Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dill, Grain, Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Chocolate, Chestnut, Burnt, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Toast, Toasted, Brown Toast, Roasted, Toasty, Cannabis, Hops, Wood, Coconut, Toasted Rice, Creamy, Soybean
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Fair Trade, Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Patrick Berkeley
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 10 oz / 290 ml

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737 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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 this, so i opened my bag up and realised...” Read full tasting note
    99
    Silaena 4927 tasting notes
  • “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, & it was....” Read full tasting note
    100
    Terri HarpLady 2955 tasting notes
  • “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 more than double strength,...” Read full tasting note
    95
    kittenna 2246 tasting notes
  • “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 chocolate/barley...” Read full tasting note
    94
    cavocorax 1694 tasting notes

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

Company description not available.

737 Tasting Notes

96
6770 tasting notes

Special Thanks to A Purrfect Cup for this one! I’m currently drinking the Autumn 2011 and LOVING it! I can TOTALLY pick up on those cocoa-dark chocolately notes and barley! And I can smell and taste the campfire-log on top of a flame type roasted goodness. This is quite marvelous! Excellent!

The Purrfect Cup

Did you mean me? ;)

TeaEqualsBliss

LMAO! I just noticed that! Sorry! Will change from Sup to Cup! LOL :)

Bonnie

Yum! (This is the first thing I’m writing with my new Ipad!!!)

TeaEqualsBliss

Bonnie! YAY! So glad I could be a part of that! New techie stuff is cool :)

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100
812 tasting notes

Dry leaves smell incredibly chocolately.
Wet leaves smell like dark chocolate and malty.

Using my little gongfu mini-teapot and clear double walled cups!

2seconds for each steep:
Steeps 1-4: Rich, creamy dark chocolate fills my mouth with a little hint of baked honey nut bread. The aftertaste is sweet and malty but not “too thick” on my palate. The mouthfeel is full and fantastic.

Increasing by 3 seconds for each infusion;
Steepings 5-8: Now, the tea has transformed from chocolate to nutty caramel with honey notes coming on a little bit stronger

Steepings 9-12: These steeps aren’t quite as steep. But still smooth and delicious. My palate isn’t really sure what notes are present, something lightly cinnamon maybe?

Overall: this tea is fantastic, chocolatey but so naturally sweet, with not bitterness. This is a great tea to enjoy on my day off!! Who knew straight tea could be so complex? I have certainly really learned to enjoy straight teas!

Preparation
Boiling
Sil

Yay! I love this tea

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59 tasting notes

Just a quick note about water.

We moved into our new place this weekend, but we haven’t been able to install our water filter. The threading on the faucet just doesn’t want to grab any of the little plastic adapters that came with the filter, so it looks like we’ll have to get something else.

So- we made this tea on Saturday morning with water from the tap. Generally, the water is fine (no funky tastes or anything weird like huge calcium deposits, etc). However, we noticed that the tea seemed a lot juicier than normal? After many sips and a few other teas, it’s clear that the water has more metal of some sort in it. It’s a subtle difference, but immeadiatly noticeable. With this water, it’s as if this is a different picking or a different grade or a different season. Definitely LaoShan, but not quite the same as my last note described.

So! Water really is important. With a little bit of a filter, the house water is going to be sweet and full and an awesome base for teas. Right now, the light metal/juicy flavor will keep me from breaking out the awesome celebratory new-place teas until we get a filter or one of those pitchers.

TeaBrat

I understand our water in San Francisco is good for municipal water but I am still tempted to get a filter. hmmm… Have you ever made tea with Brita filtered water?

Spoonvonstup

Yep! It’s what I’ve been using for the last 6 months or so. The drinking water at the old apartment was already quite good, so the Brita was more than adequate. As I assume it would/will be here. We’re looking to replace with either 1) more determined attempts to attach the old one 2) a brita pitcher to keep in the fridge (so we always have cold water, too) or 3) a nice heavy duty filter from Mandala, which would filter more and probably be more cost effective over-time.

Bonnie

I think that the water here is super excellent…23 breweries and some distilleries are here because of the water. Good sign. The water where I lived before was terrible. Mercury from old mines in the mountains and all that. I had to have a filter installed. Bad stuff! Right outside Silicon Valley.

