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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Alessandra Fissinger
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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34 Tasting Notes View all

  • “After a long week and a quick swim at the pool (trying in vain to get some exercise!) I am at home now. I can't say what made me want to brew this one up but I was really craving it for some...” Read full tasting note
    94
    amyoh2 2395 tasting notes
  • “I don't want to GIVE AWAY my review...but... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUH6yvCyQvM THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!! I have been looking for a Lapsong Souchong JUST LIKE THIS! I FINALLY...” Read full tasting note
    97
    teaequalsbliss 6770 tasting notes
  • “Backlogging from yesterday. What a way to start the new year. We arose to temps dipping to 10 below outside and our oil heater had quit during the night. The house was freezing. Hubby went out...” Read full tasting note
    92
    hesperjune 168 tasting notes
  • “Tea of the morning.... (SRP #43) This is the end of my sample of this tea, and I loved it while I had it. Thank you, again, narwhalclub! It is probably about the smokiest I could handle,...” Read full tasting note
    87
    SimplyJenW 974 tasting notes

From Mark T. Wendell

This is a fairly heavily smoked Lapsong Souchong that smells wonderful and brews up beautifully. Named for a Chinese Tea Merchant.

About Mark T. Wendell View company

Company description not available.

34 Tasting Notes

94
2395 tasting notes

After a long week and a quick swim at the pool (trying in vain to get some exercise!) I am at home now. I can’t say what made me want to brew this one up but I was really craving it for some reason. Well, for one thing I was worried I might fall asleep before dinner started!

It is funny how tastes change. I never thought I would like a lapsang type tea OR a darjeeling, but thank you my Steepster friends for broadening my horizons & shrinking my bank account at the same time. :))

I think I made this a bit strong tonight as it seems extra dark and smoky but I am still enjoying it a lot… I still want to try cooking with lapsang one of these days!

Now someone please tell me how to get the water out of my ears!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Azzrian

While hopping on one foot – tip your head to one side – as you are hopping gently mind you GENTLY tap your ear (the ear that is up not down) with the palm of your hand. It takes a little practice but it works. You have to “pop” the ear essentially.
If you need to get rid of hiccups ever – drink water upside down – works 100% of the time – I can explain this better if need be. :)

Thomas Edward(Toad)

The Hu-Kwa is yummy, i like it.

TeaBrat

@Azzrain – I tried that… boo hoo. I’ll keep tryin’!
@Tommy – it really is, isn’t it?!

Missy

I use rubbing alcohol. Very small amount, let it go until you feel the water bubble break, then dump out your ear.

ScottTeaMan

Whatever you do, leeches are not the answer. :)) I always thought Lapsang and eggs would be good, or with rice or noodles.

Scott B

I wonder if some hydrogen peroxide would help your ears-it’s great for cleaning stuff out of them.

I’ve really been wanting to try this tea (1904 packaging and all), but shipping is kinda high.

Bonnie

Nah I was a swimmer so get stuff at store for swimmers ear (drying ears) . Want to be careful or you get infections which I was sensitive to in 9 years of competition.

Missy

@ Azzrian I’ve done the hiccup thing. It’s still pretty tricky for me though. It just feels wrong lol.

Charles Thomas Draper

Use an ear candle.

TeaBrat

@Charles, I’ve heard ear candles can actually be dangerous, I think I’ll just go to the doctor. :)

Bonnie

Yes go to the doctor and if it does not clear up go back. The regular meds I was allergic to and my regular doc didn’t catch it for 6mo. The ENT Doc caught it right away and in 24hrs. relief!

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97
6770 tasting notes

I don’t want to GIVE AWAY my review…but…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUH6yvCyQvM

THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!

I have been looking for a Lapsong Souchong JUST LIKE THIS! I FINALLY FOUND IT! Woot! Woot! Woot!!!!

I was looking for something with the strong smokey scent and was smoky to taste but didn’t have a funky after taste or too over the top while actually drinking it. I was also looking for one that didn’t taste like wood and was smooth. This is it! This just seems to have EVERYTHING I have been looking for in a smoky tea. I’m shocked…SHOCKED!!!!

Now…if you are one of those people who are the “more smokey tasting the better” this might not be strong enough in taste for you. At least the way I did it which was 1 to 1 and a half Tablespoons of loose leaf in 12-ounces of 190-200 degree water for 5 minutes.

Now that I know I like this I will tinker with amounts and infusion lengths.

I’m so happy now I could do the funky chicken!

Atacdad

Personally, can’t agree with you…too smokey for me. I find their Victorian Afternoon more balanced.

