Spring Laoshan Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Brown Toast, Coffee, Ginger, Honey, Bread, Chocolate, Fruity, Mineral, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Burnt, Raisins, Sweet, Burnt Food, Burnt Sugar, Char, Leather, Soy Sauce, Tea, Toasted Rice, Tobacco, Molasses, Nuts, Cherry, Cream, Grain, Orange, Cacao, Dried Fruit
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Fair Trade
Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 6 g 33 oz / 973 ml

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18 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

Iconic Chocolatey Malty

Fresh sweet spring harvest black tea hand-picked by the He Family in Laoshan and finished in their family workshop to bring out iconic notes of brown sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla.

This relatively new tea is fed by sweet mountain spring water and oxidized in the sun for three days before finishing to bring out signature chocolate notes. Mr. He perfected this tea as a proud reflection of the bold Shandong spirit and the perseverance of Laoshan Village. Laoshan Black is a labor of love to prove to the world how wonderful teas from Northern China can be. The body is light and smooth, without astringency.

Crafted By the He Family
Pioneers and community leaders, the He Family is dedicated to making a name for their stunningly smooth, malty, rich teas cultivated in China’s coldest, northernmost growing region.

Grown using old-school organic farming techniques on the rocky foothills of Laoshan, protected by ocean mist and fed by sweet spring water.

About Verdant Tea View company

Company description not available.

18 Tasting Notes

1713 tasting notes

Sipped through another 25g bag. I could drink this tea everyday. It’s just so unfussy and consistently delicious. Though, I prefer the autumn varietal over this one, as it’s a bit more chocolatey.

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3 tasting notes

sweet aroma with a gingerbread taste. Lingering sweet aftertaste and a very subtle spiciness.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Coffee, Ginger, Honey

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 220 OZ / 6506 ML

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401 tasting notes

This one is more toasty than chocolatey but still an enjoyable cup. I’m on the second brew but it might be able to go for a few more. Caramel, hay, butter, and toast. Pretty yummy, but I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to purchase.

EDIT: I dumped the leaves in my go cup for grandpa style brewing. still toasty warm bread to the last sip. This tea sure goes a long way. Thanks Shae for sharing!

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2155 tasting notes

Spring 2020 Harvest
Date of Picking: Late May 2020

On to my next Laoshan Black from Verdant. This time I made it the way I would normally steep my black teas. In the bag, it has that chocolate syrup aroma that I love so much. Baked bread while steeping, that same mineral note in the first sip that I found in the Autumn 2019 harvest. The chocolate is more forward in this cup than in the last, which I enjoy, but I also did a poor job steeping the last one so it wouldn’t be fair to compare them too closely.

Flavors: Bread, Chocolate, Fruity, Mineral

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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553 tasting notes

Sad Sipdown -but I can’t get enough of this tea! Thankfully it is still offered on the site. It literally is the perfect companion to a Monday going wrong on a few levels. We’ve now had two direct exposures to COVID which is not a good thing at all but with our kiddo-Parker going thru treatment at St Judes, things are really scary. (Two of our kids are currently in healthy quarantine too) Parker was hospitalized last week with a cold and we ventured into some pretty scary waters. My hubs and I are both feeling really overwhelmed and both have made up new cuss words. Oversharing here but I’m sort of at a loss today. Tea is the ultimate comfort.

Flavors: Bread, Burnt, Chocolate, Malt, Raisins, Sweet


So sorry for the hard time your family is going through, Nichole! Just prayed for you.


omg i’m so sorry to hear that Nichole. I really hope things get easier and you run in to less exposures. hug hang in there!


Thanks Sil and Inkling! xoxoxo Appreciate all of the kind words/support. I try not to overshare too much but today is getting to me.


I’m sorry to hear about your family and hope you stay safe. This is a scary time.


I am so sorry, Nichole! You ARE going to make it! Praying for you and sending a hug – really really – right now.


You are pulling a heavy load. Share all you need to if that lightens it any. Praying!


Praying for you and your family.


Nichole, you gotta let it out one way or another and this a good avenue. My heart is with you.


Can’t imagine how difficult this must be for your family. Praying for your little one’s recovery. Stay safe out there.

Martin Bednář

Praying for your family too!


You all are seriously amazing! I appreciate you more than I can express! From supporting my tea biz, to welcoming me back on Steepster, to these amazing words. Steepster has become my little safe spot recently where I take the time for myself and reflect or just take a moment. This year has been massively overwhelming and now that our Christmas has to be social distanced within our own little unit, it is really getting to me. Thank you all for these words.
I cherish them all! xoxoxoxoxoxoxox


Sending good vibes your way. Maybe oversharing on another platform is just plain sharing with your friends on Steepster :)


Wishing all the health and strength to you and your family!

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1458 tasting notes

Spring 2018 harvest.

Gone gaiwan. 5g, 150mL, 205F. Flash rinse which I ended up drinking and 7 steeps at 10s/15/20/25/30/1m/3m.

Dry leaf smelled awesome with rich chocolate, pastry and caraway. Rinsed leaf also awesome with riiich dark chocolate, honey and dark-roasted barley. The liquor was a clear brown-orange and smelled of honey, grains and dark chocolate wth pumpernickel coming in later. The tea was lightly astringent and very light-bodied, tending toward watery. The taste was not what I was expecting after having tried the Laoshan gongfu black. I picked up on watered down chocolate, honey and grains, ending the session with just caraway/pumpernickel which was pretty tasty. Ehhhh. Maybe it’s stronger brewed western. Seemed to be low in caffeine. I drank it late at night and had no problems falling asleep.

