At Whispering Pines Tea Company, my blends are a pure incarnation of nature.
My teas were blended on one idea only — a moment of inspiration. I blend my teas to help me remember the moments I cherish in nature. For instance, let's take a tea like Manistee Moonrise and break down the blending process. I start with the memory — a canoe trip down the tranquil Manistee River in Northern Michigan at sunset. I write down the things I felt, saw, smelled, and heard during that moment, and pair those words with ingredients that make me feel that way. There was a campfire upstream so I wrote lapsang souchong (pine-smoked black tea). I could smell fresh spring grasses and berries along the river edge so I wrote lemongrass and elderberries. It was a bit on the chilly side - cooling spearmint. Once I finish the ingredient list, it's off to blending! I begin with a specific ratio of each ingredient and then taste it. I shift the ratios around until it starts to form that memory. After hundreds of versions, months of work, and tons of tastings, I eventually arrive at the perfect blend. The final product is a tea that brings me back to that beautiful moment - that moment of life, of love, of pristine nature and pure inspiration. I pour my heart into these teas, and they will be nothing less than the purest form of nature that you can pour into a cup.
A large majority of my blends were inspired by my hometown and the surrounding wilderness — The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. Growing up in such a beautiful place is responsible for a large part of who I am. I am a biologist, naturalist, and wanderer. I have had interactions with nature in Michigan that most people would brush off as a lie. I have pet a wild fox, helped a bobcat up a tree, shared salmon with the river otters, and sat in silence, stunned by the ethereal cry of a wolf. These moments changed me and these moments inspired me. Whispering Pines Tea Company was originally founded as a way to share my inspiration and has grown to become so much more than that. My teas bring me home when I need to find peace and they give me energy when I need to move forward. In the first two years of the Whispering Pines journey, I have learned more about myself and more about nature than I could have ever imagined.
Whispering Pines spent the first two years of its journey based in Arizona, but in June of 2014, I made the journey home. I am currently based in Twin Lake, Michigan, just a little over two hours from the Sleeping Bear Dunes — my home, the place that inspired the creation of Whispering Pines Tea Company. Here in Twin Lake, I indulge in nature daily, and am excited to continue growing my tea blending skills and sharing my memories and inspiration with you.
To keep that purity, I vowed to use only pure ingredients. There are absolutely zero additives in my teas. There are no natural or artificial flavors other than the oils in my Essence Collection (Earl Grey's, etc). Because of this, I am able to guarantee that every tea I sell contains ingredients that are naturally vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and free of countless chemicals found in the added flavorings of most tea on the market.
My goal is to bring you one step closer to nature. Everything that can be done by hand is done by hand, from the careful process of slow-roasting and wildcrafting to hand blending and hand-stamping our packages.
With pure ingredients from all corners of the world, you can count on Whispering Pines to bring the purest form of tea to your cup.
Want to learn more about what I do? Check out my writeup on wildcrafting!
From the Pines with Pride,
Owner and Tea Mixologist