Disclaimer: I’ve ever had Lapsang Souchong before, so this review is not relative to other brands. That said, I LOVE smokey-flavored things. (And as a strict vegetarian, they’re not easy to get!) My all time favorite beer is Rauchbier Marzen (amazing), and I’ve yet to meet a smoked porter that I didn’t like. (Sidenote: You have to try Leaning Chimney by my local brewery, Grey Sail, if you’re a fan of smokey porters.) So I have high hopes for a smokey tea.
Okay, so first impression: When I opened the packet, I was expecting a smell like campfire smoke. Instead, I was reminded of the smell of leather tack. When I was younger, I did a lot of horseback riding. This tea perfectly mirrors the smell I got every time I walked into the tack room. Ah, memories.
Steeped, the aroma mellows out more. Still smells like leather to me, but it’s softer and more muted. I’m also picking up a little bit more of a woody scent.
This tastes like leather to me. Not like a smokey, leathery scotch taste, but more like straight-up leather with a slight aftertaste of smoke. If I can take a sip without inhaling the smell, I get more of the smoke taste, so I think it might just be that the scent is overwhelming my senses on the leather front.
Truthfully, it’s a little bit disappointing as I was hoping for the tea equivalent of a rauchbier. I’m not going to rate this one until I’ve had other Lapsangs to compare it to.
208 degrees for about 1.75 minutes