Steepsterites, I am f-f-f-f-f-freezing!
And when chillsome, something smoky is (also) good. What luck that I happened to buy a new one when ordering from Chi of Tea!
LS and smoky flavoured black teas in general, be it actually smoked like LS or an naturally occurring pseudo-smoke like Keemun, are some of my favourites. I’ve said more than once that ‘smoky is good, very smoky is very good’ and I stand by that. There is just that little proviso with LS that I can actually get them too smoky. That is, it’s not the fact that there’s too much of the smoke. It’s the other parts of it that there isn’t enough of. I like the sweetness of the finish, and I’ve had an LS where this finishing note didn’t really show up at all until the second steep. That’s just not ideal for me. The perfect LS needs to have both those aspects.
The aroma of the leaves is definitely smoky, even charcoal-y, and after steeping the tea smells strongly of smoke and ashes. Fresh ashes though. Like the site of a campfire after it has almost completely gone out. (I used to be a girl scout. I know what that smells like. It’s significantly better than what your clothes smell like when coming home.)
Taste-wise this is an LS right after my own heart! It’s heavy on the smoke, but that sweet note of fruit, almost sugary, is coming through loud and clear. This is pretty much ideal. I’ve previously named the LS from AC Perch’s my standard LS, but I might have to do some more comparison to see how this one holds up, because this is seriously nice.
The thing about LS, for an LS lover, is that it’s very easy to describe. Or very difficult, whichever way you look at it. It’s certainly un-complicated. At first there’s a lot of smoky notes, slight wooden and just a smidge sour. Then, when swallowing, an incredible sweetness blossoms up. Sweet, yet with a certain quality of freshness.
This, however, in no way means that LS, however much of that sweet note it’s got, should be mistaken for a sweet tea. It’s not actually sweet at all. It’s harsh and prickly. The sweetness is merely there in a finishing note, and seeming all the sweeter still because it’s contrasted with the smoke.
If you like smokies, if you are an LS lover, do ask this one for a dance.