Wildcrafting


Sometimes a tea calls for an ingredient so pure that only nature can deliver...

Wildcrafted Ingredients

 

While many of the teas offered at Whispering Pines include certified organic ingredients, we believe that the ultimate purity comes from nature itself. We are currently trying to switch out as many organic ingredients as possible for wildcrafted ingredients. Other ingredients you can find at Whispering Pines, like White Pine Needles, are sustainably wildcrafted by the owner.

Momma Nature knows best.
 

The Eastern White Pine

The white pine is an evergreen tree native to Michigan and other parts of the eastern United States. It is known to be the tallest tree in the eastern US and was used extensively by the Algonquian, Ojibwe, and Chippewa tribes as a food source, a waterproofing agent, and to treat infections. White Pine is our favorite plant to wildcraft and is an ingredient in many of our most popular teas.

To wildcraft the White Pine, we first wait until an evening or nighttime rainfall. This allows the rain to wash the pine needles as well as the pine needles to absorb some of the freshness of the rain. By late morning, the pine needles are ready to harvest. Sustainability is a large focus on our wildcrafting practice, so we only select a few pine needles from each branch. We harvest from over a dozen trees to produce one ounce of dried pine needles. Immediately after harvesting the pine needles, we bring them back to headquarters for processing. Our hand-processing techniques take many aspects from the art of Chinese tea processing. Firstly, we cut the pine needles to appropriate sizes. After cutting, we bruise the leaves and allow them to oxidize for 24 hours in an oxygen-rich environment. After that time, we heat up our wok and gently warm the needles to stop enzymatic activity. This leaves us with a minimally-processed product with a beautiful sweet bodied infusion with a buttery mouthfeel comparable to a high-grade green oolong. Due to the nature of our processing, Whispering Pines is the only place you can buy tea with such high quality wildcrafted green pine needles!

From the Pines with Pride,
Brenden Gebhart
Owner and Tea Mixologist