This bundle includes five 25g bags of Laoshan tea for 125g total (25 sessions).
The He Family were some of the first to plant tea in Laoshan, one of China’s newest and northernmost tea growing regions. Laoshan is a mountain village on the ocean, subject to cold winters that give the tea a flavor unlike any other on earth. Mr. He has established a cooperative to promote his award-winning vision for sustainable beyond-organic agriculture and rigorous technically demanding craft.
This collection represents the most classic and iconically representative teas the He Family produces. It is an invitation from Mr. he, Qingqing and the whole family to get to know their passion and their unwavering commitment to make Laoshan one of the most famous tea regions in China. You’s get to taste Laoshan Green, the first tea they ever mastered, along with newer styles such as the wildly-popular Laoshan Blackand Laoshan Gongfu Black, the new and exciting Laoshan Green Oolong, and even mountain-foraged Gan Zao Ye, finished using green tea techniques.
While every tea in the collection represents a tremendous diversity of flavor, the whole collection circles around the iconic rich malty soybean profile of the region and the rocky texture of the mountain soil.
Discover Laoshan with the He Family's teas:
2020 Spring Laoshan Black (25g)
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. This year's spring was particularly cool with its start a full two weeks later than usual. Rich, full bodied and satisfying, Laoshan Black has become our benchmark for all other black teas.
The new 2020 spring harvest is here! Laoshan Green was the first tea produced at Taiqing temple by the Taoist monks of Laoshan. The plants were originally brought to the region from Dragonwell, and slowly allowed to adapt to the unique cold ocean climate of the area. The He Family’s Laoshan Green is fed by mountain spring water, picked by hand, and cultivated sustainably using traditional chemical-free farming techniques. The result is rich, fresh flavor full of Laoshan's famous sweet vegetal-savory soy bean flavor aroma.
Laoshan Green Oolong takes the beautiful mineral-forward green bean profile of Laoshan Green and gives it an astounding depth and complexity through meticulous labor intensive craftsmanship. Mr. He starts with sweet rich fresh leaves, then kneads and shakes the leaves to bring out rich florals and fruity undertones. Heat locks in the green quality of this tea before it can oxidize, yielding a fresh pure and honest expression of the unique flavor of the region. This special reserve harvest was made from some of the first spring harvests after the winter green houses were removed in 2020.
Laoshan Roasted Oolong is an exciting experimental tea, applying traditional Southern Chinese yaoqing technique, an eight hour labor-intensive step, on top of slow careful roasting and curling, to produce a complex and nuanced tea that is distinctly Northern, and distinctly new. It takes the He Family an entire day to produce just a few kilos of this special tea, but the results are worth it. Yaoqing finishing gives deep fruit and floral undertones to the He Family’s trademark chocolate and malty base flavors. The careful kneading and rolling also brings out a beautiful, pure expression of the minerality of the soil and the water.
The He Family is continuing their tradition this year of wild-foraging caffeine-free native Laoshan herbs and using their expertise at green tea processing to finish the leaves like a traditional green tea. While Shandong native Lu mulberry leaf would normally be simply air-dried for use in medicinal tea, the He Family has applied withering, heat-fixing, curling and tumble-drying to bring out much richer and more subtle flavor through their craft. We are excited to share the He Family's herbal teas this season, and to offer a look at the flavor of Laoshan from another plant entirely different from camellia sinensis!
Our farm sits at sea level, protected from the sun by the ocean mist that rolls up the slopes of the steep Laoshan mountainsides. Our parents began cultivating tea in this village sixty years ago and started the right way with organic farming & respect for the ecosystem of our Taoist holy mountain.
We hand pick every leaf and hand-finish our tea in small batches.
We hope you'll taste for yourself to understand what makes our family's tea from the northernmost tea region in China so unique."
- He Changke // 何昌科
Our Home: Laoshan Village
tea plants nurtured by famous mountain springs
the coldest tea climate in China produces sweet teas
rocky soilproduces mineral-driven texture
shaded 3-layer greenhouses protect early spring leaves
protected National Forest land for clean air and water
biodynamic farming for healthy plants and people
About Us: the He Family
He Changke is a proud 2nd generation tea farmer.
His father was one of the first people to plant tea in the village outside of the Taoist monastery, pioneering organic farming with a vision of making Laoshan the most famous tea microclimate in China. Mr. He is passing on his father's work to his daughter He Qingqing, co-owner of importer Verdant Tea.
Qingqing and her parents have worked together to not only improve the craft of the region, but invent entirely new tea types to bring fame to Laoshan and raise up their village.
The He Family hopes that tea will be the path to better living for the whole region, and believe a healthy tea industry in Laoshan is the best way to champion environmental protection for Laoshan National Park.
Our Teas and Craft
We work hard for our teas.
In the south, mild climates mean easier seasons. Here in the north, we rebuild greenhouses every winter, cut back every summer, and grow soybeans between tea fields as a way to distract insects and to mulch and return nitrates to our soil.
When picking season arrives, we have a short window of perfect weather to hand pick every tender bud .
We hand-finish every leaf in our family workshop. Every 100g of finished tea takes more than a pound of fresh picked leaves. Many of our teas take over 16 hours of craft to get from fresh leaves to finished tea.
We take no shortcuts in our craft because we believe that Laoshan unique climate can produce some of the best teas in the world.
See us at work
Many importers claim to source from small family farms, but are they actually sharing the stories, values, and point of view of the farmers?
Don't settle for tea of questionable origins. See the people behind the tea and hear the real stories. The He Family and Verdant Tea have been working together for almost a decade. Here are just two videosfrom our time together: