Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea, Tahitian Vanilla
Vanilla, Bark, Mushrooms, Wet Wood, Umami, Wet Earth, Earth, Pepper, Wood, Cherry, Caramel, Cocoa, Cream, Custard, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Oak, Pine, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick, Chocolate, Creamy, Dried Fruit
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Edit tea info Last updated by Whispering Pines Tea Company
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 14 oz / 401 ml

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35 Tasting Notes View all

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

A forest is more than a grove of trees. A forest is the wind sweeping across the pines, the wood thrush calling, and the blankets of mist covering the mossy earth below your feet. A forest is the sweet vanilla scent of spring wildflowers and the babbling brook feeding the blackberry bushes. A forest is the morel mushroom hiding under the wintered oak leaves. A forest is everything that we should strive to be — strong, wise, and tranquil. Elder forests are filled with complex ecosystems. Every corner of the woods presents a new biological wonderland, and every inch of the void between organisms plays a vital role in the full picture.

At Whispering Pines, we appreciate complexity. There are, of course, great things to be said about intense singular notes and the boldness of strong lingering aftertastes. However, in the ancient forests crawling with the fingers of fog and ethereal thrush melodies, it is not the plentiful pine we seek. We enter the deepest realms of the forest in search of diversity and the beauty that lies behind the entrance to the trail. A book is not a book without the words within, and a venture into the unknown is not complete without every aspect present.

This is why we chose to seek the complexity of the highest grade Chinese black teas available as the base for Elderwood. This is why we sought the most complex and balanced Tahitian vanilla bean we could find. For the sake the the primeval forests and the immense biodiversity within, we could not choose to cut corners on complexity.

Inspired by the deepest and most ancient of forests, Elderwood carries base notes of warm pine, oak, and cocoa, with sweet vanilla, caramel, cherry, and morel perfectly balanced in the background. A sweet and earthy moss-like aftertaste with hints of vanilla and oak linger for hours past the last sip of this strikingly smooth brew. The aroma is pine, cocoa, and stone fruit, and the color of the tea is dark amber with a slight tinge of deep purple.

The overall experience of this tea is only comparable to what you can imagine drinking the finest hot cocoa infused gently with cherry, and aged in oak barrels beneath the forest floor would be like. The richness and depth of Elderwood can truly only be done justice by experiencing the masterpiece yourself. We highly recommend enjoying Elderwood outdoors. Allow the brew to warm you on a chilly day while walking along your favorite woodland trail.

In honor of all beauty that mother nature has provided us with, and in honor of those moments where you realize just how big the full picture is, I give you Elderwood.

Notes: Warm Pine, Oak, Melted Chocolate, Vanilla, Chocolate-Covered Cherries, Plum, Cream, Salted Caramel, Morel, Moss

Ingredients: Imperial Grade Dian Hong, Ailaoshan Black Tea, Hand-cut Tahitian Vanilla Beans


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.

35 Tasting Notes

30 tasting notes

Need to try this one again. The vanilla taste lingered on my tongue even into the next day, or at least so it felt to me! Dark and delicious.

Flavors: Vanilla

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1666 tasting notes

Ordered this when Cocoa Amore was restocked. I love the Whispering Pines vanilla blends. This is definitely different than all of the other variations of the WP black tea+ vanilla. I’m not getting much of the vanilla, but that could be due to my failure to give the bag a good shake before I prepped my steeper. I’m getting roasted mushrooms, tree bark, and wet wood.

Flavors: Bark, Mushrooms, Wet Wood

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27 tasting notes

Sweet and soft and delicious! The vinilla shines but does not overpower. So good.

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1346 tasting notes

Ok, I have a hard time telling the difference from WP Ambrosia, Elderwood, and Golden Orchid. All three have luxurious black tea bases with fine quality vanilla. If I was to hazard a comparison I would say GO is on the lighter, dessert side of the spectrum (chocolate, honey) whereas Elderwood has a darker, earthier profile with a subtle peppered flare.

