So so smoky. Smoke of pine tree. Very interesting but not for everyday
7 steeps: rinse,5s,10s,15s,20s,25s,35s,45s
Flavors: Pine, Smoked
“So so smoky. Smoke of pine tree. Very interesting but not for everyday 7 steeps: rinse,5s,10s,15s,20s,25s,35s,45s” Read full tasting note
“First, when I just discovered smoky Lapsang Souchong I was madly in love with it: because it was so different, strong, with such a distinct personality – I like assertive teas. Then gradually I...” Read full tasting note
“Additional notes: I really wanted to try a smoky tea mixed with a cream tea. Turns out I don’t have a cream tea around. The closest I could think of is Adagio’s Cream but I don’t have that...” Read full tasting note
“Omigoodness, yes! This one is just smoky enough without the harshness of char. I steeped this in my Libre travel mug. I went light on the dry leaf and long on the steeping and it was perfect. ...” Read full tasting note
Origin: Tong Mu Guan (桐木关), Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, China
Plucking Standard: One bud with two or three leaves
Dry Leaf: Tightly twisted strip, glossy black in color with a little bit golden tips
Aroma: Remarkable and strong aroma of a pine wood fire but not overwhelming
Liquor: Bright orange-yellow
Taste: With notes of pine smoky flavor, it tastes soft, mellow with sweet aftertaste, leaving a very pleasant fragrant smell lingering in mouth and throat.
Tea Bush: Wuyi Qi Cong Cultivar
Tea Garden: Tongmu Organic Tea Garden
A distinctive black tea with well-balanced aroma of pine smoky flavor that is most suitable for tea lovers who prefer strong-tasting tea.
Company description not available.
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First, when I just discovered smoky Lapsang Souchong I was madly in love with it: because it was so different, strong, with such a distinct personality – I like assertive teas. Then gradually I began to lose my interest when it became clear that smoky Lapsang manufacturers often use second-grade teas as a base and the smokiness itself frequently comes from the cost-cutting, industrial scale smoking process that completely overpowers the base with some very generic and uninteresting smokiness. And once I even encountered the unmistakable acridity of the liquid smoke!
So, I approached this sample bag from Teavivre with weariness and low expectations. But this tea restored my faith in smoky Lapsangs: they are a great, distinct kind of tea – when done right. This tea has an absolutely fantastic smokiness. The fragrant is incredibly rich and real; you can close your eyes and almost hear the cracking of the pine branches and needles in the campfire. I usually spend a minute or two just inhaling the aroma before taking a first sip.
The taste is very piny and smoky, with a good deal of complexity. It also feels very authentic and not mass-produced at all. A looong piny aftertaste. The tea itself is not shining through – it is by no means a lightly smoked Lapsang – but it does add some sweetness, which becomes more pronounced with subsequent steeps. And this tea can produce several of them without substantively changing its character.
This is not a tea for everyone. It is barely borderline a tea at all. But it is very “real” and can easily command one’s attention: I actually was late for a work meeting because I just HAD to finish this cup.
P.S. I ranked it so highly since I consider it to be a great representation of the class and not because it reveals the complexity of the tea itself and calls for the exploration with a gaiwan and a stop watch. The tea itself is moderately broken and probably not the best: it is all about smoke and pine.
Flavors: Campfire, Pine, Smoke, Sweet
Additional notes: I really wanted to try a smoky tea mixed with a cream tea. Turns out I don’t have a cream tea around. The closest I could think of is Adagio’s Cream but I don’t have that around at the moment. So I tried Adagio’s Vanilla tea and I can’t taste it at ALL underneath all this smoke. I love the idea though! Maybe plain ol actual cream, but I don’t have that around right now either. It would be GOOD if I had the right teas to mix together.
Any suggestions for cream smoke teas?
Omigoodness, yes! This one is just smoky enough without the harshness of char. I steeped this in my Libre travel mug. I went light on the dry leaf and long on the steeping and it was perfect. Just the right amount of body and smokiness. Smooth, smooth, smooth. A very enjoyable cup and I am aiming to have another very soon.
Thank you, Angel, for this sample. This is likely one that I would include in my next order.
Flavors: Smoke, Wood
Sample provided by Teavivre. Thank you, Angel!
Brewed 3.5g in a 60ml gaiwan. Gave the leaf a flash rinse. Followed the website’s steeping times: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 35, 45 (went beyond to do 1 minute, 2, 4, and 9).
It’s not at all surprising to smell campfire when I open the packet. It’s nicely smokey, very unoffensive. The smoke becomes muted when I let the leaf sit in the pre-heated gaiwan, bringing out a scent of BBQ’d pork ribs covered with sweet BBQ sauce. The wet leaf aroma smells like unburned pine wood and a touch of honey.
The liquor is the color of creamy orange. It’s not at all opaque, clear rather, but it is a soft-looking orange. Medium-bodied, considering the leaf and not the smoke. Has a smooth texture. The flavors don’t change throughout the session. They instead remain very much the same: pine smoke, dry wood, charcoal (burned wood bits), BBQ’d pork. The smokey aftertaste is mellow. As I said on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/p/BP5gFNZhnIL/), this smoky Lapsang Souchong feels cozy and figuratively tastes like winter air filled with smoke arising from suburban houses’ chimneys.
I’ve had more un-smoky Lapsang Souchong (or Zhen Shan Xiao Zhong) than smoky and prefer those, but I did like this one. I wouldn’t buy it. I never feel like I want a smoky Lapsang Souchong – I just don’t enjoy it enough. For those who do, give this a try. The leaf quality isn’t high since the leaf consists of a lot of broken pieces, but given that it’s a lower grade that is smoke, it isn’t an issue.
Unsmoked or mildly smoky Lapsang Souchong counts among my favourite teas but I can still love a smoky Lapsang when it is done well. There needs to be a nice balance between the flavours from the smoke and the flavour of the underlying tea. This one is quite enjoyable. The tea itself has a silky oolong like texture in the mouth and in early steeps is intensely sweet. This contrasts nicely with the cooling menthol like notes from the pine. For a smoky tea the aftertaste is actually quite refreshing and even cooling. Thank you so much Angel for the sample I quite enjoyed it.
2.5 g in 110ml of water at boiling
The dry leaf is moderately broken colour mostly dull dark chocolate brown some stems.
The smell is quite smoky but with a sweet pine tar smell mixed with a sweet caramel fruity note in the tea. It smells like fall at my cousins cottage on Georgian bay. It is a mix of syrup, forest and maple notes.
First steep 45s. The first flavour note is sweet caramel mixed with tart stone fruit that opens up to a spicy woody pine/ menthol note mixed with mild smoke which afterwards blends into an even sweeter almost birch syrup ( cooler maple) note. It finishes with very refreshing note in the mouth.
The tea feels very soft and silky in the mouth. The colour is a slightly red toned caramel.
2nd steep. The scent is less smoky more of an aged spicy wood scent that is sweet like a cedar lined sauna. There is a slightly thicker feeling in the mouth with a mild astringency. The tea is slightly more fruity with a touch of malt added to the mix above. Once again a very bright cooling aftertaste is present.
3rd steep. The smoke and pine/cedar wood scent smells more like spent incense. The colour of the tea is more red than caramel. This steep returned to a creamy silky feeling on the tongue. There is a taste of caramel complete with hints of vanilla and hints of ripe plum. It still ends with a cooling feeling on the tongue and an aftertaste of spice and incense.
4th steep. The flavour is fruity and incense like. The tea remains cooling on the tongue. The caramel sweetness is less apparent. You can still taste pine on the edge of the flavour notes.
5th steep. The tea still has a nice body but the flavours are waning.