DISCONTINUED (cannot be verified 100% pesticide free) - Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea
Roasted Barley, Nuts, Peanut, Roasted, Salt, Citrus, Coriander, Creamy, Marzipan, Orange Blossom, Peppercorn
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Kittenna
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 45 sec 13 oz / 377 ml

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15 Tasting Notes View all

  • “So you know how we talk about tea drunk? Well, I was tea sloshed today after finishing my last reserved oolong tea from Shi’s family farm in from China that was only a week old when sent to me....” Read full tasting note
  • “I put some of this in the GCTTB – one of the participants asked me to share some WP teas, so I did. WP asked that this tea be discarded from the GCTTB because it may contain pesticides. I...” Read full tasting note
  • “GCTTB This tea has such fantastic reviews but for me it’s just not working. I had this tea this morning and did a 2nd infusion; but each time all I got was a dark roast. I couldn’t pick up...” Read full tasting note
  • “Oh crud, I did what several other reviewers did here and oversteeped this one. It’s deceivingly strong compared to the color. I am used to getting a dark brew with high fired oolong teas, this one...” Read full tasting note

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Oolong is a famous varietal of oolong grown on Phoenix Mountain in Guangzhou, China. Phoenix mountain is a high elevation (1000m+ above sea level) mountain that spends most of the year covered in mist. Old growth tea trees thrive in these conditions, producing some of the most complex and beautiful tea available! Huang Zhi Xiang translates to Orange Blossom Fragrance, and carries subtle notes of citrus fruit and wildflowers. Our Huang Zhi Xiang is light and crisp with an intense tangerine and blood orange aroma. The flavor is smooth and sweet with thick honey and sandalwood notes, a light mineral aftertaste and lingering floral qualities. Pine notes are noticable in later infusions as well as a light peppercorn spice.

Phoenix Mountain Oolongs are generally very difficult to brew. Because of this, we have spent around six months working out the proper brewing instructions to make the perfect cup of this citrusy and complex oolong everytime! You can enjoy at least seven cups of Huang Zhi Xiang per tablespoon of tea leaves. If you can’t handle that much tea, I would highly suggest going to the 4th infusion, which is my personal favorite!

Brewing Directions: Steep 1 tablespoon (3g) of leaves in 8 ounces of 190ºF water for 1 minute.
2nd infusion: 1 minute and 30 seconds.
3rd infusion: 2 minutes.
4th infusion: 3 minutes.
5th infusion: 4 minutes.
6th infusion: 6 minutes.
7th infusion: 9 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.

15 Tasting Notes

1113 tasting notes

So you know how we talk about tea drunk? Well, I was tea sloshed today after finishing my last reserved oolong tea from Shi’s family farm in from China that was only a week old when sent to me. Some strong stuff… but then I switched to this.
This tea in comparison to other phoenix oolongs is sweet and fruity. This is something I like since it is still summer, it goes real well with the weather right now. The brew of this is rather light and has a small amount of aroma that arises from the cup. However, the subtle taste of this tea becomes vibrant from the temperature of its liquid. This is a tea you would not want to drink warm or cold. Phoenix oolongs always make me smile as they warm my mood up :)

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1040 tasting notes

I put some of this in the GCTTB – one of the participants asked me to share some WP teas, so I did.
WP asked that this tea be discarded from the GCTTB because it may contain pesticides.
I apologize to the participants of the GCTTB and everyone else I sent samples to. I was unaware of this situation and would not have shared it with others had I known.
If this is enough of a concern for them to ask that it not be passed around, I feel I should let others know who may have it in their cupboard. I’m not sure why a participant in a traveling tea box would be contacted but not customers that bought the tea. If anyone has this in their cupboard, you may want to contact Whispering Pines Tea for more information.


Dexter I wouldn’t worry about it to much. From what I understand Brendan decided to make sure that all his teas could at least meet thee EU standard. There were a few that he was unable to confirm this information from the supplier. To test individual batches of tea for residue is very expensive so he discontinued those teas. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the tea itself is toxic.


He asked that tea I bougtht and passed on to my friends be thrown out because it may be contaminated – that causes me concern.