Yep, not a sommalier. I guess the most important part is I would order all three again if/when I have the means! The next time I go with WP I may even check out the actual tea types before blindly ordering.

Flavors: Earth, Pepper, Vanilla, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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2917 tasting notes

For the second morning in a row my bed has been the most comfortable place in the entire universe. It has been an absolute pleasure to rest in such a perfect place, and I am deeply saddened by the sound of the alarm clock.
Some mornings I need something strong, powerful, no-nonsense. Other mornings I want something sweeter. Still others I want something gentle.
That was this morning, and this tea seemed to fit the bill, easing me into my day with a kind yet firm hand, and a lot of rich flavors.
Its going to be a very busy day! This was a nice tea to start it.

Evol Ving Ness

Sleep! How I envy you!

Evol Ving Ness

(in a good way, of course)

Terri HarpLady

Enjoy the day!

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484 tasting notes

Montly TTB.

This is my first tea by Whispering Pines, and unfortunately it doesn’t live up to the hype for me. I’m not sure if it’s the vanilla or the base itself that I’m objecting to, but I didn’t love this. The base is a light, smooth black with cocoa notes, but they don’t taste quite right to me. They taste artificial, which is odd since this doesn’t contain artificial flavoring at all. Well, it was nice to try anyway. I’ve been really curious about Whispering Pines teas, but they’re very expensive. At least I won’t waste money on a tea I don’t care for.


I’ll send you some samples of my order I just rec’d if my boyfriend doesn’t drink it all first. He loves them!


That would be great. I’ve heard so many good reviews of their teas, but I’m hesitant to commit since the teas tend to be expensive and I don’t know whether or not they’ll be worth the cost to me.

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737 tasting notes


I got like a tsp of this tea from Terri, which I’m not sure is the amount you’re supposed to use, but I’d rather have a weak tea than have to pay full price to try it! So works for me!
I tasted a lot of cherry and wood. There were notes of vanilla too. Was not bad. Pretty good actually-I’d totally drink it again.
But it’s not something that I would buy. Which is fine. Happy to sample!

Flavors: Cherry, Vanilla, Wood

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157 tasting notes

This is the tea I was most looking forward to trying. The expense put me off for a while…then it was the difficulty of placing an order before it was all snagged. Well, time to splurge, I say. I regret nothing. (Except for not buying more.)

The dry leaf smells like creamy, chocolatey gelato. It’s like chocolate infused whipped cream: smooth and sweet with the scent of custard and vanilla. I followed the instructions for western brewing. The taste is very close to the aroma. It’s silky smooth and soft like a rabbit’s fur. There are notes of dark chocolate, custard, and stone fruit underscored by the gentle suggestion of oak wood and mushroom. The finish is sweet with ringing vanilla overtones and cherry-fudge undertones. The sweetness and malt lingers long afterwards: a reminder of whipped cream, cocoa, and flavors of pine. Not any single flavor is overbearing; they all work in harmonious balance. The second steep is equally rich and decadent. Cocoa, wood, and cherry dominate with notes of heavy cream, caramel, and mushroom in the background. It’s thick like pudding and incredibly smooth. It gets even creamier as it cools.

Wow, this tea is absolutely heavenly. It could give GO a run for its money, but I know I can’t justify buying this one in large quantities. Shame!

Flavors: Caramel, Cherry, Cocoa, Cream, Custard, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Malt, Mushrooms, Oak, Pine, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You’ll love Ambrosia too :)

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251 tasting notes

Dry: Fluffy golden leaves blended with tightly rolled deep matte black leaves. The smell in the bag is softly vanilla, sweet, and malty.

Steeped: The leaves unfurl in a very pleasing aesthetic way. There is a mixing of the colors and the clear amber liquor bathes them in a golden hue. The smell is vaguely sweet with a hint of cherry and malty vanilla.

