Pitch Black North

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Recent Tasting Notes

I’m gonna write a better tasting note for this in the future, but this was my first tasting and it’s something I just absentmindedly sipped on while working on some Geek Steep outlines for recording tomorrow. It was a lot of cacao which was pretty decent tasting, though had a thin mouthfeel. I expected much more chili than I got though, and so I was a smidge let down by that.

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Geek Steep S3E5 – The Music of Disney

This is the tea that I picked for my pairing of Hellfire from Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So, if this was a top ten list of my favourite Disney songs I think probably close to half the songs would be villain songs. There’s something just so wickedly fun about a good villain song – they’re kind of the best to sing along to and for a few glorious minutes you kind of find yourself rooting for the villain to win. I mean… Be Prepared?? So fun. Gaston? A bop. Poor Unfortune Souls? On repeat always.

However, I knew IMMEDIATELY that I wanted to pick Hellfire. Unlike all my other song choice, Hunchback of Notre Dame is not one of my favourite Disney movies though I do think it’s highly underrated. This, however, is my favourite villain song. In fact, the only reason i was able to cut Poor Unfortunate Souls from my list of choices was because I was so confident about picking this one and I didn’t want to dedicate 2/4 of my choices to villain songs…

Hunchback of Notre Dame is a DARK movie. Like, it’s not for children and something like this would 100% never get made in 2023 by Disney. The movie starts with Frollo attempting to murder a baby. Like, let that set in. It’s one of MANY very, very evil things he does over the film and that’s because Frollo is easily the worst Disney villain. Why is that? Well, he’s the most real. That kind of wickedness exists both in and outside of the Church in both past, present, and probably future too.

It was hard for me to vocalize why I like Hellfire so much but I think it’s maybe in large part because it’s so capable of capturing the ominous, dark, and bone chilling elements of Frollo as a character and Hunchback of Notre Dame as a movie. It’s also just brilliantly composed. Even though I want nothing more than for Frollo to die, I can’t help but belt out the titular lyric ‘Hellfire’ with him throughout the song.

And then, of course, you have the latin in the background which adds to the atmosphere of the music. Much of it is from the Confiteor, which is the prayer used in catholic confession. It almost acts as this ominous call and response with Frollo saying things like “It’s not my fault” and the latin answering “Mea Culpa” (my fault) – basically condemning Frollo of the sins he is trying to falsely write off as justified by God. I have a complicated relationship with religion myself, so I’m not gonna dig into it too much. But, I just think it’s absolutely brilliant that even within his own song Frollo is painted as the villain of this story…

So obviously I paired it with a smoked tea. I mean, how can you not with a name like Hellfire?? I was very particular with which lapsang I picked though. I wanted to do Dead Spendor because of the irony that it comes from a company called Satanic Tea Company but also because this tea has 24K gold flakes in it which was the cherry on top for a song about lust. Smoke and gold. I mean, perfection for matching the tone of the song.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3NoDEu7kpg

Cameron B.

Not Disney, but Hexxus’s song from FernGully is also amazing. :D

Roswell Strange

YEEESSS!! I rewatched FernGully over the pandemic and it honestly holds up.

Cameron B.

Ha ha, I watch it a few times a year! Classic.


I remember Hunchback SO fondly as a favorite film from childhood. Then I rewatched it a couple years ago and was like “wait, this was shown to CHILDREN?!” Somehow the truly horrific parts hadn’t sunk in when I was a kid, or else maybe I blocked them out? Great movie but definitely a very adult story.

Daylon R Thomas

Hunchback is still my favorite Disney Movie on par with Beauty and the Beast. Most boys love Lion King as their favorite, but there’s something about the music and the artwork of that one that’s always stood out to me. I’m having fun reading your Disney paired notes. Hopefully, this tea won’t turn you to sin, mea culpa.

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Ah, yes – just what my already ridiculous Lapsang Souchong addiction needed: Lapsang blended with 24K gold leaf. Is it extra as fuck? Yes. Did I still buy it IMMEDIATELY? Also yes. I’m like 95% sure this is exactly the same tea as “Demon Breath” (this company’s straight Lapsang Souchong) but with the added gold. Someday I’ll do a side by side and compare. If it is the same tea, I’m not bothered at all. This is basically my version of glitter or sprinkles in cookie/cake flavoured teas.

And there’s no such thing as too much Lapsang.