I think that having asked that he needs to clarify. There is a big difference between this tea may contain some pesticide residues and this tea is known to exceed safe levels of pesticide residues and should not be drunk.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This tea and some other teas that I’ve sold in the past were not of a high enough quality to merit testing, so I discontinued them instead. I’m not saying they are unsafe to drink, just that they don’t meet my standards anymore. People that drink WP because they believe in the quality I strive for might drink this tea, and knowing that they might be drinking a tea with pesticide residue is enough for me to want it removed from a box meant to allow people to try different teas for possible purchase. I can tell you that I did not taste or feel effects from pesticides in any of my discontinued teas, which I generally can even on very low pesticide residue. I’m 95% sure they are safe, but I’d rather that others don’t take the chance. I also didn’t contact customers that bought the tea because it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve sold them, so I figured they’d be out of existance by now, and since my last website update, I no longer have a list of who bought them.


i have this tea. its delicious and im not going to throw it out. no way. i had several sessions and no ill effects on me.


I don’t understand.
If it’s not a tea you’re comfortable letting others try, what about those who have purchased it? It’s either safe for everyone, or it isn’t, and if you don’t want your name on it, maybe you should issue a recall or a credit so that people who have bought it (like Dexter) don’t have their money wasted because you changed your standards.

I just know that if I had decided to share some expensive teas with people, and they were told to throw them out instead of sharing them, I would be upset. The tea in those boxes are good – not just the dredges in our cupboards – and if I knew they were going to be tossed, I’m be disappointed that I wasted money buying that tea, and shipping it in the box. If you don’t think it’s good enough to share, you should really be contacting the people who bought it because some of our teas can sit in our cupboards for YEARS.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Unfortunately, I do not have a list of customers that have purchased this tea, and if I decided to do a recall, I would instantly go out of business.

I had assumed that asking for the teas to be removed and also stating that they aren’t dangerous to drink would have shown that I am leaving this up as an option for the people that put together the box.

I personally love this tea and I drink it occasionally. This has nothing to do with it being dangerous, but rather that it’s not worth it to verify that it’s completely clean when there are other sources for me to get better tea that has been verified.

I’m sorry that this has caused such an issue for some people. I had hoped it would have been viewed as a positive move. I would be happy to donate some of my current teas to the box and to Dexter to offset the loss of tea.


But, if they’re not dangerous to drink, why ask to remove them. Again, I’m confused by this whole thing.


I’m with Cavocorax, it’s either safe or it’s not, and an effort needs to be made to contact those who have purchased the discontinued teas from you. You can see a list of Steepsterites who have said tea in their cupboard. Contacting them alone would do wonders to restore your image here on Steepster. Saying that if you were to do a recall, you would go out of business just isn’t good enough. These people have spent good money on a tea that you are telling them not to drink. They deserve something. You should have been upfront from the beginning instead of privately contacting one person and asking them to throw out tea someone else had purchased and shared with them. You need to let as many purchasers of said teas know the issue with the teas and let them decide whether to get rid of it or not. If it is safe, but doesn’t meet your standards, then say so. Let the customer decide if they want a credit or not. If it is unsafe, then do the right thing, dang it, and let people know.

Regardless, this is an error on your part, Whispering Pines, and you need to face the consequences. It’s great that you’re willing to donate to the GCTTB and Dexter to replace what was lost at your request, but what about the others following this saga? Don’t they deserve to be compensated for tea that may or may not be clean? I drink a lot of tea from a lot of companies, and this issue, not the issue of cleanliness but the shady way it was handled, will keep me from purchasing from Whispering Pines, and I know I’m not alone in this.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

@Cavocorax, I decided to ask them to be removed because I strive for complete honesty and transparency. This is a well-liked tea that I sourced from a friend of mine, and when he didn’t even know the location it was harvested in and no knowledge of the origins at all, I decided that I would rather not sell it.

Also, it is my understanding that traveling tea boxes are meant for people to try teas from different companies to see where they may like to purchase tea from in the future. If teas that I am no longer selling are added to a tea box, I think it’s probably safe to say that there’s not much of a loss by removing them.

I strive for honesty, and I want to share the best teas I can find. Honestly, this is not one of them. Again, I would be happy to replace it with one or two that are.


Okay, adding Whispering Pines to the list of companies I most definitely won’t buy from EVER. Will be very vocal about dissuading others as well, I can definitely promise you that. This is one of the most unprofessional things I’ve ever seen.


If you strive for complete honesty and transparency, then you would have made a post for everyone to see that explained your actions. This was not honest or transparent, it was shady.

TTBs are meant to let others try new things, it’s not all about purchasing. Your understanding of them is dead wrong. That is only an aspect of the TTB.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I have written a post to hopefully clear up my motives for this. Again, I’m sorry this has upset some people. It was not my intention: http://steepster.com/discuss/10174-why-i-discontinued-huang-zhi-xiang-phoenix-mountain-oolong


I think people need to stop and take a step back and think logically about this. Comments are getting to be defamatory and it is not necessary to go down that road. I have edited the title of this tea, as I think it was uncalled for to change to to “unclean”. Please feel free to lambaste me for it, but I think it is the right thing to do.

