Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Brown Sugar, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Wood, Honey, Molasses, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Tannic, Cotton Candy, Graham Cracker, Green Beans, Sweet, Toasty, Umami, Wet Wood, Graham, Wood, Chocolate, Cream, Honeysuckle, Toffee, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Malt, Nutty, Smoked, Smooth, Marshmallow, Flowers, Roast nuts, Cherry, Creamy, Fig, Fruity, Grain, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Apricot, Nuts, Oats, Peach, Broth, Tea, Brown Toast, Roasted nuts, Earth, Licorice, Peat, Plums, Butter, Toast, Wheat, Dried Fruit, Stonefruits, Rose, White Grapes, Coffee, Rum, Salt, Smoke, Oak wood, Cacao, Stewed Fruits, Black Currant, Toasted, Cinnamon, Dill, Chestnut, Burnt, Cannabis, Hops, Coconut, Toasted Rice, Soybean, Butterscotch, Custard, Walnut
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Fair Trade, Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Patrick Berkeley
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 11 oz / 323 ml

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872 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 i had...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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
  • “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

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

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872 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes

Special Thanks to A Purrfect Cup for this one! I’m currently drinking the Autumn 2011 and LOVING it! I can TOTALLY pick up on those cocoa-dark chocolately notes and barley! And I can smell and taste the campfire-log on top of a flame type roasted goodness. This is quite marvelous! Excellent!


Did you mean me? ;)


LMAO! I just noticed that! Sorry! Will change from Sup to Cup! LOL :)


Yum! (This is the first thing I’m writing with my new Ipad!!!)


Bonnie! YAY! So glad I could be a part of that! New techie stuff is cool :)

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1184 tasting notes

Dry leaves smell incredibly chocolately.
Wet leaves smell like dark chocolate and malty.

Using my little gongfu mini-teapot and clear double walled cups!

2seconds for each steep:
Steeps 1-4: Rich, creamy dark chocolate fills my mouth with a little hint of baked honey nut bread. The aftertaste is sweet and malty but not “too thick” on my palate. The mouthfeel is full and fantastic.

Increasing by 3 seconds for each infusion;
Steepings 5-8: Now, the tea has transformed from chocolate to nutty caramel with honey notes coming on a little bit stronger

Steepings 9-12: These steeps aren’t quite as steep. But still smooth and delicious. My palate isn’t really sure what notes are present, something lightly cinnamon maybe?

Overall: this tea is fantastic, chocolatey but so naturally sweet, with not bitterness. This is a great tea to enjoy on my day off!! Who knew straight tea could be so complex? I have certainly really learned to enjoy straight teas!


Yay! I love this tea

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59 tasting notes

Just a quick note about water.

We moved into our new place this weekend, but we haven’t been able to install our water filter. The threading on the faucet just doesn’t want to grab any of the little plastic adapters that came with the filter, so it looks like we’ll have to get something else.

So- we made this tea on Saturday morning with water from the tap. Generally, the water is fine (no funky tastes or anything weird like huge calcium deposits, etc). However, we noticed that the tea seemed a lot juicier than normal? After many sips and a few other teas, it’s clear that the water has more metal of some sort in it. It’s a subtle difference, but immeadiatly noticeable. With this water, it’s as if this is a different picking or a different grade or a different season. Definitely LaoShan, but not quite the same as my last note described.

So! Water really is important. With a little bit of a filter, the house water is going to be sweet and full and an awesome base for teas. Right now, the light metal/juicy flavor will keep me from breaking out the awesome celebratory new-place teas until we get a filter or one of those pitchers.


I understand our water in San Francisco is good for municipal water but I am still tempted to get a filter. hmmm… Have you ever made tea with Brita filtered water?


Yep! It’s what I’ve been using for the last 6 months or so. The drinking water at the old apartment was already quite good, so the Brita was more than adequate. As I assume it would/will be here. We’re looking to replace with either 1) more determined attempts to attach the old one 2) a brita pitcher to keep in the fridge (so we always have cold water, too) or 3) a nice heavy duty filter from Mandala, which would filter more and probably be more cost effective over-time.


I think that the water here is super excellent…23 breweries and some distilleries are here because of the water. Good sign. The water where I lived before was terrible. Mercury from old mines in the mountains and all that. I had to have a filter installed. Bad stuff! Right outside Silicon Valley.

Charles Thomas Draper

I have a Pur filter. I do not know how I lived withiut one before….

Tea Pantheon

I know the problem. The tea taste can change from day to day depending on water quality. But I am also finding how temperature affects the taste. A bit too hot or not hot enough water and your tea tastes like cheap Lipton. I am trying now to discover perfect temperature for Biluochun tea. This one is really hard to brew properly.


