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I recently ordered the spring and autumn harvests of Laoshan Black (and green) because I wasn’t sure which one to get. I’ve been enjoying both of them and haven’t paid enough attention to notice much of a difference, so I thought with my last servings, I would do a side-by-side comparison to determine which one I want to order.

First up, the spring version! Very smooth and malty with lightly toasted grainy notes. It has a very creamy texture and a slightly creamy taste as well. More woody notes in the middle, and a touch of musty hay. Then the end of the sip brings some subtle floral notes. And underneath it all is a wonderful deep flavor with dark cocoa notes and a touch of burnt sugar.

And then there’s fall! Definitely noticing some differences now that I’m trying them together. This one is rounder with noticeable maple notes. I don’t get the same creamy, full texture, but I do feel that I get more sweetness. Similar toasted grains and wood, but noticing less mustiness and a “cleaner” taste overall. Definitely some autumn leaf vibes going on. The finish is more toasty and less lingering. Does still have those deep cocoa notes.

It’s crazy tasting the spring version after the autumn, it almost seems like it’s had milk added to it. And yet I do love those sweet maple notes from the autumn harvest. Spring is definitely stronger in the finish, with long-lingering toasty notes and gentle florals. Also worth noting, the spring would’ve been a bit fresher as I purchased these in the summer.

Hmm, I feel like I didn’t decide which one I prefer, LOL. Maybe I’ll just order both again… I think as soon as the autumn harvest is available for this year, I’ll just pick up 50g bags of both and see how I feel about them in a few months.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Clean, Cocoa, Earthy, Malty, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Roasted, Round, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

I generally prefer the autumn harvests because they feel richer and less “fresh/fruity” etc but will drink both!

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I generally prefer the autumn harvests because they feel richer and less “fresh/fruity” etc but will drink both!

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- January Sipdowns: 6
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 6

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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