Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Cocoa, Grain, Chocolate, Earth, Graham, Honey, Sweet, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Dill, Baked Bread, Malt, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Nuts, Chestnut, Burnt, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Toast, Toasted, Brown Toast, Roasted, Toasty, Cannabis, Hops, Wood, Coconut, Toasted Rice, Molasses, Raisins, Creamy, Soybean, Cacao, Fruity, Smooth
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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 9 oz / 272 ml

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772 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 5389 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 3074 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 2606 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 1700 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.

772 Tasting Notes

84
318 tasting notes

Tea Swap with @Meeka

This particular tea caught my attention because so many people on Steepster have tried it and loved it. Over the past year I’ve tried a lot of different black teas so I couldn’t wait to get my hands onto this one. Okay and now onto the tasting notes:

Sniffing the tea liquor, I’m picking up on scents of honey, spices, raisin. It reminds me of a few other black teas I’ve tried.

The first steep tastes much like the tea liquor scents suggested, with the addition of chocolate, malt, and floral rose aroma. (Personal bias: I have a low tolerance for rose flavour)

Subsequent resteeps had the same consistent flavours. At the fourth steep I picked up on more roasted notes, but the rose aroma is really starting to rub me the wrong way.

Overall I didn’t notice too much weakening until the ninth steep, which while weak was still flavourful.

I kept resteeping, and even though most of the tea body is gone there still remains nice hints of sweet honey, raisin and cinnamon which slowly fade away as I reached the fifteenth steep.

This tea was enjoyable, but fell far below my expectations. The high scores and hype on Steepster made me believe this was going to be an amazing, mind blowing experience. But I’ve had other teas like this and I wasn’t especially crazy about them either. I do not want to sound unappreciative because this is indeed a very good tea, but it is not a personal favourite.

On the plus side, I am glad that so many people here are being exposed to such a well made black tea. It is a wonderful example of how beautiful and complex black tea can be.

100ml purion teapot, 2tsp, 15 steeps (based on Verdant Tea gongfu instructions: rinse, 3s, 3s, 3s, +3s resteeps)
I liked this resteeping method, I’ll have to try it out again on some of my other black teas.

Preparation
Boiling
TeaBrat

I’ve found a LOT of hype on Steepster, (particularly about Verdant teas) in my opinion.

Dorothy

Yes, and I am probably guilty of hyping tea as well. ;) I try not to go too overboard though.

TeaBrat

well, I’m sure we all do it from time to time. :)

Meeka

I haven’t tried steeping it like that yet – I have a tendency to steep black teas western style out of habit – but it sounds like something I want to try. I know what you mean about the hype, I’ve done it too. It’s nice to see honest reviews though.

I’ve gone to rate teas before that I just did not like and then feel a little funny when every other rating is like “95 – I could pick out every awesome flavor here and it is just amazing” and my thoughts are like “I’m so sorry, but I thought this tasted like muddy sugar water” (might be a slight exaggeration ;) )

TeaBrat

Meeka – I know the feeling all too well. :)

Dorothy

@Meeka, I think it’s great to steep a tea both ways (western and gongfu), it really tells me a lot about what the tea is capable of. That being said, I’ll probably try western style when my husband is around so he can try this tea too.
I’m really glad that you sent me this sample, it is a good tea to try but I don’t think I’d want a whole bag.

Nathaniel Gruber

i would love to try some of the other black teas that you mentioned in your review that taste like this one. i haven’t encountered these flavor profiles that the laoshan black exudes in any other black tea. any info so i could order a sample and be exposed to such greatness would be awesome. thanks!

Dorothy

@Nathaniel: The main tea I can compare this to is Zhao Bai Jian, but the place I purchased it from (camellia-sinensis.com) is out of stock until spring and I have drunk all of my purchase. (I see that Dragon Tea House on ebay sells one called Nonpareil Sichuan Gongfu but I have not tried it.) Camellia Sinensis also has Chuan Hong which is a lesser grade, but shares enough similar traits.
Those two were the main teas that share the most in common, but Hualien Feng Mi, Xiao Zhong (Camellia Sinensis) and Yixing Hong Cha (jingteashop.com) all share a few common themes, but do not fully emulate Laoshan Northern black tea. Cheers!