I noticed this when I was brewing teas last year over Christmas, we were in Florida. The water in Toronto is generally better quality, on average… but the flavour in tea is significantly less tasty. It just doesn’t “burst” the same way!! :s


Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that with us all. I always wondered how big a difference the water you use could make in the tea liquor.

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300 tasting notes

Summer Harvest! You are finally in my cup! 199th tasting note! Woo hoo! Ahem. This tea smells of caramelized figs, dipped in chocolate and baked into a dark rye beer bread that was made from stout (so not a rye beer, a rye bread, made from stout, got that? I have to be clear on these things). Sorry I have a case of the sillies this morning and it is all because of this tea! I was grouchy before this I swear! Sweet malty black tea where have you been all my life?

Oh no my mug is empty! Off to rebrew, then some food, then vacuuming and shampooing the old Buick Century. I have been driving a grandma car since college, but that all changes in a few days. My mom is buying a new Prius and giving/selling me her “old” one, payments are cheaper than any lease, so it feels like a gift. Enough rambling, back to the tea!

Terri HarpLady

I don’t drink, but this tea makes me think of Guinness Stout! LOL


Terri…this tea is wonderful! It’s got malty and chocolatey tastes to it…if you’re ok drinking black, this is one of the most flavourful black unflavoured tea i’ve had heh

Autumn Hearth

I almost wrote Guinness but left it at stout in case that might turn anyone off, but yes!

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1113 tasting notes

Dear Laoshan Black,

Will you be my Valentine?



What an excellent note haha.


Love it!


Ha ha ha… awesome note!!

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250 tasting notes

What is it with everyone today? Three people drinking Laoshan Northern black on the same day is too many to be a coincidence o.O

Regardless, I’ve been wanting to get some of this tea for months, and it just came in the mail yesterday, and I will not be deterred! The first infusion is simply sinful. It tastes like potent dark chocolate, something that I have a bit of a weakness for, competing with sweeter flavors to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It also has a kind of roasted quality to it, which reminds me a bit of more Big Red Robe, which is another bonus as that is one of my favorite teas. The tea finishes with a sweet aftertaste to round off this delightful tea. And now I’m torn between finishing this cup quickly to try out the next infusion, or taking my time and savoring the tea…

The second infusion is maltier and sweeter than the first, and the chocolate is not quite as strong. The chocolate is about 50% of the flavors of the foretaste, competing with floral and fruit flavors. As already stated, a maltier taste has developed, which is a pleasant surprise, as I though that it would take longer. So far, no sign of the spices that are said to develop, but I don’t really expect them to show up until the 4th infusion.

The third infusion has begun to develop the cinnamon flavor that Verdant talks about in their description of this tea. It’s still pretty weak, but it blends nicely with the other major flavors, and adds a great deal to the complexity of the tea. As a side-effect of this, the tea has also gotten quite a bit sweeter, but it remains quite pleasant. Once again, I’m anxious to see what developments the next infusion brings.

Forth and Fifth infusions are generally characterized by an increase in the strength of the cinnamon flavor. Nothing else changed, and it’s starting to bet a bit bland, so five was the limit.

The bottom line is that this is a very good tea, with interesting flavors that are uncommon at best. The best part is there isn’t anything that you could call bad about it, and that’s why it tied for the highest rating of teas I’ve tried.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Everyone on Steepster has this tea I think! ;-) Enjoy! I was noticing this morning it does remind me of a red robe.

Joshua Smith

Thanks, I hope you enjoy your sip-down!


I want to drink this on a Saturday morning with nothing to do but watch the 1955 color version of The Brothers Karamozov with Yul Brynner which is one of my favorite movies…also 1934 We Live Again with Fredrick March. Both in English set in old Russia. I’m glad everyone is on the same page enjoying this tea!

Joshua Smith

There’s a movie version of The Brothers Karamazov? Must acquire immediately! That’s one of my favorite books! Thanks for bringing this to my attention!.


ha – I read that book may years ago – will have to check this movie out too. :))


Was only vhs for ages but saw it recently on Dvd. It was the first film William Shatner was in and Lee Cobb was the father. Long fantastic film!

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2009 tasting notes

I’ve already enjoyed this a couple of times thanks to Terriharplady, but can’t find where I’ve noted exactly how much I’ve enjoyed it. Could it be because there’s a cat sitting on my hands that makes it a little difficult to type? (Yes, he’s still sleeping outside…breakfast date.)

The Verdant description for this one is caramels melting on your tongue. Perfect characterization. Big and rich taste. This morning, added a little half-and-half, which doesn’t hurt, but it’s already creamy enough on its own.

