If you are looking for a smokey tea this is a good one to try. They did a good job with this Yunnan-Lapsong blend ratio… straight Lapsong is too smokey for me and the Yunnan pulls it down to a point of acceptability while maintaining the richness and character, minus the too-intense smokey bite. Its still a very smokey tea and needs to be stored away from others.

Compared to Samovar’s Russian Blend it is smoother and richer, with higher and more diverse flavor notes. The samovar is more of a frank, charred smoke, while this one is more of a burnt/roasted cedar. Both have a background sweetness which is a great component. They are both very good teas if you enjoy smokiness. I drink both of them straight. For the money, and the organic aspect, I’d go with this one.

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket


Metro DC

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