86

I love Lapsang Souchongs and sometimes find it difficult to differentiate between them. They all start with a high score for me and then I try to grade them on smaller details such as sweetness and smokiness and whether or not the aroma and taste seem to be closer to tar, bacon, Bar-B-Que sauce, or whether there’s a je ne sais quoi about the tea. My personal morning favorite is Black Dragon by Upton Teas because it’s got a sweetness to it that does not compromise the punch.

LiberTEAS was kind enough to send me a lovely canister of The Jasmine Pearl’s Lapsang Souchong. I would call this a “medium” blend. In my mind, a “medium” blend is one that is not overwhelmingly smoky to the point that you think it’s close to being charred but one that is more like the leavings of a camp-fire and not a house-fire. This tea would make a great tea for those who are testing their LS wings or for those who want to explore the different gradations of the Lapsang Souchong experience.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
0-30:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

56-70:
Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

71-80:
Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

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“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style

Location

In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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