The Black Lodge

Tea type
Black Tea
Banana, Blackberry Leaves, Flavor, Lapsang Souchong, Vanilla, Yunnan Black Tea
banana, Caramel, Molasses, Smoke, Artificial, Banana, Burnt Sugar, Earth, Meat, Smoked, Sweet, Mushrooms, Olive Oil, Blackberry, Umami, Vanilla
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Loose Leaf
Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 11 oz / 316 ml

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20 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Summoned by the allure of controversy. Followed directions (good derk!): 3.5g, 300mL, 212F, 4min. The smokey element is at the forefront but not overwhelming for me. It tastes like a fireplace...” Read full tasting note
  • “I didn’t enjoy this last mug nearly as much as I did the rest of them. Not sure if the ingredient proportions were off, or my tastebuds were not feeling it today. But, I didn’t even feel like...” Read full tasting note
  • “Back from a lovely week up at the barn! I found so many interesting plants to try steeping on my nature walkabouts! Usnea and Monk’s Head lichen (monks head tastes like a puerh!), cedar, spruce,...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sipdown:112 I revisited this one and this last cup was not good. Since it was the bottom of the back there was way too much blackberry leaf. Between the much sweeter than usual taste with the...” Read full tasting note

From August Uncommon Tea

Sweet black tea with smoky banana and truffle notes

This multi-faceted black tea combines layers of smoke, sweet grilled banana, and sharply fragrant white truffle. The aroma alone overtakes your senses, while the taste draws you deeper into its kaleidoscopic trance. Milk enhances the caramel banana sweetness. Add a touch of booze for a wild and wonderful hot toddy. For lovers of campfires, scotch and bourbon.

INGREDIENTS: chinese yunnan black tea, spanish olive leaf, smoked chinese black tea, dried banana, sweet blackberry leaf, madagascar vanilla, flavoring

TASTES LIKE: black truffle, damp peat, grilled banana, percolator coffee
FEELS LIKE: a majestic mountain lodge


About August Uncommon Tea View company

Company description not available.

20 Tasting Notes

1150 tasting notes

Summoned by the allure of controversy.

Followed directions (good derk!): 3.5g, 300mL, 212F, 4min.

The smokey element is at the forefront but not overwhelming for me. It tastes like a fireplace with a stone-ash feeling, not so meaty-bbq. Caramel-coffee note reminds me of that brand of instant cappuccino — what was the name, International Delights? (I hated the stuff as a kid.) Banana tastes like banana chips (surprise) and blends really well with the cappucino note. A tinge of sweetness from the blackberry leaf and probably the banana chips. I’m not sure about the truffle flavor, maybe something like damp mushroomy-peaty earth but definitely not pungent truffle oil. I feel like there isn’t much depth or body — the recurring failure of cheap base tea.

A splash of almond milk toned down the smoke and made this even more instant cappucino-like and turned the banana toward pudding.

So! It feels like late autumn in northeastern Ohio. Can you smell the fireplace smoke fingering through that cold, damp air? Like I’m walking the edges of a peat bog and into the surrounding second-growth forest, where I slip on a patch of wet leaves and take a tumble into a cup of banana cappuccino. What?

Really, truly good for only one steep because the base tea is lacking. I think I like it though.

Even though I’m not really into flavored teas, I continue to try things from August Uncommon. I enjoy that they combine seemingly disparate ingredients to create a conceptual sip. Whether that always turns out well… is entirely up to the sipper.


Love the “take a tumble into a cup of banana cappuccino”. Very Alice in Wonderland vibes.

Martin Bednář

Ohio reminiscence brought Finland for me! And today forest trip (I went picking mushrooms with my mum) was another reason. Ahh. want to be there… everything was so alright…

White Antlers

It’s very autumnal here in the Northeast. Foggy, chilly mornings, drizzle, that slightly cold smell of decay in the air mixed with the sweetness of apples and the darkness of wood fires. I gave up on AUT a long time ago. Consistently disappointed and underwhelmed. Whomever writes their copy is masterful but their blender-not so very much, as a friend used to say.


There’s nothing more slippery than wet leaves! Wear your cleats next time, friend ;)

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1446 tasting notes

I didn’t enjoy this last mug nearly as much as I did the rest of them. Not sure if the ingredient proportions were off, or my tastebuds were not feeling it today. But, I didn’t even feel like finishing the cup off.