Taste: Honestly, the best description I could think of would be a more complex version of Cocoa Amore, which is one of my favorites from WP. I really like the depth of flavor with cherry, cocoa, and vanilla featuring most prominently followed by a hint of wood and morel. I don’t think I would like it at all if there really was a lot of the earth/oak across the palette, but it does a good job of hinting at them. The biggest downside to this tea in my opinion is the pricepoint. At just shy of $22/ounce (excluding shipping), it is one of the most expensive teas I’ve purchased. I am dinging the rating a little bit only because the tasting notes on the website indicated moss, plum, pine, melted chocolate, etc. and I couldn’t detect these. That may not be a bad thing though because pine can be overwhelming as a scent or flavor. Unfortunately, I’ve also found that this one doesn’t hold up to resteeps without going a bit bland and losing all the delicate nuances. I did enjoy the initial vanilla, cocoa, cherries, oak, and morel though and I am glad I was able to finally try this.

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Malt, Mushrooms, Oak, Smooth, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Just you wait for Ambrosia ;-)


I really need to try something from this company! I see some great reviews but just haven’t gotten around to ordering.

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772 tasting notes

So I like to stack my activities on my ‘get up from the couch and computer’ periods because evicting the cats from my lap is a time consuming and guilt inducing process and I try to limit that. So this period involved (in order): bathroom, panning for gold in los rios gatos, trash (including bathroom trash and the big stupid plastic bags in the bedroom that the cats keep licking in the middle of the night, I hate that noise), setting up the laundry, making tea, going for a 15 minute walk on the demon hill, coming back to made tea (yay!) and then sitting down again.

I told you this so you would understand why I keep coughing. It is below 50F right now (which is ridiculously warm compared to the rest of the US, but still cold when I only sort of put a coat on and then go for a walk in the dark). During my walk, which was a bit more strenuous than I’ve been doing in my surgery recovery process, I was breathing through my mouth and since then I haven’t been able to stop coughing :(

Anyway, this tea is helping with the coughing a bit, since it’s a warm liquid on my poor throat. I’m glad I read the reviews before sipping for the first time because I was expecting a bit more vanilla in this vanilla tea but the third review down, WP put in a comment that he blends to accentuate the notes present in the base tea rather than attempting a face-punch vanilla flavour. I prefer the latter, usually, but this is definitely the former and it’s none the worse for it because it DOES, in fact, accomplish that goal. The base tea is definitely a really really nice black tea and the milder vanilla is really very nice with it and makes it seem like there isn’t a vanilla ingredient at all, but just that it’s a really vanilla-y black tea, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I’ve figured out how to enjoy the first cup of my pots of WP tea now, which is to ignore the instructions on the bag and add approximately a teaspoon per 250 ml instead of half that. Perhaps once I acclimate my tastebuds again, I’ll be able to go back to the milder flavours, but right now they’re used to soda again and I haven’t had much tea these last few months.

tl;dr: this is a good mild vanilla-y black tea. Approved.

Flavors: Vanilla, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 27 OZ / 800 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hmm, you may be reading the directions wrong. It’s 1/2 tablespoon per 8oz rather than 1/2 teaspoon. Hope this helps! :)


See, yes. I am reading the directions wrong. Thanks WP!


There are 3 teaspoons to a tablespoon, for everyone else who is as conversion challenged as me. So it’s 1.5 teaspoons per cup, so actually it could be even stronger! Next time.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

No worries :-) I’m working on adding more detailed information to the website for steeping, as I just stopped writing it on the bags. Soon they’ll all have a tsp/tbsp measurement as well as a weight in grams for that measurement.


How does panning for gold in los rios gatos fit between bathroom and trash? My mind is boggled – not that it is a hard thing to do by the way.


panning for gold in the river cats. aka, scooping the litterboxes. I was being overly clever and sleep deprived.


perhaps I should have said ‘panning for nuggets’ since I don’t actually expect to find gold of any sort unless one of my babies is really REALLY sick somehow


That’s hilarious and kind of obvious after the fact.


it is a phrase I enjoy greatly and if you have cats, feel free to steal and deploy at will.

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