This came in a little sample bag labeled as Autumn Picked Laoshan Green. I didn’t realize it was actually a black until much later. After reading some reviews on Steepster. The intervening time I just thought it was a very odd green tea.
My first impression was that the dry leaves were amazingly dark. I know the picture on the Verdant site shows some fairly dark leaves for the Laoshan Green, but even then I was surprised. It smelled buttery and malty and chocolatey and delicious. So far so normal, to me. The description did mention a chocolatey note!
Then the steeping. I…very obviously futzed it here. I thought it was a green. I steeped it as such. Western style in a small mug, 1 tsp to 6 oz for 2 minutes at 180F. And it steeped… caramel. “Huh,” I said to myself. “This looks, for all the world, like black tea.” And yet, I still didn’t catch on. The leaves smelled intensely like a Cadbury milk chocolate bar by this point. I really wanted to eat them.
At this point I started drinking the tea, burns and all. It was a bit light for my taste, but I attributed that to having run out of sample. I like a bit more than just a teaspoon, if I can help it. The tea itself was deliciously malty, with a distinct buttery, vegetal character that faded into a sort of deep caramel. I wanted it stronger! Sooo frustrating. Though, again, in retrospect, because I understeeped it.
So yeah, I started looking through the reviews for the Laoshan Green and noticed someone mentioned the liquor should be green. I decided to look at the spent leaves, and sure enough – not green in the least. I’m pretty embarrassed it took me so long to notice.
My rating is based on the way I steeped it, but I definitely want to try again properly. Next order I’ll get the Laoshan Sampler and give it a proper go.