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
Sold in
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 / 271 ml

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774 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 5400 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 3076 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.

774 Tasting Notes

111 tasting notes

I was scared to try this for two reasons. One, I was worried I overhyped it in my head too much and would be disappointed. Secondly, yesterday was a tea DISASTER. I ruined every cup of tea I attempted to make in various ways. So I was worried that curse would follow into today.

The result of this experiment? One of the most delicious teas I’ve ever had in my whole life. I cannot believe that this isn’t flavored. It’s SO thick, and SO chocolately. I feel like I’m drinking liquefied brownie, thick texture and all. My tongue feels coated, but in that pleasing indulgent way, except this is even better since it’s with zero guilt!

Stop trying to buy a chocolate tea. Seriously. Stop. Now. Buy this. Trust me. It tastes like rich, thick, heavenly dark chocolate, and it’s not forced in any way. This is just how the tea tastes naturally on it’s own.

This will clearly last multiple steeps, and I’m looking forward to each and every one of them.

(And now to PANIC to Verdant Tea’s website and order more before it’s all gone.)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

They just restocked! :) I might try this one next…

Chizakura

Do it. XD Seriously. It’s so good. My thought after finishing the cup was “Goodbye hot chocolate!” which I love. It’s that good. And without the guilt. xD

Chizakura

Mind you, if you like dark chocolate anyway. It’s definitely a DARK chocolate taste, not milk chocolate. My favorite type of chocolate is dark, so that makes this tea resonate with me all the more.

OMGsrsly

It… smells like chocolate dirt pie. So, uhh, here goes nothing?

Chizakura

xD Hopefully you like it more than the smell. Good luck! :D

Kittenna

Omg. I just had this possibly brilliant, possibly really stupid idea to mix together my laoshan black + roasted cocoa shell tea that I recently acquired. Adding body and malt to amazing chocolate-ness….

Rachel J

Oh no… I’ve been avoiding placing my first Verdant order. Crap! Now I might have to! Can’t believe what people are saying about this tea!

OMGsrsly

Rachel, there are those of us who don’t really like it. Not many, but we do exist! I want to try a spring or summer harvest of this one to see how different it is.

lteg

I’m sort of in the same boat Rachel. I have put in a Verdant order, but Loashan Black was out of stock when I did and I’m really wanting to put in a new order now that it’s in.

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100
171 tasting notes

Oh my! This is perfection! Big thank you to Terri HarpLady, she spoiled me a little.
I like this one almost as much as Golden Fleece! This is creamy and sweet! I need to buy this! I might share the next steeps with my mama!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

YAY! Another Laoshan black convert :)

Bonnie

Yep a convert!

BoxerMama

I just love verdant! I’m having some Zhu Rong right now.

Terri HarpLady

I knew you’d love it!

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100
58 tasting notes

Dry leaf: This has a very creamy chocolatey smell. If I had to place it I’d say it smells like chocolate mocha filling that would go on a brownie. It has a very similar cocoa smell to teavivre’s black pearls, but it smells sweeter and has more of a creamy note.

Wet Leaf: The wet leaf has an extremely dark, chocolatey flavor. It reminds me of chocolate cereals from when I was younger. On top of the chocolate smell there is a smell kind of like a dried plant. It’s hard to place but it’s a strong, wonderful aroma.

Flavor: The taste is sooooooo surprisingly sweet. It has absolutely no bitterness or astringency. I am extremely surprised by how good this tea is. Verdant knocks another one out of the park. It has a dark cocoa flavor but it still isn’t overly strong. I’m not tasting any cinnamon but I am getting some vanilla and caramel flavor, especially on the swallow and aftertaste. The feeling in the mouth is incredibly moist and smooth. When you swallow there is a light vegetal taste and your throat feels very smooth.

Overall this is an absolutely amazing tea and I will be buying some as soon as I can

Preparation
Boiling
Sil

YAY so glad you got to try this. It’s one of my favourite blacks.

Lynne-tea

Bah I wish I had gotten on ordering this one! I procrastinated and missed out on this batch..Hopefully the next batch is as amazing as this one sounds! =) Thanks for your review!

