Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea (From Verdant Tea: The first batch of this tea sold out, but a new autumn harvest of it is now available.)
This is one of the pioneer black teas from Laoshan. The village only started experimenting with making black tea out of their uniquely bean-like green tea a year or two ago. This batch is the first made by the phenomenal farmers we work with. It is malty, chocolatey, perfectly smooth and honey-like.
Learn more about this tea here.
Learn more about the Autumn Laoshan Black here.
This tea is incredible!
As I sip this black tea from Laoshan, my first thought was that I am noticing many similarities between this and a Fujian black tea: both are very rich, full-bodied, with a sweet, chocolate-y undertone.
But as I continue to sip, I begin to take note of a malty tone as well as a honey-esque flavor, and these are flavors that I probably wouldn’t experience from a typical Fujian black – which is more likely to have a caramel sweetness and a powder-y cocoa-like profile. That is to say, a well-stocked tea cupboard should have both of these teas in it, as I don’t think that one would replace the other.
The flavor is incredibly smooth, with very little astringency and no bitter taste to it … with the exception of a slight bitterness from the chocolate-y undertone. It is just barely there, but, when I focus upon the chocolate notes, I can taste that hint of bittersweet. There is a pleasing flavor of spice to this cup as well, I am picking up mere hints of cinnamon and perhaps even a slight peppery note as if a few Yunnan leaves had managed to sneak in to the package of this tea. There is also a deep roasted flavor to this … reminiscent of charcoal. Not smoky, exactly, but, more of a deep, roasty-toasty kind of taste.
The second infusion brought some interesting changes to the cup. The body is lighter than the first cup, which is not surprising, but, what is surprising is how this slightly lighter texture has allowed the spice notes to express themselves fully. This tastes quite cinnamon-y now, in fact, you might think that you accidentally sprinkled some cinnamon in the cup! The cinnamon is sweet and melds with the honey notes quite nicely.
A remarkable black tea, I highly recommend it.
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!