Bonnie

Sometimes hype is deserved (Verdant) . Sometimes (like the bubblegum tea’s I don’t get it 52 tea’s) .

Bonnie

I was reading your review again and wondering what your favorite black tea is that can be steeped successfully at least 15 times? I have my own top 5 list, curious about what you were measuring Laoshan Black against.

Dorothy

@ Bonnie: My fav tea that can be steeped at least 15 times is Jin Die (Camellia Sinensis). But there are a lot of black teas I love. Unfortunately they can’t all be my favourite, and some of the best (or personal fav) I’ve tried keep pushing the rating down of the other black teas I’ve drunk.

I have a short list of loves (rated +90), and of course an even longer list of likes (rated +80) and meh teas. Last year I spent a lot of time drinking black tea. So my tongue became a bit picky over those months. ;) Hype bothers me because I expect to try something new and crazy when my expectations are raised so high.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried tea that tastes like Laoshan Black. But I just don’t enjoy those type of floral black teas. I’m sure you know very well, that fav teas and personal preference go hand in hand. Besides that, I recognize Laoshan Black is a great tea (I like the resteep ability and body), but it didn’t charm my palate.

Bonnie

Thanks! My question was an honest one since most people don’t steep Black tea’s so many times. Good info.

Dorothy

Haha, I’m kinda weird like that. Short steeping black tea is my preferred method.
The one I tried for this tea is good, but I mostly use 30 seconds, +15 seconds for each resteep.

Bonnie

Ah…explains alot! I just did a Verdant pre-release Black Dancong at 5 seconds adding a second for each additional steeping. Something I’ve never done before. Awesome experience!

CHAroma

I love all the comments here. Great information! Thanks!

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86
698 tasting notes

So I bought this one (and my tea pet and a few others) a year ago. Because my stash is so ridiculous and I tend to keep my favourites eternally, I still have almost all of it left. I booked today off to indulge myself in bad wedding movies, tea and bread-making, so I enjoyed a few gong-fu infusions of this while watching Made of Honour. I’ve gotta say, I don’t know how I am going to make it 6 more months waiting for my wedding. I already live with my fiancee and we’ve been together for going on nine years but I am just so excited to have a big party with everyone we love to celebrate us. Plus, I adore my dress and just want to wear it all the time! : )

Anyway. This tea. So yummy. Despite the aging, it is lovely and rich, there is smoothness and some definite malt, but no bitterness to be found. There is a lot of cocoa and earthy tea flavour, but as I say it is just all so smooth! I’ve done three infusions so far in my gaiwan and this afternoon I will do a few more, I think. This is a sensational tea, and I have even more respect for it now than I did a year ago. Now I just need to enjoy it all before it gets too old!

CHAroma

Ooooh!!! Can you post a picture of your dress??

Uniquity

Unfortunately, the dress is in lockdown for the next six months, my fiancee also checks Steepster, though very infrequently. I keep having to watch out that I don’t accidentally mention details. Surprisingly difficult – we share everything!

CHAroma

I hear you. Very exciting though!!

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97
813 tasting notes

This tea is different every time I drink it. It is some kind of magic.

Yesterday on the second steep, after it had been sitting for about an hour, I could swear I was tasting rootbeer notes by the end of the cup. In all fairness I had previously been drinking a rootbeer flavoured tea, but I was still amazed. I also sometimes get cinnamon out of the second steep.

This morning on the first steep, I am getting a lot of fruity flavours. Very much like a dark, sweet plum. It is very creamy. There is some sweet tobacco notes, almost like a hint of clove cigarettes. And I feel like there is just the slightest hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. It tastes almost like a coffee cake.