Terri HarpLady

Glad you like it! :)

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1733 tasting notes

I had this the other day. For some reason I got a strong barley or roasted note. Not what I expected!! No cocoa notes either. Odd. Two infusions, more or less the same. This has happened a few times, but not every time. Has this happened to anyone else? I bought it over the xmas holidays.

On the health front, after jumping through about a dozen hoops… I finally got my hands on meds. Except it turns out it isn’t strong enough to make any difference at all. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. My doc is on vacay this week and doesn’t take appointments, only walk ins. So it looks like I’ll be in his office waiting next week for about six hours… great… plus now I have to wait a whole week… not impressed I am!!
Anyhow… May the 4th be with ya ;)


Oh no, let’s hope that through the process of elimination, the doctor will be able to prescribe something better on the second try.


Thx Fjellrev! I think he will just bump up my dosage. Doubt he’ll try another med but I’m ok with that :)


hope you feel better soon!


Thx TeaBrat! xo


Some meds need time to take effect— antidepressants for example can take a month or two to “kick in” as your body adjusts. if you are taking a med that is meant to act immediately, then I agree we th Fjellrev. Try, try again!


Sren, I would HATE to have to be on antidepressants, they scare me -ADHD meds are pretty clear cut. They know exactly what it does, and are supposed to work within an hour or so of taking them (mine is slow release so only 22% is supposedly released in that first hr, I just need more of it haha)


But I accidentally took two this morning. Will see how that turns out!!! :/

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4847 tasting notes

Very happy to have received this in the Steepster Select box … nice to have it back in my stash. The black teas – well all the teas, really – that Verdant Tea selects for their inventory are just stellar. This one is no exception.

Rich and flavorful. Bold. Chocolate-y. It tastes a little like chocolate malt-o-meal which is something I loved as a kid, and I can never seem to find at the grocery store any more. But I think this might be even better … well, it is better, because it’s tea! It has such a lovely note of caramel, a deep roasted flavor, as if the caramel was cooked in a copper pot until it was right at that golden brown color … and then held on the heat for just a few moments longer to deepen the flavor just a bit more.

So VERY good. It is teas like this that will make me miss the Steepster Select box. Some of the teas were kind of like “meh…” especially when I’ve tried them before. But I’ve tried this one before, and I was thrilled that it was in the box … because it is really so very good.

I love this tea.


Oh I can get chocolate malt o meal – and maple – want me to send you some? :)


No, they’d be heavy to ship. I’m thinking about recreating my own chocolate malt o meal using my multi grain hot cereal and adding some of the valrhona cocoa powder I have in my cupboard. That might be incredible. :)


Oh you should try this!
Awee shipping is not that much – are you sure I don’t mind at all!


I definitely do appreciate the offer. But I think I’ll try the hot cereal with cocoa powder first. If that doesn’t work out so well, I might just take you up on it. And then I’ll end up sending you all kinds of tea to thank you. :)

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134 tasting notes

Each morning, tea is my reward for starting the day to which I greatly look forward and thoroughly enjoy. This morning I wanted a rewarding tea that would be especially easy on my stomach since I had heartburn last night. A quick look through our pantry revealed my favorite staples and a large number of new tea choices. However, this wasn’t the morning for a new tea experience. After thoughtful consideration, Laoshan Black was the obvious choice!

1 Tablespoon – 5g (My Weigh Durascale D2 660), 8-oz filtered water (TDS: 73 PPM), heated to 212*F, brewed with a Finum tea basket in tea mug without sweeteners, milk or cream. Four steeps: 3, 4, 6, & 8 minutes with successive steeps being less full-bodied.

Fragrance: Potent Chocolate!
Dry leaf: Long twisted wiry dark chocolate brown leaves
Liquor: Clear bright mahogany red
Aroma: Wonderful, very POTENT Chocolate!
Infused Leaf: Greenish brown long whole leaves
Body: Full-bodied, but not as robust as a Mangalam Second Flush FTGFOP1 Assam or a Premium Keemun.

Impression: The malty chocolate/barley flavor is very well balanced and quite unique! Some black teas that have a natural chocolate profile, taste similar to somewhat bitter dark cocoa. L.B. has a natural delicate sweetness and is creamy smooth, mellow, and relaxing without any hint of bitterness or astringency. Simply wonderful and not to be missed! And yes, easy on one’s stomach too!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

This is always my reward for making into work in the morning! :-)


Agreed, it’s an excellent reward for self-motivation.


Mmm…the chocolatey aspects of this tea definitely appeal to me. Sounds like a delicious way to start the day!

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