Lapsang is not normally something I drink first thing in the morning. It’s more of a thing I like during the heat of the day, but backlogs to clear, so I forge ahead.

I can’t believe I’ve been thinking I love Lapsang in general, when I have only tried one the past 3 years-TG’s. Well, 2 if you count the Russian Caravan from Loose Leaf Tea Lounge in Chicago that tasted like it was 100% Lapsang. So, I am trying some more this summer-starting with a couple from Upton’s.

Anyhow, a lot of people think this is moderate smokiness at best and a good intro level Lapsang. If that’s the case, I am going to ask my adviser to get me in the upper-level courses because I want to learn more.

The dry leaf aroma is, of course, smoky-kinda resembling a campfire. Dry leaves are medium length with some moderate curls and twists. Some golden buds mixed with very dark brown leaves and an occasional really long piece that looks a lot like a pine needle-but not sure. When brewed, the leaf begins to take on an aroma much like a peat moss. Liquor is light copper.

Haven’t had Lapsang in 7-8 months, but this tastes very similar to TG’s version. It’s, well, moderately smoky. If you’ve never had it before, it will be very unique. If you are kinda scared of smoke, it’s not spicy hot and it’s smooth-not bitter at all. It’s somewhat subtle and not overpowering. This is medium-bodied and very tasty. However, I am anxious to move on to Upton’s China Imperial Grade Lapsang.

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Started drinking tea for health benefits maybe 5 years ago-exclusively bagged tea. Usually went for various Celestial Seasonings type of stuff. I bought a tea infuser at a gourmet shop once and then I realized there was almost no loose tea available. Eventually tiring of bags, I started ordering loose tea online and I have never gone back. Initially, I was exploring all the wild and exotic flavor combinations, but now I mostly drink straight teas. I still enjoy blended teas-but prefer those without “flavoring”. Hope to learn here and find some new teas I might not otherwise find. Am a vegan, so “milk” generally means “soymilk” to me. If it’s almond, rice, or coconut, I will mention that fact.

I am new here, and new to reviewing tea. Many of my initial reviews will be from memory and may not be very detailed at all. I hope to write more informative reviews on current and future teas.

I won’t let external factors affect my rating of the tea-such as slow shipping, too expensive, etc. I’ll mention any customer service problems in my reviews. I also won’t let my mistakes in not following the seller’s recommended parameters affect a rating. I can’t believe people who say “I forgot about it and oversteeped it” and then give it a rating. If I brew outside the parameters, I will wait until I brew it right before I give it a rating.

TEMPORARY RATING SYSTEM- Don’t hold me to these numbers and descriptions-like George Bluth, I like to tweak.

90+ It’s awesome, right?? I’ll probably try to keep it on hand.

80-89 – I really like this and will buy it again at some point, but there are so many teas to try!

70-79 – This is a pretty good tea and I may buy it again based on my mood, what tea store I am buying from, and what kind of deal I can get.

60-69 – This is okay. I finished the bag. I would drink it again if offered, but would not buy it again.

40-59 – IF I finished the bag, I recall this tea thinking “Why in the hell did I finish the bag?”

1-39 – Did not finish the bag. Maybe not even the cup. Tea was given away or discarded.



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