91
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
403 tasting notes

I have been so excited about my first Verdant order – it arrived Tuesday but I’ve been entertaining company all week and didn’t have the time to give any of my new teas the attention they deserve. But today, I finally got to pull out the Laoshan Black, and decided to brew it gongfu-ish style this first time in my 3.5oz glass teapot.

I… I don’t have much to add to the descriptions above. I’m on the first 3 steeps and this is delicious, light, creamy, chocolatey (the dry leaf smells intensely of chocolate) – very smooth. I’m curious to see how it will change with further steeping!

It’s a bit on the light/weak side, but I might not have used enough leaf – I used the 1g to 1oz rule for 3.5oz, whereas the instructions recommend 5oz… It’s not bad! But I like my tea a bit stronger :) Fortunately there’s plenty in the sample pack to try it differently next time, and I’ve yet to see how it does with longer steeps.

ETA: I steeped this at least a dozen times. It was getting a bit weak by the end (though still tasty!) so I left the last steep for a few minutes, and that ended up being one of my favorites! It was sweet like fresh grain – I was thinking barley, but apparently semolina is more common – a fittingly bright amber color, and very smooth.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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