Charles Thomas Draper

I have a Pur filter. I do not know how I lived withiut one before….

Tea Pantheon

I know the problem. The tea taste can change from day to day depending on water quality. But I am also finding how temperature affects the taste. A bit too hot or not hot enough water and your tea tastes like cheap Lipton. I am trying now to discover perfect temperature for Biluochun tea. This one is really hard to brew properly.

Indigobloom

I noticed this when I was brewing teas last year over Christmas, we were in Florida. The water in Toronto is generally better quality, on average… but the flavour in tea is significantly less tasty. It just doesn’t “burst” the same way!! :s

SimpliciTEA

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that with us all. I always wondered how big a difference the water you use could make in the tea liquor.

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100
235 tasting notes

Oh holy deliciousness

Im drinking this with my bombilla and having it luke warm. This is when I really taste the caramel brownie flavour. So delicious!
Back into the hole of studies I go….

Fjellrev

You’re still alive! Laoshan keeps you in check. Good luck with finals. :)

Lynne-tea

awww! Yes!.. It’s been rough but I’m still alive. I have been stuck away studying… can’t wait for it to end! :)
Thank you very much.. good luck with yours as well!

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99
300 tasting notes

Summer Harvest! You are finally in my cup! 199th tasting note! Woo hoo! Ahem. This tea smells of caramelized figs, dipped in chocolate and baked into a dark rye beer bread that was made from stout (so not a rye beer, a rye bread, made from stout, got that? I have to be clear on these things). Sorry I have a case of the sillies this morning and it is all because of this tea! I was grouchy before this I swear! Sweet malty black tea where have you been all my life?

Oh no my mug is empty! Off to rebrew, then some food, then vacuuming and shampooing the old Buick Century. I have been driving a grandma car since college, but that all changes in a few days. My mom is buying a new Prius and giving/selling me her “old” one, payments are cheaper than any lease, so it feels like a gift. Enough rambling, back to the tea!

Terri HarpLady

I don’t drink, but this tea makes me think of Guinness Stout! LOL

Sil

Terri…this tea is wonderful! It’s got malty and chocolatey tastes to it…if you’re ok drinking black, this is one of the most flavourful black unflavoured tea i’ve had heh

Autumn Hearth

I almost wrote Guinness but left it at stout in case that might turn anyone off, but yes!

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92
912 tasting notes

Dear Laoshan Black,

Will you be my Valentine?

Love,
Stephanie

Courtney

What an excellent note haha.

caile

Love it!

Kamyria

Ha ha ha… awesome note!!

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94
242 tasting notes

What is it with everyone today? Three people drinking Laoshan Northern black on the same day is too many to be a coincidence o.O

Regardless, I’ve been wanting to get some of this tea for months, and it just came in the mail yesterday, and I will not be deterred! The first infusion is simply sinful. It tastes like potent dark chocolate, something that I have a bit of a weakness for, competing with sweeter flavors to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It also has a kind of roasted quality to it, which reminds me a bit of more Big Red Robe, which is another bonus as that is one of my favorite teas. The tea finishes with a sweet aftertaste to round off this delightful tea. And now I’m torn between finishing this cup quickly to try out the next infusion, or taking my time and savoring the tea…

The second infusion is maltier and sweeter than the first, and the chocolate is not quite as strong. The chocolate is about 50% of the flavors of the foretaste, competing with floral and fruit flavors. As already stated, a maltier taste has developed, which is a pleasant surprise, as I though that it would take longer. So far, no sign of the spices that are said to develop, but I don’t really expect them to show up until the 4th infusion.

The third infusion has begun to develop the cinnamon flavor that Verdant talks about in their description of this tea. It’s still pretty weak, but it blends nicely with the other major flavors, and adds a great deal to the complexity of the tea. As a side-effect of this, the tea has also gotten quite a bit sweeter, but it remains quite pleasant. Once again, I’m anxious to see what developments the next infusion brings.

Forth and Fifth infusions are generally characterized by an increase in the strength of the cinnamon flavor. Nothing else changed, and it’s starting to bet a bit bland, so five was the limit.

The bottom line is that this is a very good tea, with interesting flavors that are uncommon at best. The best part is there isn’t anything that you could call bad about it, and that’s why it tied for the highest rating of teas I’ve tried.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Everyone on Steepster has this tea I think! ;-) Enjoy! I was noticing this morning it does remind me of a red robe.

