84
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
311 tasting notes

Tea Swap with @Meeka

This particular tea caught my attention because so many people on Steepster have tried it and loved it. Over the past year I’ve tried a lot of different black teas so I couldn’t wait to get my hands onto this one. Okay and now onto the tasting notes:

Sniffing the tea liquor, I’m picking up on scents of honey, spices, raisin. It reminds me of a few other black teas I’ve tried.

The first steep tastes much like the tea liquor scents suggested, with the addition of chocolate, malt, and floral rose aroma. (Personal bias: I have a low tolerance for rose flavour)

Subsequent resteeps had the same consistent flavours. At the fourth steep I picked up on more roasted notes, but the rose aroma is really starting to rub me the wrong way.

Overall I didn’t notice too much weakening until the ninth steep, which while weak was still flavourful.

I kept resteeping, and even though most of the tea body is gone there still remains nice hints of sweet honey, raisin and cinnamon which slowly fade away as I reached the fifteenth steep.

This tea was enjoyable, but fell far below my expectations. The high scores and hype on Steepster made me believe this was going to be an amazing, mind blowing experience. But I’ve had other teas like this and I wasn’t especially crazy about them either. I do not want to sound unappreciative because this is indeed a very good tea, but it is not a personal favourite.

On the plus side, I am glad that so many people here are being exposed to such a well made black tea. It is a wonderful example of how beautiful and complex black tea can be.

100ml purion teapot, 2tsp, 15 steeps (based on Verdant Tea gongfu instructions: rinse, 3s, 3s, 3s, +3s resteeps)
I liked this resteeping method, I’ll have to try it out again on some of my other black teas.

Preparation
Boiling
TeaBrat

I’ve found a LOT of hype on Steepster, (particularly about Verdant teas) in my opinion.

Dorothy

Yes, and I am probably guilty of hyping tea as well. ;) I try not to go too overboard though.

TeaBrat

well, I’m sure we all do it from time to time. :)

Meeka

I haven’t tried steeping it like that yet – I have a tendency to steep black teas western style out of habit – but it sounds like something I want to try. I know what you mean about the hype, I’ve done it too. It’s nice to see honest reviews though.

I’ve gone to rate teas before that I just did not like and then feel a little funny when every other rating is like “95 – I could pick out every awesome flavor here and it is just amazing” and my thoughts are like “I’m so sorry, but I thought this tasted like muddy sugar water” (might be a slight exaggeration ;) )

TeaBrat

Meeka – I know the feeling all too well. :)

Dorothy

@Meeka, I think it’s great to steep a tea both ways (western and gongfu), it really tells me a lot about what the tea is capable of. That being said, I’ll probably try western style when my husband is around so he can try this tea too.
I’m really glad that you sent me this sample, it is a good tea to try but I don’t think I’d want a whole bag.

Nathaniel Gruber

i would love to try some of the other black teas that you mentioned in your review that taste like this one. i haven’t encountered these flavor profiles that the laoshan black exudes in any other black tea. any info so i could order a sample and be exposed to such greatness would be awesome. thanks!

Dorothy

@Nathaniel: The main tea I can compare this to is Zhao Bai Jian, but the place I purchased it from (camellia-sinensis.com) is out of stock until spring and I have drunk all of my purchase. (I see that Dragon Tea House on ebay sells one called Nonpareil Sichuan Gongfu but I have not tried it.) Camellia Sinensis also has Chuan Hong which is a lesser grade, but shares enough similar traits.
Those two were the main teas that share the most in common, but Hualien Feng Mi, Xiao Zhong (Camellia Sinensis) and Yixing Hong Cha (jingteashop.com) all share a few common themes, but do not fully emulate Laoshan Northern black tea. Cheers!

Bonnie

Sometimes hype is deserved (Verdant) . Sometimes (like the bubblegum tea’s I don’t get it 52 tea’s) .

Bonnie

I was reading your review again and wondering what your favorite black tea is that can be steeped successfully at least 15 times? I have my own top 5 list, curious about what you were measuring Laoshan Black against.

Dorothy

@ Bonnie: My fav tea that can be steeped at least 15 times is Jin Die (Camellia Sinensis). But there are a lot of black teas I love. Unfortunately they can’t all be my favourite, and some of the best (or personal fav) I’ve tried keep pushing the rating down of the other black teas I’ve drunk.

I have a short list of loves (rated +90), and of course an even longer list of likes (rated +80) and meh teas. Last year I spent a lot of time drinking black tea. So my tongue became a bit picky over those months. ;) Hype bothers me because I expect to try something new and crazy when my expectations are raised so high.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried tea that tastes like Laoshan Black. But I just don’t enjoy those type of floral black teas. I’m sure you know very well, that fav teas and personal preference go hand in hand. Besides that, I recognize Laoshan Black is a great tea (I like the resteep ability and body), but it didn’t charm my palate.

