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This morning, when my alarm went off, I was absolutely positive it was Sunday, and furious for making myself wake up so early on a Sunday. About a half hour later, I realized, it’s Monday, and after my ten day vacation, it was time to get back to work…

So needless to say, I desperately needed a pick-me-up and it came today in the form of my new favorite caffeinated friend: Lapsang Souchong. The first pot I absolutely downed, couldn’t really even rate it based on how fast I drank it. But once I was awake, I was able to brew up some more and try and get a good sampling for a rating.

So my first infusion: 5 minutes, hot water, no additives, was downed with no rating. Sorry.

Second infusion of the same basket: 4 minutes, no additives. The smell is perfect, the liquor is spot-on, however, the flavor is a little weaker than I expected (I tend to compare all Lapsangs to Golden Moon’s). A little concerned at this moment, I decided to make a fresh pot with new leaves. This time taking careful notes as I do.

The leaves are small and dark, curled tightly, with the usual smokey aroma. Infused 5 minutes, no additives. The flavor is stronger, more what I expected, yet it is still lesser than GM and Adagio. Overall, I think this might be a good thing. When I say “lesser” I mean that the smokiness is not as strong, it is not kick-you-in-the-face smokey, it is slightly smoked, like the scent left on your clothes after a camp fire a few days ago. It is a distant smokey, an aged smokey, this gives a chance for more of the tea to shine through: a little astringent, definitely black tea, yet crisp and clean, the hint of smoke, the slight earthy natural flavor. Overall, good.

Since I got what I wanted, I decided one more infusion from this basket was worth a shot. Hot, 4 minutes, added milk (no sweetener). The milk made it creamy, and subdued the smokey flavor a little bit more, but overall it was more of the same. Cleaner tea taste, slight smoke, slight earth, a little less strong than I would have liked.

To get the stronger smokiness in the tea, I will probably aim for longer infusion times in the future, but to all those who do not like the smoke, or want a more subdued smoke, I think this tea might be more of what you are looking for.

In the end, I enjoyed this tea, I will enjoy finishing the tin of it.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
Ewa

Oh man, that is like the worst realization ever. Funny story of my incompetence to help you get through post-vacation slump: I once woke up convinced that I had forgotten to set my alarm and was late and had managed to shower and was part of the way dressed before I realized it was 3 am. At which point I was totally awake and could not get back to sleep ;_;

Cinoi

Ugh, that is awful…sorry :/

Ewa

well it sucked at the time, but in retrospect…kind of funny!

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Ewa

Oh man, that is like the worst realization ever. Funny story of my incompetence to help you get through post-vacation slump: I once woke up convinced that I had forgotten to set my alarm and was late and had managed to shower and was part of the way dressed before I realized it was 3 am. At which point I was totally awake and could not get back to sleep ;_;

Cinoi

Ugh, that is awful…sorry :/

Ewa

well it sucked at the time, but in retrospect…kind of funny!

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Bio

I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone

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NJ

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