It has been taking me entirely too long to do my reviews, so from now on I plan to only mention those things that are noteworthy; why did it take me this long to finally come to this decision?! I don’t know! I admit I judge I’m sometimes a little slow on the uptake. : – }
Experience buying from Seven Cups http://steepster.com/places/2824-seven-cups-online-tucson-arizona
Date of Purchase/Frequency of drinking: I bought this in spring 2011 and have been drinking it off-and-on since then.
Aroma of dry leaf: unbelievably strong smell of smoke!
Brewing guidelines: Ceramic six-cup teapot, with large metallic tea-ball; stevia added; I always use my standard black tea guidelines with this tea.
Aroma of tea liquor: unbelievable smell: I absolutely love that smoky aroma!
Flavor of tea liquor: Incredible! It makes me think of times when I have sat around a campfire on a cold evening while enjoying a warm beverage with friends!
Aroma of wet leaf: Smoky, wonderful!
Blends well with: I would think it wouldn’t take much of this to add a little smoky flavor to any tea.
Value: $4.31 / 50 grams (I think it was 25% off). Not a bad price for the quality (considering it wasn’t a ‘fresh’ tea).
Overall: When I read in Heiss and Heiss’s Tea Enthusiast’s handbook that Lapsang Souchong is a ‘love it or hate it tea ’ I just had to try it. And, fitting with what they said, this tea absolutely blew me away when I first tried it (astonishingly enough, even my wife liked it initially, but she has sense changed her mind). I will never forget that drinking this tea gives me a sense of sitting around a campfire, which still amazes me, as I truly enjoy recalling that image every time I drink it. I have been drinking this tea here-and-there since I bought it, and I spontaneously decided to brew up the last of it today (which inspired me to finally write this review). I am sad that it’s gone (but the reality is it’s time to make room for new teas, although this one’s going to be hard to replace). A minor note: when drinking the first steeping after it sat and cooled quite a bit I noticed that I don’t like the taste as much as when it hot (unlike some teas which can be just as good). Still, I really enjoy both the taste and the aroma of this tea. I recently purchased a Lapsang from Culinary Teas, so I’ll have to see how good that one is. I think Lapsang Souchong is a tea I have to have in my cupboard at all times (it may even have to be Seven Cups Strong Smoke version, we’ll see). I can believe that this is a love it or hate it tea, and I am definitely in the ‘love it’ camp (of course, with the ones sitting around that campfire!). I think of the legend many years ago when some oppressive overlord decided to pay a visit to a tea plantation in China. This visit forced the tea farmers to inadvertently hide their unprocessed tea leaf stash in a place where the leaves took on a smoky flavor. That unusual happenstance allows me to reap the benefits! Thank you to all of the people and the unusual circumstances who/which made this wonderful smokey tea possible!