Tea type
Black Tea
Fujian Xiao Zhong, Yunnan Dian Hong
Chocolate, Malt, Apple, Caramel, Cherry, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Cocoa, Smooth, Wood, Campfire, Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Honey, Raisins, Peppercorn, Apricot, Carrot, Pepper, Rye, Sweet, Toast
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 oz / 233 ml

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77 Tasting Notes View all

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

My house black tea for good reason — North Winds is the essence of northern Michigan. This tea is a blend of black tea from Fujian and a wild picked black tea from Yunnan. After harvesting, these teas were sent to a tea master in Anxi to custom roast specifically for Whispering Pines. I opted for a medium roast to bring out the heavier chocolate notes. The tea is roasted at a low temperature for a longer time to enhance the natural sweetness and bring out caramel notes while still retaining the more subtle fruity characteristics. This tea is unique in taste and aroma, and I am very proud to offer it, as a lot of love and passion has been put into the creation and quality of this blend.

Heavy tart cherry notes bring you to Traverse City while creamy chocolate notes allow you to have that Mackinaw Island fudge without having to take the ferry. North Winds is immensely smooth and clean, hinting at cream and caramel apple mid-sip. Throughout the entire experience you’ll notice a constant warm pine-infused honey and a grainy barley sugar wafting through the rustic body. A touch of allspice balances out the tea on the finish. This exceptional tea will infuse well over 10 times when brewed gongfu style and its potent nature can be felt as a warming cha qi as well as vibrant taste.

North Winds is blended seasonally to achieve the most balanced flavor profile. The current offering is a blend of Spring 2015 material from Fujian and Yunnan provinces of China, custom roasted in September 2015.

Michigan is full of wondrous little towns known for the things they have perfected and small spots of nature that will take your breath away. This tea is inspired by the entire northern area of Michigan, from Traverse City to the Les Cheneaux Islands.

Traverse City is in the northern lower peninsula of the state. They are widely known for their amazing cherries, which are sold alongside other fruits from roadside stands during the summer months. You can get anything cherry here, and it will spoil you for cherries forever. I’ll never be able to eat cherries elsewhere! =)

Heading northward from the cherry capitol of the world and over the longest suspension bridge in the northern hemisphere brings you to Mackinaw Island. This island is full of little shops, cafes, and bakeries, and they are very well known for their fudge. Any flavor of fudge you can imagine can be found on this island, but you can never go wrong with a piece of dark chocolate fudge as Autumn is closing in!

As the north winds bring you higher and the first snow begins to fall, the Les Cheneaux Islands and surrounding area of the upper peninsula will send chills down your spine. The wind picks up, the lake begins to freeze, and a snowstorm will keep you indoors with a hefty cup of black tea as company. Looking outside at the winter wonderland, you can’t help but notice that you are in the most beautiful place in the world.

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.

77 Tasting Notes

569 tasting notes

So good! Rich and chocolatey, quite easy to drink.


Yes, yes this one is so yummy <3

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53 tasting notes

I’m upping my rating on this one. I’ve been happily drinking it all day so far and it just hits the spot for this cold wet day.

(Its 20 degrees warmer today than it was all weekend or last week, but the rain just makes it seem colder.)

I don’t think I’ve hit the astringency this time around. Maybe I’ve been drinking fast enough that it hasn’t had time to get cold. Busy day and I haven’t had much time to contemplate the subject.

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

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657 tasting notes

Sipdown. Keep in mind that I don’t have a well-developed palate for unflavored black teas, but to me this just seemed like a weaker version of Jabberwocky. It was still pleasant and I enjoyed the sample, but if I was purchasing again, I’d definitely go for the Jabberwocky.

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2238 tasting notes

The last time I tried this one, I was drinking the old version and I remember really enjoying it. It was on the strength of that cup that I bought a new bag (although after the switch to the new version), and I’m only just now getting around to trying it.

The dry leaf smells just like cocoa. In fact, I could have been convinced that I’d opened a tin of cocoa by mistake if I hadn’t been able to see what I was doing. It’s definitely tea, but SO chocolatey it’s almost unreal.

Once brewed, it’s still amazingly chocolatey! I added a splash of milk just because, although in all honesty it didn’t really need it. The flavour is predominantly chocolate and malt, with just a touch of berry sharpness right at the end of the sip. It seems simple, but it’s SO good. This one could easily become a comfort tea for me.

1 tsp, boiling water, 3.5 minutes. Splash of milk.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

One of these days I need to take the plunge and just order this and Golden Orchid when they’re back in stock. See what all these awesome raves are about!

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503 tasting notes

Sipdown also from August.
Bye to this delicious tea.