Bonnie

Thanks! My question was an honest one since most people don’t steep Black tea’s so many times. Good info.

Dorothy

Haha, I’m kinda weird like that. Short steeping black tea is my preferred method.
The one I tried for this tea is good, but I mostly use 30 seconds, +15 seconds for each resteep.

Bonnie

Ah…explains alot! I just did a Verdant pre-release Black Dancong at 5 seconds adding a second for each additional steeping. Something I’ve never done before. Awesome experience!

CHAroma

I love all the comments here. Great information! Thanks!

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Comments

TeaBrat

I’ve found a LOT of hype on Steepster, (particularly about Verdant teas) in my opinion.

Dorothy

Yes, and I am probably guilty of hyping tea as well. ;) I try not to go too overboard though.

TeaBrat

well, I’m sure we all do it from time to time. :)

Meeka

I haven’t tried steeping it like that yet – I have a tendency to steep black teas western style out of habit – but it sounds like something I want to try. I know what you mean about the hype, I’ve done it too. It’s nice to see honest reviews though.

I’ve gone to rate teas before that I just did not like and then feel a little funny when every other rating is like “95 – I could pick out every awesome flavor here and it is just amazing” and my thoughts are like “I’m so sorry, but I thought this tasted like muddy sugar water” (might be a slight exaggeration ;) )

TeaBrat

Meeka – I know the feeling all too well. :)

Dorothy

@Meeka, I think it’s great to steep a tea both ways (western and gongfu), it really tells me a lot about what the tea is capable of. That being said, I’ll probably try western style when my husband is around so he can try this tea too.
I’m really glad that you sent me this sample, it is a good tea to try but I don’t think I’d want a whole bag.

Nathaniel Gruber

i would love to try some of the other black teas that you mentioned in your review that taste like this one. i haven’t encountered these flavor profiles that the laoshan black exudes in any other black tea. any info so i could order a sample and be exposed to such greatness would be awesome. thanks!

Dorothy

@Nathaniel: The main tea I can compare this to is Zhao Bai Jian, but the place I purchased it from (camellia-sinensis.com) is out of stock until spring and I have drunk all of my purchase. (I see that Dragon Tea House on ebay sells one called Nonpareil Sichuan Gongfu but I have not tried it.) Camellia Sinensis also has Chuan Hong which is a lesser grade, but shares enough similar traits.
Those two were the main teas that share the most in common, but Hualien Feng Mi, Xiao Zhong (Camellia Sinensis) and Yixing Hong Cha (jingteashop.com) all share a few common themes, but do not fully emulate Laoshan Northern black tea. Cheers!

Bonnie

Sometimes hype is deserved (Verdant) . Sometimes (like the bubblegum tea’s I don’t get it 52 tea’s) .

Bonnie

I was reading your review again and wondering what your favorite black tea is that can be steeped successfully at least 15 times? I have my own top 5 list, curious about what you were measuring Laoshan Black against.

Dorothy

@ Bonnie: My fav tea that can be steeped at least 15 times is Jin Die (Camellia Sinensis). But there are a lot of black teas I love. Unfortunately they can’t all be my favourite, and some of the best (or personal fav) I’ve tried keep pushing the rating down of the other black teas I’ve drunk.

I have a short list of loves (rated +90), and of course an even longer list of likes (rated +80) and meh teas. Last year I spent a lot of time drinking black tea. So my tongue became a bit picky over those months. ;) Hype bothers me because I expect to try something new and crazy when my expectations are raised so high.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried tea that tastes like Laoshan Black. But I just don’t enjoy those type of floral black teas. I’m sure you know very well, that fav teas and personal preference go hand in hand. Besides that, I recognize Laoshan Black is a great tea (I like the resteep ability and body), but it didn’t charm my palate.

Bonnie

Thanks! My question was an honest one since most people don’t steep Black tea’s so many times. Good info.

Dorothy

Haha, I’m kinda weird like that. Short steeping black tea is my preferred method.
The one I tried for this tea is good, but I mostly use 30 seconds, +15 seconds for each resteep.

Bonnie

Ah…explains alot! I just did a Verdant pre-release Black Dancong at 5 seconds adding a second for each additional steeping. Something I’ve never done before. Awesome experience!

CHAroma

I love all the comments here. Great information! Thanks!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Feel free to add me on Steepster, I’ll probably add you back. :)

I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

What my tea ratings mean:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.

Location

Ontario, Canada

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