This morning, when my alarm went off, I was absolutely positive it was Sunday, and furious for making myself wake up so early on a Sunday. About a half hour later, I realized, it’s Monday, and after my ten day vacation, it was time to get back to work…
So needless to say, I desperately needed a pick-me-up and it came today in the form of my new favorite caffeinated friend: Lapsang Souchong. The first pot I absolutely downed, couldn’t really even rate it based on how fast I drank it. But once I was awake, I was able to brew up some more and try and get a good sampling for a rating.
So my first infusion: 5 minutes, hot water, no additives, was downed with no rating. Sorry.
Second infusion of the same basket: 4 minutes, no additives. The smell is perfect, the liquor is spot-on, however, the flavor is a little weaker than I expected (I tend to compare all Lapsangs to Golden Moon’s). A little concerned at this moment, I decided to make a fresh pot with new leaves. This time taking careful notes as I do.
The leaves are small and dark, curled tightly, with the usual smokey aroma. Infused 5 minutes, no additives. The flavor is stronger, more what I expected, yet it is still lesser than GM and Adagio. Overall, I think this might be a good thing. When I say “lesser” I mean that the smokiness is not as strong, it is not kick-you-in-the-face smokey, it is slightly smoked, like the scent left on your clothes after a camp fire a few days ago. It is a distant smokey, an aged smokey, this gives a chance for more of the tea to shine through: a little astringent, definitely black tea, yet crisp and clean, the hint of smoke, the slight earthy natural flavor. Overall, good.
Since I got what I wanted, I decided one more infusion from this basket was worth a shot. Hot, 4 minutes, added milk (no sweetener). The milk made it creamy, and subdued the smokey flavor a little bit more, but overall it was more of the same. Cleaner tea taste, slight smoke, slight earth, a little less strong than I would have liked.
To get the stronger smokiness in the tea, I will probably aim for longer infusion times in the future, but to all those who do not like the smoke, or want a more subdued smoke, I think this tea might be more of what you are looking for.
In the end, I enjoyed this tea, I will enjoy finishing the tin of it.