Review: Verdant Tea Laoshan Black

Black Tea, Single Estate Tea, Verdant Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is a truly masterfully produced tea and one of the best Chinese black teas I've had. It's hearty, creamy and intensely sweet - a decadent yet complex experience. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.3/10
Other Teaviews: CJ gave it 10/10, Jamie gave it 8.5/10
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This is my first time reviewing a sample from this company. Right off the bat, I'm impressed with their informative and attractive website. This offering is a relatively new tea grown on a small farm near the village of Laoshan, in the Chinese province of Shandong. Traditionally this area specializes in green teas. Only 18 pounds were produced in total – it doesn't get much more artisanal than this! Looking at my sample, the slender, curly leaves are uniformly coal black in colour. Their aroma is an enticing mixture chocolate and molasses.

I brewed this tea the Western way, following Verdant Tea's recommendations. I infused a level tablespoon of leaves in 8 ounces of freshly boiled water for 3 minutes. The cup quickly colours to a rusty hue. It's aroma is a sweet combination of malt and cinnamon toast. The top notes are tannic, in a charred sort of way. They are followed by a delicious mix of brown sugar, malt, cream, raisin and toasted bread flavours. The finish is particularly sweet, with lots of rich honey and cinnamon notes. There's absolutely no bitterness or astringency to this tea but it's not lacking in depth. I also brewed a cup using only a heaping teaspoonful of leaf. The results are lighter and less sharp. The sweeter elements of the tea dominate but there's less complexity to the cup.

Verdant Tea recommends re-steeping the leaves 3 more times. I used 3 and a half, 4 and a half and 6 minute-long steeps. All three cups were interesting and worthwhile. Eventually the tea becomes thinner, simpler and less robust. Impressively, it always remains silky smooth.

This is definitely one of the best Chinese black teas I've had. It's hearty, creamy and intensely sweet. I found it to be quite caffeinated, so it can easily serve as an early morning jolt. I highly recommend it to those looking for a decadent yet complex experience. It's truly masterfully produced and well worth trying. Bravo!

— To purchase Verdant Tea Laoshan Black, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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