I often do not get much chocolate or cocoa out of this tea like many others. But it doesn’t matter, it is still good. It is almoste like this tea is whatever you need it to be :P

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

This tea is magical.

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1212 tasting notes

Verdant needs a mobile friendly website. My bag had zero steeping instructions on it, so I tried to pull the site up on my phone, since it was in the kitchen to time the steeping…but it kept crashing my browser. So I had to hurry back to my bedroom and pull up the site and find what to do. I wrote the instructions on the package so I guess I’ll probably go through my others so this won’t happen again. I cut it close!

I’m going to get started re-watching The Walking Dead since I kind of stopped after the first season. I feel some weird obligation to watch everything filmed around here for the most part (I have to throw that disclaimer in because I would rather lick a battery than have anything to do with Scary Movie 5, as this brought in BOTH Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan.) but I did enjoy it so time to retry, yay Netflix!

I can probably tell you all sorts of places it filmed though! Like this! This is Forsyth Street, right near important to me school buildings! http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbnkjbS0yU1qz5e5oo1_1280.png They’re mostly well outside Atlanta, which is where all the TV shows end up, but in the first episode they were on my campus! This happened too in The Change Up. The first time I saw a trailer I was like WAIT I WALK THROUGH THERE ALL THE TIME. It’s kind of fun.

So this is my pot of tea to go along with it and a plan to resteep as much as possible through the night!

I’m terrible at keeping track of things but I’ve had this for awhile so I don’t know what description where applies to this tea anymore. I bought it in April. Wow, that’s embarrassing
that I’m just now getting around to trying it. Jeez.

This first steeping smells purely of chocolate. It tastes like a malty cinnamon brownie. It’s rich and satisfying. It’s not as cold today but this feels good to drink!

I’m amused that this tastes more like a cinnamon brownie than the tea I have that’s supposed to be one. Ha. There are some caramel notes too but mostly I get chocolate with a nice hint of cinnamon.

The second steep is getting kind of a toasted cereal flavor, but still chocolatey. This actually reminds me a lot of a dark oolong and I really am not a fan of many of them, but I am enjoying this tea. What do you call that chocolatey hot cereal stuff? CoCo Wheats? That’s what it reminds me of!

This will probably be it for the time being, because I want to sleep tonight. I’ll have to try it in a gaiwan next.

Terri HarpLady

I’m still in love with this tea!

BoxerMama

That’s the worst part about verdant. I always have to pull the site up on my laptop while I brew.

CupofTree

Hell yea walking dead! I remember passing that street too when in Atlanta while looking for scenes from the show. But it was blocked off by some huge game going on, I was so disappointed. If I am remembering that area correctly.
This tea sounds amazingly yummy

Kittenna

Hmm. Verdant works great on my iPhone… I also always pull up brewing parameters when infusing a new tea! Only time I had a problem was when my wireless wasn’t working :D

Terri HarpLady

Regarding brewing instruction on Verdant: me too! I wish the instructions on the packaging were the same as the ones on the site. And of course, the sample packages tell you nothing! What’s even worse is that if you have a sample that’s no longer available for purchase, there are usually no instructions on the site for it anyway.

DaisyChubb

Terri – if you have an older tea from verdant, just pop it into their search bar or even google – they don’t delete the product pages so it’s always available to find the steeping parameters :)

Bonnie

As soon as I get my order I look on the Verdant site and write the instructions on the packets because my memory is ZERO!

Kittenna

That’s a great idea Bonnie…. I should be that clever! I have to look it up every time, hahahaha.

BoxerMama

I had that issue with Golden fleece. It’s no longer on there site and I totally forgot how to brew it. I had to pull up steepster and read through the read through the reviews until someone mentioned how much leaf they used.

Sil

FYI you can do a search on the website and still load the pages for teas that are no longer in stock/offered Then you don’t have to search for the information :)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks Diasy & Sil! Also, great idea, Bonnie!