TeaEqualsBliss

I’ll have to try that one, too!!!

Rabs

Omg! I laughed so hard even though I only made it into less than 30 seconds of that video. When the guitarist flicks his hair as he’s rockin’ out on the acoustic? ROFLMAO! I’ll have to try watching it again a little later. ::wipes tears from eyes::

Just added this tea to the list. I think we all need to have a tea that makes us wanna do the funky chicken! :D

SoccerMom

LOL I loved that song back in the day. When I clicked on your link and it went to that I cracked up!

TeaEqualsBliss

Glad I could assist with some comic relief on this wonderful FRIDAY!!!!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

No not the funky chicken LOL

Lainie Petersen

I know exactly what you mean. This stuff is unbelievable!

Ed Fladung

I am so happy to find someone who also loves this tea. I first was introduced to this tea by a friend who left a one pound tin in my place and when it was finally empty I couldn’t find another one any where, couldn’t find Mark T. Wendell, there was no internet and I went into mourning. I am so happy to now have a regular supply.

Geoffrey Norman

I agree with your review all the way. This was my absolute favorite Lapsang.

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92
168 tasting notes

Backlogging from yesterday.
What a way to start the new year.
We arose to temps dipping to 10 below outside and our oil heater had quit during the night.
The house was freezing.
Hubby went out to fix it (yes, the problem was outside in lines or something)
He bundled up and went to grab the door knob and it shattered and fell apart in his hand!
No, we do not use glass door knobs and no my husband is not the Hulk.
So, we both looked at each other shocked and now there was a gaping round hole in our door allowing the evil cold in.
We shoved a rag in the door and went out and I huddled around an electric heater in the house.
After a bit, I decided that I would start some laundry because the dryer would help heat up the house.
SO, tossed laundry in the washing machine and then decided to shower and get ready for the day.
THEN, while in the shower, the washing machine water backs up into the tub.
The water keeps coming, so I have to shut off the shower water and huddle on a ledge with a towel around me, shivering and of course, shampoo in my hair (nothing ever happens just after you rinsed your hair, does it?)
Finally, the water went down and I was able to shower.
SO, my whole point that this was just our first hour of New Years Day!
I needed a good tea to counteract this craziness.
I opened up my tea sample drawer and grabbed this and dumped the rest of it that was left in my tea infuser (about a teaspoon and half).
I needed its wonderful strength yet, polite gentleman like qualities to give me courage for the rest of the day.
Whew! Thank you Amy Oh and Thank you Hu Kwa.
Read previous note for on this tea.
Oh, and Happy New Year…I guess.

gmathis

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Thinking warm thoughts for you!

ashmanra

Oh my! Well, it can only get better from here! :)

K S

Sorry. hoping things improve rapidly.

Hesper June

Ha! Yes, I actually find it all quite humorous.
My Mother’s saying “trouble comes in 3’s” came to mind yesterday…I just didn’t know all three would be within an hour of waking and all before tea!:)

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87
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…. (SRP #43)

This is the end of my sample of this tea, and I loved it while I had it. Thank you, again, narwhalclub!

It is probably about the smokiest I could handle, but it is very good with a little sweetner. I do have others that I like better that have a slightly smoother, more cocoa-noted base, so I will probably stick with one of them for the future. There really is only room for about 1 or 2 versions of Lapsang in my cupboard for the amount that I actually drink it.

Teapot method at 3 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I broke down and got the whole tin of this! I think it will take me a really long time to finish it off though.

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1717 tasting notes

Taking a break from household reconstruction to flit online and discovered this review is posted: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/2213/tea-review-mark-t-wendell-hu-kwa-lapsang-souchong-2/

Incidentally, the cup in the profile picture survived the storm; it’s handle didn’t. :(

ashmanra

Sorry about your cup. I couldn’t tell in the picture what was on it but it must have been a dear one for you to post it as a profile pic! And I tremble to ask…what about the teapot from Mema? Has it been found?

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89
109 tasting notes

I pretty much wanted to try this tea once I saw their ancient-looking packaging. Look at that canister-it look a hundred years old! I only hoped the tea was new.

The bad thing about Wendell is their shipping is comparatively high (for tea merchants) and (as far as I can tell) you have to buy 4 ounces of most everything. However, I really enjoy Lapsang, and with all the good reviews, I figured there was little chance that I wouldn’t like this tea. The good thing about Wendell is that their 4 ounce teas come in their own tins-no looking for a tin and struggling to remove the scent of the previous tea-you are ready to go. The tins have their lids attached on back hinges and are filled to the brim so be careful not to spill any. And to be fair about the shipping, the tins are probably a little more expensive to ship than a pouch.