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1523 tasting notes

Back from a lovely week up at the barn! I found so many interesting plants to try steeping on my nature walkabouts! Usnea and Monk’s Head lichen (monks head tastes like a puerh!), cedar, spruce, pine, mint and a garbage bag full of mistletoe! There was a huge clump that fell from an oak, just as I was about to leave. Score! As relaxing and amazing as it was to be out in nature, I really missed my tea cupboard and was so excited to get up this morning and pick something to drink! I really need to get a better selection of travel tea put together.

I love banana and smoke, but I’m still perplexed about this tea! It has this depth to it that is almost hot cocoa like and blends well with the smoke and banana. It’s a good tea so I don’t know what is holding me back from loving it. I do hope my feelings change. :/

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Wow! Not this tea but your herbal treasure hunting sounds amazing.

Martin Bednář

That nature picking sounds great; especially the tree goodies. I never tried it and won’t in this country, though I thought about using spruce needles back then.


I was trying to think of what company this reminded me of and I just found them Unfortunatly though they are currently out of stock because of all the ridiculousness that went on in MN in 2020.


It was SO nice to be out in nature. Aside from being reunited with all my tea, I’m grumpy about being back home in the city. I’m looking forward to trying to blend all my forest finds and see if I can make something interesting.
Why would you not try picking plants in nature in your country, Martin?
That blend does look interesting, Skysamurai! I totally missed MN 2020 stuff. Probably too distracted by CA burning and turning orange among other pandemic things. I hope they are able to restart their business!

Martin Bednář

Dustin: because I don’t feel it’s much safe here. At least in my surroundings. And if I go to “mountains” — it is usually protected.

I would consider that though!

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1006 tasting notes

I revisited this one and this last cup was not good. Since it was the bottom of the back there was way too much blackberry leaf. Between the much sweeter than usual taste with the savory ingredients, it was rather unpleasant.
Definitely a strange tea but I wish it was tastier given that it’s a Twin Peaks-inspired blend. Though I didn’t dislike it to the degree that many others on here have. Excluding this particular bottom of the bag cup of course. Of course now that I just finished off my sample pouch of this I notice the recommendations. It seems that the company recommends adding milk or adding booze and making a hot toddy.(a hot toddy with this tea sounds odd to me though)

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2697 tasting notes

Home – 8:15 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 8

This is the last of the samples from my August Uncommon order. I would really like to try their Dark Iris and Arabesque blends, but every time I check their website one or both of them are out of stock in the sample size…

Based on the other notes on this tea, I was expecting it to be horrible. In fact, I don’t taste truffle at all here, which is a relief. I do taste banana and an earthy smoke flavor. There’s a bit of very burnt caramel as well.

I think the ingredient that makes it weird for me is the blackberry leaf. It makes it oddly sweet and that in turn makes it taste artificial. I think if the blackberry leaf weren’t included, it would be fine.

As-is, it’s a “no” from me.

Flavors: Artificial, Banana, Burnt Sugar, Earth, Meat, Smoked, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Lexie Aleah

Dark Iris was in stock last time I checked and I just ordered from them this morning.

Cameron B.

They were both in stock today, plus they had 20% off for Black Friday! So perfect timing. ;)

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13218 tasting notes

life is too short to drink mediocre tea that smells like uh…things that tea shouldn’t smell like. Even though i don’t mind this tea nearly as much as others, i’m not keeping it around. tea drinking shouldn’t be a chore!


I had to triple wrap this in tinfoil to contain the smell


lol it’s terrible. i don’t mind the brewed tea even if it’s not what i tshould be…but that smell is awful

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12434 tasting notes

I’ve been enjoying watching all the reviews of this tea come in; it’s been absolutely hilarious reading all of the wild comparisons and first impressions. That said, I knew that at some point I, too, would have to break into the sample of this that I received and give it a try and I’ve definitely been dreading it…

In fact, the only reason I ended up trying this so soon was because I was talking about the FMA chimera comparison that CrowKettle made in regard to this tea with a whole bunch of coworkers and one of them asked me to bring the sample I had with to our staff party for her to try because she was curious. So, our winter/Christmas staff party was earlier this week and true to my word I brought the sample with for anyone to try who wanted to. Trust me, I did not talk up this tea at all – basically I just warned everyone that I was like 90% sure it was gonna be awful. That said, nine people still decided to try it out so we made up a big pot and just split it up and did a group tasting. I told everyone that I was going to be posting a review of it, so I asked everyone trying it to give it a rating out of ten based on how much they liked it, and any general comments they wanted to make. Keep in mind, this is the feedback/opinions of a panel of ten (including myself) people employed at a tea company who basically spend their whole work days just drinking tea…

