Classic Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Dark Chocolate, Leather, Cacao, Spices, Vegetable Broth, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Tannin, Thick, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Wood, Roasted, Roasty, Smooth, Sweet, Smoke, Vanilla
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Arby
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 6 g 9 oz / 261 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Laoshan village is near Qingdao in the province of Shandong at an altitude of just 300 meters. Laoshan village is also near a sacred mountain, and not far from the ocean. Tea has been grown in Laoshan area for many generations. We are offering this “Imperial Grade” Laoshan Black tea made from the tippiest first flush of spring 2016 tea leaves.

Our Laoshan teas are grown by the Liang family, who have a small family operation growing Laoshan tea and doing all the processing of the tea themselves as well. You will notice that the tea is grown undercover of greenhouse which are fully covered in the winter to protect from frost and also in the earliest part of spring as well just as the leaves are starting to sprout. In the middle and later part of the first flush growth stage the coverings are removed and the tea bushes grow in full view of the sun until plucking in the first week of April.

Laoshan black tea is small and tippy, it lacks white pekoe style hairs that give black teas their gold color. Instead Lao Shan black is grown from Long Jing #43 and the dry leaf is small, spindly and has a brown-black shiny look to it. The brewed leaf gradually unfolds and reveals it’s brown color. The brewed leaves have a vertical (parallel to the stem) striations as a result of the rolling they undergo. The tea soup is tending more towards gold in color with much less red than a typical black tea. The taste of Laoshan black tea is amazingly sweet with very obvious chocolate notes and the slightest hint of osmanthus. People often question whether sugar was added to the tea somehow, but it’s just naturally sweet and thick.

Laoshan Black is harvested from 1st (pre Ming) and 2nd flush material during the first week of May, and again in Autumn. The tea is picked, wilted briefly, fried (kill green), rolled and then allowed to wilt under the sun in cloth bags for 2 to 3 days (depending on ambient temperatures). After sun wilting is complete the tea is roasted in a kind of hot air tumbler (滚桶 ).

Our Classic grade, although not as small and fine as it’s Imperial counterpart it is more robust in taste and has more of a dark chocolate bite to it. It is very smooth with a golden yellow tea soup that is viscous and soupy. I recommend getting a little of each grade to start and then decide for yourself which you like best!

We feel confident you will enjoy family-sourced Laoshan teas and invite you to try them all!

Area: Laoshan village near Qingdao in Shandong
Time of harvest: early April

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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60 Tasting Notes

1809 tasting notes

This is tasty- dark chocolate and leather. I still prefer Verdant’s Laoshan Black.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Leather

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961 tasting notes

TTB #7

So excited that this TTB includes some straight black teas! I love experimenting with different flavored blends, but sometimes you just want plain, delicious TEA. This one is lovely…super dark, twisty little leaves that smell strongly of cocoa. It brews up deep brown and chocolatey and resteeps beautifully. A very comforting tea for a cold January day.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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14 tasting notes

Woooooow this is probably my favorite black tea out of what I’ve had before. I feel like I’ve had some good ones before, but they’ve tended to be similarly malty with some variation of nuts or cooked fruit. This is a lovely chocolate, not very sweet but like a pleasant dark chocolate—full and toasty. As the infusions progress, it gets sweeter and less bitter but never overwhelmingly sweet. It also has a lovely energy, very invigorating but not super panicky which is crucial. Highly, highly recommended.

It’s raining and cold outside, this is a great tea for afternoons like this. Honestly, this is close enough to hot cocoa where I would never need hot cocoa. I also have the green tea variety of this and I’m very excited to try that and see if there’s any similarities!

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

Ugh, I miss black teas like this so much. I need to place an order at Teavivre or something soon…


I’m really happy I randomly decided to order it, definitely will miss it when it’s gone! Going to have to get some more… Next year when my wallet recovers from the obnoxious amount of tea I’ve ordered recently :D


I get a similar invigorating, non-anxiety-inducing energy from both YS’s Classic and Imperial Laoshan Green. It’s so great to find a tea with a taste you love and an energy that matches.

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2958 tasting notes

I use this tea as the base for making boba tea. I brew it strong in hot water (~200-250 mL) and buy frozen or shelf stable pre-cooked boba pearls. I just got some taro syrup so I’m using ~50-60 ML of that too. Fill up the rest of the big cup with ice and soy milk. This tea has a wonderful desserty quality with dark cocoa and smooth malty notes. It even smells like cocoa. It has a nice sweetness but a touch of roasted notes (like how coffee and cocoa are a bit roasty, not like grain type roasty).

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Roasty, Smooth, Sweet


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28 tasting notes

(2016 version) This tea is robust and full bodied. The extreme malty flavor hits your palate immediately and stops quickly. It has a slight smokiness with mild chocolate notes to it. The aftertaste is a lingering vanilla sweetness. I do like this tea, however, it is outshined by its cousin the “Classic Laoshan Green Tea” in just about every category:Flavor, Complexity, Body, etc. so I will probably not order the black version any time soon (as the green spoiled me) but I would recommend this tea to others. If you are trying to decide between the green/ black; the black is not as heavy as its green counterpart IMHO. The green is very savory and heavy while the black is more laidback and sweet. Either way this is worth the price and I’m glad I tried both for comparison purposes. The cha qi is fairly energizing.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Smoke, Vanilla

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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15113 tasting notes

I’m sad. I opened a fresh pouch of this from YS today only to discover that the tea was mislabeled and was in fact laoshan GREEN tea and not black. I had confidence that Scott and team would resolve this for me but it seems like that’s only partially true, leaving a bit of a sour taste in my mouth beyond just this tea.

They were great at refunding me the price of the tea, which i’m thankful for but now if i want to get the actual tea i WANT, i have to a) pay for shipping again (which isn’t cheap) and b) pay more for the tea that i did previously because i bought i on sale. Never mind that i have to hope the tea is labelled correctly the second time AND that i’ve lost on the exchange as well.

All in all, i know i am not likely their biggest spender but now i’m completely on the fence about wanting to order again.

Cameron B.

Wow that seems like a mistake on their part to me… Can’t possibly cost that much to ship one tea compared to giving someone an unsatisfactory customer service experience. :(


Yeah, i mean i’ll give them another day or so in case because of time zone or something they finished their day or whatever but at the moment, just not happy. I know times are rough for the whole world, so trying not to be an ass but just disappointed.

Evol Ving Ness

Well, that sucks, Sil. Sorry that that has been your experience.

Evol Ving Ness

(which obviously, could have happened to any one of us.)

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139 tasting notes

This is a delicious tea—my favorite YS black so far. If you like LP’s Chocolate Genmaicha, then you’ll like this one. Lots of cocoa notes, very smooth, and a hint of spice and malt. I’ve tried it once gong fu and once western, which I prefer.


YAY! have been waiting for someone to pick it up and try it.


It’s a good one for sure. I hope they’ll have some of the Imperial grade of it left when they have their next sale. I also really like the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong black tea as well. I’ll leave a note on that one in a day or two as well as about 5 other black teas (and one white tea) from YS in the next week. The Yunnan Black Gold Bi Luo Chun and Imperial Mojiang Golden Bud were good too but not to my liking in flavor profile as much. They were definitely less chocolate and fruity tasting and more bread and sweet potato tasting.


i may just need to break down and pick some up without a sale damnit.


and agree with you on Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, though the 2015 harvest was terribad compared to 2013 and 2014.

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