sweet aroma with a gingerbread taste. Lingering sweet aftertaste and a very subtle spiciness.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Coffee, Ginger, Honey
“sweet aroma with a gingerbread taste. Lingering sweet aftertaste and a very subtle spiciness.” Read full tasting note
“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...” Read full tasting note
“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...” Read full tasting note
“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...” Read full tasting note
Crafted By the He Family
Real pioneers & leaders in Laoshan’s tea commmunity, the He family hand picks their tea from their 15 acre farm, hand finished in their own small workshop.
The He Family’s Laoshan Black has become their most famous tea, earning them features in the US and Chinese news media for their innovative work. This tea is fed by Laoshan’s famously sweet mountain spring water and oxidized traditionally for three days before finishing to bring out rich chocolate notes. Rich, full bodied and satisfying, Laoshan Black has become our benchmark for all other black teas.
4g + 6-8 oz
use 205° water
steep 30 seconds
resteep many times
add 15-30 sec. each infusion
5g + 5 oz
use 205° water
steep 2-3 seconds
add 3 sec. per steeping
enjoy many steepings
5g + 12oz
use room temp. water
add ice & enjoy
Company description not available.
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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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
My absolute favorite tea. You can brew it for 20 seconds or five minutes, and it yields different and interesting flavors and qualities. It’s good sweetened and with milk, or without either. Very Chocolaty, and very Malty, very addictive. It can be mellow and refreshing, or rich and creamy like hot chocolate. Definitely try this.