Helena

I know the feeling :D I do that quite frequently with Verdant teas because I’m used to having the steeping instructions on the bag :D your not alone :D

DaisyChubb

yeah good idea – I’m going to write some info on the bags too, although I usually experiment more often than not anyways haha! :B

HyBr1d

I never really have a problem with the website on my phone, but I do have my phone connected to wifi at home and at work, so maybe that’s why… As far as brewing parameters go, I actually just save them as a note on my phone. So any time I need to know how to brew, I just pull up that note and find the tea I want to brew. And you can just keep on adding new teas as you get them :) And you can always email or tweet David, he always seems to get back to me same day!

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97
166 tasting notes

I forgot to log this for some reason, but just as well, since my opinion has changed. Most reviewers have found it superb, but initially for me, brewed Western style, it was not a favorite, not that it is not a quality tea-I was comparing it to Golden Fleece, which I adore, and decided Laoshan black was a little too strong for my tastes. Today, I am drinking it Gongfu style for the second time with 5gm/4-5 oz boiling water, and very short steeps as instructed on the package. Gongfu style has made all the difference. I have been enjoying cup after cup (Verdant says you can get 15 steepings this way). I have discovered it is really worth trying both styles of brewing. When I don’t have time to linger with multiple steepings, it is nice to be able to brew Western, but when I have time, I’ve had some great experiences with traditional Chinese brewing, that is lots of leaf and short steeps. So yes, I like this tea! Would I re-order? Yes. And by the way, it is very nice brewed double strength with ice added. I’m curious about the Laoshan Village Chai-it is next on my list to order.

Preparation
Boiling
Bonnie

Very smart. I have learned to give tea the benefit of the doubt and try it many ways. More often than not, there is a platform that is best and I have to find it. You did a great job.

Donna A

Yes Bonnie, and I’m especially motivated to do that when I see that a tea is receiving so many favorable comments. I also like to read tips from people if they have found a particular way that works best.

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98
39 tasting notes

Been drinking the Laoshan Black again for the past two days. And I have to up my rating of it a couple notches. I knew this tea was special from the moment I first smelled the dry leaves. And now, several months later, it is proving itself more special than that initial impression.

Constancy and poise are keywords here. What follows might be a funny analogy, but I impart it in earnest, so please indulge me. When I’m drinking other black teas, I always remember this special one from Laoshan as that rare and truly great love. She fully knows her worth, but is very far above holding it over anyone. In calm fortitude, she knows that I’ll always come back, and patiently tolerates my occasional carousing with other teas. Every time I return to her I recognize how in love I am, and also that I’m almost undeserving of her attention. . . . but she loves me. And so it goes.

Laoshan black is indeed my favorite black tea. What great good fortune that these farmers at Laoshan decided to “try out” the production of a black tea for the first time. If you ask me, it was an experiment touched by some kind of grace. And may they continue producing this tea indefinitely!

Charles Thomas Draper

I have to do a side by side test againest several other A1 blacks to determine if it’s my favorite. It is is truly unique….

TeaBrat

I too love this stuff – just finished the last of my sample this morning!

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80
2080 tasting notes

Sipdown!! (169)

Thank you Cavocorax for sharing this with me. I am not usually one for straight teas but this is definitely delicious. I remember it being more chocolatey and vanilla last time but now it is more malty with notes of honey. Delicious but different and now it is gone.

In other news, I have learned the hard way that leaving cold brews in the fridge for about a week causes them to go bad and get sort of moldy :(. I just had to dump a number of bottles. Now I know.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Roasted Barley

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

The barley is my favourite.

Fjellrev

Oh god, that sucks! That’s reminds me of what happened last summer when I was staying in a dorm without a fridge. I’d leave stuff to lukewarm brew in a Timolino for a few hours, but one time after drinking it, I forgot to empty the basket and it sat overnight. Yep, mold all over the leaves by morning. It was so hard to get it off the metal meshing too.

VariaTEA

Oh no. That is the worst. At least I only had to dump the tea and toss the bottles. I would not be impressed if I had to start getting mold out of the mesh.

