Verdant Tea

Special Grade Laoshan Gongfu Black

Special Grade Laoshan Gongfu Black

Crafted By the He Family

Pioneers and community leaders in Laoshan Village, the He family was one of the first to plant tea on the misty ocean-facing slopes of the Taoist Holy Mountain they call home.
  • true
    rose, osmanthus honey
    malt, rye bread
    licorice, allspice
    crisp taut minerality

    Tasting Profile

    • fruit - apricot
    • floral - rose, osmanthus honey
    • savory - malt, rye bread
    • spice - licorice, allspice
    • texture - crisp taut minerality
    • DATE OF PICKINGApril 18. 2021
    • Laoshan VillageShandong Province
    • ELEVATIONsea level
    • longjing quntiTea Varietal

    This new spring 2021 harvest is in stock now!

    Laoshan Gongfu Black is one of the most difficult finishes for the He Family, requiring flat-pressing and hand-twisting and curling to achieve the final shape and finish. Mr. He saves this technique for his finest spring harvests, and this year, the He Family has reserve a small harvest of a very special grade of Laoshan Gongfu Black, picked soon after green house coverings were removed this year. 

    This is a stunning harvest unlike anything we've every seen before in Laoshan. The perfectly straight 'pine needles' are made with the buddy early harvest picking and yielding a texture closer to Wuyi minerality and crispness, with a deeply complex spice flavor, packed with apricot, rose, and licorice.

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Spring 2021 Update from the Fields

Early spring in Laoshan this year came late, but stayed consistently cool and misty for a perfectly-aligned harvest.

In recent years, spring has fluctuated between freezing nights and warm days, forcing the He Family to leave their greenhouse covers on longer, but this year, the nights were temperate enough to remove the greenhouse covers early, letting the buds slowly form in the open ocean air. The results are spectacular, one of the first harvests in many years to line up with ideal conditions, letting the He Family focus more on picking and finishing craft and less on emergency field management.

What this means for the tea itself is smaller yields but extremely sweet, rich and aromatic brews packed with more minerality and textural nuance.

photos courtesy of He Qingqing, April 2021

  • 'The initial aromas are full of rich, tangy goji berry, raisin, and savory roasted chestnut. For us, the initial sips had the thick pastry like quality of croissant with deep chocolate flavor. As we continued steeping out the tea, we got dark fruit and hearty bran flavor with a big, thick honey aftertaste and texture. In the latest steepings we tasted toasted marshmallow and graham'

  • 5
    30 seconds
    8 seconds
    room temp
    8 hours

    Steeping Instructions


    5 g.6-8
    use 205° watersteep 30 secondsresteep many times
    add 15-30 sec. each infusion


    5 g.4 ozuse 205° watersteep 8 seconds
    add 3-4 sec. per steeping
    enjoy many steepings


    5 g.12
    use room temp. waterrefrigerate overnight
    8 hours
    add ice & enjoy

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