Okay I admit I didn’t actually know that this was smoked tea when I purchased it, I wouldn’t have done so if i had known. I mean I should’ve known but anyway, it’s fine I actually really enjoyed this.
The dry leaf smells like .. (drumroll please) pine smoke. maybe with a slight.. vanilla
After the rinse I get an aroma that’s more complex, pine smoke that’s sort of beneath more savoury notes, sort of a salty dark chocolate, and cinnamon, and almonds, there’s notions of greens and florals behind it all but nothing that’s identifiable
Most of the smokiness is contained in the aroma, the taste is much more of a salty milk chocolate, cherries, a sort of dusty feeling, there’s a distinct creaminess, but the moment I breathe out after the sip, everything is replaced with a sweet pine smokey aroma, it’s so thick, and it actually tastes milky.
The second steep yields a much more diluted aroma, far less smoke and I get a varied aroma, quite similar to the taste of the first steep, and the taste has more vanilla, and some earthiness and honey-sweetness. It really tastes and feels like warm milk.. I’ve never experienced tea with such a true milkiness.
Also, the tea brews up a beautiful vibrant orange-yellow, pics:
More chocolate in the third, the strong smokiness mostly (never completely) goes away pretty quickly and then it’s like drinking some weak hot chocolate with some really lovely pine wood and smoke. Not too complex anymore but it is gooooooood. seriously I have never enjoyed a smoke lapsang souchong before but man, Li Xiangxi knows what’s up.
Oh I forgot to mention, the dryness it leaves is specifically on the tongue which is the exact same thing warm milk does to me, which is a large part of the reason for the warm milk effect. I had this in the morning last time, and that was a mistake, this is definitely a late night sort of tea.
I guess I have to try .. all of Li Xiangxi’s teas now. These people have me thoroughly enjoying a smoked black tea, who knows what else is possible!