Smaug Tea from 52Teas

SmaugTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green & Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

We had some discussion about what base tea would be used in a Smaug tea, but clearly it had to be a DRAGON Well. For those unfamiliar, Dragon Well (aka Longjing, aka Lung Ching) is a green tea from the Zhejiang province in China. Legend has it the tea derives its name from the beneficent dragon said to live in a local well.

Our Smaug tea is a blend of Dragon Well, cinnamon chips, a hint of lapsang souchoung (I only used a single ounce in five pounds of Dragon Well, just enough to give it a little smoky character), some cayenne pepper and organic flavors. It’s a fiery feast for your tastebuds!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh WOW!  This Smaug Tea from 52Teas is amazing!

I love the level of spice here – it is spicy, in fact, my first few sips, I could feel it in my sinuses!  That’s how you know it’s got the spice!  But, it isn’t SO spicy that I feel like I need to put out a fire on my tongue.  I’m not running for a drink of water to dilute the spice, nor am I needing a bite of something dairy-ish to extinguish the flames on my palate (my personal favorite in instances such as these is ice cream).  So … it is spicy and just a little smoky, but not to the point where I find it uncomfortable to drink.  On the contrary, I’m really enjoying the burn!

The Dragon Well tea offers a light sweetness and a hint of vegetal taste.  If I had any complaint about this tea at all, it would be that the Dragon Well almost seems a little overwhelmed by the flavors of cinnamon and cayenne pepper … almost, but not quite.  I can taste the Dragon Well, but, the flavor does seem to be competing with the other flavors here.

The Lapsang Souchong is a barely there addition … there is just enough to give the cup the faintest insinuation of smoky undertones.

Another idea would be to use Chipotle pepper which would provide smokiness in addition to heat … Frank, if you’re reading this … how about a Chipotle Raspberry Chocolate tea?  Spicy Love!  YUM!

The cinnamon offers a nice, earthy character to the cup in addition to a zesty spice which compliments the cayenne pepper very nicely.  The cayenne adds … just the right amount of heat here.  It isn’t over done.  If you’re wimpish about spices, you probably wouldn’t like this, but if you enjoy taking a walk on the spicy side now and then … I think you’ll find this tea is right up your alley!

Loving the burn!  Absolutely LOVING it!


Longjing Tea from Infussion

LongjingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Infussion

Tea Description:

This is the tea which early harvests gets the highest prices on the market out of all green teas. It’s very potent and exquisite. The taste is uncommon for green tea with strong vegetal and nutty notes accompanied by the blissful sweetness. It’s aroma is very delicate and refreshing. Dragon Well tea is A MUST for every tea enthusiast. It also has unbelievable potential for converting non-drinkers – it is that good!  We think everyone should try this tea, that’s why we’re offering it so cheap despite good quality. Give yourself a chance to taste the unmistakable Longjing.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I do love a good Dragon Well tea so when Infussion approached me and asked me which of their teas I’d like to try, I decided to include this one … I find it so interesting that with all the different Dragon Well teas that I’ve tried from different companies, that some taste better than others … I mean, part of me thinks that if you’ve tried one, you’ve tried them all, but, that is absolutely not the case!  This Longjing Tea from Infussion is definitely one of the BETTER ones that I’ve tried.

The aroma of the dry leaf is very fresh, with a scent that evokes thoughts of something between freshly mown grass and seaweed.  The fragrance of the brewed tea is a little more delicate than that of the dry leaf, but, still quite similar to this.  It’s a very sweet, bright scent, reminiscent of the early days of spring, when the new green leaves and fresh buds of grass are beginning to form and their smells fill the air, and in these cold days of winter, those spring days are definitely a welcome thought!

This tastes so vibrant!  Sweet and leafy-green-ish, like steamed spinach that’s been topped with a drizzle of melted butter.  It is a mild and fresh taste, very soothing and relaxing … but at the same time, the green taste has an energizing quality to it too.  It’s one of those teas that I can imagine drinking any time of the day … if I want a quick pick-me-up, this tea will do the trick … then again, if I want something to help calm the nerves after a busy day, this tea can do that too.

A really wonderful Dragon Well!  I recommend it highly as a must-try for green tea lovers!

Dragonwell from Adagio Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Product Description:

One of China’s most famous green teas, Dragonwell (Lung Ching or Longjing in local parlance) comes from Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. This tea has a very distinctive shape: smooth and perfectly flattened along the inside vein of the leaf, the result of highly skilled shaping in a hot wok. This process, known as pan-firing or pan-frying, was perfected in China by tea masters over many centuries. It gives the tea an inviting, toasty aroma. Our Dragonwell also has a sweet, rounded flavor, perhaps reminiscent of freshly roasted white corn. Full, nutty and buttery texture and pleasantly dry finish. A truly satisfying cup of tea.

Taster’s Review:

There was a time when I would shy away from Dragonwell tea, but I’ve come to not only appreciate it, but actually really enjoy it.

This is a very fine Dragonwell.  It has a light, crisp flavor.  I find myself agreeing with the above description completely:  notes of roasted corn, sweet, nutty, buttery, toasty.  All of those describe this tea well.

There is a faint grassy taste in the distance.  A sweetness in the foreground throughout.  The buttery flavor is not a thick buttery essence, but rather, it is like a touch of butter on the fresh roasted corn.  There is very little astringency that seems to be noticeable only when I’m actually trying to search for it.  The finish is crisp and dry, and the aftertaste is lightly sweet.

This tea is available in loose leaf form, as well as part of the Artisan Comfort Gourmet Tea Collection which features a select variety of teas in pyramid sachets.  Perfect for travel or on-the-go!  (PS:  The holidays are approaching and one of these Gourmet Tea Collections would make a great gift for the tea lover on your shopping list!)