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99
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
38 tasting notes

Oh no! Do I have a new favorite? My beloved jing tea Dan Cong red tea is expensive enough and this one edges above it in price, although admittedly not by much when you factor shipping cost.

I didn’t want to love this at this price, but with reviews like this, I couldn’t NOT try it. I can’t describe the complexity well, but never mind, because I do love it. The first brew, I get something like tobacco leaves, mild chocolate and roast chestnuts. The second brew is actually even better, which I can’t think of another tea that I can say that about. It brings in higher notes, raisin? cinnamon? caramel? I really, really can’t say. But I will happily continue to try to figure it out. The third brew is fine too, though I accidentally left it for an hour and it was just warm, so I don’t want to say too much about that one. This is superb, excellent and totally worth it. This tea is rocking my world and I don’t say that lightly.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I live in Kansas City Mo and am currently obsessed with black tea. I’ve been going through phases. I liked keemun and now I don’t. I’m trying to use them up by adding some golden Yunnan needle to cut the smoke quality. I quit drinking coffee because it affected my blood sugar too much and I’m finding that the really stout teas do too. So Assams and some of the blends are tricky. Right now the Chinese red (black) teas are my current passion. After worrying over the perfect timing for each tea, I have found that I love black tea added generously, brewed at boiling for three minutes for the first infusion and five for the second. Life is so much simpler now and I am enjoying the resulting tea much more than when I was brewing it longer. I do add sweetener, usually Teavana’s German rock crystals, sometimes palm sugar or other experimental alternatives. For my black tea in the morning, I use an infuser basket and an iron teapot. It may not be ideal to basket the leaves, but morning is not the time to be fussy and labor intensive.

Oolong is pretty wonderful too. Especially in the evening. I have some Yixing pots for my evenings, that I really enjoy. One for greener oolongs, one for darker oolongs and one for black teas. Teapots are another obsession, can one have too many? I have a paper porcelain that is perfect for green teas and just got a wabi sabi teapot for flavored teas. I have some larger teapots that I’m finding I just don’t use because I’m the only one in the house that drinks it, so I’m concentrating on smaller ones now. Especially for evening, I like to brew a serving at a time and I prefer a small teapot that with a strainer spot. Then, if I don’t reinfuse, I haven’t wasted as much.

Some of this background helps understand the reviews, I think.

Location

Kansas City MO