To be honest, I’ve always put off writing tasting notes about laoshan black because it’s such an understandably beloved tea, but also (in my experience) so singularly chocolately there’s not much to say about it. However, I decided to embark on and record a mindful tasting the other day, and approaching the tea much more mindfully yielded something entirely more complex than what I think of loashan black being.
The session lasted a solid 9 infusions. Following a flash rinse I started with 10 seconds and additions of 4 seconds, but gradually increased in bigger increments to a final brew of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
The aroma throughout the session was the typically strong chocolate smell of a laoshan black. However, the flavor profile started out like a mildly sweet bread mixed with chocolate. It reminded me of a chocolate chip croissant.
As the session continued I got an abundance of sweetness from honey and sugarcane notes, mixed with cinnamon and allspice. On the fourth steep I was caught off guard by a strong mint flavor at the start of the cup which faded back into the chocolate chip croissant flavor of the first infusion.
On the fifth steeping I decided to push the tea a bit more to see if I could get a round of strong chocolate flavor. I was rewarded with exactly that, but with a complimentary citrus note and a beautiful floral hit in the aromatics.
As the session ended the bitterness of the chocolate faded and I had a final cup that was sweet, creamy, and vanilla flavored. It was quite reminiscent of a sweetened steamed milk from Starbucks.
This was a really great session of a tea that’s always nice to have on hand if you enjoy a luxurious chocolate flavored cup. Clearly, as this session awakened me to, there’s more than meets the eye with this tea if you’re willing to invest yourself in the brew.
Flavors: Bread, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Honey, Mint, Spicy, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vanilla