According to their website, the weather for this year’s harvest was unfavorable, so maybe my dissatisfaction is due to that. I’d like to try next year’s if it’s ever on sale.

One more Laoshan black to go. Thus far, I’m leaning toward the fall harvest roasted oolong.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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2919 tasting notes

Thank you to Mackie for this sample! I already put in a Verdant order a few days back, but I might need to make another one soon after I try all these samples.

Spring 2016 harvest of Laoshan black (He family collection) from Jimo City, Qingdao Shandong, China.

The looseleaf smells of burnt food, cherry wood, and tobacco.

~6g looseleaf, 150 mL of 92*C water, 10 second steep
Steep 1: Flavour is roasty, minerals, savoury, toasty, charcoal, nice tea flavour, no bitterness at all

Steep 2: 150 mL of 90*C water, 7 second steep
Very roasty/charcoal, tobacco smoke, burnt food, leather.

Steep 3: 150 mL of 90*C water, 7 second steep
Lots of tea/tannins, burnt sugar, tanned leather, oxidized tea, lots of tea flavour, honey

Steep 4: 150 mL of 90*C water, 10 second steep
Malty, burnt sugar, cocoa, dark wood, toasted grain, miso, honey

I’m sure this is a fine tea from great origins, but to me, it just tasted like burnt food and chewing on a tanned leather belt. The whole charcoal roasted/smoked thing doesn’t appeal to me. Because I dislike this type of tea, I’m not going to rate it because I feel it would be unfairly low.

Flavors: Burnt, Burnt Food, Burnt Sugar, Char, Honey, Leather, Mineral, Soy Sauce, Tea, Toasted Rice, Tobacco

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

Yikes, that’s quite the saga of a flavour journey. Boo-urns getting burnt and leather belt notes from this.

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42 tasting notes

This is a lovely tea! I got this one in a sample pack from Verdant, and I will definitely be ordering more with my next order. It is rich in aroma and taste, has a nice soft mouth feel and attractive color. I pick up sweets notes of nuts and honey, raisin bread, and even caramel. I however was not able to get many steeps out of this one, on the third one it started to get pretty light.

Flavors: Bread, Honey, Molasses, Nuts, Raisins, Sweet

2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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1048 tasting notes

Oh no, I am almost out of Laoshan tea! It always makes me so sad when I don’t have something from Laoshan in my tea cabinet. Now that this one is gone, I only have small amounts of four other Laoshan teas remaining. Anyway, this tea is yet another strong offering from the He family. So far, the 2016 harvests have yielded some strong teas.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse (2-3 seconds), I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 8 seconds. I followed this up with 10 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 19 seconds, 22 seconds, 26 seconds, 29 seconds, 33 seconds, 36 seconds, 40 seconds, and 50 seconds.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves gave off a dusty aroma that momentarily obscured rich scents of malt, dark chocolate, roasted grain, and black cherry. After the rinse, the malt, cherry, chocolate, and roasted grain aromas became much more focused. The first infusion yielded a similar, yet even richer aroma. In the mouth, I picked up robust notes of roasted grain, dark chocolate, black cherry, malt, orange, and honey underscored by a hint of caramel. The following 5 infusions produced a tea that was more mellow in both aroma and taste. The caramel notes became more pronounced, providing a nice balance to the touches of black cherry, dark chocolate, roasted grain, malt, orange, and honey. I also noticed a slight creaminess chased by very light minerality on the finish. The final series of infusions presented delicate aromas and flavors of malt, roasted grain, cream, honey, black cherry, and dark chocolate. The orange notes became increasingly floral and fragile. The minerality was also amped up somewhat, though not significantly.

More often than not, I am very impressed by Verdant Tea’s Laoshan offerings. Although there are a few l like less than the others, for the most part, this is a very consistent and rewarding collection of teas. This tea is yet another strong addition to the portfolio. If you are a fan of the other iterations of Verdant’s Laoshan Black, I am willing to bet that you will also enjoy this tea.

Flavors: Cherry, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orange

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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106 tasting notes

Woah, this one surprised me. I’ve been getting a bit weary of black tea lately since I’ve ended up with a surprising number of different kinds in samples, but my water was already boiling when it came time to pick out a tea and I’ve been wanting to work on crackling my new ruyao ware, so black tea it was. 3-5 grams to a 100 ml gaiwan, preheated, boiling water, 25 seconds to start.

It’s as if this tea heard my misgivings and gently placated my concerns this grey morning by delivering a much more subdued, but still intensely rich and comforting chocolate flavor with only tones of the black tea maltiness I was starting to grow a bit bored of. Surprisingly sweet for any tea I’ve had, it has a honey sweetness to it that I find hard to believe is a natural byproduct of just tea leaves. This sweet lingers strongly in the back of your throat after each sip, it is definitely the sweetest tea I’ve had to date. The lighter orange amber color seems to reflect the tea’s lighter flavor as well, although the first steep or two does have a predominately intense chocolate flavor I also enjoyed. Overall, I would place this as a much lighter but no less comforting alternative to hot chocolate anytime, I may have to stock up on this tea.

Flavors: Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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