I was apprehensive about this tea because the dry leaf smells dreadful. I read somewhere that the leaves are sometimes smoked over pine tar rather than pine wood, and I wonder if that’s the case for this one, because it smells like pine tar. With heavy emphasis on the tar, and not much on the pine.
That said, most lapsang souchongs taste better than they smell, in my opinion, so I forged ahead.
When I first sipped it, I didn’t like it, though it definitely tasted better than it smelled. Now that it’s cooled a bit, it tastes nicer, sweeter and more mellow. There’s still a faint note of something that just doesn’t appeal to me though.
I have a feeling that this tea might just be too authentic for my sheltered American tastes. I’ve never really been into lapsang souchongs, but of those I’ve tried, I liked David’s the best. It was recognizably smoky, but still on the mild side.
Flavors: Smoke, Tar