Review of Mr. He's 1st Picking Laoshan Black

AromaFlavorValueTotal
7 of 104 of 54 of 570 of 100
Very GoodGoodGood Value

Method: 1.5 tsp in 8 oz at 205 degrees for 4 min, French Press

My boyfriend made this as our breakfast tea while I was getting ready for work. There are no instructions on the bag, but I think he did pretty well, considering.

I'm basing my review on his method, but I will try this again using the instructions on the site for the tea, and update as needed.

Aroma: I did not yet experience the dry aroma, but the finished tea aroma was STRONG. I walked downstairs into the kitchen and I immediately smelled a very roasty aroma. For a minute, I thought he brewed a genmaicha, but when I looked in the mug, I saw that the tea was too dark for that. The tea smells like toasted rice and dark malts. I did not pick up any of the sweet or fruity flavors from the description.

Flavor: To me, this tastes like it smells. Toasted rice and dark malts take center stage. I did not find the tea to be bitter of astringent when hot, but it did pick up a tinge of astringency as it cooled. Nothing outrageous. I am hoping to try this again when I get home from work, using short steeps. Maybe some of the other flavors will come forward at that point. I'm not unhappy with the tea, but I feel like it has more to give.

Update 1: Dry leaves smell like burny chocolate. Tried this brewed western style to the specifications on the website. I think it was 1 tbsp to 8 oz at 3 min in boiling water. That was a mistake. I called this brew: THE BURNINATOR. Burned malt, burned chocolate, burned molasses. I wasn’t sure if it was the increase in tea leaves or the temp until later, but it was definitely the temp because…

Update 2: Tried 5 g in a small gaiwan at 205 degrees. 20 sec, 25, 30, 30, and 35. Poured those all in a mug. The smokiness is there, along with a little chocolate and molasses, but it’s definitely better this way.

I think that heavily smoked/burny teas just aren’t my bag, baby. This reminded me of brewing a porter, with the dark malts that impart a smoky flavor.

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