Joshua Smith

Thanks, I hope you enjoy your sip-down!

Bonnie

I want to drink this on a Saturday morning with nothing to do but watch the 1955 color version of The Brothers Karamozov with Yul Brynner which is one of my favorite movies…also 1934 We Live Again with Fredrick March. Both in English set in old Russia. I’m glad everyone is on the same page enjoying this tea!

Joshua Smith

There’s a movie version of The Brothers Karamazov? Must acquire immediately! That’s one of my favorite books! Thanks for bringing this to my attention!.

TeaBrat

ha – I read that book may years ago – will have to check this movie out too. :))

Bonnie

Was only vhs for ages but saw it recently on Dvd. It was the first film William Shatner was in and Lee Cobb was the father. Long fantastic film!

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1717 tasting notes

I’ve already enjoyed this a couple of times thanks to Terriharplady, but can’t find where I’ve noted exactly how much I’ve enjoyed it. Could it be because there’s a cat sitting on my hands that makes it a little difficult to type? (Yes, he’s still sleeping outside…breakfast date.)

The Verdant description for this one is caramels melting on your tongue. Perfect characterization. Big and rich taste. This morning, added a little half-and-half, which doesn’t hurt, but it’s already creamy enough on its own.

Terri HarpLady

Glad you like it! :)

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92
1308 tasting notes

Heaven!!! pure, blissful, intoxicating heaven.
The first cup anyhow. Funny, I made it through 5 steeps and the first one was my fave! I guess that is commom with Asian black tea, for me. (Oolongs are a different beast altogether)
Anyhow, it tasted just like dark chocolate. I really felt as if I’d eaten a piece of rich, 90% chocolate. SO good. I could also taste the honey/buckwheat.
The second steep was really nice as well. Less chocolatey… or maybe like milk chocolate? (without the milk, that is!). The sweetness really came out here.
The third steep was more of the same. but the fourth! well, this is where the raisin note that I detected a hint of before, really shone through. and a sortof fresh water note in the finish. Almost sour.
This was hours ago, so now of course I am wondering if that was the hibiscus? Either way, it was an epic experience.
There are enough leaves to make a few more cups but once those are gone I think I will leave it be. One of those things that are just so great that the memory needs to be left intact, unspoiled even. *sighs
Maybe I will save those for my gaiwan, when I finally get one…
Big thank you to Amy Oh for the sample!! you made my dreadfully boring day a whole lot less boring! :)

TeaBrat

glad you liked it! =)

Indigobloom

me to!! Yummm

SimpliciTEA

This tea definitely ROCKS!

Indigobloom

yes it does!! I want to marry it…

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95
4415 tasting notes

Very happy to have received this in the Steepster Select box … nice to have it back in my stash. The black teas – well all the teas, really – that Verdant Tea selects for their inventory are just stellar. This one is no exception.

Rich and flavorful. Bold. Chocolate-y. It tastes a little like chocolate malt-o-meal which is something I loved as a kid, and I can never seem to find at the grocery store any more. But I think this might be even better … well, it is better, because it’s tea! It has such a lovely note of caramel, a deep roasted flavor, as if the caramel was cooked in a copper pot until it was right at that golden brown color … and then held on the heat for just a few moments longer to deepen the flavor just a bit more.

So VERY good. It is teas like this that will make me miss the Steepster Select box. Some of the teas were kind of like “meh…” especially when I’ve tried them before. But I’ve tried this one before, and I was thrilled that it was in the box … because it is really so very good.

I love this tea.

Azzrian

Oh I can get chocolate malt o meal – and maple – want me to send you some? :)

LiberTEAS

No, they’d be heavy to ship. I’m thinking about recreating my own chocolate malt o meal using my multi grain hot cereal and adding some of the valrhona cocoa powder I have in my cupboard. That might be incredible. :)

Azzrian

Oh you should try this!
Awee shipping is not that much – are you sure I don’t mind at all!

LiberTEAS

I definitely do appreciate the offer. But I think I’ll try the hot cereal with cocoa powder first. If that doesn’t work out so well, I might just take you up on it. And then I’ll end up sending you all kinds of tea to thank you. :)

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