The dry leaves are medium in length, very tightly rolled, and mostly chocolate brown with some mahogany brown mixed in. I’ve gone into sensory overload comparing the dry leaf aroma of this to my other Lapsangs, so descriptors fail me now, but suffice to say it is unique compared to the others. It’s smoky of course, but spicy too, and I’ll leave it at that for now. Liquor is copper-colored and very clear.

Flavor is smoky and mild. Slightly sweet. Very smooth. It tastes like a Lapsang, but slightly different. Perhaps that is the Formosan base instead of a Chinese tea base? Perhaps they have a better technique of smoking their leaves. Maybe both. No matter, it’s delicious. Almost makes me long for 90 degree days-when I enjoy Lapsang the most. I have 6 Lapsangs in my house right now. 5 of them are one ounce or less, so Hu Kwa will be around long after I have finished the others-and I kinda like that.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
ScottTeaMan

I think this is Al Pacino’s favorite tea…….HUU KWAAAAA!

TeaBrat

ScottB – what’s your favorite lapsang so far?

Scott B

Amy-I think I am leaning towards Al Pacino’s tea being my favorite,but Teavivre is strong too. I think I need to have a Lapsang contest to see for sure.

ScottTeaMan

Scent Of A Lapsang :))

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102 tasting notes

A cool foggy morning, waiting for the sun to shine and enjoying a gut-warming cup of one of my faves. My new favorite band, The Futurebirds streaming on Spotify and the kids off with my wife for an hour—a bit of calm plucked from what promises to be a busy afternoon of yard maintenance.

TheTeaFairy

Ahhh…tea and music. Love Futurebirds, pure laid back enjoyment…a friend introduced me to their album Hampton’s Lullaby last year cause I was totally hooked on this from the Beach House:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FuvWc3ToDHg

What a great suggestion that was! After reading your note, I found their new album, didn’t know they had released new stuff so thank you for that :-) It seems a little more uptempo, love the sound.

My summer find of the moment is Hummingbird from Local Natives (unintentionally staying on the bird theme it seems!)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h2zWfxW60z0

Oops, sorry for highjacking your note with music reviews, just can’t help myself sometimes!

Doug F

Wow! Another Futurebirds fan. They’re playing in my town on June 4th—lucky me. The new album is more uptempo—reminds me of another band I like—Beachwood Sparks. Thanks for the You tube links and keep the suggestions coming!

TheTeaFairy

I don’t write many reviews on Steepster, but I often include music references, it’s just part of who I am. Great that you get to see them live! I’m going to the Black Keys on July 5th, can’t wait!

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96
596 tasting notes

Where has this tea been all my life? Yes, the smoke is heavy, but it isn’t overpowering, and good wood and tea were used. This tastes like, erm, barbeque tea. Delicious!

TeaEqualsBliss

That’s the way I felt about it too! :)

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99
36 tasting notes

I have been buying this tea since the 1960’s and as far as I’m concerned it is the absolute best Lapsang Souchong tea there is. Over the years it has not deviated even slightly from its excellence. In comparison to other Lapsang Souchongs, many are far too strong and the tar taste is too intense. Hu-Kwa strikes the perfect balance with that wonderful smoky flavor and a hardy deep amber brew that warms your body and soul on a cold morning. This tea is simply the best…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

I agree – this is a great Lapsang Souchong!

The DJBooth

60 years that’s a great testament to a fine tea. I may have to get this one.

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87
1710 tasting notes

Hu Kwa is purported to be the top-notch Lapsang Souchong from Taiwan. Steeping one cup at a time, I use one teaspoon of leaves per cup, and I steep the tea for five and a half minutes in just-boiled water, as per Mark T. Wendell Tea Company’s website. The dry leaves have a very strong smokiness to them, as is normal with Lapsang Souchong. However, with this one, there is a slight undertone of sweetness that can be noticed in the dry leaves. The aroma of the steeped tea is also quite smooth. Past experience with Lapsang Souchong has exposed me to some that were so rough as to suggest that perhaps one should be sitting outside on the ground around a campfire while drinking them, not sipping this noble drink in a more civilised setting.

The five and a half minutes is up, so I decant the tea to remove the leaves and allow the tea a minute or so to cool slightly (scalded taste buds do not make for accurate tea tasting). Heavily smoked is a good descriptor of the taste, but not overly smoked. That strange line of sweetness that went through the scent of the dry leaves is still present in the tea itself. The smoothness of this tea made it quite enjoyable to drink. Smooth and not thick. This tea deserves an 87/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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