It’s difficult to come behind Paul and his Pulitzer Prize winning review… such a lovely write-up of this fine tea, but I’ll do a little follow-up.
Paul was so right…the leaves are beautiful.
Sometimes, I look at the leaves and marvel. Long and twisted, blackish/brown with a light smoky scent. I mean it, light smoke.
I love Lapsang. I’ve sent out so much China Lapsang Souchong from my local tea shop (Happy Lucky’s) that many of you have tasted it and know what I’m talking about. It’s been all over the United States, Canada and the U.K. (I even sent some to..gulp…David Duckler!)
I have some nerve don’t I!
My favorite Lapsang has been my favorite because it’s smoky and sweet. I use Lapsang Souchong mainly to COOK with! (David Duckler used what I sent him for a fish rub which is something that I do ground together with Urfa Chili, Peppercorns and Sea Salt)
Master Bi’s Lapsang is NOT for cooking (unless I win the lottery and go to China and buy up all of Master Bi’s stock)! This tea is for DRINKING!
When I was drinking the tea, the flavor wasn’t harsh or flat, but smooth…velvety smooth with a gentle sweetness that’s in a different league than any Lapsang I’ve had… ever.
The Smokiness is like the aftertaste of great bacon or bbq…not the firepit smoke in your face. No smoke knocks you down!
Here’s the part that got my ‘eyes wide open’…I could still taste the ‘tea’ under the smoke. Yes, a raisin, floral, bakery goodness that was present, wafting around in the aroma and taste.
Such complexity is not there in Lapsangs most of the time (IF EVER)!
Oh David Duckler, if you can get this as an item for regular ordering…it’s the BEST LAPSANG I’ve ever tasted!
(As an experiment for those who love Lapsang’s, I added some milk and the flavor wasn’t diminished at all. Still spectacular!)
Further steepings are amazing!!! The roasty oolong flavor with a slight smokiness is the best of the best taste! This is not like anything you can imagine when you think of a Lapsang. Please, don’t just stop at the first steep!
I just wrote a story on my blog if anyone is interested: www.teaandincense.com
Here’s an excerpt:
Our first Christmas…living in the forest community of Paradise…we went on an adventure to cut down a tree together. We bundled up nice and warm and piled into my car.
Christmas carols were blasting from my tape deck and I had a big thermos of hot cider to share. The tree farm was decked out with lights and decorations… welcoming the 6 of us to cut down any tree for $10. (they had Christmas music playing too and a fire pit for warming hands and eating free cookies)
We took our time… going from tree to tree. Which one would it be? Too tall? Too short, too bare or too fat?! Our tree had to be perfect! We all had to agree! For these girls, Christmas wasn’t always a happy time. Someone was often drunk or high or missing at home (if there was a home at all). Some were beaten at holidays.
Finally, the nod was given and we drank some cider to seal the deal. The tree was tied to the top of the car and off we went to decorate our tree!
When we got home, someone had come by with a note that they wanted to give us a tree. I had to make a quick call of thanks and head them off. How nice of them though!
The next day, when I returned from work…the girls were all excited!
“Mom, look what’s in the kitchen…come and see…!”