Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Cocoa, Coffee, Malt, Salt, Smoke, Honey, Dark Chocolate, Graham, Oak wood, Nutty, Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Dark Bittersweet, Stewed Fruits, Cream, Black Currant, Cherry, Chocolate, Baked Bread, Graham Cracker, Grain, Sweet Potatoes, Molasses, Toasted, Earth, Sweet, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Dill, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Nuts, Chestnut, Burnt, Toast, Brown Toast, Roasted, Toasty, Cannabis, Hops, Wood, Coconut, Creamy, Marshmallow, Toasted Rice, Raisins, Soybean, Butterscotch, Custard, Vanilla, Walnut, Fruity, Smooth
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Fair Trade, Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Patrick Berkeley
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 9 oz / 273 ml

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806 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

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

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806 Tasting Notes

38 tasting notes

very good tea, well worth $5 an ounce. I definitely taste a chinese black tea with a hint of cocoa. It has a similar body to a chinese keemun but there is no smokeyness just a taste of cocoa. Not real sweet but definitely could drink this everyday. I have respect for this tea.

Flavors: Cocoa

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496 tasting notes

My breakfast tea. Oh, this smells so nice. I get a lovely scent of chocolate. There is a bit of graham cracker in the flavour. And it’s a bit on the sweet side. Overall, very good. Glad I decided to try it today. Having another cup while playing some Harvest Moon.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Graham, Honey

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63 tasting notes

I didn’t want to admit it. I really didn’t.

It still tastes like wholemeal bread, subtly touched with molasses. And on subsequent sips, it is very much like taking bites of raw, earthy sweet potato. So there’s that. However, the most dominant note I’m scenting is cannabis, and it’s sinking my love, and sinking it fast.

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31 tasting notes

Huh. So I just got my 5 for $5 Verdant Tea sampler in the mail and decided to try this first. This is good, and maybe it’s because I’m not as sophisticated a tea drinker as most of you, but… I’m not really blown away by it the way I expected to be after reading your reviews. It’s nice, and definitely not at all bitter. I’m on the 3rd steep, and I do think it’s improving as I go. I followed the Verdant Tea directions for brewing, starting out at just 30 seconds. I’ve quickly shifted to 90 seconds, and it’s an improvement. I thought it was too weak after the first steep, but it’s much better now. I also added a small amount of rock sugar — it’s not crucial, but it rounds out the flavor a bit for me. I think I’d appreciate this more if I were eating it with spicy foods — it’s very, very much like the black tea we would be served at a Chinese restaurant my family frequented when I was a child, but I haven’t had anything like it since. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling like I need something savory and spicy with it rather than the sweet breakfast I’m eating. eat I’ve got 4 g. left, so I’ll try to leave a better note next time I try it.

Also… I’m using unfiltered water. Actually… I’m doing that in general because I have very good tap water. Maybe the flavors of this are subtle enough that unfiltered water really would make a significant difference. It’s definitely not as strong as most of the teas I like, but it’s… I can tell it’s very good quality as you all say. Just maybe not my favorite type of tea.

But after this tasting… The tea’s good, but I’m unlikely to pay a premium to try it again after this.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Nutty

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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111 tasting notes

(Autmn Plucking)
This is a tea that I am quite familiar with so I felt comfortable brewing more casually. Feeling lazy so threw in a my hong cha yixing. It been a while so I almost forgot what this tea tasted like so after a little anticipation of rinsing the vessel I threw in the leaves. The warmed pot gave off a wonderful smell, started off burnt sugar to the next huff smelling bitter cacao to the final whiffs turning into fruity dark stewed fruits. With all autumn teas it was more bark than bite and I hate a tease.

{side note}I have been using spring water for about a week now and really started to notice it brought out a lot of fruity sweeter qualities in teas and less bitterness, I am starting to miss a pleasantly bitter taste.

This tea was no different every steeping rather than the caramel toasty chocolately tastes I remember and just smelled from the leaves all I got was fruitiness. Im still pretty confident my yixing having a low pitch will take a while to season properly and as a result is a flavor sucker. I only got 2-3 good brew out of it strangely enough and couldnt get much out of it body wise, although I am impressed with the quality of tea/processing I don’t think I had any tea scum(white bubbles during a rinse) on any steepings which is rare for chinese teas especially hong cha.

Almost done with my sample bag before I reach the bottom I will take my time to throw it in a gaiwan and test out my yixing flavor sucker theory.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Dark Bittersweet, Stewed Fruits

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

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10 tasting notes

A beautifully tasty black tea! I got this from Verdant to try as part of the 5 for 5 (what a great deal!) I am on the 8th cup and the tea just keeps brewing.

Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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90 tasting notes

Laoshan Black brews with the aroma of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. This tea is delicious with flavors of chocolate cookies and a hint of currant or cherry.

Flavors: Black Currant, Cherry, Chocolate, Cocoa

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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3 tasting notes

This tea is one of the more interesting ones I’ve tried, I got it from the 5 for 5 deal on verdants site, which if you haven’t checked out you should. The first thing I tasted sipping on the first infusion was a somewhat fruity taste, which quickly gave way to the taste of grains. Altogether it almost was like drinking a fresh bowl of cereal with strawberries on top. The third infusion wasn’t as good as the first two, it tasted somewhat metallic. I think that may have been my fault as I left the leaves in my brew basket overnight. Altogether I’d say this is definitely a high quality tea, but I’m not sure if it’s one I would drink regularly. It’s surely worth trying, especially considering it comes with verdant’s amazing five teas for five dollars deal.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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4 tasting notes

Throughout numerous steepings, this tea’s flavors shifted in a harmony of dark, earthy sweetness, and baked notes, cereal, and sweet potato. On the first steeping (10s), it had a robust richness: dark chocolate, cooked ripe fruits, malt syrup. The liquor had the kind of silky mouth-feel I have only experienced with certain green and oolong teas. The infusion smelled of unsweetened cocoa, cereal, and had a tart note that was not represented in the liquor.

On the second infusion (15s) the sweetness was more subdued, and the baked, cereal notes became stronger. This trend continued through additional steepings. The sweetness never left the liquor, but the richer, dark notes of sweetness became brighter. The tartness I had noted in the infusion never really asserted itself in the liquor, though aeration did bring it out—a sort of sharp caramel, citric quality vaguely similar to the aroma of demerara sugar.

The liquor from the first two or three infusions was complex, with too many nuances for me to describe. Later steepings were simpler, less dark and rich, though always playing on a balance of grain and earthy sweetness. I was able to enjoy 6 steepings before the liquor became insipid and unpleasant, which is significantly fewer than recommended by Verdant Tea, but I also started with longer steeping times. On my next attempt, I will follow their recommendations more closely.

This is a wonderful tea. The first infusion was incredibly rich and easily stands out from other Chinese black teas, such as the Golden Monkey and Bailin Gongfu, that I have been enjoying lately. I definitely look forward to trying this again.

4.2g tea (half the sample) • 90ml Gaiwan • 212°F • 6 steepings (10s, +5)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Graham Cracker, Grain, Malt, Stewed Fruits, Sweet Potatoes

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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64 tasting notes

Morning tea, cereal and soft smoke.

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