Autumn Harvest! This is another Adagio sampler I had tucked away. It was a freebie with some promotion at some point or another, but I was never really excited about it because it contained lapsang souchong, one of the few teas I don’t like. The first time I ever tried lapsang souchong (the typical, smoked variety), my friend and I found it like trying to enjoy a nice cup of black tea while sitting by a campfire, but the wind keeps blowing the campfire smoke right in your face, completely ruining the experience. And since smoke is one of my migraine triggers, the strong aroma alone was enough to give me a migraine that day. So I swore off the stuff ever since that tasting.
This tea is blended with honeybush, apple, rose hips, orange peel, and spices, so I was sure the lapsang would be toned down a bit. I was willing to give it a try… if for no other reason to test if maybe I could handle it in blends. I still had my trepidations because it was a known migraine trigger, but jasmine used lightly doesn’t bother me, while heavily-scented “perfumey” jasmine does. So it was worth a try.
I found the leaf quite attractive looking, I’ll admit, and it didn’t smell too bad either; it had a strong peppery cinnamon spicy orange scent, with some sweet and smoky tones. Steeped up, the smokiness was more apparent, and making me a little more wary, but I could also smell a good deal of warm cinnamon. The tea itself was not as bad as I was expecting… but I wouldn’t say that blending the lapsang souchong was a taste-changing revolation for me, either. The tea tastes like a slightly sweeter cinnamon spice black with some rich orange notes and a smoky finish. It reminded me a lot of Hobee’s house tea, which is a Cinnamon Orange black tea, only with more subtle spice notes and a lingering charcoal-smoked flavor left on the tongue.
It was okay. Since I’ve had other orange spice teas without the smoky notes, and I’m not particular a fan of smoky flavors, this just really didn’t do much for me. But it also wasn’t enough lapsang to give me a headache, so it does seem I need a pretty strong smoky hit to trigger the headache effect. I can see the appeal of this as an autumnal blend, with the mix of orange, spice, and smoky flavor notes, and am sure this would probably hit the spot for many. It just isn’t particularly the right fit for me.
I have one other blend with lapsang in my collection, so maybe I’ll finish that one off today and do a comparison.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Orange, Smoke, Spicy, Sweet