Thank you Kittenna for passing a few cups of this one along to me! I honestly still can’t believe that I actually requested a Lapsang sample; but it all boils down to seeing someone review this one and commenting that it was surprisingly “sweet”. After that, I just couldn’t get it out of my head, and had to try it.
The dry leaf has, like one should expect from Lapsang, a strong smell that’s definitely very smokey but there are also strong notes of leather and wood as well that round it out and make it seem a little more interesting.
It seems rather “manly” to me, despite a general smooth (dare I say “silky”) quality; no “grit” here. I feel like it’s something I could convince my roommate to drink. In general he’s not a tea drinker; though I can occasionally get him to try things. He likes bolder flavours and shys away from things that are ‘dainty’ or overly floral; this seems right up his alley! Personally I’m still rather wary about trying this one, but honestly it didn’t smell as offensive as I was anticipating! Already I’m very impressed.
I cut my steep time a little short; I was worried about the tea getting too strong. This is actually really, really good though! Like I observed with the dry leaf this is rather smokey with a leather-like quality to it and the taste of oak – just like is mentioned in the tea’s description. There’s also a rather jammy quality to this one that makes the whole cup softer and more agreeable. Plus, it levels out the ratio of sweet and savory flavours in the blend which makes it feel more well rounded and balanced. I would describe the jam note as very stonefruit-y, leaning towards black cherries. This is the first Lapsang I’ve ever had that hasn’t assaulted me with harsh notes of tabacco or ash, essentially making me feel like I’ve just licked an ashtray.
Overall this is just a very agreeable tea; it perfectly conveys what Lapsang teas are all about – the smokiness of it, while maintaining a softness and uniqueness. It’s very sad Butiki is closing because, while I previously thought it unthinkable I’d ever want to stock a straight Lapsang tea, this is one I could see myself drinking often and would want around! I don’t believe it’s yet sold out so I may grab a little more.
I recommend this one to people experienced with Lapsang who want to try something just a little different as well as to Lapsang virgins; I think this will convey to people unfamiliar with Lapsang who nice a strong, smokey tea can be without overwhelming them with strong ash or tobacco notes.
Flavors: Cherry, Jam, Leather, Oak wood, Smoke, Smoked, Stonefruits, Wood