I definitely felt like having some lapsang tonight.
I initially picked up the Adagio sample I have sitting on my counter, but the leaves smelt of the bag it was in and not all that smoky. Needless to say, it scared me off for the time being. I didn’t feel like testing out something I wasn’t certain about, so I went for this Upton sample instead.
There’s not a lot that I didn’t already say in my (first ever lapsang!) encounter with the Imperial blend. It’s smoky and beautiful and soothing and subtle in ways that keep surprising me. The “BUT” here comes from the Black Dragon blend. We’ll get to that.
This was the second time I used my new glass teapot, so I’m still surprising myself on colours. My mug of choice is the perfect size, but it’s also black. This means I’d been missing out on actually watching the tea steep. And wow, is lapsang ever beautiful to look at. It’s a beautiful rust hue that I found incredibly inviting. Maybe it’s because I was expecting the taste from the way it looked, but I love it anyway.
I’d have to brew the Black Dragon and the Imperial side by side to note differences in smell, but I definitely got the characteristic twang of campfire before and after brewing. Delicious! It’s apparently a smell well-appreciated by my pet rats as well, they couldn’t stop themselves trying to get a taste of my tea. Usually they’re not fussed by what’s in my teapot. I like to think they share my taste in tea.
So, here comes the “BUT”…
Apparently, I like it smokier. The taste is lovely. I can easily find the sweet note that other people have pointed out. I understand why some may call this starter lapsang. BUT. Smoke. I need more.
Still, this certainly hit the spot and it went with my dinner pancakes – mango and banana cooked in obscene amounts of butter – beautifully. I’m rating it a bit lower than Imperial, but still high enough to reflect it’s one of my preferred types of tea.
Oh, notate bene… when the tea has completely cooled, the finish seems a bit sooty. Drink it warm! It’ll taste better!