My first ever Chinese black tea….mmm. I won’t try to describe it because I don’t have enough experience with them and everyone else’s description here is so good! If this is what Chinese blacks are like I am going to have to try more :)
“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...” Read full tasting note
“Yes, I’m drinking this again! It’s my birthday, so I can drink anything I want! Of course, I can drink anything I want any day of the year, but this seemed like a perfect start today,...” Read full tasting note
“Brewed up a bunch of this quite strong for icing – I’ll see how that fares in the morning! In the meanwhile, I’m enjoying a second infusion, which, possibly because it’s...” Read full tasting note
“I snagged 4 oz of the autumn version of this tea after feeling a bit anxious about the last of my spring tea getting sipped down. Now I’m pretty much at peace, enjoying the strong...” Read full tasting note
This is one of the pioneer black teas from Laoshan. The village only started experimenting with making black tea out of their uniquely bean-like green tea a year or two ago.
Early steepings are remarkably smooth and creamy, reminiscent of a floral Big Red Robe in their creamy and luscious texture and heady orchid floral notes. The signature chocolate and barley flavor is more muted to balance with the subtleties of the texture. The best way to describe the sensation of drinking this tea is that of handmade butter caramels melting on your tongue.
Later steepings see a shift towards fruity raw cacao flavor, and strong Madagascar vanilla bean. The barley notes remind us of our time in a Tibetan village on a high plateau watching the barley harvest and breathing in the smell of the roasting grains over a wood fire. The aftertaste remains extraordinarily thick, like homemade whipped cream. Mr. and Mrs. He, who cultivate this incredible tea on their small farm in Laoshan Village have outdone themselves with this precious spring harvest.
Region: He family farm, Laoshan Village, Shandong
Company description not available.
Laoshan Black ( Entry Grade)Laoshan tea high-quality goods of China
Laoshan Black Genmaicha (Unofficial)Verdant Tea
Laoshan Black Chocolate GenmaichaVerdant Tea
Spring Harvest Laoshan BlackVerdant Tea
Bergamot Rose Laoshan BlackVerdant Tea
Laoshan Black TeaLaoshan tea high-quality goods of China
A remarkable tea for only two years in the making.
Dark chocolate and tobacco are the main notes of the large, twisted leaves in the bag. It was hard to believe how chocolatey the reviews were, but they were dead on right.
I was going to wait until autumn to order, but with a mid-May frost in the offing I was glad I didn’t. As stated by Angrboda, the steeped tea is more milky in taste, rather like a cocoa than dark chocolate, with absolutely no bitterness to it. There are vegetal/ grain/ tobacco notes to it to, giving it’s ‘nose’ great depth. I’ve recently come to the blacks after many years of greens and whites and I’m bowled over by the flavor depth here. If you’ve only experienced black tea in the bag. Fasten your seat belts and be prepared for your world to be rocked!
NOTE: I have the Autumn Laoshan Black.
I think I’ve steeped this one a bit too long. The taste was somewhat bitter, though not unpleasant. It tastes bark-ish and smells familiar, yet I cannot quite pin down exactly what familiar thing it smells like.
Will rate after a few more infusions.
Infusion 2: much more pleasant. It tastes more like an Oolong this time (to me), and is very malty. The aftertaste is, as others have said, honey-like. This is a very smooth tea.
Ooo I can’t believe it’s not cocoa. Dry leaf is probably the most cocoa-y smelling tea I’ve encountered. I used the whole sample I got from Verdant in the 5 for $5 deal (which is a fantastic deal and introduction to their tea). Anyway, it looked to be about 1.5 tsp or so and I put it in 8 oz boiling.
Yum! Steeped it still retains that cocoa quality and is very… malty? Still not on board with all the terminology, but it has a very rich break-like quality. I added a tiiiny smidgen of honey because I can’t help myself, and love it even more.
Overall, fantastic! I really like this. I’d love to stock this in the future. But right now I’m trying to downsize my tea stash so I’ll have to refrain for now.
edit: Getting a few more steeps out of this that are equally yummy!
I got this as a 5 for 5 sample, and it was definitely what I wanted. I actually had this one before the Roasted Laoshan Oolong. They are approximately the same tea in terms of taste, especially to someone who is a little bit new to tea, but to me, this tea is considerably rosier while the oolong is like a sweeter chocolate version.
Another thing about this sample, really the verdant teas I’ve had in general is that the tea tastes slightly different from when I first opened the bag to when I’ve had it for a few days. I brewed the near 3-4 grams of this tea both times within the same gongfu parameters. This going to be full of compare and contrast, as you may or may not notice in the beginning.
Test steep-15 seconds with water just under boiling. First time with the newly opened bag reminded me distinctly of rose water which I deeply enjoyed, but for whatever reason, reminded my mother of soap. The other time I drank this, the rose was still there but had more of the cocoa notes that typically describe it.
Steep two at 45 seconds in the original sampling, it was a very light fusion between rose and cocoa. I could see why it tasted like soap-it reminded me of a feminine luxury bath salt with chocolates on the side. The other time the cocoa was more prominent and the rose not as present, a little bit more malty, but with a weird wine, grape, or currant quality. I couldn’t quite place it, but there was a berry note hidden in there.
Steep 3 I tried at 35, but too light, upped to a minute and half. Rose and cocoa there yet lighter both times that I had it, though the later sampling had more of the weird grape or berry-ness. Steep 4 at 3 minutes, it tasted like rose water both times.
I liked this one, but I’m preferential with it. I personally preferred the oolong because it was sweeter. I should note that my expectations were pretty high with this one with the reviews on steepster, and my experience with the Ailaoshan Black from Whispering Pines. I might have to try this one again. Still something that I would recommend to almost anyone. This appeals more to black tea drinkers for sure, or ones who like sweeter and more robust flavor without astringency. A newer drinker might be opened up to a new world or underwhelmed.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Rose, Sweet, White Grapes
This tea will knock you back into yourself when you haven’t been feeling very self-like. Like Wispering Pine’s ‘Ailaoshan Black’ – this is a tea that you can sit and breathe with, each breath in and out revealing something new about the tea. The sip in is dark, toasty and a little coffee-bitter, while the breath out is pure malty sweetness. Further into the cup, and further into the breath, the tea mellows out to lighter flavors – more carmel and graham crackers than coffee and chocolate.
Sometimes I think the thing I value most about tea is how its complexity forces your mind to focus on it – and in that focusing, you forget yourself and are finally able to relax.
Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Graham Cracker