This is my first Lapsang Souchong, a free sample I requested with my Tea Table order. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. As a vegetarian, I haven’t had barbecue in yeeears, but I still love the smell of smoke & burning wood, despite it being associated with the smell of meat. That’s entirely what this tea smells like, both the dry leaves and the brewed tea. I brewed a heaping teaspoon in 8oz of water, without rinsing the leaves. Should I have rinsed? Who knows.
I tried it straight, and it was punchy & intense, a really savory tea. Maybe a bit too much smoke flavor for me. I added turbinado sugar, which really mellowed the flavor and added some nicely contrasting sweetness. Finally, I added a splash of milk, and I think I enjoy it most that way. You still get the smoky pine aroma but the taste is not overwhelming, mostly lingering in the back of the throat. I find myself enjoying this cup more as I drink. I’ll definitely try re-steeping the leaves.
It’s hard to rate this compared to all the other teas I’ve tried as it’s quite unlike anything I’ve had before. But, I think it’s a good quality tea and definitely worth trying.
Edit: I didn’t get to steep this again. I think I’m coming down with a cold, and this is definitely a tea you have to be in the mood for. =/