Tea Spot Lapsang Souchong

18Nov09

I wanted to do a review for you today on a new tea I’ve come across called lapsang souchong. Lapsang souchong, a black tea from the Wu-Yi region of China, is a typical black tea with one caveat: it is smoked over a pinewood fire, giving it a scent and taste reminiscent of tobacco or a barbecue. This can be good or bad, as it depends on the degree to which the leaves are smoked. The wikipedia article on lapsang souchong says that “the flavor of the smoke is meant to complement the natural taste of the black tea, but should not overwhelm it.” This is where I became disappointed.

I was sent a small sample pack of this tea by The Tea Spot, which is a tea shop in Colorado. Having never tried lapsang souchong before, I was interested to know how it tasted. Before brewing, I opened the package and wafted, revealing to me a scent that utterly overwhelmed my nasal cavities. I asked a few other people what they thought of the smell of the dry leaves, and they all agreed with me that it smells like I just cleaned out a fireplace and put the remains in a foil bag. I brewed some and tasted it, and it was a little bit less smokey-tasting, but it was still a bit overbearing. I don’t think that this is the definition of complementing it, but more overwhelming it. It may be that I just am not used to this kind of tea, but I’m sure that a lighter variety would suit me better.

Summary:
Cost: $2.50/oz
8/10
Taste: 4/10
Brew Time: 3-5 minutes.
Brew Temperature: 212˚Fahrenheit
Overall Rating: 6/10



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