Take a flight to Laoshan Village near Qingdao in the province of Shandong. A unique region at an altitude of just 300 meters, located near a sacred mountain and not far from the ocean. Tea has been grown in Laoshan area for many generations. Taste a curated selection of teas (and one herb) from Laoshan and develop an appreciation for the distinct aroma, flavor and mouthfeel of these amazing teas.
Laoshan green tea is small leaf, tippy (but without silver hairs) and tightly rolled, but not compressed like a Tie Guan Yin. The varietal grown is Long Jing #43 and as such the tea from Laoshan shares it character. The brewed tea is vegetal, sweet, savory with an umami-like green chestnut (bipolarity of astringency/savory and sweet).
Laoshan black tea is small and tippy, it lacks white pekoe style hairs that give black teas their gold color. Instead Lao Shan black is grown from Long Jing #43 and the dry leaf is small, spindly and has a brown-black shiny look to it. The brewed leaf gradually unfolds and reveals it’s brown color. The brewed leaves have a vertical (parallel to the stem) striations as a result of the rolling they undergo. The tea soup is tending more towards gold in color with much less red than a typical black tea. The taste of Laoshan black tea is amazingly sweet with very obvious chocolate notes and the slightest hint of Osmanthus. People often question whether sugar was added to the tea somehow, but it’s just naturally sweet and thick.