Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Chocolate, Cream, Sweet, Caramel, Honey, Honeysuckle, Toffee, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Malt, Burnt Sugar, Nutty, Smoked, Smooth, Dark Chocolate, Marshmallow, Flowers, Cocoa, Roast nuts, Cherry, Creamy, Fig, Fruity, Grain, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Apricot, Nuts, Oats, Peach, Broth, Roasted Barley, Tea, Brown Toast, Roasted nuts, Brown Sugar, Molasses, Roasted, Wood, Earth, Licorice, Peat, Plums, Dark Bittersweet, Butter, Toast, Wheat, Dried Fruit, Stonefruits, Rose, White Grapes, Coffee, Graham Cracker, Rum, Salt, Smoke, Graham, Oak wood, Cacao, Stewed Fruits, Black Currant, Toasted, Cinnamon, Dill, Chestnut, Burnt, Toasty, 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 / 329 ml

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878 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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878 Tasting Notes

292 tasting notes

I’m not sure what happened to this note but perhaps I accidentally deleted it, so will try again.
This is the tea I always want to reach for. The one that always is delicious no matter how I brew it. The one that is so comforting to me.

I haven’t been reviewing a lot recently but still manage to drink tea and read other reviews when I can…

About three months ago, it was discovered my husband is seriously ill, and life has not been as usual. Having a cup of tea helps me make it through the day. And if I am able to sit and read through other steepster reviews, that makes it even better.


I’m very sorry your husband is ill. I do remember this note. I replied and then it disappeared.


Thank you. At least I wasn’t imagining I posted – I didn’t see your other reply but I appreciate your kind thoughts!


i second that caile! I’m so sorry your husband is ill. I’ll send positive thoughts and energy your way.

Terri HarpLady

ditto on that. So sorry to hear he is ill, & wishing the best for both of you.


Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that!


Caile, i’m so sorry! sending love & well wishes your way..


Laoshan Black is an excellent comfort tea. I’m very sorry to hear about your husband’s illness. Do you have a specialist who’s very experienced and highly regarded in treating his specific illness? Perhaps a visit to major academic medical center?


well wishes to your family


Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts – it means so much to me!!
looseTman – He has been seen by many different specialists already; now he is currently on the first cycle of high dose chemo.
Thank you again for your wishes, so very much!


That’s very good news that your husband is under the care of the appropriate specialists. Chemo is effective. My 70-yr old father had chemo and he’s now 86 and doing well. I hope your husband has similar results! Perhaps some high-antioxidant green and white teas too?
“a typical cup of white or green tea has more flavonoid antioxidants than over 5 meal sized portions of fruit or vegetables!”


I’m sorry to hear your husband is ill. I’m glad tea is a comfort to you! I can see how Laoshan Black can be a good comfort tea. Mine is Keemun :)


I’m sorry to hear about your hubby, but he must be very comforted that you are by his side.


I am happy to hear that your father is doing well! And I think I’ll have to start brewing up more green teas.

I also love keemun, Skulleigh. Tea is so comforting, and I tend to gravitate to the familiar ones.

Circumstance has allowed me to be by his side very much, TeaBrat, so that has been good for both of us.

Thank you!

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132 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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148 tasting notes

Note from drinking this in the morning:
Today I tasted things that I didn’t taste the last time I had this tea. First, I got hit with the flavor of honey. Then, the cocoa I remembered from last time. And finally, TOAST. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been gluten free for quite awhile and I may have forgotten the taste of toast a bit, but this tasted just like really good toast. So delicious that I chugged all of it in my first class, then thought to myself, perhaps I should order some more Laoshan black…

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I understand how nice this was for you. I’m allergic to beans so having bean flavored green tea and not having an allergic reaction is so nice too. You get the flavor without the illness! Laoshan Black is so good! (Laoshan Green is good too!)


This was the second time I’d drank this, and the first time I tasted toast and I was so excited I couldn’t get over it until the tea was gone!


Your reviews make me wish I had fancy tea, too. Cocoa and toast :(


Becky needs fancy tea! Claire, did you know my son Aaron lives in San Francisco? My father (1920), grandmother (1883) and her mother were all born there. I love the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. Have you been to the new Davids Tea yet?


I didn’t know that you have family in San Francisco! I was living in Ashland, Oregon for the past two years and moved here in July to be with my partner (an 11 hour drive to see each other is no fun). I love the Ferry Building, and it’s also the site of the new Imperial Tea Court. They have some mind blowing tea!
I haven’t been to the new Davids yet, but saw they are opening a 2nd store soon directly off the “N” train line for me, so I’ll definitely be visiting that one! I’m a real wussy about having to take buses/train lines I haven’t been on before.


Claire, come to NYC for a few days, we’ll whip you into shape and send you back a conqueror of public transportation. :D


Haha! My biggest problem is I’m really afraid of getting lost!

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541 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m really sad to see this one go. It is easily my favorite plain black tea.
4sec: Very roasted, sesame smelling with a golden liquor.
4sec: Caramel, chocolate, roasted almond skin notes with a deep golden amber liquor.
6sec: Mostly caramel and almond notes this time.


I just bought some more of this myself. :)


I’m thinking of using my $5 off coupon on it, but they have so much stuff I want to try!

