Leaf Type: Black
Where To Buy: Culinary Teas
A superior leaf Lapsang Souchong offering a smooth, crisp, and heady aroma of an oak wood fire. A popular and certainly unique black tea.
I have never been fond of Lapsang Souchong. There was a time when I couldn’t even have it in my house because the smell repulsed me so. Since that time, I have come around and gained some appreciation for this tea. It will probably never become a favorite tea of mine, but, I have come to a point where I can sip on a cup every once in a while and actually enjoy it.
This is a strong Lapsang Souchong. The dry leaf is very dark, and there is a deep smokiness to the aroma. Some might liken it to a campfire scent, but, I can’t recall the fires at camp smelling like this. This smells like it’s been slowly smoked over oak.
That slow-smoked essence translates into the flavor. It has a very deep, smoky taste. I agree with the above description – it does have a certain crispness to the taste, as well as a smoothness that I didn’t expect. With such a smoky essence, I might have expected more of a rustic feel to it; however, this one is more of a sophisticated smoky taste with its smooth character.
Beneath the smoky notes, I taste subtle notes of oak and even the faintest hint of dark cocoa. It’s really quite nice. I can also detect a lovely caramel-like sweetness. The discovery of the caramel-y undertones in a Lapsang Souchong has been its saving grace for me, because I actually really like the combination of the smoke and the caramel.
This Lapsang Souchong from Culinary Teas is a top-notch Lapsang Souchong, with a beautiful complexity just below its smoky surface. I am glad that I have been able to come to gain some appreciation for Lapsang Souchong tea, otherwise I may have offered this one to someone else without giving it a taste – and I would have missed out on all this fabulous flavor.
My first cup of this tea I first tasted with no additions and decided it needed a little bit of turbinado sugar to help bring out those caramel undertones. For my second cup, I decided to try it as a latte, and it really is good. The milk subdues the smokiness and plays to the caramel sweetness – giving it a creaminess. It’s wonderful!