Steepster has always been a fair and friendly community, and I hope we can all strive to keep it that way. Mistakes were made, lets move on.


1. What Blodeuyn said.

2. Cross-posting this, also in the the WP thread about this issue:
I am seldom, if ever, accused of being the voice of reason. I’ve been reading the threads on the Great Whispering Pines Debacle 2015. I’m dismayed by what this turned into. I am passionate and opinionated and the first to jump in when I think something is WRONG. But I’ve also defended other tea companies when I felt like things were going a bit far – in one case, a Steepsterite making accusations of deception on shipping policies to another country when it was clearly NOT deception by another of my favorite tea companies and another case when a new-to-Steepster tea company who has great tea posted reviews of their own tea, promoting it without understanding the way things worked. In both of those cases, I did not believe (and still don’t) that they were intentional abuses of the tea buying public. I chose the path of understanding and benefit of the doubt.

I most emphatically don’t believe that is the case here either. As has been repeated, well, um repeatedly, there isn’t any indication there is pesticide in the tea. And he found better tea so he quit selling it. As he noted – HE STILL DRINKS IT. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the tea. He never one time said there is pesticide in the tea. He said he couldn’t confirm the origins and never had it tested. This is someone who is picky about what he puts in his body almost to the point of religion and HE STILL DRINKS IT.

But he screwed up. He did some things wrong. He handled this clumsily and dug himself a hole that will be hard to get out of. And that is unfortunate. We aren’t talking about a multi-national corporation here with handlers and PR people. We are talking about 24 year old PASSIONATE tea lover with rigorously high standards who made a mistake in the way he handled those standards. Someone who keeps looking for better and better and better tea. Someone who cares about the PEOPLE who drink his tea to the point that he posted this on Facebook on New Years Day:

Happy New Year! As a thank you to all of you and a way to start fresh, I’m taking my list of customers that owe money and tearing it into pieces. You all get a fresh start! Hope 2015 feels as good to you as it does to me! Cheers.

And he was caring for people when he saw the tea in the tea box – the tea isn’t noxious poison that will affect chromosomes and your children will be born looking like the three-eyed fish on The Simpsons. But he has ridiculously, and almost unattainably high standards. He keeps looking for better. And I like being able to buy better. But he made a mistake in the way he handled it and the way he phrased it and apparently no amount of explaining will satisfy some. Unprofessional? I guess, in one sense of the word. In the sense that he isn’t slick and polished always knows exactly the right thing to say every single time. Clearly he doesn’t. And I’m guessing he’s mortified that above all else that he made Dexter feel badly.

I will continue to drink it because I’m freaking PICKY. And I will I drink a lot of Whispering Pines tea. A lot. Because I trust it. I trust Brenden and I’ve seen how much he CARES. It’s easy for things to escalate on the internet. We see it time and time again. When I look at the level of civility over the recent Steepster issues despite MASSIVE frustration, I find it hard to believe I’m on the same site today. I think everyone deserves a chance to rectify mistakes – most especially when they are mistakes that come from the place of trying to do good – no matter how clumsy and awkward.

I’m already well beyond the TL; DR point, so I will shut up now.


Holy Shanghai. Now that was a good reply. +1 for MzPriss!


I’ve been a member here for four years…I’d like to think I have acquired a certain credibility over the years.

I’ve seen lots of companies come and go. Only a few have earned my business.

Whispering Pines is one of them. Full proof. I KNOW Brenden, I TRUST him. I’ve been his client for a while now, and BECAUSE he so transparent and has so much integrity, it’s pretty easy for me to know that he meant well.

The commotion about this whole thing doesn’t worry me. Brenden is respected and loved here for many good reasons. He built his reputation step by step… he has and he’s still learning from his mistakes cause he’s humble enough to admit to them. You don’t get as solid as he is now by bullshitting people.

Some of the comments I read were hurtful and without substance and although everyone is entitled to speak their mind, some were just so harsh. I say “some” cause other comments were brought up as genuine concern. (Dexter, I know you and understand your initial preoccupation and where it came from).

