Formosa Kangaroo Lapsang China Black Tea

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Black Tea
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Burnt, Scotch, Smoke, Spicy
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 oz / 354 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

From Metropolitan Tea Company

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Region: Nantou County
Shipping Port: Taipei
Grade: Kangaroo Lapsang
Altitude: 1000’ ft – 2000’ ft. above sea level
Manufacturer Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: A smooth and deep flavorful cup with delectable mild hints of a pine and oak fire.
Infusions: Tending bright, orange highlights.
Ingredients: Black tea

It has been said that “The beauty of Taiwan tea resides in the hard-working spirit of past generations to pioneer the golden age of Taiwan tea.” Truer words regarding this island nation’s tea industry could not have been spoken. Through all of Taiwan’s political ups and downs during the past couple of centuries, the art and business of tea has prevailed producing some of the world’s finest cups. Although these days Taiwan is often associated with semi-fermented Oolongs, the industry there actually began with the development of black tea – teas such as this outstanding Lapsang. Local teas originated from two varieties of wild growing plants, their primary difference being the color of their sprouts. This tea, known as Taiwan Mountain tea had either greenish tending light purple sprouts or purple-red tending fuchsia sprouts. Initially it was thought that neither of these teas were commercially viable. That all changed however when improvements were made to a varietal sub-categorized as Taiwan Tea No. 18 making it suitable for black tea production.

It is the belief of our Master Taster, that due to the exceptional appearance of the leaf, Kangaroo Lapsang is probably produced from plants stemming from this original Tea No. 18. Production begins by withering freshly picked tea over pine and oak fires, pan-firing, and then rolling the leaf by hand. Once rolled, leaves are pressed into wooden barrels, covered with cloth, and allowed to ferment. Next, the leaves are re-rolled into tight strips and placed in bamboo baskets, which are hung over burning pine boughs. As they dry, the leaves further develop their rich smoky flavor. Because of the quality of the fresh leaf used to produce Kangaroo Lapsang, the resulting tea is one of the worlds finest. The flavor is robust, deep, and highly aromatic, filling the mouth with distinctive smoky pine notes. The flavor leads us to another quote, “The beauty of Taiwan tea resides in the flavor, the clearness of its coloring, the purity of its taste, and the elegance of its aroma.” That being the case, this tea is a true example of the beauty of Taiwan tea. (As for the odd name – the true origins have been lost to the mists of time – although legend has it that a ship carrying Kangaroos to the Boston Zoo from Australia almost 200 years ago capsized off the coast of Taiwan, then known as Formosa. The ancient stories maintain that the kangaroos lived in peace amongst the tea plants for many years!)

About Metropolitan Tea Company View company

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6 Tasting Notes

4847 tasting notes

Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea. I chose it because when I opened the box she sent, this was the tea I could smell. Mostly I grabbed it because I didn’t want to take the chance that keeping it around would influence the flavors of any of my other teas. I don’t generally keep a lot of Lapsang Souchong Teas here… with the exception now of my unsmoked Lapsang Souchong which doesn’t pose the same smokiness issue.

This is SMOKY. A few years ago, something this smoky in my cup would have elicited moans of displeasure as well as me dumping the cup out before really taking a sip… I might take a teeny sip and then out with the rest of it. But, I somehow have learned to like Lapsang. I do wish though, that I had rinsed this before the infusion. I think it would have given it a not-so-smoky and almost musty kind of flavor.

Under the strong smoky flavor, the sweet caramel notes are tasted. It is a pleasant enough tea, I think it would have been better if I was not quite so sleepy when it came to infusing it this morning so that I could have thought to do a quick rinse. As it is, it is just a wee bit too much.

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6770 tasting notes

This one is from the Purrfect Cup! Thanks so much!

This has a little bit of smoke flavor but it also tastes like sprouts to me…like alfalfa or pea sprouts even. There is a bit of sweet and subtle malty notes trying to come thru too.

At first I wasn’t sure if I liked these flavors together but they are growing on me. I think temperature has a lot to do with it too! I seem to like this one the cooler it got.

When sipping cold – I noticed there is a subtle floral aftertaste, too. Very different. Very unique. Because of this…I am enjoying it.

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328 tasting notes

This is one of four teas I ordered from Tweed & Hickory. Their online store carries a lot of stuff including a wide range of Metropolitan Tea Company teas.

Anyway, this tea caught my attention because I love Lapang Souchong and omg I love Taiwanese teas! So to figure out how good this tea is or really how much I like it, I’ll be preparing it twice (long steeps and then short steeps).

(1): 200ml glass teapot, 1 tsp, 2 steeps (4min, 5min)

These two steeps brought out a lot of familiar LS flavours. It has the “burnt rubber” flavour that I often find with other cheap LS. The main Taiwanese character I can taste is the menthol sensation, which I am attributing to them using Taiwanese camellia sinensis. The tea body itself was fairly strong in the first and second steeps, I only used 1 tsp and it did not taste too weak. Otherwise it’s nothing extraordinary, I’ve had much better LS before but I still like this tea.

(2): 100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp, 3 steeps (45s, 1min, 1min 15s)

The first steep tastes pretty good, it has nice malty, smoky, menthol flavours. The tea is very strong given that I only steeped it 45s.

Unfortunately with the second and third steeps, it just tastes like weak tea with smoke and rubber.

I am only slightly disappointed with this purchase. It’s very similar to their regular LS (Lapang Souchong Butterfly #1) and had a lot in common with other cheap LS (like David’s Tea). So for what it is, you could do worse. That being said I would not recommend it to anyone seriously in love with LS. There are so many better LS teas out there sold under the “traditional” name Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong.

Okay, so yes I’m a tea snob. And when I first started drinking tea I would probably consider this one pretty good. But once you’ve tasted how excellent a tea can be (in this case Lapang Souchong) it’s hard to go back.

205 °F / 96 °C

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419 tasting notes

Tea from this morning. This one is pretty bold (I picked it up at The Whistling Kettle – who I know gets there tea from MTC)! Very smokey and all around oaky flavor to it, really nice. I really like it as one of my morning kickstarters once I get to work. Thankfully I learned my lesson that one cup is enough…when I had it at WK yesterday I had a small stump pot which was WAY too much! I’m going to try it in the potato soup recipe I’m making tonight…I got the recipe from the lovely Bigelow (aisling of tea) any Lapsang adds a nice smoke/bacon flavor so we’ll see what this one brings.

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13 tasting notes

Purchased from Zombie Runner in Palo Alto, CA. I love the robust smokiness. Tea steeps to a strong caramel color and smells like a tumbler of Laphroaig. Lapsang is the peat-heavy Scotch of teas. Tastes smoky with a slick, syrupy mouthfeel. Spicy aftertaste. Mild astringency.

Flavors: Burnt, Scotch, Smoke, Spicy

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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