289 Tasting Notes
This is my second lapsang souchong, and one that came as a free sample with my significantly more sizeable order of their fenqqing dragon black pearl. I have to say I am more impressed with this version than the one from Mountain Rose Herbs. It is a LOT more subdued… perhaps to the point of being a little too mild. O.o What that means, though, is it’s easy to control your variables so that you can adjust for a tea that’s a little more or a little less smoky, especially if you’re not into OH DEAR JESUS IT SMELLS LIKE A WILDFIRE tea. In fact, the aroma was so subtle I could barely smell it from the opening I’d cut in the bag. … I might try a little more tea next time. But highly recommended if you like a bit of smoke but not a lot!
Okay. This time I did three pearls for two cups of tea. I’m on infusion one, cup one, right as soon as it reached drinkable temperature. It smells cocoa-y and heavenly, as any black dragon pearl should. At this point, it’s earthy, a little astringent, with an undertone of the maltiness that I really came for. From my experience, though, the cup I like best is usually the second one, the one that’s had the chance to sit and cool for a bit. That’s where the maltiness and the cocoa undertones really come in.
Isn’t it funny how different flavors become prominent as temperature changes? Tea is awesome!
Edit: Infusion 1, Cup 2: The tea had cooled down enough that I reheated it a bit… by the microwave… (lights and sirens) (Tea Police pull up outside and surround the premises) THIS is the tea I bought this big bag for! Astringency is toned down and the smoothness is more prominent.
Infusion 2: I added one more pearl, boiled water, and let this steep for about a minute, seeing as the liquor was the deep dark red color almost instantaneously as I poured the water. The cocoa aroma has intensified. There’s still a bit of astringency (perhaps a bitty bitty bit more than the Adagio version of this tea?), but this is the black dragon pearl tea I fell in love with.
The thing about this tea is that it’s just off to the side of being perfect. I find that foods and beverages that are like that, that have a good flavor that’s just off the center, are the ones that hook me the most. Good in the morning, good in the afternoon, good in the evening. Love this tea love this tea love this tea.