Sweet and smooth, the natural chocolate and malt in He Family's innovative black makes this our most popular tea . . .
Mr. and Mrs. He of Laoshan Village are gaining quite an international reputation for their Laosahn Black, from profiles in the Heavy Table, to Serious Eats.
Mr. He speaks about his commitment to organic farming
Our partner Mr. He of Laoshan Village is very proud of perfecting this new kind of tea, insisting on the strictest standards of chemical-free farming, hand picking, and careful processing. While most black teas are batch-oxidized over an hour, the He Family’s Laoshan Black is spread out and allowed to roast and oxidize in the sun for three full days before being finished. This brings out the thick and creamy notes and full body.
The spring harvest Laoshan Black is a unique and special experience. Mrs. He picks tender buds and young leaves that are naturally sweeter and more aromatic. The sweet and nuanced base tea is transformed through Mr. He’s craft into a rich, satisfying chocolatey brew.
This season is an excitingly potent and chocolatey harvest. The aroma is like being in a chocolate factory while dark chocolate is being melted and tempered all around. The aroma in the mug is so like hot cocoa, it is uncanny The first sip is true to the smell, like eating fresh brownies out of the oven.
As the tea continues to steep, the chocolate only grows stronger as a malty flavor starts to develop and evoke malted milk balls. A dried cherry flavor comes through to accent the chocolate and honey sweetness. After many steepings, the chocolate flavor begins to lighten and allows the intense minerality of the Laoshan tea to shine through. The late steepings taste like Laoshan mountain spring water, a beautiful finish to a real dessert of a tea.
Date of Picking:May 3rd, 2015
Location of Picking:Ocean-facing slope of Laoshan Mountain in Laoshan Village, Shandong Province He Family Farm 15-20 acre plot fed by the mountain spring running down from the rock face of Laoshan.
What Was Picked:Young leaf material with buds wilted in bamboo baskets, fully oxidized over three days, dried over a carefully tended wood fire and curled.
Verdant Tea Founder, David Duckler, Brewing Laoshan Black
Western Brewing: Use 4g of tea (1T) in 6-8oz of fresh-boiled (205°F) filtered or spring water. Steep for 30 seconds in a brew basket or equivalent. Enjoy many infusions. Add 10-15 seconds with each steeping, or to taste
Gongfu Brewing: Use 5g of leaves for a medium gaiwan or yixing pot. Heat the gaiwan or pot with boiling water and pour out. Add leaves, rinse leaves with boiling water for less than a second. Use this steeping to heat cups and pour over yixing. Steep each round for 2-3 seconds, increasing time by 3 seconds each steeping after the third steeping. Enjoy at least 15 infusions.
Iced Tea (Cold Brewing)
Use about 4 grams of tea for every 12oz of water. Combine with room temperature water in a covered vessel and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Enjoy!
Iced Tea (Flash Chilled)
Use 1TB (5 grams) of tea in a 6-8oz vessel. Steep for 1 minute with filtered boiled water. Fill a martini shaker (or equivalent) with ice, then add brewed tea and shake until well-chilled (usually 10-30 seconds). Pour out through martini-shaker top over fresh ice in a new glass and serve.