Insence&Tea

So far this tea and their handpicked spring tieguanyin are probably my two favorite teas. (My review on tieguanyin is coming soon) Unfortunately they’re rather expensive so I can only afford them for special occasions but they’re worth it. :)

Lynne-tea

I completely agree about their spring TGY. I have the autumn version and it does’t completely blow me out of the the water like the spring version.

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90
212 tasting notes

The leaves are cute little twists. They remind me of little ringlets. My mother used to “finger” curl my hair when I was little, so I’ve seen pictures of me with ringlets all over my head. Perhaps I should call her up and ask her if she would like finger curl my hair now. ;)

So on to the tea, I thought this was very smooth and quite enjoyable. I had four solid gringo steepings. For the most part, I thought each steeping was a little sweeter, more refined but retaining the same flavors of dark chocolate, caramel, grain and malt. This also has a very interesting mouth feel to it. It’s heavy and full, much like real whipped cream.

This is an excellent tea and I’m glad we ventured out to buy from Verdant.

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

Awee Missy I bet you were a little cutie! :)

Dylan Oxford

Still is ;)

Missy

lol thanks. I have far too much hair to do that now. I bet that took a lot of patience. I was in the terrible twos for some of it. ;)

Ninavampi

“Gringo Steepings”… Hahahaha…

Missy

Dylan said that once and it has always tickled me, so I use it. :D

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100
479 tasting notes

This tea made me say a Bad word but in a Good way lol I don’t know what else to say but Thank You Wonks for this sample!!, I had to change my steepster sliding scale on 2 of my current favs to 100 pionts just so this could have 100 also, Awesome Tea! just read the other reviews.

Bonnie

Oh my! Is this the first time you’ve had Laoshan Black?!

Thomas Edward(Toad)

I don’t think i’ve had one from another company and I know this is the first time from Verdant, I guess it’s that weird that I’ve never had one? must be popular, i see why :)

ashmanra

I’m guessing it was “Day-yum!”

mrmopar

got to try this one!

Kittenna

I can’t believe you hadn’t had this one!! It is so fabulous; I hope it’s around forever!

Bonnie

mrmopar I’ll send you some!

Wonks

I’m glad you liked it. I always think that the best way to be introduced to something is with a prime example. Verdant is currently my favorite tea distributor, and I wouldn’t expect a lesser reaction really. Anyway, glad you enjoyed it.:3

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87
123 tasting notes

Alright, so I was going to wait a few days to try this one western style, but then I got really curious to see how it compared to gongfu brewing…so here we are!

Smell: I’m already picking up slight differences in the smell of this one. It smells much richer, and more like freshly baked brownies than it had in any of the gongfu steepings. The caramel, vanilla/cream, and cinnamon notes are really nice here, too. All of them are coming out and melding together. The smell is actually reminding me of these caramel turtle brownies my mom makes from time to time…YUM. The roasted smell I got before is still present, and it’s quite nice with the cocoa notes.

Taste: Wow. This a bit of a different taste then I’d gotten previously. The chocolate notes are very prominant, with those light cream aspects (almost like a whipped cream) creating an almost milky aspect. I’m only picking up very light cinnamon and caramel notes here; the cinnamon is somewhere near the end of the sip and the caramel is mild throughout, but most noticible in the center. I’m still picking up the grain-esque flavor I had before… wheat? I’m not sure how to describe it. The toasty aspect is also present throughout the entire sip. It’s smooth, slightly creamy, and very chocolatey. I’d say the cocoa notes this time around were somewhere between dark and milk chocolate.

Overall, I think I prefer this brewed western style (Thanks again, Bonnie). However, I still don’t know if it’s a cupboard staple. It is good, no doubt about that. It is also complex and unique, which I love. I just don’t know if I love this one as a whole. I may increase the steeping time a bit next time around – also, when I have more time, I’d love to try resteeping. Maybe I’ll add some cream to it as well.

Increasing the rating slightly to reflect this steeping.

Regardless, I’m glad I tried this one.

NOTE: I liked the flavor a little more once it cooled.

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

I still really want to try this one. It sounds so unique. If you ever want to swap a small sample, let me know. Thanks for posting your review :-)

Emily M

I’d be willing to send a few teaspoons your way, should you want to try some. I’ll PM you!

Bonnie

Bravo!

