Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lapsang Souchong (Organic) from Dragonwater

Scent in package: typically smoky smell, campfire
Brewed in: tea-for-one pot w/metal infuser
Steeped: 5 min@212 degrees
Cup: Café mug here at work

I wanted something sweet and smooth this morning, and Dragonwater sent me this sample with my last tea-tasting order, so I thought I’d give it a try. I expected it to be much like Adagio’s Lapsang…because really, it’s all liquid smoke (at least until it cools), right?


Apparently, my palate has advanced enough to tell the difference between even ultra-smoky teas such as this. And what I found with this particular tea is that the taste falls somewhere between Adagio’s Lapsang and the Organic Bohea that I love from Teas, etc. Adagio’s tea really is like liquid smoke for the first few sips, until the sweetness comes out as it cools. This Dragonwater tea is more mellow on the first few sips – the sweetness comes out earlier, while that strong smoke flavor is still evident (unlike the Bohea, which is mellow & sweet all the way through). I realize it may not be fair to compare the Bohea to a modern Lapsang, but there are enough similarities that it doesn’t seem too far off.

Getting back to this Dragonwater cup – it’s sweet from the start, yet retains it’s ultra-smoky flavor throughout. There’s a sharp “bite” from the smoke right on the tip of my tongue, but that’s the only sharpness in the whole cup. It’s round, smooth, and very well balanced – right at that halfway point between the Adagio Lapsang that is a little more bold, and the Bohea which is a much softer, mellower tea.

There’s only one conclusion to draw, really – and that is to have all three in the cupboard, so that I can have the tea that suits my mood for that day. Today, this fits the bill quite nicely, and I’m enjoying my cup while waking up to work. It’s very good, and I’d highly recommend it.

One of these days I’m going to use some of this Lapsang in cooking…chicken or ribs or homemade BBQ sauce. I’m convinced it will be a wonderful addition to whatever needs a bit of that “smoky” flavor.

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