“The Big Chill” – January’s Steepster Select Box

I hope you’ll bear with me as I do something a little different with tonight’s post.

As a subscriber to the Steepster Select program, I receive a box with three different teas.  Each month there is a different theme.  This month’s theme is “The Big Chill.”  The box also includes a postcard size card that offers some insight on the theme, as well as the teas that are chosen.

Here is the description of The Big Chill:

For when winter seeps into the bones and dull skies numb the spirit, we have just the teas to warm you through and through.

A smokey black tea, fire crackling at your feet.
A chai with warming spices, heat spreading from sip to fingertips.
A peppermint-blended green tea, the remembrance of holidays past.

Seasons greetings from Steepster.

This month, I have already reviewed the smoky black tea and the chai with warming spices, but have not yet reviewed the peppermint-blended green tea.  That’s because I already reviewed this tea back in November, and since it was such a short time ago, I didn’t feel the need to review it once again.  My thoughts on this tea haven’t changed:  it still tastes crisp and minty and refreshing. However, I didn’t want to let January close without having mentioned the third tea.

The teas that were chosen for this month’s Steepster Select were all wonderful teas and were perfect for the chosen theme.  The smoky tones of the Lapsang Souchong evokes thoughts of a warm, cozy fire roaring in the fireplace.  The spices in the chai warmed me from the inside out, helping me to stave off winter’s cold.  And this delicious Moroccan Mint from Earthbound Tea is cool and sweet, reflective of the crisp chill in the air.

I can’t wait to discover what next month’s Steepster Select has in store!

Lapsang Souchong from Dr. Tea’s Tea Garden

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Dr. Tea’s Tea Garden

About This Tea:

The story goes that Lapsang Souchong was first created when the Wuyi region’s annual tea drying process was interrupted by army movement. To compensate for the missed drying period, tea farmers hung their tea over pinewood fires, consequently imparting a distinctive smoky flavor and aroma. Our Lapsang Souchong is sourced by Mark Ukra, co-owner of Dr. Tea’s Tea Garden, who comes from a family of Middle Eastern tea merchants dating back 400 years. Drink Lapsang Souchong plain or try it as a spice or rub for cooking.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

January’s Steepster Select box brought teas that to help warm us up from Winter’s Chill.  The first tea that I tried from the box was this Lapsang Souchong, which is a little unusual for me since it’s one of my least favorite teas (well, not this Lapsang Souchong, but Lapsang Souchong in general is one of my least favorite teas).

But this is no ordinary Lapsang Souchong.  This is easily the best that I’ve ever tried.  Now, I can’t say that I’ve tried a lot of Lapsang Souchong teas, as it is one of those teas that I tend to avoid, but I have tried a few, and I’ve even managed to – slowly – get my palate more accustomed to the unique flavor experience of Lapsang Souchong.  While I am slowly gaining an appreciation for this strong, smoky tea, it is still sometimes difficult for me to get past it.

This Lapsang Souchong from Dr. Tea’s Tea Garden has been a real eye-opening experience for me.  I am not just “appreciating” this tea … I’m LOVING it!

The first couple of sips are quite smoky.  But once I get past those first sips, I find wonderful flavors await me.  I can actually taste the pine here, and that is something that I didn’t really experience in previous Lapsang Souchong tastings.  I may have tasted mere hints of pine in the distance, but, mostly what I tasted was smoke and the caramel undertone.  Here, the pine is quite distinct and it is lovely.

The caramel undertones are there as well, giving a very pleasant sweetness to the smoky overtones.  But what I find especially enjoyable is the way that the caramel undertones meld with the pine notes.  The flavors here are deep and intriguing.

A very unique Lapsang Souchong, and I have Steepster Select for bringing it to me!