99
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
4713 tasting notes

SIPDOWN! gasp

Alright…i have a bunch of backlogs to do but first i needed to pay attention to this tea. You see kittylovestea really wanted to try this, so i opened my bag up and realised i had enough to send her a small tasting (usually it would be more) and have a single last cup for myself.

Since the whole point of doing a mini swap with mercuryhime had been to try MY LB with the new LB i knew it was time to check this out.

1. New harvest? Smells funny. I understand now why some folks have recently been off put by the smell. It’s very earthy to me and honestly when it got wet it was sort of wet mud. My other half said it smelled like bread. My old delicious wonderful harvest? It smells like cocoa…delicious cocoa.

2. Western brew since quite frankly that’s my favourite way to brew LB. I must have sat and stared at my two cups, smelling the wet leaves, smelling the cups, looking at the liquor…just waiting…

3. First sips…oh man, it’s been a while since i’ve tasted you my old friend. The new harvest? It’s still chocolately and malty but there’s a bitterness in the back that makes it a little less smooth than my spring harvest. The old harvest is a little sweeter too, though it’s a dark malty chocolate so it’s not “sweet” exactly.

Final Verdict? While the taste of the two isn’t that far off – at least not enough that a black tea lover like myself would strongly object – the SMELL from the wet leaf is really quite off putting. It’s enough to make me hesitant about drinking it until the liquid is actually in my mouth. Will i repurchase this harvest? Maybe. But i’ll likely try and spend some time drinking down other teas in my cupboard first, and grabbing some of this IF the harvest gets low. IE. I don’t want to NOT be able to drink it, but that aroma is killing me.

Thanks again to Mercuryhime for letting me do a comparison. I understand now why people have been confused with the high ratings for this one. Makes me glad i’ve had 6oz of the old harvest to enjoy while it was here lol

Edit: Just have to put out there that this is one of the few teas i’ve ever re-ordered, and certainly the first tea i ever ordered 4oz of. After drinking through my 2 oz lol. So the tea is totally worth exploring when the different harvests come in.

Mercuryhime

David from Verdant is currently doing a Spring tea tour of China. I’m hoping he brings back a spring harvest of Laoshan black. I’m starting to forget why I loved this tea so much to begin with. :(

Mercuryhime

Also, I’m glad you agree that it tastes different than the old batch. I was afraid I was losing my mind. :)

Sil

You haven’t lost your mind. It’s changed but not like ZOMG it’s SOOO different, but enough that today i’d probably only rate it like an 80?

Mercuryhime

It’s true that it isn’t SO different. I can recognize the elements that I loved in the old batch, but it’s different enough that I actually can’t tolerate more than half a cup before I have to toss it. Might also be because my high expectations create extra disappointment. But anyway, I emailed Verdant about it and they told me to let them know next time I plan to order and they’ll let me know if the Spring batch is available. :) I just have to get enough of the spring batch to last all year.

Sil

let me know if you hear about the spring batch. i for sure want another 4 oz since that apparently lasts me 7months or so in between all the other teas i drink lol

Terri HarpLady

The main difference I noticed was that the ‘bean’ flavor has be ome more prominent

Bonnie

I’m one of those who uses a little less leaf than Verdant recommends. I think that adjustments have to be made with each harvest because they’ll never be exactly the same. All the factors of earth and climate is what makes tea do exciting…much like wine and perhaps we’ve yet to taste the best Laoshan Black.

Sil

Bonnie – pretty sure i’m with you on that boat…verdant suggests a tablespoon if i recall. I pretty much treat this like most other teas with a 1-1.5 tsp per cup ratio.

Angrboda

So there is a difference, although a fairly small one taste-wise. Interesting. Well, all years can’t be equally good, I suppose.

OMGsrsly

I did 1 tbsp per 20 oz the other night, and my impression was still chocolate and dirt pies. Nice loamy dirt, but still dirt! I really want to try a different harvest…

Mercuryhime

For me, the worst thing about this current batch is the very roasted, almost burnt flavor. It overwhelms the natural chocolate flavor that I fell in love with. :( OMGsrsly, I’ll send you a bit of the spring batch when I get some, cause I’m sure I will. :) just remind me in case I forget.

Rachel J

I am fascinated by what you just said Mercuryhime. I bought some Laoshan Black for the first time a couple of weeks ago and was so excited to try it. I’m really not sure I like it, though, and it’s specifically because of the roasted, burnt quality you just mentioned. You can see what I said about that in my last tasting note.

Nitoo6of6

Well I am glad to read all the comments here. I just got an oz of this because of the great reviews and although I enjoyed the tea I didn’t quite understand why everyone was describing chocolate as opposed to heavily roasted.

