Another dark chocolatey tea today.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate
“Another dark chocolatey tea today.” Read full tasting note
“Tea Advent Calendar – Day 25 This advent calendar swap with Shae was one of the highlights of my Christmas season! Such fun to try a new tea every day leading up to Christmas…especially since I...” Read full tasting note
“An unusual tea. This is a Yunnan Red that is fruity and sweet as an oolong. A lot of apple skin and baked apples in it, plus some caramel and berries. If you steep it longer it gains some malty...” Read full tasting note
“SAMPLE SIPDOWN! Hey Guys! I recently did a review on the wonderful Whispering Pines “Cocoa Amore”. Well when I bought that, they sent me a sample of this! It was only enough for two sessions, but I...” 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.
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Tea Advent Calendar – Day 25
This advent calendar swap with Shae was one of the highlights of my Christmas season! Such fun to try a new tea every day leading up to Christmas…especially since I ended up liking the vast majority of the ones she sent. :) And of all the yummy teas I got to try, this was one of my very favorites. In all the festivities on Christmas morning, I forgot about it and let it steep for far too long…probably 15 or 20 minutes. Many black teas would have been completely undrinkable at that point, but this one was still smooth and lovely without a hint of bitterness or astringency! It’s an exceptionally smooth, sweet and fruity black tea that obviously isn’t too picky and holds up to multiple resteepings. Wouldn’t mind having this one in my cupboard long-term!
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Honey, Smooth, Sweet
An unusual tea. This is a Yunnan Red that is fruity and sweet as an oolong. A lot of apple skin and baked apples in it, plus some caramel and berries. If you steep it longer it gains some malty backbone but never gets bitter. It’s very smooth. and flavors are well-defined.
It’s quit a unique tea if not super complex.
Flavors: Apple, Berries, Candied Apple, Caramel, Malt
Hey Guys! I recently did a review on the wonderful Whispering Pines “Cocoa Amore”. Well when I bought that, they sent me a sample of this! It was only enough for two sessions, but I figured I’d review it while I had a bit left.
Ok, I brewed this a bit stronger than it said to. I used a full teaspoon and a half maybe for 16oz of water. Also, the cuppa I’ve got right now I lost track of and brewed a bit over the 5 minute recommended mark. But all that behind us, let’s get onto the tea.
Taste is… very robust, if that is the word I’m looking for. It’s very rich, with a strong black tea flavor, along with (let me try and suss this out here…) I think I’m getting a bit of Malt, Raisin and some Leather too. My palate is not nearly refined enough to pick out all the flavors, but there are a ton of different notes here. Ever so slight cacao flavor, but nowhere near like my Yunnan Golds have. It’s a very warm and inviting flavor, and I think this would be a good starter tea for people wanting to get into loose leaf. Even overbrewed like I made this cup it is still very lovely. This is my first cup of Aliaoshan that I recall actually having, so I think I will have to experiment more in this field. This was wonderful. Highly recommend.
Flavors: Cacao, Leather, Malt, Raisins
I received this free sample. It came in a pouch, with good labeling and a 7.5 g serving. Lots of reviews, but looks like I’m somewhat of an outlier.^^
The dry leaves had a great aroma of molasses, cocoa, spices, malt, nuts. After the rinse, the lid smelled even better, along the same lines but with the addition of fried plantains and sweet potatoes. It remained flavorful to the end with constant changes throughout all the infusions. It was complex and I was glad I did shorter infusions in the beginning. Sweet potatoes were the main constant from beginning to end. Notes of roasted nuts, molasses, dark chocolate, bittersweet and sweet chocolate, malt, toast, a little citrus here and there, plums, caramel, spices too. It was a smooth and creamy mouthfeel in the beginning and then that changed too. Their site says it gives a “glassy” mouthfeel. It never got bitter nor astringent.
110ml porcelain gaiwan, put the entire 7.5g in it., 205°F, rinse, 11 steeps: 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 35s, 45s, 55s, 65s, 75s, 120s.
Flavors: banana, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Molasses, Nuts, Plum, Spices, Sweet Potatoes, Toasted, Yams
I feel like I say this all the time: “Finally getting around to trying (insert name of tea here)” but here we are.
This brews up quite light in color and flavor, as I find many of Whispering Pines teas do. Not a complaint at all, just an observation. I am not getting much in the way of malty, cocoa richness. There is a pleasant citrusy note that I find refreshing. Also a bit of earthiness. A very nice tea, but Golden Orchid remains my favorite. I do not recommend having this with milk, as it’s a bit too delicate for it and the flavors get lost. Going to try the spent leaves as a cold brew next, so we’ll see how that goes.
Flavors: Citrus, Earth
Here’s another one of the Spring 2016 teas I have desperately been trying to finish. This was one of my first purchases from Whispering Pines Tea Company and I totally forgot I still had it. At first, I was a little concerned about the tea’s age, but after opening the pouch and catching a whiff of ridiculously herbal, woody tea leaves, my concern melted away. I found this tea to be an exceptionally balanced black tea with enough depth and complexity to keep one coming back for more.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of malt, wood, roasted nuts, spice, and molasses. After the rinse, I began to catch hints of citrus, camphor, sweet potato, and leather. The first infusion produced an almost identical bouquet. In the mouth, I detected a mix of wood, nuts, leather, and malt underscored by hints of citrus, camphor, sweet potato, molasses, and spice. Subsequent infusions allowed the nut impressions to more clearly define themselves. They reminded me of a combination of roasted almond, roasted chestnut, and beechnut. The sweet potato, camphor, and molasses notes strengthened slightly, joined by notes of caramel, butter, pine, smoke, honey, minerals, and dark chocolate. The indistinct citrus impressions morphed into a clear orange presence, while the melange of spices also came into focus, resembling a mix of anise, black licorice, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper. The later infusions were clean and smooth on the nose and in the mouth. I detected mild notes of malt, butter, leather, roasted nuts, and minerals underscored by lingering citrus, spice, pine, camphor, and honey tones.
Overall, this was an exceptionally refined Yunnan black tea. I could see what all the fuss was about and only wish that I had gotten to this one a little sooner. I guess that just means I’ll have to pick up a pouch of the 2017 harvest at some point in the near future.
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Black Pepper, Butter, Camphor, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Ginger, Honey, Leather, Licorice, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange, Pine, Roasted Nuts, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Wood