Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Chinese Black Tea
Flavors
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
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 9 oz / 270 ml

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52 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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
    81
    Silaena 4840 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...” Read full tasting note
    100
    Duckins 13 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...” Read full tasting note
    paradigmamnesia 889 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,...” Read full tasting note
    89
    Lariel 367 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!

Harvest
March 2014

Notes
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

http://whisperingpinestea.com/ailaoshan-black.html

About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

Company description not available.

52 Tasting Notes

81
4840 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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100
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

TheTeaFairy

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!

Clint

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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889 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 :)

Marzipan

Good plan, get the hubby hooked.

Cheri

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.

Stephanie

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

Sarsonator

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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89
367 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 shall definitely be part of a future order.

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

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95
229 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.

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

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!!

Mandy

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. :)

Cheri

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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90
261 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!

Sil

WHOOHOO!! sounds fun!

mj

Are you just watching or participating? Have fun!!

boychik

Have fun!

Marzipan

I came in 3rd place

mj

Woot! Nicely done :)

christeana1

What is a ticket to ride tourney?

Marzipan

It’s a board game :)

christeana1

Ahhh:) fun!

Stephanie

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

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94
187 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!!!

Preparation
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

MzPriss

Laughing extremely hard

Sarsonator

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

MzPriss

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

Sarsonator

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!

MzPriss

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

Sarsonator

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

TheTeaFairy

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,)

Sarsonator

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

TheTeaFairy

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!

Sarsonator

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!

TheTeaFairy

Maple syrup gets the seal of approval in EVERYTHING!!

Sarsonator

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.

MzPriss

I call maple syrup in tea “Terri-style”

Terri HarpLady

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

Sarsonator

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!

MzPriss

Teacret Terri-style

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88
288 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from Nicole (I also have a sample from Whispering Pines and I have another ounce coming on Wednesday). I’m kind of anxious to try it since it seems to have quite a following around here. The leaves are very dark and spindly – like a miniature version of Taiwanese black leaves. They smell of raisins and cocoa, with some malt, tobacco, and honey notes. Brewed according to the package directions.

The brewed tea smells strongly of sweet potatoes, with a malty edge. There’s a deep molasses scent, and a lighter raisin note that makes me think of golden raisins. The taste is pretty similar to the aroma. Lots of sweet potato with strong malt taste. There’s a fruitiness that reminds me of plums and raisins. I don’t get any chocolate from this at all. And there’s a floral aftertaste that kind of seems soapy to me? The body is lighter than a lot of other Chinese blacks I’ve tried, maybe a little bit thin.

Now I know that this will probably get me pelted with rotten vegetables, but I don’t love this tea. And I’m unhappy because I feel like I didn’t get the flavors that a lot of other people mentioned, like chocolate and caramel, and it makes me feel like I’m at fault somehow in my tasting of this. Frustrating…

Holding off on the rating until I give it a couple more tries.

Flavors: Floral, Malt, Plums, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
whatshesaid

I didn’t go mad over it either, though I did enjoy it! ’Twas no Golden Orchid though. Nor north winds.

Cameron B.

It just makes me sad when I feel like I’m somehow not getting the full potential. Maybe my concept of chocolate is just too ingrained in sweetness, I don’t know. :/

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’ve noticed that the flavor of this tea changes DRAMATICALLY based on the quality of water you’re using. What kind of water are you using?

Cameron B.

Brenden, that’s a good idea. I generally just use tap water, but I’ve never had issues before. I can definitely try this one again tomorrow using bottled water and see if that makes the difference. I really want to love it! :(

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I know how that goes. I feel the same with about Laoshan Black. haha.

I have also noticed that sometimes when I have this tea, I don’t get any of the notes either. To me, it seems that this tea needs everything to be just right (mood, water, etc) for the best taste. I’d also recommend drinking this outdoors. :)

Dexter

(Cameron – I’m probably going to get pelted too, but sometimes I find that a lower steep temp and long steep time will bring out the chocolate notes in back tea – I haven’t actually tried THIS ONE – but when I’m having problems “finding” the chocolate, I try about 85-90 for 5-6 minutes. If the bottled water doesn’t help, that would be my suggestion – or at least that’s what I would do….) Good Luck – hope you find steeping parameters that work for you….

Cameron B.

Thanks for the helpful advice, everyone! I’ll be sure to try this one again in the morning and see if I can’t get it to taste like chocolate somehow. You’ve definitely cheered me up at least. :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) You might also have luck trying to find the salted caramel and going from there. Search for the salt and then for the cocoa :P

TheTeaFairy

Cameron, nothing to feel bad about. You just need to find your sweet spot, like everybody said, try different ways. And maybe it just won’t work for you, it happens.

