A sample from Shmiracles. I saved this one until last because I was scared of it. Understandably so, I think…lapsang souchong, candy cane and ginger isn’t exactly an everyday combination. At least not for me. I’m up for trying anything once, though.

Brewed, this smells equally of smoke and vanilla. It’s an odd combination, and just as odd to taste. The main flavour is, of course, the heavy, beef jerky smokiness of lapsang souchong. The candy cane comes out in the aftertaste, adding a cooling, almost menthol-like, freshness. The vanilla also contributes a slight sweetness. It’s not exactly a natural pairing, but it’s actually not as disasterous as I thought it would be. As dragon themed teas go, I suppose it’s fairly appropriate — in terms of smokiness at least. What candy cane has to do with it, I’ve no idea. I can’t really taste the ginger at all, which is a shame. That I could see working quite well.

Of the two Smaug teas I’ve tried, I definitely prefer the 52Teas version. Smoky teas aren’t really my thing in general, although this was more drinkable than I’d anticipated. A totally unique tea, and an experience for sure! Many thanks to Shmiracles for sharing this one-of-a-kind blend with me! I completely agree that everyone should try it at least once.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, 29, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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