Casey: 4/10 – Said it was surprisingly light given the intensity of the aroma
Jules: 3/10 – “Is the Lodge black because it burned down?”
Mackenzy: 7/10 – Would drink this again without any reservations
Seth: 7/10 – Actually offered to finish off the sample cups that people didn’t want
Emily: 5/10 – “If you focus on the banana it’s not so bad”
Luz: 5/10 – Didn’t think it would be so awful overall if you didn’t take price into account
Andy: 3/10 – “I get the FMA thing…”
Stirling: 4/10 – It IS better than straight Lapsang…
Sarah: 2/10 – Spit hers back in the sink…

So, if you average all of their rating you get a rating of 4.4/10 – on Steepster that equates to a score of 44/100, essentially. That seems pretty in line with the reviews already posted…

As for my own thoughts; I do think it was doable but you don’t exactly want that to be the highest form of praise you can offer to a blend, do you? I actually liked the banana in the blend a lot though – it was pretty sweet, and candy like and if the BULK of the profile had been that sort of banana flavour with much softer hints of Lapsang I think this might have actually worked pretty well. Not, like, spectacularly but a lot more than it does currently. The biggest issue for me was that the mix of Lapsang and other things in the blend just painfully reminds me of a mix of beef jerky and tire rubber and I just cannot get into tire rubber tea. Like, that’s the furthest thing from a pleasant flavour. The smoke didn’t bother me though; I like Lapsang. Just, didn’t work in this mix of stuff so much…

Also, I think Casey was right – when you smell the dry leaf this smells vile, but the steeped tea definitely doesn’t have the same intensity even if it’s not good. I think I’m gonna agree with the overall average rating given by our staff…


I would be happy to send you the rest of mine and you can give to those who enjoyed it. I want it gone and if someone will actually enjoy it than I’m happy for them to have it :)


Thank you, thank you, thank you for conducting that survey! Also, bless those 7/10 people.

And I 100% agree on the banana. The goodness of the banana flavouring makes me even sadder about the other oddball flavours it has to live with. I would love to see an AU banana tea this isn’t quite so “adventurous.”

Roswell Strange

@VariaTEA I’ll ask the two of them next time I work with either and see if they’d actually want more of it :P


So interesting how different everyone is experiencing this one. I thought this smelled worse steeped than the leaf did. Happy a couple of them enjoyed it


oh lordy…tomorrow’s going to be a good day!


Well, that was a fun read. LOL

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6168 tasting notes

So here’s the thing…normally I buy the smallest size possible because I have so much tea already that I just want a taste. However, sometimes a tea just sounds so appealing or gets such great reviews, I spring for more. In the case of this smokey banana/toffee tea, I was intrigued and decided to split a 90g tin with Sil. Then the reviews came out and I was hesitant. Then I cracked the seal and this smells so disgustingly like smoked raw meat that I honestly had to be talked into trying this. Seriously, people had to hype me up to give this a go.

Thankfully the steeped tea, which I underleafed, smells like like raw meat and more like smoke, which is easier to handle. Tastewise, it is earthy (I guess that’s the “damp peat”) with a sweet note. There is no distinctive flavor which could be a result of the underleafing but given the flavors others have gotten, I can’t say I am sad about that. The smoke comes in a little at the end which combined with the general earthiness of this tea, it kind of seems a bit gamey. I added milk which maybe brought out some more of those supposed toffee notes but didn’t lessen that game flavor and caramel meat is not recommended. Realistically, this is not as bad as I expected, especially given the dry smell of the leaf. Alas, not as bad is still pretty bad and even though this didn’t turn out as terrible as I thought, I think this is going in the swap box. It just isn’t worth it to keep a tea around that I literally have to prepare myself to drink, not when I have over 300 other teas that need my attention.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

I’m excited to try it now hahaha


It’s too bad they didn’t scrap the umami “truffle/meat/olive oil” flavour and focus entirely on the smoky caramelized banana, which is actually really nice when it peeps through the meat smoke.

This tea may work well in cooking?


