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/

TeaEqualsBliss

ooooooooooooo

Charles Thomas Draper

expect an order soon….

Rellybob

I love all your stories about China! Your description makes me tempted to try it even tho I’m not usually a black tea person.

David Duckler

@Rellybob, Thanks! You wouldn’t believe it based on our growing black tea selection, but I am not usually a black tea person either. This is the one that originally dispelled my bias and made me realize that I just didn’t like tannic and astringent tea. Some black teas have none of that at all, like this and the Golden Fleece.

Rellybob

Cool…maybe someday soon then! :)

Jim Marks

My suspicion, at a guess anyway, is that it is they reliance on Assam in Western blends of black tea that makes many people think they don’t like black tea.

LiberTEAS

Yay! It’s back!

Kittenna

@Rellybob – I also thought I wasn’t a black tea person. And then I tried this one, and a couple other malty, chocolatey blacks. Turns out I love them, I just don’t love gross bagged blacks, and others that easily turn astringent (often used in blends). This tea, the Zhu Rong Black, and Teavivre’s Fenqing Black Dragon Pearls are divine.

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Comments

TeaEqualsBliss

ooooooooooooo

Charles Thomas Draper

expect an order soon….

Rellybob

I love all your stories about China! Your description makes me tempted to try it even tho I’m not usually a black tea person.

David Duckler

@Rellybob, Thanks! You wouldn’t believe it based on our growing black tea selection, but I am not usually a black tea person either. This is the one that originally dispelled my bias and made me realize that I just didn’t like tannic and astringent tea. Some black teas have none of that at all, like this and the Golden Fleece.

Rellybob

Cool…maybe someday soon then! :)

Jim Marks

My suspicion, at a guess anyway, is that it is they reliance on Assam in Western blends of black tea that makes many people think they don’t like black tea.

LiberTEAS

Yay! It’s back!

Kittenna

@Rellybob – I also thought I wasn’t a black tea person. And then I tried this one, and a couple other malty, chocolatey blacks. Turns out I love them, I just don’t love gross bagged blacks, and others that easily turn astringent (often used in blends). This tea, the Zhu Rong Black, and Teavivre’s Fenqing Black Dragon Pearls are divine.

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Bio

I fell in love with tea while doing work on classical Chinese language in China. I loved it so much that I went back for a year to research tea instead! Over a year and several summers in China I have had the chance to train in gongfu tea ceremony, and test the limits of my palate in tasting competitions. I was privileged to spend large chunks of time with farmers on their tea gardens, and was exposed to some of the smallest and most honest operations out there. It only made sense to go into business and deepen my relationship with tea and the farmers who make it with such care and humility. Now I own a small, but unique tea business importing the best teas that my farmer friends in China have to offer. Some of these teas are from regions that have never exported before. All of them have a story.

I will review teas on Steepster, because I think this is an awesome site, and a great community, but I won’t give them a numerical rating, as I don’t want to skew the system. I am having a great time here, and look forward to meeting more tea folk.

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Website

http://www.verdanttea.com

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