Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Cocoa, Malt, Rose, Sweet, White Grapes, Caramel, Coffee, Graham Cracker, Grain, Burnt Sugar, Plums, Raisins, Rum, Salt, Smoke, Honey, Dark Chocolate, Graham, Oak wood, Nutty, Cacao, Dark Bittersweet, Stewed Fruits, Cream, Black Currant, Cherry, Chocolate, Baked Bread, Sweet Potatoes, Molasses, Toasted, Earth, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Dill, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Nuts, Chestnut, Burnt, Toast, 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 4 g 10 oz / 310 ml

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841 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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841 Tasting Notes

187 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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67 tasting notes

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!

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 0 OZ / 0 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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266 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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94 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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864 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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303 tasting notes

Holy Shiitake that has sooo many reviews hahah! I had no idea this was so popular.

Anyways unto the review. This was by far the best 5 dollars I’ve spent. This was the first I sampled from their tea box. This was delicious! I paired this with some belgian chocolate and it was perfect. The small ebony curls carry a smoked scent and char. I brewed them in my gaiwan. I washed once and allowed them to breathe. The aroma was amazing! It was of a dark currant, burnt sugar, and raisins. The flavor was incredibly bold. It was a deep malt with raspberry chocolate. The steeped leaves were mostly full and unfurled to long beautiful strands. I absolutely love this tea and will be stocking up!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Plums, Raisins, Rum

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 90 OZ / 2661 ML

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1805 tasting notes

“The body of the tea is strong and creamy, not overly bold and in-your-face, but maintaining strong, consistent flavors throughout. The slight fruity sweetness softens any edges, and there is little to no astringency of which to speak. In the center of the body of the tea lies a bit of smokiness, which pleasantly lingers on the tongue.”

Full review, here:

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115 tasting notes

This sample is one I’ve had for a while. I wasn’t particularly fond of it, so I hadn’t taken the time to review it until my newest tea-convert frisfries wanted to start trying tea.
First infusion: 30 sec. A bit salty and smokey, with just an undertone of coffee breath. Maybe a hint of chocolate. I just can’t get over how much it smells like my SO’s coffee breath!
Second infusion: 45 sec. Stronger coffee breath. Still salty. Not a fan, but maybe I could see how others could be? It may be because I don’t like coffee OR chocolate.

Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Malt, Salt, Smoke

205 °F / 96 °C 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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