Scent in tin: Campfire smoke, plain and simple
Brewed in: unbleached filter bag
Steeped: 5 min@212, 4 min @ 212
Cup: Café mug
Lapsang souchong is an acquired taste for most, or so I’ve read. And the first time I drank this tea, I steeped it for 5 minutes, and it was literally like drinking liquid smoke in a cup. I wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not, really…I loved the Organic Bohea (which is a softer “smoky tea”), but this one was just hard to wrap my taste buds around.
Thankfully, I’m a sipper – if I wasn’t, I would have missed out on the best part of this tea. In my experience, tea really changes taste as the temperature changes, and with both cups of this tea, it’s better lukewarm than piping hot. When it’s fresh and hot, the smoky aspect of this tea is all that comes through, overwhelming the senses and blocking out any other flavors. But as it cools, there is a very clear sweetness that comes forward to compliment the smokiness, making it a well-rounded cup that is most enjoyable to drink, especially on a rainy, gloomy day such as this. What better fantasy to perpetuate on a cold wet day than sitting around a warm crackling campfire on a summer evening?
I'm not sure I'll order this tea again, simply because I prefer the Organic Bohea, and will probably try other lapsang teas before settling on a “favorite” to keep in my tea stock. But this is a tea worth trying just for the experience, and a sample is all of $2.00 – very reasonable for the amount of cups you’ll get out of it. If you do try it, sip it slowly so that you get to taste the full flavor profile…it’s quite enjoyable as it gets cooler.