Also sipped down this fall: Georgia Natela’s Gold Standard Black Tea – What-Cha
Drink (Don’t Eat) Grapefruit Sugar Scrub Tea – 52 Teas
Lone Tree – Mandala tea
Black Beauty – Gong Fu Tea
Dragon’s Well – Gong Fu Tea
Phoenix Pearl – zen tea
Nepal Silver Oolong – What-Cha

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694 tasting notes

I fell in love with this tea in Summer of 2014. I believe that batch was a combination of Fujian Black and Dian Hong. The first sip of this… damn the FB is not there. It is way more smokey/savory without the sweet deep chocolate note that I loved from FB. I quickly went to the website to see what was replacing the FB. Xiao Zhong, yep that would explain the smokey/savory note. I like it, but I am not as in love with it as I was with the Summer 2014 version. This is missing the sweetness of the other version and it seems a tad thinner than before, but without a side by side comparison I can’t say for sure. Still a wonderful tea, just a little different.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

The teas in this are the same…sadly though heavy rains this spring killed the chocolate notes in almost all black teas. Hoping for a dry spring next year. I really miss that dark chocolate too. :-(


Agree with you on the thinness, but also agree that it’s still an excellent tea!


Aw, interesting… I had never seen the name of FB then…. Thanks for the correction! I still love it, maybe next year deep chocolate will come back:)

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513 tasting notes

Just here to confirm that I think this tea is quite delicious, and distinct enough from other blacks that it deserves recognition. Had it with my croissant this morning and it was a lovely pairing. I kind of like not having too too many teas in my cupboard at once—it really forces me to drink down what I do have, and to enjoy it while it’s still fresh. I have some more tea on the way through a friend who’s visiting her boyfriend in the states, and I think I’ll be done at least some of my stash by then.

That said, I am fantasizing so, so deeply about when next I’ll be able to enjoy WP’s TGY. This afternoon, maybe? and also all day Sunday?

Yaaah it’s Friday!

0 OZ / 0 ML

mmmm…croissants :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I second Kristal’s comment…and, mmmmmm…lilacs :-)


Yeah friday!!! :D


Croissants and lilacs…omg, I can’t focus at work when I think of drinking lilacs.


So glad that there are still companies who are committed to helping us drink flowers!

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27 tasting notes

My Cherie Amour! Chocolate covered cherries. Yes please, I’ll have some more! No wait! The caramel apple calls to me more.

From what I remember from visiting Mackinac as a child (I think this is the same island Brenden is referring to), this delightful tea does indeed recall that experience. The island is cozy, quaint and saturated with opportunities to sample caramel apples, fudge and many other dazzling treats. Our grandparents were with us, so our sweet tooths (teeth?) were indulged to the fullest.

Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate, Creamy, Dried Fruit

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556 tasting notes

I like this one pretty well, it’s nice and smooth,not quite as chocolatey and bold as the previous North Winds, this one is more fruity and floral, still very delicious.
I ordered my Autumn 2015 North Winds already so I’m gonna enjoy this one up while I have it, i’ll prolly save some back so i can taste them side by side just for funs,
I have always enjoyed all versions of North Winds that I have had,it is one of our favs I think.

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1143 tasting notes

So much better since I added more leaves. Last time, I poured two tea spoons, but they were far from being full. I thought that since the leaves are so stringy for this tea that they would open up bigger, but I was wrong on that front. I used a heaping half of a tablespoon, almost a full one really, and it tasted way better.

Like I said in the previous review, North Winds is the best suited name for this tea. It smells exactly like the wind in Northern Michigan, even the woods here in Port Huron closer to Canada and the Lake. Wood, maple, cocoa, and campfire is what I personally smell when I take a single whiff of this. Last time I drank it, I tasted a cocoa, roasted black tea that was not that different from a Keemum. This time, with more leaves, there is so much more flavor. The taste is the same as the rustic aroma, being a pure breakfast blend having a simpler, yet more genuine quality than a usual English Breakfast. It’s almost like a less astringent, smoother version of an Irish Breakfast. I am glad that I decided to try this one again, and getting more out of it. My only criticism is the expense, as there are better teas that are near the same price on Whispering Pines website. Also, my sights are honed in on Golden Orchid when it comes back in stock, so I am anticipating what this particular tea base will be like with a vanilla accent. North Winds still needs another note to really fill the cup to its impressive potential, and vanilla might be the finishing note to crescendo it to greater heights.

Pompous hyperbole aside, a lot of people would like it. Breakfast tea, southern sweet iced tea, and European black tea lovers would enjoy it. Though it’s slightly better Gonfu, a Chinese brewing method, it’s more reminiscent of a European drink to me. Newbies might require cream and sugar anyway, but it by no means tastes bad with the additives. I just prefer drinking my tea without sweetener.

Flavors: Campfire, Cocoa, Malt, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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