The Spring 2012 harvest is finally in!
It felt like a drought here at the Verdant Tea offices to go two weeks without Laoshan Black. I hadn’t wanted to say anything in fear of jinxing this tea’s arrival, but here it is. Mr. He and Weiwei both said that it was an incredible harvest, and Weiwei does not throw around positive adjectives freely.
I could feel my heart racing in anticipation as I poured the water over these leaves and the aroma began wafting up like chocolate hibiscus. The first sip confirmed everything that Weiwei had said. This tea is creamy and luscious. It “melts” on the tongue like a homemade butter caramel, and has the floral complexities of a Big Red Robe.
Later steepings saw a movement towards the signature chocolate and barley flavor that Laoshan Black has become known for, yet the particular balance of texture, aroma and taste evoked a wonderful memory for me. The delicate sweetness of the barley, with floral vanilla bouquets reminds me of spending a week in Chapi village, Tibet to conduct interviews for a book of Tibetan folklore I was translating. The family hosting me had a traditional carved wooden house, and in the courtyard, the grandma was roasting the freshly harvested barley in giant handfuls over a fir wood fire. She smiled at me and held out a handful of barley. I took it with gratitude and started to eat it fresh. The taste is one of the flavor pinnacles of my short experience on this planet, and this tea has evoked that perfect flavor of sweet barley tempered by the right amount of fire. Beautiful!
I know that the Laoshan Black has been missed, so I am excited to be adding this tasting not and letting everyone know that it is back, while our supply from the fifteen pound harvest holds out. The extra good news is that we got much better shipping rates for this harvest and were able to bring down the price substantially, putting this tea within a feasible budget for drinking every day.
New description is up on the site: http://verdanttea.com/teas/laoshan-black/