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113 tasting notes

I feel like I can now consider myself an official steepsterite after having a cup of this notorious tea. I think the tasting notes have covered every nuance (chocolate, check; raisins, check), though I haven’t seen a mention of the ocean effect—deep inside there I feel waves of superclean seawater washing over my tongue. It’s a very smooth tea with a pleasant fruity aftertaste and a powerful kick. I don’t think I can genuflect at the altar of the Laoshan black to the extent that others have, but I can bow. A solid 88-90, definitely among the better Chinese black teas I’ve tasted.

Bonnie

You have intriguing taste! Enjoyable!

Doug F

Thanks Bonnie. I love your evocative reviews.

Bonnie

Who’s Doug? (I’d rather be provocative sometimes!) …don’t listen…I’ve had 4 hours of sleep…the smoke is keeping me up!

Doug F

Doug is a sleep-deprived father of two boys (4 and 2). I decided to switch from Triumph to my given name. No reason to hide!

Bonnie

Hi Doug! Nice to meet you! I am even more amazed you write so well with wee ones pulling on your legs!

Doug F

Thank you Bonnie. My reviews would be longer, but I rarely have time to allow my thoughts to unfold. I’m jealous of those people who can patiently infuse their teas 15 times! I’m pretty much a western brewer—except for my shu pu-erhs.

Bonnie

I had 5 little boys here last night and the 7 year old bipolar one was on a high! (3 adopted and 2 foster of my daughter’s 8 ). I collapsed on the couch and fell asleep as soon as they left! I raised more than my 2 also so I sympathise! Although, I am enjoying my alone time! :)

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80
15 tasting notes

EDIT: Lowering my rating a bit from a 95 to an 80. I was so excited to brew this initially and I think I might have looked into the tea a bit too much. The notes I found before seem to be hiding from me now (chocolate, sweet cinnamon) and I’m just tasting regular tea now. Quite disappointing. :(

BELOW IS MY REVIEW FOR MY INITIAL FIRST STEEP BEFORE MY EDIT:

What a nice tea! Got my order today and I immediately opened up the nice little pouch Verdant’s tea comes in and got started making some!

Mm, the smell of the dry leaves is INTOXICATING! It smells intensely of rich, creamy dark chocolate.

I brewed this up Western style as I heard from other peoples’ tasting notes here that Western style was the best way in which to brew Laoshan Black.

The wet leaves smell exactly like dark chocolate still, and at this point I can’t wait for my cup to cool so I could take a sip!

The taste is phenomenal, chocolatey of course with a rich creamy aftertaste left in your mouth. Wait, what is that lingering note on the back of my throat? SWEET CINNAMON!

YUM. What a great tea!

I noticed that the more times I make a certain tea the more that the different notes really pop and come out, so I’m looking forward to having more of this tea so I can taste more of the notes!

I can’t wait to have another brew of this which will most likely be really, really soon!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

I prepared a sampler box for someone today and this was one of the included teas. It smelled SO SO good. Like straight chocolate!

Terri HarpLady

I love it :)

Bonnie

Me too.

TeaGinner

Azzrian – It does smell delicious! :)

Terri and Bonnie – It is a VERY good tea. I just hyped it up way too much in my mind and I can’t taste the notes as much. Hey, it may even be because I overdid it (having like 6 or more cups because I was so excited to try it.) I’m going to try another cup this morning and see if I can pick apart more notes.

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1626 tasting notes

Thanks to Chizacura I was sucked into trying this tea next. Now, i’m eating egg salad on lettuce (gf bread is a hassle, srsly), so my smell and taste might be biased.

Dry, this tea smells quite earthy and dark. I was hesitant. Steeped, this tea smells like chocolate dirt pie, essentially. You know when you make a pie with super loamy dark earth and lots of water, then chase your younger brother around with it trying to smoosh it in his face? Yeah. Add dark chocolate to that. It’s weird to have a tea smell like this.

It tastes surprisingly not like dirt! I see where everyone gets the thick chocolate and raisin tastes. This tea also has a bit of a weird sour note to me. Something must be wrong with either my tastebuds, or my dishes, because I’ve never tasted this in a tea before. With a 3 minute steep, this is bordering on astringent. Idk. I need to try more leaves next time (I’ll admit, i totally shorted my cup. 1 tbsp per 8 oz?!), and try it without mucking up my tastebuds with food.

