Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Baked Bread, Chocolate, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Red Wine, Smooth, Sweet, Anise, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cream, Flowers, Licorice, Orange, Plums, Rose, Wood, Caramel, Peat, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Grapes, Sweet Potatoes, Molasses, Raisins, Floral, Tobacco, Butternut Squash, Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Herbs, Jam, Berries, Nuts, Dates
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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 / 280 ml

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93 Tasting Notes View all

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.

93 Tasting Notes

128 tasting notes

Thanks so much for such a generous sample of this, Dexter! :D

This tea is earthy and malty, while being fruity and bright at the same time, which makes for a really fun sip. I’m really enjoying everything that is going on in this cup. I brewed this one up western style, but I’m thinking I’m going to use my gaiwan next time, thinking all these flavours would be really interesting that way.

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205 tasting notes

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. :)

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51 tasting notes

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

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

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272 tasting notes

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!

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630 tasting notes

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 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.)

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150 tasting notes

I had this one for breakfast! I was dead tired when I got up, and decided on a plain black tea to get me going. I had a some of my sample of this left so decided to finish it off. Very nice. Smooth, a bit malty, and delicious.

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835 tasting notes

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

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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1158 tasting notes

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!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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11 tasting notes

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

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

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198 tasting notes

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 :)

Sipdown 5/75

Flavors: Malt

1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
Cameron B.

This one’s quite caramel-y to me. I never seem to find the cocoa notes that others do, either. :P


I too had difficulty in finding the cocoa notes. The dry leaf smelled more of it than the actual taste. I definitely tasted caramel though.

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