See, most companies wont even tell you how they source their teas, and certainly wont guarantee they are pesticide free. I could name a list of those companies, VERY popular ones. People still drink them without knowing. The fact that Brenden attempted at doing so, even if there may be NOTHING WRONG AT ALL with that tea, gets my applauds. Now HOW it was done, well yeah…what MzPriss said. I wont reiterate what she already expressed so well.

But I will take a stand and support him without hesitation. Cause I CARE about him and his company, yes, but mostly because I know HE cares about his product and about his CLIENTS. If I wasn’t 100% sure of that, I would not even get involved.

Bashing is disgraceful. Steepster is a place where the drama is kept at a minimum. That’s why it’s the only online forum I participate in. Thank you Blodeuyn for reminding us of that.

Cheers and peace good Steepster people.


Steepster is Fairyland, and that’s awesome on a personal level, as it keeps forum bickering to a minimum.

However, one of the issues with Steepster in terms of reviews of small tea vendors is exactly this – a bad review is considered equal to “bashing”, making “defamatory” statements or as perpetuating “drama”.

I’ve talked to numerous people who feel uncomfortable posting less than stellar reviews of vendors who participate on Steepster – one of the most common examples is WP, then there’s obviously 52 Teas – and so on.

Honestly, the perceived need to post nothing but stars and unicorns and sunlight regarding Steepster-participating vendors borders on mass psychosis.

“Cheers” and “peace” and the “path of understanding” are all excellent, but they REALLY don’t help me pick a tea company that delivers in terms of exceptional products and customer service. We all use Steepster differently, but, in the end, the majority of us are here to find good teas, and the right companies to buy them from.



I don’t understand. WP said they could not verify that the tea was clean…how is that not a cleanliness issue?


There is a thread over on the discussion board about these issues that has been linked to in these comments. Can we stop spamming poor Dexter’s inbox now?

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661 tasting notes


This tea has such fantastic reviews but for me it’s just not working. I had this tea this morning and did a 2nd infusion; but each time all I got was a dark roast. I couldn’t pick up much of anything else. So back in the box this goes for someone who will appreciate it more than me. It’s just personal tastes but I’m really glad I got to try it out.

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90 tasting notes

Oh crud, I did what several other reviewers did here and oversteeped this one. It’s deceivingly strong compared to the color. I am used to getting a dark brew with high fired oolong teas, this one has a strong flavor when the soup color is just a light sienna. I got 4 strong steeps from this but long brewed just about all. Probably could have squeezed out 8 steeps from the sample had I not overdone the brew times. Pretty tasty stuff, the leaves are yellow green once the roast steeps out.

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1758 tasting notes

I won’t give this a rating today because I inadvertently over brewed it. I gave it the standard 3 min steep and afterwards noticed the directions said a one minute steep, oh well. Its still not bad but not as good as others have said. I will try it again another time with a 1 min steep and see how it is. This way I get a strong sour taste and a mild roasted barley taste.

I brewed this once with 5 tsp leaf and 190 degree water in a 18oz teapot for 3 min.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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333 tasting notes

A very lovely dancong! The dry leaves are dark and spindly, with a fragrance similar to other dancongs I had tried—citrus, honey, and incense, but with more of a floral perfume that was unique to this one. The brewed tea is intoxicatingly fragrant. In terms of flavor, in addition to the very clear honeyed citrus sweetness, there’s also a hint of roasted nuts, and a different sort of quality that I associate with other oolongs like shui xian—a kind of sweet, aromatic roastiness. It’s not a “heavy” tea, but somehow an intense one.

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1113 tasting notes

This is an incredible Dancong, thanks Cheri for the sample :D

First steep had a huge amount of sandalwood, and some interesting strong cannabis notes. My first steep was a bit longer than it should have been. Very potent. Second and third steeps were still strongly sandalwood with some spice notes. 4 and 5 have developed some floral, citrus and tannins and still some spice. Crazy good dancong. It is still going strong. I wonder what steep 6 is going to bring…

Overall impression this tea gives is darkly warm :)

0 OZ / 0 ML

Sandalwood!??! My favorite scent!


I should get some and get high;)


It was really good boychik, if I ever order some I’ll send you a sample ;)


I love this one!


Thank you ;)

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557 tasting notes

The leafe colour of this one is dark brown almost black even When I mention a Teas colour liquid or leafe it is actually Lance who describes it to me because I have colourblindness, to me it is actually quite black and the appearance is very pretty long twisty leafes, they seem fragile easy to break in the fingers but do not crumble.

The Dry leafe aroma is slightly sweet with much citrus and a vegetal something reminiscent of seaweed to me.

