Imperial Grade Laoshan Green Tea from Shandong

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea Leaves
Flavors
Asparagus, Bamboo, Broccoli, Broth, Butter, Chestnut, Creamy, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Peas, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal, Wood, Anise, Fennel Seed, Green Beans, Oats
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 15 sec 6 g 11 oz / 323 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thanks, Derk :D. I often make ochazuke (Pour green tea over rice, add seasonings and toppings) on a cold afternoon, and I constantly thought of that while sipping this tea because it’s so...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “First flush teas are supposed to be highly prized but for me, the taste doesn’t always live up to the hype. Second flush greens and darjeelings are often more robust than early picked tea. Take...” Read full tasting note
    82
  • “And yet another review. This time a different preparation. 2 tsp loose to 20oz unknown temp water straight from the hot water spigot in the cafeteria. Hot enough to scald my mouth, so definitely...” Read full tasting note
    99

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 Green tea made from the tippiest first flush of spring 2018 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.

Our Imperial Grade Laoshan green tea is small leaf, tippy (but without silver hairs) and tightly rolled, but not compressed like a Tie Guan Yin. The varietal grown is Long Jing #43 and as such the tea from Laoshan shares it character. The brewed tea is vegetal, sweet, savory with an umami-like green chestnut (bipolarity of astringency/savory and sweet).

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

Company description not available.

5 Tasting Notes

90
312 tasting notes

Thanks, Derk :D.

I often make ochazuke (Pour green tea over rice, add seasonings and toppings) on a cold afternoon, and I constantly thought of that while sipping this tea because it’s so flavorful.

The dry leaves had a sweet, vegetal aroma. After the rinse, the wet leaves had an intense vegetal – soybean aroma. The first few infusions, it was a thick, comforting, extremely vegetal, brothy, savory soup. Throughout the infusions, lots of different notes entered the picture: edamame, spring peas, umami, broccoli, spinach, seaweed, bamboo, sweet grass, cream, butter, sugarcane, roasted chestnuts, and honey notes. It had light mineral notes and some wood. Throughout the infusions, there was slight astringency but like the bitterness, it was balanced.

This tea embodies what is so great about Laoshan green. It is creamy, has a buttery smooth texture, has a plethora of complex and potent flavors and aroma that I just know I missed hehe. Vegetal, sweet, savory, soy, mineral and the umami flavor that lingered in my mouth long after each infusion. Derk had written on the sample that it was past it’s prime but it was so good that I’ll definitely go for this coming year’s release to compare.

Porcelain gaiwan, 5g, 175°F, 110ml, rinse, 11 steeps: 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 35s, 45s, 55s, 65s, 75s, 120s

Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Broccoli, Broth, Butter, Chestnut, Creamy, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Peas, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Cameron B.

That sounds delicious – what kinds of toppings do you add? ❤

Kawaii433

Umeboshi is one of my all-time favorite flavors. I always put one plum in the center of my riceballs when I make those too.

Kawaii433

The packets say to add hot water, use green tea instead for Ochazuke :D.

Cameron B.

I love umeboshi too, especially with rice. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any right now…

But I may have to try this for dinner anyway and just wing it LOL!

Kawaii433

lol ooh and if you have any furikake, you can just put the hot green tea over fresh rice, and top it off with that instead. Here is one of my favorites: https://www.amazon.com/Jfc-International-Seasoning-Furikake-1-7/dp/B0006G5KEY?th=1

Cameron B.

I actually do, and I think it might be that exact one… ;)

Kawaii433

Then you’re all set. Enjoy! hehe

Cameron B.

I ended up having brown rice with genmaicha, and added some soy sauce, furikake, and smoked tuna! Plus a drizzle of sesame oil. ❤

Kawaii433

That sounds good, close enough. Rice with green tea = yummy instant and wonderful soup!

derk

I just made some bamboo rice and topped a bowl of it with a mug of this tea. Added some salt. Good green tea and rice soup. I can really taste that anise that LuckyMe noted when prepared this way.

Mastress Alita

I tried making ochazuke once, but I don’t like “mushy” food textures and found the texture of it was too “mushy” for my tastes (I can’t handle say, oatmeal or porridge). I do however like to lightly flavor my Minute Rice by using tea as the “water” the rice soaks up. Then the rice is still “fluffy/solid” but takes on a slight flavor from the tea it absorbed.

Kawaii433

Mastress Alita – Yes! I do that do in my rice cooker hehe. Instead of water sometimes, I’ll use green tea especially if the tea is past it’s prime. For ochazuke, I add so much green tea that it’s like rice soup.

