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This tea is has very strong, smokey flavors. I found the smokiness to be overpowering and I did not care for it. Victorian Afternoon, by Mark T. Wendell is similar, but not overpowered with smoke.
I don’t think it is appropriate to rate a type of tea you don’t like. To say that it has very strong smokey flavors is a description of every type of Labsong Souchong tea. If that is a type of tea you usually like then a comment and rating is appropriate, otherwise your rating is meaningless.
Respectfully, I disagree. I found Hu Kwa to have no other quality worth commenting on other than the heavy smoke. On the other hand, MTW’s Victorian Afternoon, which is smokey, has, in my opinion, a more balanced approach. In the latter case, I believe the smoke complements an otherwise fine, high grade tea. In Hu Kwa’s case, I couldn’t get anything from it other than smoke. I should add that my opinion is not based on a single tasting, but rather several tasting from at least three different batches, spread out over a decade. My rating is just that…my opinion of where the tea ranks, relative to the other teas I have tasted. I understand your point, but if I ranked only teas I liked, it wouldn’t give a balanced view of what I do and do not like.
I’m inclined to agree with Ed Fladung. E.g., I don’t like coffee; therefore, I should stay away from coffee forums, instead of frequenting them and rating everything as 26 for “very strong coffee flavours”. Lapsang Suchong has a strong smoky flavour, and the point of the rating system is for people who enjoy Lapsang Suchong to give relevant advice to other drinkers.
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Wonderful stuff, can be too strong, so a smaller amount of tea or a shorter brew is often better.