drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2137 tasting notes

Another sample from Sil. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this tea, so it’s one I’ve been eager to try for a while, particularly since black teas have always been my favourite.

And this tea is black. The dry leaves are some of the most solidly and uniquely black I’ve seen so far, and they’re quite long and sort of curly. The scent is intensely chocolatey and maybe slightly bitter. It’s a good kind of bitterness, though, of the kind I’d attribute to dutch-process cocoa powder, which is what I’m being reminded of most at the moment. Definetly intriguing so far!

Brewed, the chocolatey scent remains and pulls through into the flavour. There’s also a slight something that reminds me of driving past a malting barley processing plant in the summer, and a deeper scent that reminds me of molasses. This is so good. Probably my new favourite among the black teas I’ve tried so far.

The taste is a more intense version of the scent — it’s strong, chocolatey, rich, malty, and bittersweet all at the same time. It almost seems slightly smoky, but I think that might be an coincidence of the strength rather than an element of the flavour in itself. As it cools, the chocolatey notes develop in intensity and there’s even something spicy (peppery?) that lingers at the back of the palate. It’s certainly a complex tea, but a deeply satisfying one all the same. I’m not surprised this gets such favourable reviews, because it really is a spectacular black tea that I won’t hesitate to recommend. I’m off to try some more steepings now!

Thanks again to Sil for giving me the opportunity to try this one!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Yay! So glad you finally got to try it.

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Yay! So glad you finally got to try it.

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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