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757 tasting notes

Why, hello honey soaked dark chocolate brownie. The finish upon first steep is drenched in caramel and honey, like someone infused a caramilk bar in my cup; I can’t believe this isn’t flavoured. The smell of the wet leaves, in particular, is very chocolaty, and possibly leathery. I’m detecting no bitterness or astringency, just sweet, mellow goodness. This is a rich, moist cup with a cinnamon note that comes out upon later steeps. The sweetness also becomes more pronounced.

I hit around fifteen steeps in my flowering pot (still on the window shopping stage for a gaiwan)! I’ve never been full on board the black tea train but this Autumn Harvest Black Laoshan has changed that.

I sent an extremely small amount, only a cups worth, to Cavocorax. If I had tried this tea before double bagging some I might have forgone giving ANY of my tiny sample away.. Will be picking up more soon enough, no doubt!

205 °F / 96 °C

This is the black tea that turned me as well. It’s magic. Still only like Chinese blacks though. :D


yay so glad you enjoyed this!


I can actually imagine myself drinking this regularly, which is a huge first for a black tea. I won’t be so skeptical next time :)


Haha, yep, this is the first black that really made me go, “woah, straight black tea can actually be good”!


there are some really great black teas out there that are so much more than just . :)


That sounds great. I’ll make sure I enjoy my sample when I’ve got time to appreciate it and prepare it properly! Thanks!


Master Han’s that is limited on the Verdant site is considered expensive (I think 3 Starbucks vente’s cost the same if you know what I mean) but anyway it’s maybe the best black tea I’ve ever tasted. If anyone even just wanted the $4 sample it would be worth trying.


I looked at Verdant’s site and it had me at “coconut”.

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627 tasting notes

I’m trying this again. I opened the bag and it smelled a lot better this time around than the first time. Yes, it a lot better this time around so maybe it just needed to breathe a bit :D or my senses just needed to recover (maybe they were overwhelmed) whatever the case this is quite good :D

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

My first order from Verdant! I am definitely impressed. I ordered a few ounces of this along with the new Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black. Really, it was the new Alchemy blend that put me over the edge, because this company has been on my list for a long time. I also received a sample of the Yunnan Jin Jun Mei….I was hoping my sample would be another black tea because I completely forgot to request one! I am so excited to try them all as I’m a stuck in a phase where only black teas sound good and my greens, oolongs, and a few whites are probably feeling neglected. I think in this instance, it just makes sense to go with it, rather than forcing myself to drink all of the lovely teas that are not in the category I am craving.

This is rich and wonderful. I get notes of dark chocolate, and even a bit of coffee. It is very thick on the palate for a black tea. While it does not have much in the way of smokey notes like my beloved Keemun Mao Feng, this will definitely need to be renamed my beloved Laoshan Black. It kind of reminds me of Emperor’s Red from Premium Steap and tastes like a more refined version of some of the gong fu blacks I have been drinking. I am thoroughly enjoying it, and a little sad I did not try it sooner.

Mug method with a resteep only minutes away. Just the lightest touch of sweet to bring out the dark chocolate notes, even though this is a black tea that I could drink straight.

Edit to add: Second steep was fabulous. I agree with Angrboda that it is cinnamony! I upped the rating a little. LOVE!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I feel the same way! I bought a bunch of this tea! Can’t wait for the review of the new alchemy blend!


Hel-lo Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black! Wow. I must order asap :) I’ve been on the verge of an order from Verdant for quite awhile, and I think the edge has just been pushed over ;)


JacqulineM you will not be disappointed except that they are currently out of Laoshan Black!


Aw shucks! I have the feeling that I can order just about anything and it will be special, though :)


At least Laoshan Black is in some of the alchemy blends and you can taste its cocoa goodness!


So true on the blends and still getting this fabulous tea.


This definitely sounds like one I have to try.

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409 tasting notes

Drinking the last of this today – I got a half ounce in the black tea sampler – and sad to see it go. I had a bit over a teaspoon left, so I brewed it somewhere between western and gongfu styles: I put all the leaf in my tiniest post (about 3.5 oz) and let it steep just long enough to develop some good color, around 30 seconds as it turned out. Two steeps like that made a good mug-full, and I’m hoping to get at least another 2 or three steeps out of it.

The flavor is delicious as ever, creamy and chocolatey in a way that you just don’t usually see in a black tea. Yum yum yum, I probably need to buy more of this once it’s in stock again. In the meantime, I still have Laoshan Chai and Bergamot Rose Black to keep me company _

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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635 tasting notes

You know you haven’t drunk enough tea when you have goosebumps and it’s 72 degrees in your apartment. What’s wrong with me? Well, it’s time to make more tea! After trying the Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha sample from JustJames, I wanted to compare it to plain Laoshan black. And lucky for me, JustJames provided a sample of that too!! I feel so lucky. :)

Mmmm!! I like this much better than the aforementioned blend. This is malty and grainy and delicious! It’s also a tad woodsy, which explains why I was tasting so much of that flavor in the oolong/black blend. I am thoroughly enjoying this cup (and its second infusion). Thanks JustJames!!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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417 tasting notes

Comforting midday tea on a rainy and grey day…

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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