Interestingly, as it cools this smells kind of like a super amped up version of the Strong Irish Breakfast from Steep that i had this morning with milk and honey…

Ok, i gave in and added 1/8 tsp sugar to the last 2/3rds of my mug. Yeah, that’s better. Still the sour (seriously, what is up with this? I can’t figure it out!), but the rest of the flavours are way better. Definitely need to try with more leaves.

Chizakura

That’s funny, your description of the smell is EXACTLY what I thought about Read My Lips from DavidsTea. xD

I’m not sure where you’re getting the sour from though, because I shorted my cup too (I did one 1tbsp in 16oz. lol Yet it still tasted strong and hearty. 1tbsp in 8oz seems like such a waste)

Maybe try it again when you have the egg salad taste out of your mouth?

OMGsrsly

I had it from the chocolate phoenix chai as well. I was actually so not into tea this morning, that I got a latte. Idk. Maybe today is just not a tea day.

OMGsrsly

Oh, it definitely is strong and hearty though. It’s beaten my irish breakfast blend in a fight for strength, that’s for sure. I’ll try it again sometime this week. :)

Chizakura

Yeah, perhaps today just wasn’t the day for it. I’ll have that too, where I think “I thought I remembered this tasted better” then I’ll have it a different day and I’m just WOWed.

Chizakura

Random, but let me know if Anxi Fo Shou works well for western style? :) The website recommends gongu to the point that I don’t think it even offered instructions for western. xD I’d be more than happy to drink gongfu at someone else’s house, but I’m just too lazy to do it at home; I just make big hefty cups. xD

OMGsrsly

The handout that came with it says half a packet for western. I’m guessing it’s for 3 min, but i was going to see what other people on here said about it. Just… not today. I don’t think i could handle any more weird sour teas today! I sort of do gongfu.

Chizakura

yes, probably best to give your tastebuds a rest for the day. xD And thanks. :)

One thing about the Laoshan (this is probably because of the leaf shortage though) is that it doesn’t re-steep as well as people seem to say. Everyone says the second cup is very cinnamony whereas for me it tasted the same as the first except VASTLY weaker. The third I just dumped. Not pleasant having the tongue coating sensation but no taste. :/ The first cup I had was still incredibly amazing though. Maybe I’ll try in a 12oz cup next, maybe that’ll be the difference.

OMGsrsly

Apparently i didn’t finish. I sort of gongfu using a soy sauce container from Daiso. Pour water in, pour tea into mug, etc, until the mug is full. :) The container is very tiny so i don’t have to use much tea.

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90
234 tasting notes

3g / 200ml glaspot
5m @ 100C

Oh dang, these parameters got me the best cup yet. Intense cocoa, light astringancy and a chocolate smell and aftertaste. The finish has slightly ore astringancy. body is smooth and clean, devoid of any “sandyness”? That grainy feeling you sometimes get.
I took a trip to verdants webshop and was this > < close to putting in an order. The campfire and caravan blends seems very nice. Been wanting to try some good high quality blends for some time, also nice to have for guests that doesnt fancy natural teas.
Probalby i will manage to hold out until spring harvest :)…. maybe….

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I’ve been drinking Laoshan Black Tea for almost two years and it’s a one tea that I prefer brewed western style a little overloaded at 2-3 minutes. As a staple I add a little to herbal blends like Winter Ginger Sage or my own creations (a little goes a long way).

Dag Wedin

Ah i do prefer to use lots of leaf, but this time i wanted only a single cup :)
I would really like to learn how to make my own teablends :)
I am a bit overzealous when it comes to food containing only natural ingredients.

Bonnie

My local teashop has an herbal wall (all natural) so I’ve made a box of ingredients for blending. There are two spice shops in town too…within walking distance of the teashop that have natural ingredients and are sticklers for freshness. Colorado is big on ‘organic and natural’! So I have tulsi, dry ginger, several kinds of cinnamon, goji berry, burdock root, different citrus peel, I grown and dry my own mint, and other items. I buy organic cocoa hulls also. For tea, I try to buy the best I can afford. I also buy from people who I know have quality tea and who don’t use artificial chemical flavoring. (I have allergies so I’m careful) Most of the time, my blends are used for puerh blending with fruit or herbs or spices. Now and then I’ll get crazy.

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