Smoke Show (Lapsang Souchong Black Tea) from Tease

smoke-showTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Tea Description:  

“You smell like a campfire.” Edward says to me as I walk into the office with this smoking hot beauty. Sheena has blessed us with some of the first samples of this smoky wonder. She described it as the scotch of the tea world. Bold and boisterous, it’s a mans tea, able to convert any hard core coffee addict to a gentle tea sipper.

It’s bold scent is definitely softened when steeped. The air will hold on to this campfire scent, reminding us of weekends camping and long weeks at the cottage. It also reminded us how much we like whisky. We brewed up a small pot, iced it and served it as mixer in our weekend Manhattans.

The flavour, while still maintaining a hint of smoke, is very earthy and gentle. Perfect for mornings or an evening of cocktail sipping. Mix 2oz of iced Lapsang Souchong with 2oz of whiskey, a splash of fresh apple juice, and a squeeze of lime for a perfect evening drink.

Learn more about July’s Postal Teas shipment here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

By now, I’ve mentioned my lack of enthusiasm for Postal Tea’s choices for my first month of trying out this subscription service.  They went with the “classics” and the theme “One Classy Lady.”  OK, I get it, and I even understand the desire to want to offer subscribers three classic teas that all tea drinkers should at least try.  But for those of us who are pretty well acquainted with these “classics,” the teas in this box end up being just a little … less than exciting.

I do LOVE the box though.  First of all, it’s packaged beautifully in a slim box.  The sample sizes are just the right size for a pot of tea.  I liked getting a handwritten note from Postal Teas (it’s a small detail, but it’s one that I really appreciate) and I really liked receiving the tea notebook.  These little touches made the box very special, so I am hoping that next month’s shipment from Postal Teas has something just a little less classic for their subscribers.

In the meantime, I have a cup of Lapsang Souchong sitting before me.  I can smell the heavy smoky note.  The description above is accurate in saying that it smells smokier than it tastes.  This is true of just about every Lapsang Souchong tea that I’ve tasted.  I don’t know that I’ve ever really thought much about it, because the aroma is so smoky that it’s often difficult to separate the scent from the taste because these two senses are very connected.  But this is a tea that definitely benefits – at least for me – to not inhale deeply before taking that sip as I would normally do, because then the sip tastes less smoky.

Another way to help eliminate some of the smoke is to brew it “properly” – again, at least properly for me.  I always give Lapsang Souchong leaves a rinse before I infuse the leaves by steeping the leaves for about 15 seconds and then straining off the liquid and discarding it.  This gets rid of a lot of the overpowering smoke, but not all of it.  There’s still some smoke – but it’s a lot more enjoyable now because it’s not overwhelming me.

212°F for 15 seconds, strain and discard liquid, and then infuse the leaves at 212°F for 2 1/2 minutes – 3 minutes.  Strain and enjoy.  I don’t usually go over 3 minutes.

This is a pleasant Lapsang Souchong.  Smoky, yes, but there is a delightful complexity beyond the smoke.  A delectably sweet caramel undertone with notes of stone fruit.  I know I’ve probably used this descriptive before in other reviews when describing the flavors in a Lapsang, but it’s applicable and it’s what I’m tasting:  imagine charring a ripe plum over a smoky campfire.  That’s what I taste.  It’s sweet and it’s really quite lovely … and certainly worth the effort of the extra brewing step to be able to enjoy these flavors.

This tea is one of three that I received in my July Postal Teas subscription package, and currently it’s available only to Postal Teas customers and isn’t currently on Tease website, which is why I didn’t include a direct link where you could buy this tea.

I enjoyed the classic teas that Postal Teas sent me this month … but as I said, I’m looking forward to what they will send with the next shipment.

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