drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
301 tasting notes

This is one of the most highly rated teas I think I’ve seen on Steepster! I was looking forward to this one the most out of my sampler pack because 1) it’s a black tea, and I, like many, looooove black teas, and 2) certain reviews had mentioned a chocolatey note in the flavor, and every time I see that, I get excited.

It is certainly a high-quality tea. The way I’m going to describe the aroma and taste is going to sound very unflattering, but it works in the context of tea: it’s like fake chocolate flavoring. Deep, sweet, off-fruity, goes right to the head a little. There is little to no astringency; it’s a very smooth tea with undertones of something I can’t quite put my finger on, that takes me back to farms and fields I visited on sunny mornings when I was little. The word “barley” pops up in the item description; there’s something wheat or straw or something in there that’s not unpleasant. Both the chocolate and the “barley” (or whatever that is) linger in the aftertaste. This tea is flavorful if nothing else.

Is it my cup of tea? To be honest, I’m not sure. I really, really want to love this tea, but the “fake chocolate flavoring” taste is keeping me from doing so. I’m curious to see how infusion 2 goes, since I don’t think I over- or under-prepared this tea. It’s going to take a few tries to see whether this is a keeper or a sampler.

Edit: A few hours later

I’m currently doing infusion #2. The “fake chocolate flavoring” has given way to the barley or whatever the hell was so subtly present in the first infusion. GAAAH WHAT IS IT?!?!? It’s quite good in the strangest way. We’ll see whether this ends up being one of those I unexpectedly find myself craving. I doubt it, but you never know!

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Tea is my happy place. I drink tea when I’m at home, when I’m at work, when I’m waking up in the morning or winding down for the night or when I need a little boost in the afternoon. Tea is my official side hobby, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve discovered such a vast world of flavors, aromas, varieties, and traditions – encapsulated by a beverage that I used to shrug at.

My taste in tea always seems to be changing!

Black teas are far and away my favorite. Great Chinese black teas are one of my weaknesses. I also like a lot of the Earl Grey relatives and I have an affinity for floral teas, especially rose-flavored ones.

I don’t drink green teas as often, but there are a few I quite enjoy.

Same with white teas.

I have some experience with oolongs, but not much. Most of the ones I’ve had taste the same to me, and I’m not huge on the roasty-green flavor. I kinda like the juicy-green ones, though.

I’m exploring pu erhs. I haven’t had many, but the ones I’ve tried have been really intriguing when done right, and it seems like the pu erh universe is a rich and complex one once you get past “IT TASTES LIKE FISH!”

I like rooibos, but I have to be in the mood for it. And it HAS to be in a sachet or a bag. Loose rooibos is more of a pain than it’s worth.

I go through different phases when I’m trying teas. Sometimes, I really want flavored stuff; sometimes I just want to try pu-erhs; sometimes I’m on a rose tea kick, etc. I enjoy building up my base of tea knowledge and even more the experience of finding a new and unexpected thing I love.

I have a tendency to ramble in my tasting notes. Sometimes it’s on topic. Much of the time it’s not. You have been warned.

As for me, I’m 25 years old and I work at a music store and play various instruments. Besides tea, I love bicycling, writing, teaching myself French, watching things from everyone else’s childhood, ASMR, Star Trek, cats, and awful puns. I’m an INFJ and a Libra too, for all it’s worth.

Steepster is absolutely the most positive, kind, and intelligent online community I’ve ever found, and I love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts through here. I look forward to meeting you!

P.S. Any rare soul who recognizes the profile pic gets bonus points forever.


One foot’s on the Holodeck. The other’s in Lancaster, Ohio.

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