My tasting notes say it has been 12 months since I first tried this tea, the first Autumn 2011 harvest after which I ordered the second which I still have a bit of. I also still have some of the 2011 Spring (logged 6 months ago) and Summer (logged 4 months ago) but I don’t know which is which is which as the pouches are not labeled. Today I’m drinking the Autumn 2012 harvest, which I have tried a few times already but apparently have not logged. Perhaps I should sit down with all four of them one of these days, however right now…
I’m on a Verdant Black Tea tasting spree, one a day. I started with Anxi Fo Shou on Tuesday, Yu Lu Lan Cha on Wednesday and Mi Lan Dancong Black Thursday all of which have been compared to Laoshan Black by David himself for their lovely chocolate notes but of course are each very unique and I wanted to experience that uniqueness each day instead of spaced weeks or months apart. I will continue with Zhu Rong Black, Jin Jun Mei, Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan Black (the only one I haven’t opened yet) and end with Golden Fleece, of course these last three don’t have the intense chocolate notes that the darker blacks do, but some of these teas also have strong honey notes and plus its fun!
I don’t pretend I am making any unique observations here, this tea alone has 115 ratings and many like me have more than one tasting note, not much more can be said about it. I’m just trying to come to a personal understand and appreciating the differences and complexities. This is the most intensely chocolate and desert like of the four so far, it is supported and enhanced by honey, caramel, vanilla and hint of cinnamon. The caramel and vanilla are the most intense in this fall harvest than I have experienced before. It is the most creamy and nutty of the teas, due to the soil of Laoshan Village.
Many dessert analogies have been made by others: caramel brownies, cinnamon brownies, honey soaked brownies, brownies brownies brownies, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, whipped cream, creme brulee, hot cocoa, Nutella, Black Forest cake, milk shakes, chocolate beer. It’s all of these but today especially it is &caramel brownie vanilla bean cheesecake served with a caramel brownie and vanilla bean ice cream, drizzled with caramel syrup, chocolate syrup and honey, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate shavings and cinnamon*. Beat that! And all that dessert flavor from three 10 second steeps! On a more serious note (not that that wasn’t a serous observation of course) it also seems a lot less grainy than I remember it being in the past and a lot more vanilla.