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99
90 tasting notes

ETA – Ok guys, I get it now! I tried this again with more leaf and wow, what a difference! It was so rich and malty, and the cocoa notes came through much stronger. Kind of like chocolate beer in tea form; it was a real treat this time. Up goes my rating!
_______________________________________________________________________

I finally got my hands on some of this! I think it was so hyped in my mind that I was expecting fireworks to go off above my head when I took a sip. That didn’t quite happen (it was more of a single clap), but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The taste was rich and malty with a slight berry undertone. I’m getting hints of grains, coffee, earth and cocoa powder. The end of the sip tastes like the roasted fennel seeds that my mom serves as a traditional digestive/breath freshener after a meal, so it reminds me of visiting home (and being in a happy food coma).

I brewed according to the western instructions but I think I could even go a bit stronger. Has anyone ever tried this, or would that be a recipe for tea-saster?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

My husband prefers it steeped much longer than the directions for western. You just don’t get as many re-steeps but it works just fine and you get a much more bold flavor.

Alysha

Thanks Stephanie! I will try that next time I want something bolder in the morning.

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95
532 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday, I only had time for one cup of tea, so I made it reaaalllll good.

And it was.
I got to resteep it last night .

It’s so chocolatey and delicious.
Since my husband refuses to try any tea ever, I make him smell them all, haha. I asked him if he could smell the chocolate in my cup and he actually said yes!

That’s a big deal for an unflavored tea. So you know this is amazing. <3

Courtney

Yes! I had a resteep of this one this morning and J commented it smelled like soil. Fail on his part.

OMGsrsly

I think I’m broken, tea friends. It smells and tastes like dirt to me.

whatshesaid

Mine’s super fresh, that must make a difference!

Sil

Omg no….just means there’s more for meeeeeee

OMGsrsly

Haha. Ok, Sil! You can buy the portion I would otherwise purchase. :)

MzPriss

What Sil said….

whatshesaid

More for all of us! :)

Sil

hey! OMG’s stash is mine ppl! back away from the LB…. back away now… lol

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93
136 tasting notes

Thanks, to my good friend tunes&teas for sharing this with me.

At last, I finally get to try this lovely Laoshan Black tea! The dry leaves are so dark, twisty and shimmery. The smell of the pre-steeped leaves are chocolaty and sweet.

It’s so hard to comprehend the diversity and variety in the black tea family (all teas for that matter), such as – the region that it is picked, altitude of origin, soil conditions, climate, season of harvesting, level of oxidation, method of processing and many other things. You can really have unlimited options to try and experience. I truly enjoy this about our shared passion of the leaf. It’s teas, such as this one, that truly drive the point home and make you aware of the complexity and potential of great tea. Even smelling the dry and wet leaves, knowing all the info concerning the tea and it’s background – none of these things replace the experience of tasting the tea for yourself!

This tea truly delivers all the hype and advertising. Once the leaves are infused and you try it for yourself, you find that it is far greater than what the smell or aroma indicated. Yes, you taste the rich cocoa base, but there is a cinnamon creaminess that is present as well. The brew is full bodied and has a nice texture or feel inside the mouth. Very smooth.

I started with 3 sec steep on the 1st, then 7 sec on 2nd, 12 sec on 3rd, 17 sec on 4th, 23 sec on 5th, 30 sec on 6th, 2 min on 7th. Each of these produced a very tasty cup of tea and there was no found bitterness during each of the infusions. One interesting thing that I noticed, was that after 3 or 4 steepings, the wet leaves had more of a fresh hot pepper smell to them – green Thai peppers or red habaneros. I didn’t not, however notice any of the spiciness in the brew. That would have added an extra little kick!

This is a great tea and is best suited for a time when you are not in a hurry and can allow the tea give all that it is desiring to release. Of course, you can drink it on the go! Just don’t throw the leaves away. The rested leaves while you are gone will be more than ready to pick back up where you left off. Very nice tea indeed!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Kittenna

Laoshan Black can withstand SO many infusions (and I do them western-style, too!) Delicious!

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