Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Whispering Pines Tea Co.
My house black tea for good reason — North Winds is the essence of northern Michigan. A blend of a malty and chocolaty black tea from Fujian and a rustic high mountain dian hong with subtle fruity notes, this tea brings me home every time. Sweet fruity notes of apricot and white grape bring you to Traverse City while heavy dark chocolate notes allow you to have that Mackinaw Island fudge desert without having to take the ferry. Notes of toasted rye with cherry preserves show up mid-sip with a beautiful malt and wildflower honey finish. Light hints of sweet potato and clean white pepper mingle through the malt. These velvety smooth, decadent notes combine into a medium-bodied tea with a bold and rustic feel that makes for a perfect breakfast tea — but you’ll want to drink this all day long!
Learn more about this tea here.
This is Whispering Pines’ house black tea, and it’s become one of my house teas as well. It sits in a little tin at the front of my tea cupboard, and I drink it several times a week. When I feel like I’m beginning to run low I place an order for a couple more ounces because I never want to run out of this one. Given that I love trying new teas there aren’t too many teas that I say that about! It’s a delicious blend of Yunnan Dian Hong and Fujian Black Tea that makes me happy each time I drink it.
When I first sip this tea I get a nice mix of dark chocolate and malt. The chocolate note is deep but has a sweetness that makes me think chocolate rather than cocoa. There is also a sweet, fruity, cherry note that is eye rollingly good combined with the chocolate and malt notes. The mix of flavors reminds me of the braided cherry chocolate tarts I sometimes buy at Redding Terminal in Philadelphia. Both the tea and the tarts are sweet but not overly so. There is an underlying earthy flavor to North Winds which I appreciate since it grounds some of the brighter flavors and makes this a tea that’s good both in the morning and the afternoon. I’ve paired this tea with eggs and biscuits for breakfast. I’ve also served it with sour cream chocolate chip cake at a tea party, and my guest really enjoyed it. Overall it’s a nice, versatile, and down right tasty blend.
Whispering Pines recommends Gongfu Style brewing for this tea. I have always brewed this Western Style using 1/2 a tablespoon of leaves in 8 ounces of 205°F water, steeping the leaves for 3 minutes. I am curious to try the Gongfu Style brewing to see if it’s possible for me to enjoy this tea more than I already do. If you use different brewing styles with this tea leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!
North Winds is a winner for me and one that I’ll happily repurchase again. I’d recommend this tea to black tea lovers and anyone who enjoys or is curious about Chinese black teas.
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