I personally didn’t think this tea could get better…It was already a perfect embodiment of the love I have for my hometown in Michigan. As my homesickness grows stronger, my memories of the pine forests and the recollection of the spring breeze off the river linger on. The more I miss home, the harder it becomes to create teas that bring me back. I recently took my Christmas vacation to Ohio…a land of deciduous pine forests scattered with sunlight. There, I had my first sip of White Pine – the same species found in my home, The Sleeping Bear Dunes. The White Pine is soft, smooth, and fresh with sweet buttery notes and a hint of bitterness. I decided to remove the bitterness and enhance the buttery notes by processing the pine needles as a lightly-oxidized oolong. After cutting, withering, and drying I packed up the pine and headed back west. The entire plane ride home had me thinking of how I could improve the base of The Sleeping Bear Blend. Upon landing, I had a plan…a theory to tie together a new green tea base and the beautiful White Pine needles. When I got home, the only thing on my mind was to test this theory. I switched out the mao feng green tea with a small-leaf xin yang mao jian green tea, and kept all other ratios the same. Mao Jian is soft, buttery, and reminiscent of spring grass and deep forests. The outcome was closer to my memory than anything I had ever been able to achieve. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is my first perfect embodiment of a memory in a tea, and will set the benchmark for all of my future blends. I’m proud to be able to offer the new version immediately!
Breathe life, sip inspiration.
The current batch of pine needles was harvested on December 27, 2013 in Bellbrook, Ohio.
Imagine a place with rolling pine forests fringed with open meadows and brambles of blackberry bushes just begging you to feed your senses. Imagine a place bursting with wildlife — a new ecological wonder behind every blossoming cherry tree. Imagine being knee-deep in crystal-clear water with pine needles floating by and spring in the air. Imagine love. Imagine my home: The Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Every sip of this tea brings with it a burning passion. Fresh, wild, green pine needles are sustainably wildcrafted from the deepest reaches of the wilderness and processed as a light oolong of around 20-30% oxidation. After cutting, withering, and drying, the needles are mixed with our purely blissful green tea blend, River Rain.
The final product is a lovely blend of green tea with the perfect amount of fresh pine flavor and a hint of jasmine. This tea is based off of the memory of a spring morning walk along Glen Arbor’s Crystal River with the birds singing and otters splashing along that pure, beautiful water. I have created my masterpiece. I have put my heart and soul, The Sleeping Bear Dunes, in a cup.
Breathe life, sip inspiration, and let my beautiful homeland warm your soul.
Please note: There will only be 8-10 ounces of The Sleeping Bear Blend produced each month. Due to this, we would like to limit this blend to 2 ounces per customer per order. If you’d like more, please contact us directly.
How to brew the perfect cup:
The ideal way to brew The Sleeping Bear Blend is in a 4 ounce gaiwan with 180ºF water.
Use 1 tablespoon of leaves and begin with 2-5 second infusions. Enjoy 10-15 infusions!
Alternatively, brew western style:
Steep 1/2 tablespoon of leaves
in 8 ounces of 180ºF water
for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
2nd infusion: 2 minutes
3rd infusion: 3 minutes
Sustainably wildcrafted white pine needles