Breaking open a new entry into project lapsang sipdown. This will give me a nice variety of three to choose from in the coming months. I expect this project to last through the end of the year, given that I don’t drink black tea except on weekends and holidays and I mostly have a single large cup threshold per day when it comes to lapsang.
I’ve been looking forward to seeing how Mariage Freres does lapsang. And indeed, it’s an interesting contrast to some of the others I’ve tasted recently.
The tea in the tin smells more spicy than smoky. Peppery, really. Which is fascinating.
After steeping, the smell is still not smoky. It’s got a sweetness to it, like a sugary spice bread. I want to say gingerbread, but it isn’t really that. Maybe a spicy banana bread? Weird, I know. The tea is a coppery amber color, a little darker than medium for a black tea. There’s a bit of a haze to the liquor, but it’s translucent.
The flavor is where the smoke is the most noticeable, but as I would have expected from a French tea, it’s not overpowering. It’s a sort of a light smokiness that integrates into the tea in a way that isn’t pasted on. This one doesn’t have the sweetness of some others, not even in the finish or aftertaste. Nor does it scream woodiness, though there is a bit of wood flavor.
My recent lapsangs have all been pleasing to me for their lack of ash, meat, or resin flavors, and this fits that description as well.
I keep harking back to the Kusmi lapsang which has a sweetness I liked in the flavor, and I decided to bump that one up a bit in ratings.
This one is different from the Kusmi in its flavor, but I can taste the quality if you know what I mean. So I’m rating it the same.
Flavors: Baked Bread, banana, Pepper, Smoke, Spicy, Wood