David’sTea Lapsang seems to get a bad rep, but I’m actually a fan. No rating, though, since I haven’t had a chance to try other Lapsangs. I kind of like the ash note that comes through, particularly off the dry leaf if you’ve been keeping these sealed somewhere appropriate for a little while. I know you’re not supposed to let tea age much unless it’s a pu-erh, but there’s something to be said for pulling the top off a steel canister of lapsang after keeping it closed for a week and setting off the smoke alarm.

Anyway, the body might be a little simple (or so I recall), but I can’t stress enough how much the bitter ash improves this for me. It’s different from other roasted teas I’ve had, like hojicha, in that it’s a sharper, cleaner taste. I’ve only tried it straight, since I don’t like to sweeten or dilute my tea, but maybe someone else knows more about how it behaves with additions. It’s satisfying, and the price is pretty good. (David’sTea can be a little overpriced, but this is $5.50)

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