Laoshan Black



May 2023

Qingdao, Shandong

Mr. Tang’s family are generational tea farmers in Laoshan Mountain of Qingdao, Shandong. Shandong is located in Northeastern China. It is named after Mount Lao, a magnificent mountain range recognized by its striking, slim, elongated cliffs.

The many small plots that make up Mr. Tang’s tea farm are scattered along this coastline, at the foot of Mount Lao. Some are distributed right along the beaches, exposed to the salty wind that blows off of the water, while others are tucked slightly up into the forested hills, protected by the pine trees and the mountain behind them. There is a great peace that settles over this area of Laoshan. The tranquility of Mr. Tang’s tea farm is resounding, and extends between its many parts. Following a path that connects the plots next to the ocean to the ones tucked away in the forest, the sound of the waves progressively gives way to the sound of forest birds and running springs and the scent of the ocean turns into the scent of red pines and green plum.

Laoshan is a very unique tea producing area in China. It is as far North as a tea region can be, and at the highest latitude before temperatures become too cold for tea trees to survive. The small farms in Laoshan have Mount Lao on one side, and are otherwise surrounded by ocean. The air here is very humid, and the area sees longer winters with more frost and snow than the tea regions further South. Another special feature of Laoshan is that the water which irrigates the tea trees comes from natural springs that run through Mount Lao. This water is very pure and high in the minerals it collects from the cliffs of the mountain. It is no wonder we find that teas from Laoshan have such a distinct taste compared with teas from Southern China. The mountain minerals and the constriction of cooler temperatures have given a great richness, and the wet air coming off of the ocean has imparted umami and an unmistakable saline taste to them.

This year’s harvest brews a clear, bright liquor that looks sharp and distilled. The dried, curled leaves look like metal shavings and deliver a noticeable ‘upwards energy,’ reminding us of fresh Japanese green teas.

Teas from Laoshan often have a very soothing, chocolaty undertone, and this one is no exception. This provides a beautiful foundation for its sencha-like qualities. We are appreciating the clearing aspects of this year’s harvest, and its direct expression of its terroir. 

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Brewing guide

Tea 4 g
Water 120 ml
Steep time 10 - 60 sec
No. of infusions 8



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