I would NEVER say this if he was paying me to say it. I buy and pay my tea (except for the occasional teacret samples:-)) and the day I try one of his tea I DON’T like, I will not be afraid to say so (but really, I doubt that this will ever happen!!)

Like MzPriss said, if the passion isn’t au rendez-vous, than you will never read a raving review from me.

(Sarsonator, I will strongly recommend your recruitment!!! You seem to be teacret worthy…or i never said that…wink, wink,)


I think it’s wonderful that you give totally honest opinions. And I know they are honest because when I later try those teas, they’re just as amazing as you said they would be!!!

Oh and thanks so much, TTF!!! I really want to learn the teacret handshake! :p


Haha! Will be working on that :-)
And I forgot to say, I’m really glad you liked the tea…I start my day with this one almost every morning!


I can see why! It’s really impressive. I may try this with a little maple syrup next time. Somehow I think it might be good that way!


Maple syrup gets the seal of approval in EVERYTHING!!


Yes, I have noticed that it seems to be the holy elixir of steepster! I assume that it is the official sweetener of the teacret society.


I call maple syrup in tea “Terri-style”

Terri HarpLady

Does that mean I get to be a teacret agent too? ;)


Absolutely. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if a tea technique is named after you, you won’t even need to do the interview portion. Lucky!


Teacret Terri-style

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