180 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! Ok, for a tea that I don’t particularly love, I went through my 50g pack awfully fast. Maybe I liked it more than I realized? Hmmm….
Truthfully, it’s mainly because I find this tea is so darn mild that I kept mixing it with other chocolate teas in order to extend the dwindling leaves I had left of those preferred flavors. And it made a spectacular compliment to DT’s mint chocolate rooibus, so I drank several cups that way!
My personal goal is to never let my tea supply reach over 30 loose leaf teas at a time. And since I placed two orders yesterday and I’m planning a trip to David’s Tea this weekend, I’m desperately drinking as much as humanly possible to clear out some space. So yay to finishing this one off.
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
Yum! This one smells amazing both before & during steeping… like lemon curd with cream. The taste is a sweet lemon curd – almost like the lemon filling in a lemon meringue pie. Naturally, the first few sips are the best, but the last drops are good too.
I was worried about the honeybush after an experience with a sickly sweet blend, but this one is perfect.
Sipdown! Trying to clear some space on my tea shelf for an incoming order.
This tea is still “just ok.” Tried it with some almond milk for this last cup, and was admittedly less than impressed. Still have a hard time getting over that overly-perfumed, artificial smell.
(I know I promised myself that I wasn’t going to try a flavored honeybush until after I tried a straight one, but this one looked so good on the website that I couldn’t resist!)
Smell: Definitely apricot & peach. Reminded me of the peach scented candles from Pier 1; it was that fragrant.
Taste: Sweet; exceptionally so. Can pick-out the peach/apricot (those two fruits always taste the same to me), but it’s sweet beyond that; almost… syrupy? Maybe that’s the medicinal bit that I always hear people use to describe honeybush? Peach came out a little more as the cup cooled slightly; still triggers memories of Pier 1 candles.
Edit: Left on my desk while I went to talk over a project with a coworker. When I returned to my cup, it had cooled down to barely lukewarm. Somehow, it managed to lose the flavor almost entirely and just became a cup of warm sugar-water! Very strange.
Overall, this tea was mostly unremarkable to me and just too sweet. Sweetness with not much else to it.
Put a little, tiny bit of sweetener in my cup this morning. Made that delicious maple pop out even more.
Edit: Had a second cup this morning to complete a sipdown. This one was a sad sipdown; I mean, I’m happy that I have room for more tea (especially b/c I just placed a big Adagio order), but I’m sad that I won’t have any more maple pecan oolong!
I left the kettle on a little too long, so the water was a bit hotter than the recommended temp of 90C. I personally couldn’t taste a difference between that and previous cups with the correct water temp, though. Increased steeping time slightly with each infusion (started around 1min) for 3 infusions.
This tea definitely has the mouth feel that I expect with a milk oolong – very creamy. (Not quite as creamy/milky as the one from DavidsTea, but still pretty pronounced.) It’s also quite vegetal, but I’ve found that can be reduced with shorter steeping times. The recommended steep time is 1.5min, but for my taste, I like it best at just 45s. The reduced steep time tends to give more of the “milkiness” that I like without tasting like I just steamed some spinach in my mug.
Overall, a good milk oolong, but not the best I’ve had.
(Note: Purchased at the Dobra Tea in Burlington, VT.)