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90
drank Lapsang Souchong by Samovar
933 tasting notes

Lap three. The self-talk, or more like self-prattle, that is going on right now is along the lines of “you can do it, do another one! Do Lupicia! Do American Tea Room!” While this may be appropriate while running actual laps, it seems clearly obsessive and possibly gastro-intestinal suicide when talking about a comparison tasting of a tea with this flavor profile.

The Samovar offering looks much like the Life in Teacup in color and leaf size. The dry leaves smell of smoke (quelle surprise!), more smoke than ash, but also have a salty meaty tang. Beef jerky more than bacon. It gives the impression of heartiness.

It steeps deep, dark and clear. Brandy, or maybe single malt scotch in color. It’s been so long since I had either that I can’t remember which is darker. :-P It’s the darker one.

The aroma is where it starts to get really interesting for comparison purposes. Underneath the smoke is the signature Samovar malty sweetness, with the beef jerky note roller skating figure eights through the rest of the aroma.

What an interesting flavor this is. It’s literally beefy. It’s smoky bouillon. It’s smooth smoky boullion with a sweet, almost wine-like, sugary undertone. I’m thinking of beef bourguignon now for some reason, though it really doesn’t taste that grapey. It has a very nice aftertaste. Sweet, smoky, and cooling to the mouth. It is, I’d say, full-bodied.

So now I have a dilemma. I don’t know where to rate this, comparatively. I like it quite a bit. But I also like the GM and I may have used too much water there. I’m not sure which I like better and maybe I’d like the GM better if I’d steeped it better. I have a feeling the Life in Teacup version is closer to the accepted lapsang souchong standard, just from what I’ve read about it in books. But these others are nice, too, and who says there isn’t room for interpretation. And I’ve only tasted three. I’m starting to work myself up into anxiety over this. Takes deep breath and exhales smoke. Maybe I should have a cup of tea and relax.

Final result, I’m calling it a tie with the LIT.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
sygyzy

“lap three” – lol

SoccerMom

I love the part about you taking a deep breath and exhaling smoke! :))

Lori

Love these LS reviews today! I tried my first LS (which happens to be Samovar’s) this morning. So now I can get a good comparison of the differences…

sygyzy

Good thing you girls like LS. Now when your husbands/boyfriend take you camping, they can rest assured you’ll probably like it.

__Morgana__

Thanks! Lori, will be interested to hear your take on this one.

AmazonV

you’re a baby dragon? ;)
i love the 3-lap review!

__Morgana__

Lol, AmazonV. Cough cough… fire!

Rabs

I’m so proud of you! Another brilliant (and very funny) side-by-side epic comparison :) I shall be digging through my GM sampler tomorrow morning for their LS. Thanks for the reviews!

Ricky

lol to the post and comments =]

~lauren.

Loving the baby dragon cough cough … fire! thing! Now, I won’t be able to drink LS without that association making me smile!

__Morgana__

Glad I could brighten a Friday, and provide some info as well. I had fun doing this and writing about it! Next stop… maybe cookies. Lol.

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Comments

sygyzy

“lap three” – lol

SoccerMom

I love the part about you taking a deep breath and exhaling smoke! :))

Lori

Love these LS reviews today! I tried my first LS (which happens to be Samovar’s) this morning. So now I can get a good comparison of the differences…

sygyzy

Good thing you girls like LS. Now when your husbands/boyfriend take you camping, they can rest assured you’ll probably like it.

__Morgana__

Thanks! Lori, will be interested to hear your take on this one.

AmazonV

you’re a baby dragon? ;)
i love the 3-lap review!

__Morgana__

Lol, AmazonV. Cough cough… fire!

Rabs

I’m so proud of you! Another brilliant (and very funny) side-by-side epic comparison :) I shall be digging through my GM sampler tomorrow morning for their LS. Thanks for the reviews!

Ricky

lol to the post and comments =]

~lauren.

Loving the baby dragon cough cough … fire! thing! Now, I won’t be able to drink LS without that association making me smile!

__Morgana__

Glad I could brighten a Friday, and provide some info as well. I had fun doing this and writing about it! Next stop… maybe cookies. Lol.

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Profile

Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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