Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Plums, Butter, Honey, Toast, Wheat, Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Stonefruits, Sweet, Rose, White Grapes, Caramel, Coffee, Graham Cracker, Grain, Burnt Sugar, Raisins, Rum, Salt, Smoke, Dark Chocolate, Graham, Oak wood, Nutty, Cacao, Stewed Fruits, Cream, Black Currant, Cherry, Baked Bread, Sweet Potatoes, Molasses, Toasted, Earth, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Dill, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Nuts, Chestnut, Burnt, Brown Toast, Roasted, Toasty, Cannabis, Hops, Wood, Coconut, Creamy, Marshmallow, Toasted Rice, 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, 30 sec 5 g 10 oz / 306 ml

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845 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

About Verdant Tea View company

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845 Tasting Notes

74 tasting notes

I received this as a sample once upon a time. The smell is mostly amazing, with a little bit of a funk going on—it doesn’t come through in the flavor (at least, after the first sip) so that’s a relief! By funk, I suppose I mean a sort of burnt, wet, mud going on. Maybe my glass teapot needs cleaned? Hrmph. That’s probably it.

The first steep I did was only for a few seconds (like, thirty). I usually don’t do shorter steeps, so I was surprised at how strong the tea was after only a quick dip. It’s smooth and malty and fantastic.

The second steep was my usual length—a couple minutes. It’s not bitter at all, which makes me very happy. Another fantastic tea from Verdant—if they can make me fall in love with Wulong, then it only make sense that I feel the need to rave endlessly about their other teas. What a perfect end to a cold day in the bitter freezer! I’ll just curl up right here with my journal, and my books, my tea cup, and my cat, and my fuzzy slippers… take that hypothermia!

I already have quite the selection of loose leaf plain black teas (thanks to Verdant, actually), so I will have to put this in the running for when I need more.

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6 tasting notes

This tea should probably be the number one tea on

It even LOOKS good. The prices got better somehow and it is so milky and sweet and carmelly. Please, try to find something better in this category.

Wait, is it number 1 on here? haha, I shouldve checked. Anyway, its great. Cant really ruin it, went boiling water and left it for about 3 minutes, poured a big pot and went and sat outside…what more do you want?

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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913 tasting notes

The first steep was amazing, resulting in a pale brown brew with a thick smell of malt and cocoa powder. Cocoa city! I can sense some of the butter/grain notes of the green tea, but the flavour deepened here and became much more savoury.

The second steep was similarly malty, with an underlying bitter bite that reminded me of cocoa nibs. However, it was very smooth, with no astringency.

The third steep was very mild, and the wet leaf by now had an underlying note of raisin, which made me think of raisin bread. The tea was by now quite pale for a black tea, but still soft, savoury and delicious. I can see why people on Steepster like Laoshan black so much by now!

Full review at:

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200 tasting notes

I need to start this post with a big sorry to my secret pumpkin as I only managed to get their package into the post this afternoon – however its guaranteed to arrive before halloween so hopefully they forgive me…. I was packing up a big sample of this for my pumpkin as it was on their wish list when I realized I hadn’t enjoyed it myself for a couple of months AND then i realized I’d never reviewed it… must solve those serious problems!! First sips of this were full of cocoa, malt, wood and nuts which made me realize how much I’ve been drinking flavored teas recently and how much I have been neglecting my straight blacks. I seem to be going through phases right now… I find a tea, drink it to death, at the detriment to all the other amazing teas in my cupboard and then suddenly I’m over it and I’m on to the next binge drinking option. On the bright side at least its one way to manage some quickish sip downs!! Laoshan Black is something I always try to keep in my cupboard and I’m very quickly remembering why!!

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72 tasting notes

Unlike the sample I had months ago, I prepared this “exactly” as described on the package save for some neglect steeping.

I’m on my third steep and still digging it. It started out a rich, malty, and slightly bitter chocolate, and consecutive infusions have become more honeyed. I bet I could still get a nice 4th cup out of this, which is pretty awesome.

… I may or may not have run around the house forcing everyone to sniff the tea and tell me how much it smells like chocolate. Whether out of confusion, fear, or sincerity, they all confirmed it does indeed smell a lot like chocolate.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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2 tasting notes

Very malty and cocoa. How I learned I loved savory black teas. Ordered the Yunnan Gold from Adagio Teas but maybe I oversteeped it? Bitter and doesn’t compare.

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413 tasting notes

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

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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95 tasting notes

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

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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874 tasting notes

I have no idea what version of this tea I have as I got it as a sample from my tea hero Sil so I think I need to play around with it a bit more — it was super heavy on first steeping, it scared me off a bit! But I’ve got plenty left in the sample and I’m going to try a second steep of this first basket and we’ll see how things go. Doing it at work doesn’t help with timing either because Friday nights are BIZZAY!


if you have cacao, add a little to the basket when you steep..brings out the chocolatey notes


The second steep was LOVELY! I think I just need a shorter first steep… thanks for the cacao tip!

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4 tasting notes

The leaves and liquor are very visually appealing. I agree with the description from Verdant.. But I wouldn’t repurchase. It certainly is a marvelous tea. It’s just too silky for me. And I’ve tried brewing longer and hotter etc with more leaves. Anyway, it has been a great experience to taste this tea but I wouldn’t reach for it in my cupboard so I’ll just leave it at that. I could see this being a great base for a blend. Verdant has some to offer so I am interested in trying those.

Flavors: Grain

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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