I was so super psyched to see this tea in the Verdant Reserve Club box this month. Laoshan Black is one of my all-time favorite teas, so a super-special version of it? Awesome. I wanted to try it right away but I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to get to it until today. An I certainly wanted to make sure I had the time to savor and appreciate it. I am steeping this gong-fu today.
The dry leaf is beautiful, and smells like chocolate and toasted caramel. This being so limited, there is not much of it, so I intend to savor every drop. Thus, I am certainly drinking my rinse. And what a rinse! It is very pale golden in color, but so flavorful already. Incredibly sweet, with a flavor that reminds me a bit of roasted, honeyed, cocoa-dusted nuts.
My second steep (only 5 seconds) is considerably darker, a lovely amber color. It is out of this world. It smells kind of like cayenne chocolate, or at least chocolate with a little spice, and caramel. There is still a lot of sweetness, and now there is some rich graininess and molasses notes along with the chocolate.
Third steep smells even more like spicy chocolate, but this time it smells like spicy milk chocolate instead of spicy dark. Interesting because there is no hint of spice to the flavor, but for whatever reason my mind thinks “spice” at that aroma. This steep is where the chocolate is at. I mentioned it before but in the previous steeps it’s just been flirting around the edges, never taking the main stage. But here it is, in this steep!
I just realized that I am brewing this weaker than suggested (I used only 4g in my 6oz teapot), but I wanted to stretch my leaf. It is still amazing!
After many subsequent steeps, I think I have tapped them out. I totally lost track of how many I got, but it was almost more than I could hold. :D In a related note, perhaps I am getting better at this whole gongfu thing.
This tea is amazing and it makes me sad that this one small ounce-ish is all that I will have of it.