Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Dark Chocolate, Oak wood, Cocoa, Malt, Nutty, Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Dark Bittersweet, Stewed Fruits, Cream, Black Currant, Cherry, Chocolate, Baked Bread, Coffee, Graham Cracker, Grain, Sweet Potatoes, Molasses, Toasted, Earth, Graham, Honey, Sweet, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Dill, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Nuts, Chestnut, Burnt, Toast, Brown Toast, Roasted, Toasty, Cannabis, Hops, Wood, Coconut, Creamy, 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 / 278 ml

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797 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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797 Tasting Notes

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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63 tasting notes

Morning tea, cereal and soft smoke.

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520 tasting notes

This is the second tea I have drank from my 5 for 5 sampler. It is good. It is not good enough to make me rush out and buy it considering my great need for tea. It’s not like there is any danger of me running out. I only steeped it western style so I am not getting the full gamut of notes here. I do get strong cocoa notes and notes of molasses.

I steeped this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.

Flavors: Cocoa, Molasses

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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380 tasting notes

1:30 min steep. Floral flavor. Roses. Not much of a black base like I’m used to with straight black teas. As it cools down the normal woodsy flavor starts to appear. This is good with brownie brittle. The leaves have a very interesting aroma. Slightly dark chocolate, slightly woodsy almost oaky. The way the wet leaves look kinda creeps me out.

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9 tasting notes

I have the current offering of this but it s disappointing and appears to suffer from the flaws mentioned about some recent versions . It smells good dry, very chocolaty , but brewed takes on an over processed burnt quality . It’s a shame as you have a sense of its potential but frankly it’s not all that nice. Hopefully they will get it right again some time soon.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72 tasting notes

Creamy, rich, dark chocolate caramel! It has a nice earthy feel without the roasted flavour. It’s pretty darn good..

On a side note, I love the way David brings the farmers into the picture. Whilst sipping this tea, I was thinking of the He family, the work that went into producing this marvellous tea, and the general life of a tea farmer. I’m very grateful.

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201 tasting notes

As I said in my tasting note for the Black Chocolate Genmaicha, I actually find the straight Laoshan Black to be more chocolatey and grainy than the version with actual cacao nibs and toasted grains added to it. Go figure. :) I think my next experiment will be to start comparing this against the other naturally chocolatey teas I have in my cupboard. This one really balances the cocoa notes with the roasted grain notes, rather than going full-on chocolate. I have to admit, some of the appeal for me with this tea comes from hearing about the He family and their commitment to organic farming and producing a high-quality product.

Flavors: Cocoa, Grain, Toasted

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

I bought this yesterday with the coupon you gave me, I’m excited to try it given all the excellent reviews! :)

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14 tasting notes

Thought I logged this as tasting great; maybe had network issues.

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111 tasting notes

Wow, this tea is so flavorful! There’s a definite roasted taste here, which I really enjoy. I can also taste some of the cocoa note mentioned on Verdant’s site description. That said, it’s not a sweet tea. Instead it’s really savory, with strong malty notes and a delicious aroma that’s especially potent with the first few cups. Later steepings were a bit lighter, with notes of raisin. I steeped my sample at least five times (Western style, but short steeps), and each cup was tasty.

This tea is impressive, with lots of staying power. I can see why everyone raves about it! I’m glad I’ll be drinking more of it in the form of Laoshan Village Chai—but I may have to order some of it plain in the near future, too.

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