When I was a kid, I remember my Mum served us a Lapsang Souchong after a family dinner one night, and we all hated it so much that the very mention of the name today is still enough to make my sisters pull faces.

But I am brave, and much cooler than them, so when I started to see recipes that suggested using Lapsang Souchong to impart a smoky flavour to the dish, I was intrigued.

Now when I smell that distinctive smoke from this tea, it hits me in the same spot as the smell of baking bread, or macaroni and cheese. It’s completely comforting, and makes me want to snuggle up with a cup of this and a book and read late into the night.

The smoke flavour profile in this one seems to be lower that whatever it is that I had as a child. It’s definitely strong, but not like drinking a cupful of ashes. The tea adds a nice astringency, and the smoke lingers in a very toasty aftertaste.

I think I can consider myself a convert. I don’t think anyone here would see this as an everyday tea, but it’s an evocative experience in a cup, and I’m a fan.

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