Verdant Tea

Discover Laoshan with the He Family

Discover Laoshan with the He Family

Regular Price $57.00 $51.30
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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’ll get to taste the unique and rare Laoshan Osmanthus Black, the wildly-popular Laoshan Black, the fresh and seasonal Laoshan Biluochun and Laoshan Roasted Oolong, and even experimental Laoshan Gan Zao Ye, a wild-foraged herbal finished with green tea craft.

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: 

Autumn Laoshan Black (25g)

This relatively new tea is fed by sweet mountain spring water and oxidized in the sun for three days before finishing to bring out signature chocolate notes. Mr. He perfected this tea as a proud reflection of the bold Shandong spirit and the perseverance of Laoshan Village. Laoshan Black is a labor of love to prove to the world how wonderful teas from Northern China can be. The cold weather, and pure mountain springs come together for a microclimate that yields some of the sweetest and most chocolatey black tea in China with a unique and distinctly northern flavor.

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Autumn Laoshan Biluochun (25g)

If Mr. He had to pick one tea that best represented the terroir of Laoshan, Biluochun would be his first choice. Delicate hand-picked buds and leaves are withered in bamboo baskets, and carefully hand curled and rolled under low heat to form beautiful long twists that unfold gracefully in a glass teapot or tumbler. The fresh and delicate leaf material is the first new growth of the cool autumn season as the weather starts turning and the mornings and nights are misty again. The sweetness in the leaves is allowed to build up for an incredibly rich autumn harvest. The careful hand-finishing adds more depth and complexity, while bolstering the mineral-laden texture. It may be incredibly labor-intensive, but Mr. He continues to finish this using traditional techniques year after year to show how nuanced Laoshan tea can truly be.

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 Laoshan Osmanthus Black (25g)

This year is the fourth fantastic harvest of the He Family's new osmanthus-scented black tea. Once again, the He Family is sharing a rich reserve-level Autumn Harvest Laoshan Black, scented during finishing with tiny hand-picked Laoshan Osmanthus flowers. The brown sugar, honey and fruity chocolate notes are melded together perfectly with the luscious almost creamy floral of the He Family’s meticulously hand-harvested Osmanthus blossoms. This tea is one of the hardest to make in the He Family collection since the local osmanthus blossoms are so small that they have to pick thousands just to make tiny batch of finished tea, but the results are worth the effort.

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Laoshan Roasted Oolong (25g)

Laoshan Roasted Oolong is the most technically-demanding and labor-intensive tea that the He Family produces. As one of the first people in Northern China to take on oolong craft, Mr. He is defining the flavor and value of this new tea for the entire region. He starts with tender hand-picked leaves from his mountain-spring fed ocean-facing plot, and allows them a full two days to oxidize before beginning the critical kneading and shaking stage that brings out deep rich fruit and florals not normally present. These flavors are locked in with a heavy roast for a tea with the satisfying body of Laoshan Black but with the subtlety of the fine oolong.

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Wild Laoshan Gan Zao Ye (25g)

Gan Zao Ye (Wild Jujube) is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that grows unmanaged and wild on the slopes of Laoshan. The He family forages a limited quantity each spring and hand-processes it just like a traditional green tea with withering, firing and curling. The final result is packed with just as much flavor complexity (and antioxidants) as a traditional tea. The delicate leaves spring open and release a deep sweet toasted oat aroma. The first sips are similar to genmaicha- green tea mixed with toasted puffed rice. As the tea steeps out it shows off complex notes of goji berry, coconut, eucalyptus, and cardamom. The aftertaste is supremely sweet, cooling and refreshing.

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"Laoshan is unlike any other tea region on earth.

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

“Laoshan is unlike any other tea region on earth.

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

our tea fields in Laoshan // we begin to remove the greenhouse covers in May
our family lives in Laoshan Village between the beautiful mountains and the ocean

 

  • 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.

Above, He Qingqing in the workshop with her mother, father, younger sister, and daughter

Our Teas and Craft

He Changke works with fresh tea leaves
everyone works together to sort tea leaves

 

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:

Learn even more!

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