Wednesday, March 6, 2013

laoshan black - summer 2012.

warming the teapot.

Yesterday I decided to brew up some of Verdant Tea's Laoshan Black in my beloved little yixing set. It was a particularly sunny and mild day outside, and the warmth coming in from the windows reminded me of the first summery day I brewed tea in this set. I've mentioned this tea before, but I figure I should talk more about it since I really do love it so! It is so interesting and has a very unique flavor profile.

It is a small harvest tea from an ocean-facing slope of Laoshan Mountain in Laoshan Village. The leaves are very curly, dark, and glossy. When I open the bag I am hit with the distinctive scent of dark chocolate. Smooth, sweet, and strong. The scent is not overly cloying, but it really does make me think of a chunk of chocolate!

The flavor is mild and smooth at first, and leads way into a nutty caramel note from which I get an aftertaste of cocoa. It brews a lovely golden red cup, and carries an impressive amount of flavor despite the color appearing so light. I've never really had a tea that accurately tastes like chocolate without flavoring added! When I oversteeped accidentally, I got a toffee note instead of bitterness. This tea is very forgiving if you are a little bit absentminded after you pour hot water over the leaves! (Thank goodness...)

Verdant Tea instructs the leaves to be brewed for 2-3 seconds at a time, and increasing the time by 3 seconds per each infusion after the third steeping. It seems like a meticulous process, but once you sip at the tea you'll realize it was well worth the attentiveness. I lost track of how many times I infused this last session, but the flavor remained strong and refreshing until my large tetsubin ran out of hot water. 

breathe.

Verdant Tea recently offered a free trial of the Tea of the Month club, and I signed up! I can't wait to see what they send out to members -- I'm super excited to try teas I might not normally buy!!

This entry is also in memory of my little bamboo tea table. It decided it couldn't bear to live a moment longer and developed a monstrous crack at the bottom. I went away for a moment amidst the brewing and returned to find a pool of tea-water underneath of it, dripping down onto the floor. I've already ordered a cha chuan, but it has yet to ship, and my gongfu time has been put on hold until it arrives! :(

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