Sil

Yeah – I felt the need to do this comparison because I was seeing so many recent reviews of people saying less than stellar things. Not that i think everyone has to love this tea but some of the comments were confusing me as they didn’t jive with my experiences. So a plot was born by mercuryhime and i! bwahahahahaha Stay tuned for scenes from our next plot – spring harvest – is the chocolate back? :)

Rachel J

Tune in next season for the exciting continuation. ;)

Bonnie

Early Spring harvest is going to be the first oolong from Laoshan and Verdant bought it prior to picking. Laoshan Black would probably come after since the fields will produce the rest of the Spring tea’s we all love. We’ll see.

OMGsrsly

Oh, that would be awesome Mercuryhime. I’m giving the rest of my package to the guy who runs my local tea shop. He likes it, and I don’t want to waste the Autumn Harvest!

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Comments

Mercuryhime

David from Verdant is currently doing a Spring tea tour of China. I’m hoping he brings back a spring harvest of Laoshan black. I’m starting to forget why I loved this tea so much to begin with. :(

Mercuryhime

Also, I’m glad you agree that it tastes different than the old batch. I was afraid I was losing my mind. :)

Sil

You haven’t lost your mind. It’s changed but not like ZOMG it’s SOOO different, but enough that today i’d probably only rate it like an 80?

Mercuryhime

It’s true that it isn’t SO different. I can recognize the elements that I loved in the old batch, but it’s different enough that I actually can’t tolerate more than half a cup before I have to toss it. Might also be because my high expectations create extra disappointment. But anyway, I emailed Verdant about it and they told me to let them know next time I plan to order and they’ll let me know if the Spring batch is available. :) I just have to get enough of the spring batch to last all year.

Sil

let me know if you hear about the spring batch. i for sure want another 4 oz since that apparently lasts me 7months or so in between all the other teas i drink lol

Terri HarpLady

The main difference I noticed was that the ‘bean’ flavor has be ome more prominent

Bonnie

I’m one of those who uses a little less leaf than Verdant recommends. I think that adjustments have to be made with each harvest because they’ll never be exactly the same. All the factors of earth and climate is what makes tea do exciting…much like wine and perhaps we’ve yet to taste the best Laoshan Black.

Sil

Bonnie – pretty sure i’m with you on that boat…verdant suggests a tablespoon if i recall. I pretty much treat this like most other teas with a 1-1.5 tsp per cup ratio.

Angrboda

So there is a difference, although a fairly small one taste-wise. Interesting. Well, all years can’t be equally good, I suppose.

OMGsrsly

I did 1 tbsp per 20 oz the other night, and my impression was still chocolate and dirt pies. Nice loamy dirt, but still dirt! I really want to try a different harvest…

Mercuryhime

For me, the worst thing about this current batch is the very roasted, almost burnt flavor. It overwhelms the natural chocolate flavor that I fell in love with. :( OMGsrsly, I’ll send you a bit of the spring batch when I get some, cause I’m sure I will. :) just remind me in case I forget.

Rachel J

I am fascinated by what you just said Mercuryhime. I bought some Laoshan Black for the first time a couple of weeks ago and was so excited to try it. I’m really not sure I like it, though, and it’s specifically because of the roasted, burnt quality you just mentioned. You can see what I said about that in my last tasting note.

Nitoo6of6

Well I am glad to read all the comments here. I just got an oz of this because of the great reviews and although I enjoyed the tea I didn’t quite understand why everyone was describing chocolate as opposed to heavily roasted.

Sil

Yeah – I felt the need to do this comparison because I was seeing so many recent reviews of people saying less than stellar things. Not that i think everyone has to love this tea but some of the comments were confusing me as they didn’t jive with my experiences. So a plot was born by mercuryhime and i! bwahahahahaha Stay tuned for scenes from our next plot – spring harvest – is the chocolate back? :)

Rachel J

Tune in next season for the exciting continuation. ;)

Bonnie

Early Spring harvest is going to be the first oolong from Laoshan and Verdant bought it prior to picking. Laoshan Black would probably come after since the fields will produce the rest of the Spring tea’s we all love. We’ll see.

OMGsrsly

Oh, that would be awesome Mercuryhime. I’m giving the rest of my package to the guy who runs my local tea shop. He likes it, and I don’t want to waste the Autumn Harvest!

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Bio

So no real clue what to write about myself here. A friend got me into drinking loose tea and it’s something I thoroughly enjoy though I have nowhere near the experience that many folks on the boards seem to have.

My other interests are cycling, reading, board games, disney cruises, world of warcraft and dancing – in no particular order. I love travelling and am currently working on trying to get my other half to as many place in the world as possible.

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Toronto, ON

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