For me personally, the water makes a huge difference, I never use tap. I agree with Dexter about the lower temp. I’ve had it almost every morning for the last couple of weeks and my favourite way to brew is 5 min at 190F. The first thing I smell and taste is salted caramel, and it’s very sweet. The cocoa notes are there but not as dominant, at least not to me. I think everyone gave good advices, good luck on your next attempt :-)

boychik

Cameron, if it makes you feel better no chocolate for me either. It’s more fruity to me, even grapes or longan,plums. Let’s blame it on NY tap water which is very good by all reports. We have perfect alkali

Terri HarpLady

I’m gonna chime in on water. Next week I’ll be going to visit my folks in FL, & although I usually avoid bottled water, I’ll go through a case or 2 while I’m there, because the tap water is so disgusting to taste & smell, plus it makes me swell up. I’m sorry to say this, but most bottled waters also suck, I never feel hydrated by it, & it tends to make tea taste flat, but better than having them taste like sulphur.

Mandy

Terri you know FL water is bad when you go on a cruise and the water on the ship does wonders for your poor torchered hair. The first night I didn’t understand why my hair suddenly felt so much softer. I’ve also had family from New York complain about the water in Florida ruining their hair. As far as bottled water, I so agree. I can’t stand Dasani, especially. Zephyrhills is pretty decent though.

CameronB I found that with some teas with cocoa notes, loudly slurping a sip almost like your gargling it helps to draw out the cocoa note. This sort of aerates the tea and something about causing molecules going up the back of the nasal canal and improving the aroma and flavor or something. I don’t know I read something about it once a while back and it seems to help me.

MzPriss

I don’t think you’ll get pelted with anything. You like what you like and nothing tastes the same to anyone as it does to anyone else. Play around with it and see, but if you don’t love it in the end, you just don’t love it – not a thing in the world wrong with that. I feel the same way about several teas that get lots of rave reviews. There’s lots of tea out there to love :)

TeaTiff

I completely agree with MzPriss. I have my favorites and they seem to be hit or miss with Steepster favorites. No pelting with tomatoes ever on here. For instance LB and Golden Fleece… I can’t rave over these like others can, but my favorites seem to be hit or miss with others. I really like this tea but I didn’t get chocolate out of it at all, it was more of a creamy malty taste for me and it seemed to be a mood tea for me. The first time I had it, it was eh, the second time it was really good. We will see what the third time brings.

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100
245 tasting notes

This is my #1 favorite tea, hands down. I’ve already had it many times Western style, but I thought I needed to experience it gongfu style too. Let me tell you, that experience deserves its own review too! Here’s how I brewed: 3g at 205F H2O for 15/15/30/40/60 sec

steep 1: This steep is all bread and chocolate with a honey sweet finish. Chocolate croissant, anyone?

steep 2: The chocolate hides for this steep, but caramel comes out to play and brings its friend butter, all over the bready base. Mmmm so buttery and smooth!

steep 3: This was a repeat of steep 2. I’m not mad about that at all.

steep 4: This steep is where it’s at. OMG. Dying. Caramel + dark chocolate + honey. So sweet and so smooth

steep 5: And we finish up with buttery, scrumptious bread. Steep four was my favorite, but this is actually a really nice way to finish the session!

Everyone, do yourself a favor and get your hands on some Ailaoshan Black. You’ll be in total tea love too :)

Sarsonator

We are morning tea twins today :)

mj

Yay tea twins! Too bad we couldn’t have a Sunday morning tea party

Sarsonator

We can, in the future :)

Stephanie

I got a sample of this finally! dances around can’t wait to try!

MzPriss

We can totally have a Sunday morning tea party. I may have to insist on chocolate croissants though * dies Sarsy’s eyes *

Sarsonator

Mmmmm croissants.

mj

I’m down for a sunday morning tea party with chocolate croissants! Oh, twist my arm :-P

MzPriss

HIDES. dang! There is just no reason NOT to have a Sunday morning tea party.

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90
107 tasting notes

From the unflavored TTB.
I used less tea than I normally do per the instructions in the TTB. I didn’t need more than 1 gram. Powerful nose is a blend of autumn leaves, chocolate, and smoke. The taste is similar. This is a very good tea, but I think I prefer the Yunnan stlye that is heavier on the chocolate. The finish is almost ethereal: the blend of the flavors changes subtly and it fades very slowly. Others’ tasting notes mention caramel, and the flavor now seems obvious to me, but I don’t see the honey, raisins, etc.

Although this isn’t my favorite flavor mix, the tea was so well made and interesting that it still rates a very high score.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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