I also make milk kefir at home (for 8+ years now), and I use the whey for making rice to make it more digestible or I use the whey for a “soak”. If any of you ever want to try making milk kefir, I have tons of kefir grains. Just PM me. (I seriously digressed!).

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82
415 tasting notes

First flush teas are supposed to be highly prized but for me, the taste doesn’t always live up to the hype. Second flush greens and darjeelings are often more robust than early picked tea. Take for example this Imperial Grade Laoshan green tea. I tore through 25g of the “Classic” second flush version of the same tea in no time but I haven’t been able to muster the same enthusiasm for its 1st flush counterpart. This has the familiar vegetal notes of soybean, fennel/anise, and green bean however they were washed out and the tea had little depth of flavor. The anise note in particular is a little too strong at times bordering on astringent. I also get fewer steeps from this than I do from the Classic laoshan green tea.

Lesson learned, higher grade doesn’t necessarily translate to better taste and I’m happy that I can save money by buying second flush teas.

Flavors: Anise, Fennel Seed, Green Beans, Oats, Soybean

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
tanluwils

Good point. Late-spring harvested huang shan mao feng is one of my favorite greens. Have you tried YS’s Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai green tea? It’s probably the most robust of their greens.

eastkyteaguy

I have been arguing this for at least two years. If I recall correctly, I liked past year’s version of this tea slightly better than the classic second flush, but both were neck and neck to be honest. I would not have turned down either. On a similar note, I also recall a certain vendor and blogger slamming me because I expressed a preference for standard dragonwell over the more expensive and prized first pickings due to the more robust aroma and flavor of the later picked tea. Glad to know I am not the only one who sometimes prefers second flush over first flush.

LuckyMe

@tanluwils, I’ve tried a few of YS greens but with the exception of Laoshan green tea, I’ve found them to be a little more pungent, more aggressive than other Chinese greens. But I’m always up for new green tea recommendations and the Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai looks interesting and is cheap to boot. I’ll save it for my next YS order.

@eastkyteaguy, my feelings towards dragonwell are pretty much the same as yours. I too prefer the heartier flavor of second picking. I no longer bother first flush dragonwell because it’s a little too delicate for my taste and just doesn’t justify the price it commands.

eastkyteaguy

I forgot to do so earlier, but I can also vouch for the Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai. I am sure you are well aware that I am a huge fan of Yunnan green teas, but it really is an excellent tea. One great thing about it is that it is processed in such a way that extends its shelf life, so if you are looking for a green tea you can sit on for some time, it would be one with which to go.

tanluwils

@LuckyMe, I have a problem, which is that there’s only 24 hours in a day which limits my tea consumption to one type per day (herbal in the evening). I’ve had some really nice second flush long jing that was still sophisticated and very thirst quenching. In general, fresh long jing is hard to beat.

@eastkyteaguy, the 2017 Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai was the best harvest I’ve had yet (I still remember how complex and refreshing it was). That tea has so much going for it. The only reason I didn’t purchase any this year was because I had already bought some gyokuro at Yuuki-cha.. :)

LuckyMe

@tanluwils, yeah the struggle is real to manage caffeine when tea is your hobby. I find myself grandpa steeping more often and moving to smaller tea ware so I can have have more than 1 tea session in day.

Sqt

I have the same problem with vendors acting all haughty when I mention that I prefer second flush darjeelings over first, and less bud heavy dianhongs. The most delicate and “technically superior” teas aren’t always the most pleasing, depending on personal taste and mood.

tanluwils

@LuckyMe, using smaller-sized tea ware is a good idea. I’ve also been grandpastyle-ing it at work, so sometimes I can throw in another type of tea if I get started early enough.

@Sqt, it’s an interesting fact that oolongs and raw pu’er are intentionally harvested a bit later in the spring than typically bud-heavy teas in order to maximize flavor and ensure the leaves will take the abuse that’s incurred during processing.

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99
478 tasting notes

And yet another review. This time a different preparation. 2 tsp loose to 20oz unknown temp water straight from the hot water spigot in the cafeteria. Hot enough to scald my mouth, so definitely not 175F, I’d wager 200-205F. This tea cannot be killed even after sitting in that hot water for an hour, though it did get a little cooked. Still thick, sweet and chicken brothy with an even greater cooling cypress presence, a thick and satisfying aroma and wonderful energy. Just near the end it got a little astringent but that can probably be remedied by upending my thermos now and then. Increased the rating again. This has to be my all-time favorite green.

Preparation
8 min or more 2 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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