I steeped this one in an earthen Gaiwan perfectly according to Brenden’s reccomendations, Water at 190 starting time of 1 minute.

Steep 1- 1 minute
The Wet leafe has an almost roasty, vegetal and very citrus type aroma to me, very nice.
The liquid colour is quite light like a golden honey, beautiful.
The taste is light and crisp with citrus and a little floral with and underlying woody type note. Nice!

Steep 2- 1 minute 30 seconds
The liquid is just slightly darker this time but still like a golden honey says Lance.
The flavors have changed this time it is actually quite bold and strong to me with awesome citrus notes playing with straight up sandlewood notes and the floral note of the first steep has become the underlying note. Very Nice!

Steep 3- 2 minutes
The colour this time is slighly darker, like a dark honey.
The flavour of this steep is much like the last, sandlewood and citrus but the floral is much better taste like they way an Orchid smells and a slight nutty earthy taste of perhaps a walnut but not bitter at all. Pleasant and complex!

Steep 4- 3 minutes
I was excepting it to possibly be a litter darker again but it isn’t, it is starting to get lighter like honey still but not quite as dark this time more like an amber colour.
Now I’m getting getting a very slight note of Pine(thats what I was waiting for), citrus and just a little sandlewood still, a bit more floral still like an Orchid and a little more earthy, nutty walnut type note to me still not bitter but this time there is a slight pleasant dryness of the finish.
The citrus and the sandlewood seemed come together almost as one throughout these steepings but now the citrus seems to be overtaking the sandlewood notes,if that makes any sense.
I noticed that Brenden says this fourth steep is his personal favorite which I can understand, it does seem to have reached some kind of changing point right about now but I think so far #3 is my favorite. Power of suggestion? I was very much looking forward to #4 because of the description.

Steep 5- 4 minutes
The colour remained the same the same as the last steep this time but the taste has changed quite bit.
This time around the floral Orchid note and the citrus are really popping and the sandlewood and the slight pine note are damn near gone. The nutty note is surely walnut to me with the same pleasant dryness on the finish, I see in other reviews people getting a cashew nuttyness which I was also looking forward to but I’m just not getting it :(. I was possibly wrong about #4 being a changing point because tho it has changed slightly with each steeping and more so on the 4th this change seems to be the best. 5th steep is now my favorite, this is it right here. Perfection!

Steep 6- 6 minutes
The colour is almost exactly the same as the 2 previous steepings, just very slightly lighter.
The flavour tho has diminished quite a bit with pretty much only the floral and the citrus remaining, not much else except for the dryness on the end which is still nice but not as pleasant as before, I think perhaps the extra steeping time has allowed the tea to cool a bit this time and changed that dryness on the finish. Still very pleasant to drink.

Steep 7- 9 minutes
The colour is more like the first steep now and the flavour is just slight floral and citrus and hot water. Still overall this was a very nice and complex tea and I really enjoyed spending this time with it tonight.
I very much recommend this tea to everyone.

I think I’m tea drunk now or maybe it’s just late and I’m tired, Maybe Both lol


Whoa! That was some review Tommy, really nice :-)
(and I did notice the name change!)


Very nice note Tommy!

Tommy Toadman

:) thank yous

Tommy Toadman

Awesome Tea! :)

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694 tasting notes

This is from my WP sample pack. This got left off the purchase list this time around but only because I see myself drinking this more in the fall and winter instead of the summer. This is my last cup of this tea and it is putting me in tea heaven. A warm cup on this polar vortex summer day. It dipped down to high 50’s in July! Bring on the cold. RAGBRAI is next week and cycling and camping in cool summer days would be a dream!!! Amway, back to the tea. This is my 3rd time with this tea and I think I finally got it right. I steeped it a tad longer than suggested and added a bit more leaf. It is nutty, it is has that roasty, citrusy tang that I really like in some oolongs. It is slightly sweet and oh so yummy. Definitely needs to be on the next order.

Terri HarpLady

Today’s weather was heavenly! :)


Lol, it was a polar vortex summer day here too!

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737 tasting notes

Heh, when I read the description on Steepster of this tea I lost my inspiration to write a note. I don’t taste any citrus or orange blossom. Not sure I really taste any of the other things in the description, other than nutty. xD
I blame it on allergies…just screwing up what I taste and smell. When I tasted this tea all I could think about was salted peanuts. It’s so roasty and nutty. Just how most of the oolongs I love taste.
But Now I’m really hungry. And want peanuts. >>

Flavors: Nuts, Peanut, Roasted, Salt

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