This tea isn’t worth the effort. For the $7, I spent, I don’t think it is worth it to force myself to drink the tea when I could be enjoying one of my other hundreds of teas.


No, life is too short for tea that isn’t working (and lingers in your mouth and kitchen for hours after it was steeped and consumed).



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1040 tasting notes

CrowKettle wrote yesterday " It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror." LOL – ok – I just received my tin of this, so of course I had to try it.

While I may not be getting the same notes that she did – not getting the smoked bacon – I’m agreeing with the sentiment in that statement.

My first impression was charred black rotten mushrooms. As it cools that’s changing to 6 hour old burned to the bottom of the pot coffee.

I added a little sweetener and a splash (or more than a splash of milk)…. Now there is some banana in here but I’m not sure that’s a good addition to this party.

There is no doubt that this is an AU smoked tea, they all have something a little odd in the back. This isn’t a little odd…….

ETA: Because I’m a sucker for punishment I did a 2nd steep. I did 95C 4 minutes. I added sweetener and milk. The smoke has been shoved way to the back. There is some caramel banana in here (but some of that might be the sweetener). I’m also getting meaty/mushroom/umami something that I wouldn’t call truffle. This is better but still way too strange……

Evol Ving Ness


Evol Ving Ness

Did you do your magic with the steeping parameters?


Not all the way – I wanted to try it first. I was cautious not to overleaf and I steeped 4 min using 95C water. Will cut back on all three next time. Less leaf 90C water 2.5 min steep and see what happens….


I’m continuing to drink this as it cools – it’s actually getting better (I’m not saying good)- it’s pretty cool, almost cold now and this is smokey dark bitter chocolate coffee banana. But that gives me a little hope that if you play with it maybe can bring those notes forward sooner.


I liked the second still a little more too; it lends support to the idea that less is better with this one! XD


And the bacon bit is more of a dry leaf smell thing for me. It got up my nose, confused my brain, and lingered the time length it took me to consume the pot…

Evol Ving Ness

hmmm, I look forward to your reports as you explore this further.

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1178 tasting notes

Do you know the horrific Nina-chimera from Fullmetal Alchemist? Do you remember all of the raging emotions you experienced upon seeing that thing? This tea is like that. It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror.

(If you’re not into anime/manga this explains that reference somewhat:

If you’ve ever wondered what truffles, smoked bacon, and banana would taste like in tea here you are. Don’t get me wrong; I love all of those things in different dishes, but tea… The truffle makes this monstrous in my opinion (tone it back). Milk helps to curb down the flavouring, but it’s so… overwhelming and absurd.

This tea is probably just perfect for someone out there, but that person is not me! Still, I’m glad I got to experience it? Maybe? I think I could learn to love it if I sacrificed some small part of me. I don’t know if I want to go down that rabbit hole though. It’s definitely a unique tea.

Flavors: Banana, Meat, Mushrooms, Olive Oil, Smoke

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Hmmmmmm I have an unopened tin sitting here. AU tea is always a little odd but that sounds really far out there. Will have to try mine soon and see what happens. I had a hard time with Outlaw until I found the right steep parameters. Maybe play with it? or just let it go…..


You may love it, especially if you love black truffles!

I will drink all of my 15g eventually, and will definitely play around with it and update my rating here if something changes. I sense (hope) it’s very much an acquired/predisposed taste- like Stilton blue & port, or peanut butter & celery? Fingers crossed (the truffle flavour lingers hours after drinking it).


Outlaw – which is their smokey cherry tea – I found better with less leaf, cooler water, and longer steep (than my normal black/flavored parameters). I’m not sure if that will help this one, but if I find it offensive that’s where I’m going to start playing….


Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll keep it in mind when I open my Outlaw sample too.


uh oh. I think variatea and i picked some of this up haha

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, I am wondering how I would fare with this. I am a big fan of black truffles. Dexter, if you can spare a bit, would you be kind enough to add this to the samples so that I could try it?

Evol Ving Ness

But, hmm, yeah, it could go either way.


Evol – yes – I will send you some. It’s something you have to experience.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. :)

Evol Ving Ness

And now, I am worried. :)


Sil we have a tin coming but now I am incredibly grateful we are splitting it.


@variaTEA – watch it be some weird thing where one of us really wants it…

Evol Ving Ness

hahhaha, we await with bated breath as this story unfolds.


Sil why just one of you? Maybe you will both end up loving it! Dream big.



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