Verdant Tea

Discover Laoshan with the He Family Collection

Discover Laoshan with the He Family Collection

Regular Price $37.40 CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK
THRU 12/31

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 Black, the new and exciting Laoshan Green Oolong 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: 

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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Laoshan Green (25g)

This harvest is picked in the cool autumn air after resting the plant through summer. The result is crisp, fresh flavor with more savory green bean and cream that Laoshan for which Laoshan is famous. The He family's signature green tea is fed by mountain spring water, picked by hand, and cultivated sustainably using traditional chemical-free farming techniques including growing rows of soybean between rows of tea to restore nitrates to the soil. The extreme northern climate means cold winters and short growing seasons, but the He Family perseveres, protecting their tea in greenhouses over the winter. The result is a deeply sweet and delicate green tea unlike any other in the world.

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Laoshan Green Oolong (25g)

This tea is the He Family's answer to the challenge that oolong is only for southern China. Despite Laoshan Village only having fifty years of tea cultivation and oolong being the most technically demanding kind of tea in the world to produce, Mr. He comes through brilliantly. The careful kneading and rolling brings out a beautiful, pure expression of the minerality of the soil and the water. This tea is processed without a roast for a true green flavor of Laoshan.

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Laoshan Roasted Oolong (25g)

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.

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Wild Spring Laoshan Suan Zao Ye (25g)

Suan Zao Ye (Wild Spiny Zizyphus) is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that grows unmanaged and wild on the slopes of Laoshan. While the seeds of the sour dates have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Suan Zao Ren), the He family forages a limited quantity in April and early May, before the tender spring buds grow too large or the spiny thorns too firm. This year, the leaves were then hand-processed just like a traditional Laoshan green tea, with withering, firing and curling. The final result is packed with delicious flavor and complexity, with a striking flavor of sweet plantain or banana chips, cooling cucumber and a refreshing minty and peppery finish.

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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

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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