Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Caramel, Chocolate, Malt, Pepper, Cocoa, Smoke, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Olive Oil, Pine, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Creamy, Honey, Molasses, Smooth, Burnt Sugar, Cream, Plums, Raisins, Cherry, Red Wine, Rose, Rosehips, Sweet, Anise, Autumn Leaf Pile, Flowers, Licorice, Orange, Wood, Grapes, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Butternut Squash, Blackberry, Herbs, Jam, Berries, Nuts, Dates
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Edit tea info Last updated by Shae
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 4 g 9 oz / 280 ml

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118 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!

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.

118 Tasting Notes

1884 tasting notes

This is the first tea that I’ve tried from this company, it came my way via the GCTTB. This tea smells more like a dark oolong than a black tea to me. It has the dried fruit flavour that reminds me of some of the darker Wuyi oolongs that I’ve tried. There’s some of the dried fruit notes in the flavour as well but overall the dominant flavour is more malty with a slight hint of cocoa.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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1869 tasting notes

I’m mostly a flavored tea drinker, but I am slowly moving into the world of unflavored blacks.
This is very smooth, and goes down a treat. Its a good, sturdy cup.
There is no bitterness to it, just a pleasant trace of maltiness.
I’ve got a bit of this left, and will enjoy my next cup.

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655 tasting notes

Generously received this sample as a part of my WP order.

Unflavoured black tea is currently resides in the “unfavoured” pile, along with sheng puerh, flavoured green (“sencha”) tea, and honeybush. That’s not to say I dislike those guys, or that I don’t have all-time favourites residing in those categories, but they do get a low priority stamp.

This Ailaoshan black is smooth, has some great flavours, and I can easily drink a whole pot serving, as opposed to a single mug steep and/or a gongfu session. Still, drinking through my black teas right now is a bit of a chore. My most voluminous teas are currently (mostly Chinese) black and rooibos blends, and I’m so very done with all that.

Maybe my tastes will change in the winter. Maybe I need to mix up the black tea section with a little darjeeling. Oh, hum.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Malt, Pepper

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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150 tasting notes

Savory, smooth, cocoa, peat, bakery, a wisp of smoke and the faintest bit of anise. Medium-rich for a black, full-flavored. A nice cup, would be delighted to find this tea in a restaurant.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke

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4457 tasting notes

Sipdown (143)!

Thank you Scheherazade for the sample!

I drank this one on the commute to work this week, I’d have loved to brew it Gong Fu but I was a little hesitant that the sample wouldn’t be quite enough leaf and my session would be a little week. And, in the end I ended up putting the rest of the sample in the GCTTB because Jillian had asked to try it, and I just had to take advantage of the chance to share a WP tea since everyone wants the chance to get to try them. Usually for good reason.

You’ll have to forgive my lazyness; I’ve built up a queue of posts this week and I’m feeling too tired to reword all of the jot notes into paragraphs, so these next few notes will likely just be copy and pasted jot notes for convenience/speed.

- Brisk/Astringent at first
- More of a round/clean flavour as it cooled
- Malt/Raisin/Honey top notes
- With some woody, cinnamon, and nut body notes
- Little bit of a sweeter marzipan finish?

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97 tasting notes

This was a super fragrant, incredibly flavorful, very generous free sample from Whispering Pines Tea Co. This tea session felt like walking through the semi damp forest in Autumn. Dark brown sugar, fall spice, dark ripened and dried fruits, malt and subtle yam, butternut squash and sweet potatoes hiding in there as well. Towards the end woodsy autumn leaves took over. These are some seriously feel good leaves of love…

5g, 100ml Purion, just under boiling and then up to boiling temperatures for 10s and counting up till around 3m for over 6 infusions.


5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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12 tasting notes

This is the third Whispering Pines black tea sample I am reviewing. I mentioned that I found them all to be a bit generic, that is generic to eachother, not among tea in general. Now the other two, I was very curious to try, but this one I just KNEW I was going to like. Why? Because I have had cocoa amore, and other black teas from the same region, with similar notes, and this one was a shoe-in. I am still not sure they send me the correct tea Haha. Bad is definitely not a word I would use to describe it, it was decent, but really, really weird. My first reaction was “This is what they use to make cocoa amore”? MY second reaction was “This tastes like pesto” No I’m not kidding, it really does, I think primarily like pine nuts but with some earthyness too that makes it very pesto-y. Very little chocolate or cocoa at all. I brewed it pretty strong but still, just not as I expected. Very fruity, very floral. Not bad by any mans though, I’m going to give it a lowish grade for now but reevaluate with the rest of my sample.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Olive Oil, Pine

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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9 tasting notes

I just got this sample from Whispering Pines Tea Company yesterday! I am so excited to try the other teas I ordered (look for tasting notes on Port, North Winds, and 2013 Ontario Pu-erh coming soon). This tea is a smooth, sweet treat. I’d like to add a longer tasting note at some point but we are starting case rounds so ta-ta for now!

I brewed this based on Brenden’s recommendations!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Creamy, Honey, Molasses, Smooth

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 24 OZ / 709 ML

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11 tasting notes

Had this tea first thing this morning, no milk. I enjoyed it, but I think I need a milky tea in the morning — it feels comforting and soothing and I need all of that that I can get in the morning! I think, for drinking teas without milk, I might prefer a brighter, fruitier tea. I’d like to get some good green samples to drink in the afternoon.

I also purchased some spring water to make my tea with at home because I made a cup of the Wild Grey with our tap water and felt like there was something in the way of the flavor, but then tried again with the spring water and liked it much more. Related: I learned online that Earl Grey isn’t traditionally served with milk! I feel like a doofus.

I’ve noticed that the Whispering Pines teas have made me quite jittery even from the first few sips, while teas from teabags usually give me a gentle energy. I’m a bit worried that loose black teas might be a bit too much for my body, which makes me sad. Especially since I just placed an order with Upton for an Assam sampler and a bunch of other samples.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cream

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

I would try some of these – red blossom sell them

Any of the green formosa oolongs – sometimes milky, sometimes fruity, always really fragrant
Bai Mu Dan – a cheap white tea
Yin Zhen silver needle – a not cheap white tea

I’m like you and get the jitters easy


Also, just looking at the info for this tea, and its actually got high caffeine listed, so its probably not you, its actually a really strong tea. Other blacks hopefully wont affect you like this


Thanks Rasseru, so helpful as always. I love the idea of trying the Red Blossom Oolongs you mentioned.

I will plow ahead with the black teas from Upton that I ordered! Hopefully my brain won’t explode.

S.G. Sanders

If you’re interested in a quality green tea, with a nutty profile, I’d suggest a Dragon Well tea.

I, too, would suggest a Formosa Oolong if you’re looking for a “milky” tea (or a tea that pairs with milk pretty well. I’ve tried Harney & Sons, and it’s very “milky” and kind of nutty/slightly earthy, but not overwhelming.

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1158 tasting notes

I am really enjoying my Whispering Pines order! All the teas seem to be very high quality!

This kind of tea is quickly becoming my favourite…malty chocolate.

This tea is malty chocolate with some caramel in the forefront. As the tea cools, the fruity notes take over, primarily plum and raisin (it says current in the description though). I have no idea what longan fruit is, so I can’t pick that note up. I also don’t really get the salted caramel but that’s ok, it’s probably just my palate. It isn’t that refined.

Resteeped at 5&8 minutes.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Malt, Plums, Raisins

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Sounds delicious!

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