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

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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810 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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739 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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326 tasting notes

Tea Swap with @Meeka

This particular tea caught my attention because so many people on Steepster have tried it and loved it. Over the past year I’ve tried a lot of different black teas so I couldn’t wait to get my hands onto this one. Okay and now onto the tasting notes:

Sniffing the tea liquor, I’m picking up on scents of honey, spices, raisin. It reminds me of a few other black teas I’ve tried.

The first steep tastes much like the tea liquor scents suggested, with the addition of chocolate, malt, and floral rose aroma. (Personal bias: I have a low tolerance for rose flavour)

Subsequent resteeps had the same consistent flavours. At the fourth steep I picked up on more roasted notes, but the rose aroma is really starting to rub me the wrong way.

Overall I didn’t notice too much weakening until the ninth steep, which while weak was still flavourful.

I kept resteeping, and even though most of the tea body is gone there still remains nice hints of sweet honey, raisin and cinnamon which slowly fade away as I reached the fifteenth steep.

This tea was enjoyable, but fell far below my expectations. The high scores and hype on Steepster made me believe this was going to be an amazing, mind blowing experience. But I’ve had other teas like this and I wasn’t especially crazy about them either. I do not want to sound unappreciative because this is indeed a very good tea, but it is not a personal favourite.

On the plus side, I am glad that so many people here are being exposed to such a well made black tea. It is a wonderful example of how beautiful and complex black tea can be.

100ml purion teapot, 2tsp, 15 steeps (based on Verdant Tea gongfu instructions: rinse, 3s, 3s, 3s, +3s resteeps)
I liked this resteeping method, I’ll have to try it out again on some of my other black teas.


I’ve found a LOT of hype on Steepster, (particularly about Verdant teas) in my opinion.


Yes, and I am probably guilty of hyping tea as well. ;) I try not to go too overboard though.


well, I’m sure we all do it from time to time. :)


I haven’t tried steeping it like that yet – I have a tendency to steep black teas western style out of habit – but it sounds like something I want to try. I know what you mean about the hype, I’ve done it too. It’s nice to see honest reviews though.

I’ve gone to rate teas before that I just did not like and then feel a little funny when every other rating is like “95 – I could pick out every awesome flavor here and it is just amazing” and my thoughts are like “I’m so sorry, but I thought this tasted like muddy sugar water” (might be a slight exaggeration ;) )


Meeka – I know the feeling all too well. :)


@Meeka, I think it’s great to steep a tea both ways (western and gongfu), it really tells me a lot about what the tea is capable of. That being said, I’ll probably try western style when my husband is around so he can try this tea too.
I’m really glad that you sent me this sample, it is a good tea to try but I don’t think I’d want a whole bag.

Nathaniel Gruber

i would love to try some of the other black teas that you mentioned in your review that taste like this one. i haven’t encountered these flavor profiles that the laoshan black exudes in any other black tea. any info so i could order a sample and be exposed to such greatness would be awesome. thanks!


@Nathaniel: The main tea I can compare this to is Zhao Bai Jian, but the place I purchased it from ( is out of stock until spring and I have drunk all of my purchase. (I see that Dragon Tea House on ebay sells one called Nonpareil Sichuan Gongfu but I have not tried it.) Camellia Sinensis also has Chuan Hong which is a lesser grade, but shares enough similar traits.
Those two were the main teas that share the most in common, but Hualien Feng Mi, Xiao Zhong (Camellia Sinensis) and Yixing Hong Cha ( all share a few common themes, but do not fully emulate Laoshan Northern black tea. Cheers!


Sometimes hype is deserved (Verdant) . Sometimes (like the bubblegum tea’s I don’t get it 52 tea’s) .


I was reading your review again and wondering what your favorite black tea is that can be steeped successfully at least 15 times? I have my own top 5 list, curious about what you were measuring Laoshan Black against.


@ Bonnie: My fav tea that can be steeped at least 15 times is Jin Die (Camellia Sinensis). But there are a lot of black teas I love. Unfortunately they can’t all be my favourite, and some of the best (or personal fav) I’ve tried keep pushing the rating down of the other black teas I’ve drunk.

I have a short list of loves (rated +90), and of course an even longer list of likes (rated +80) and meh teas. Last year I spent a lot of time drinking black tea. So my tongue became a bit picky over those months. ;) Hype bothers me because I expect to try something new and crazy when my expectations are raised so high.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried tea that tastes like Laoshan Black. But I just don’t enjoy those type of floral black teas. I’m sure you know very well, that fav teas and personal preference go hand in hand. Besides that, I recognize Laoshan Black is a great tea (I like the resteep ability and body), but it didn’t charm my palate.


Thanks! My question was an honest one since most people don’t steep Black tea’s so many times. Good info.


Haha, I’m kinda weird like that. Short steeping black tea is my preferred method.
The one I tried for this tea is good, but I mostly use 30 seconds, +15 seconds for each resteep.


Ah…explains alot! I just did a Verdant pre-release Black Dancong at 5 seconds adding a second for each additional steeping. Something I’ve never done before. Awesome experience!


I love all the comments here. Great information! Thanks!

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709 tasting notes

So I bought this one (and my tea pet and a few others) a year ago. Because my stash is so ridiculous and I tend to keep my favourites eternally, I still have almost all of it left. I booked today off to indulge myself in bad wedding movies, tea and bread-making, so I enjoyed a few gong-fu infusions of this while watching Made of Honour. I’ve gotta say, I don’t know how I am going to make it 6 more months waiting for my wedding. I already live with my fiancee and we’ve been together for going on nine years but I am just so excited to have a big party with everyone we love to celebrate us. Plus, I adore my dress and just want to wear it all the time! : )

Anyway. This tea. So yummy. Despite the aging, it is lovely and rich, there is smoothness and some definite malt, but no bitterness to be found. There is a lot of cocoa and earthy tea flavour, but as I say it is just all so smooth! I’ve done three infusions so far in my gaiwan and this afternoon I will do a few more, I think. This is a sensational tea, and I have even more respect for it now than I did a year ago. Now I just need to enjoy it all before it gets too old!


Ooooh!!! Can you post a picture of your dress??


Unfortunately, the dress is in lockdown for the next six months, my fiancee also checks Steepster, though very infrequently. I keep having to watch out that I don’t accidentally mention details. Surprisingly difficult – we share everything!


I hear you. Very exciting though!!

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