I received this tea as part of the Simple Loose Leaf tea box that I won this month. It was an awesome surprise that brightened up my whole day (and probably week)! The box comes with 5 teas and 2 muslin tea sachets, which I haven’t tried brewing with yet. All of the teas are new to the database, hopefully someone who subscribed to the box will add at least a few of the rest before I get to them…
Anyway, this is a lovely, very smoky lapsang. The aroma of the tea is that familiar pine-smoke scent. This one is a little savory and sweet at the same time, almost like candied bacon (I mean it in the good way, I swear!). The smokiness—leaning more toward charred pinewood now—is very much present in the taste, but somehow not overwhelming. Lapsang is a bit of an acquired taste, but it’s really comforting if you’re accustomed to it. There’s also a rich, almost buttery quality to the savory notes of this tea around mid-sip. The aftertaste is lingering and sweet, and a little bit menthol-like, just as the description says.
This is the third lapsang/xiao zhong I’ve tried from a Western seller, and currently tied for the best. I can see the one from Verdant being more of a cult favorite, but this one should have broader appeal. There’s a nice warm-glowing quality to it, like sitting by a fireplace.
Thanks again to the guys at Simple Loose Leaf for the gift, and as a friendly note, you might want to run your tea labels through spellcheck next time. Wouldn’t want any unintentional comedy :)