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CSmLKHLAah_/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csr32IFRT_g&ab_channel=TrunkyJuno-Topic

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Satanic tea?! Where has this been all my life?! LOL! A friend gifted me a bag of this today. She knew my little goth pumpkin loving heart would adore this and she was right! The company is hilariously spooky, has great graphics, most of their teas have fun ominous names and they have a tea club!

This tea is brisk! The leaves are chopped into a fine consistency and the mix was a little powdery from how fine it was chopped. I don’t get pumpkin, but I do get a ton of ginger! It was almost more of a gingerbread chai flavor than a pumpkin spiced one. I enjoyed the cup and look forward to more!

Roswell Strange

I love this company! They have an awesome Lapsang.


I saw your notes on it being fruity! Is that an added flavor or just a naturally occurring feature of the lapsang they have?

Roswell Strange

Just naturally occurring :)

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Mid afternoon tea break with this super smoky and surprisingly fruity Lapsang Souchong which is probably my favourite Lapsang of the moment. I always think of Lapsang as more like dragon’s breath, but demons work too…

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CATN8MQg1FZ/

Also, FYI, I did NOT knock down this detour sign for the photo; I walk by it to get to my “tea stump” in the park & it’s been like this for a few weeks now. I even tried to fix it after the tea session and photos, but the weighted base is completely broken and can’t support it anymore…

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVHQ98Dm-AM


LOVE everything about that teaware!

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I steeped this one up in my yixing yesterday afternoon, and I was just so pleasantly surprised by it. I picked this up initially because I REALLY liked the marketing style of the company (plus they had reached out with a coupon code), and IMO there’s no such thing as too much Lapsang – but I had kind of expected it to be a bit more like a daily drinker/run of the mill Lapsang. This was unique, and different from any other LS that I currently own! This is a medium bodied brew with almost meat-y smoke notes, accented by a surprisingly sharp (but sweet) fruity note, almost like a just underripe cherry!

Definitely looking forward to more awesome sessions with this tea!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9KeRSYAqYq/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDh0uAI_uRM

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I feel like I must have pinched a nerve in my should or neck or something because for the last day or so I’ve had a radiating pain crawling up the side of my neck that’s also giving me a constant dull headache. So, this was my attempt at some aromatherapy and headache relief. Honestly? Didn’t taste a ton of lavender although I could still smell it. However, the mint was really relaxing. Even if it may be placebo, as I sipped this smooth and medium bodied black tea with crisp, cooling notes of peppermint I did feel temporarily a little bit better.

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I’ve had an off and on again headache this week. Nothing so bad that I’d call it a migraine, but it’s been a nuisance. Enough so that I pulled this tea out in the morning to bring to work with me, which ended up being a good call. The gentle boost of the caffeine combined with soft, soothing and more aromatic mint and lavender was really relaxing. I almost felt like I could feel the tension in my temples and shoulders just melting away.

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I know I had this tea not too terribly long ago but something about the combination of the lavender and peppermint was really calling to me this week, and I liked how soothing the herbal peppermint felt on my throat. The cherry on the top was the caffeine though – I could have very easily brewed up a ton of different peppermint based herbal blends for the same taste effect but just because I’ve been sick does not mean that I want to be tired all the time. I still worked from home half the week, so caffeine was CRUCIAL.

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I feel like no tea with the grim reaper on the front has any right to be this soothing and gentle, but I guess that’s also a huge part of the fun of it! Steeped this one up over the weekend and it was primarily just a damn good peppermint black tea with a nice floral undertone from the lavender.

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N is for… Necronomicane!

Snuck in one last “N tea” before moving on to my "O teas – and I’m glad it was this one. The peppermint was actually stronger and more menthol/cooling that I remembered it being, and those deeper mint notes mixed with the bold, full bodied black tea was this perfect punch of comforting, classic feeling tea – accented beautifully by hints of lavender. I love the balance of this blend, the simplicity of the flavours, and the stellar quality of all the ingredients used.

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Sipping this currently while making super – at this point it’s just stirring a pot occasionally, so gonna try to crack out some tasting notes…

I like this blend a lot; it’s simple in its flavours but the execution is solid. Very cool, crisp peppermint that is soothing – just the right amount of menthol to it and not at all muddy. The black tea adds body and a hint of malt, and the lavender is the cherry on top with just a hint of heady floral to round out the flavours.

This is exactly the kind of smooth, balanced and stress relieving black tea that I need in my life right now.

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It’s a little after Christmas, I know, so maybe a bit strange to have ordered a loosely “Candy Cane” flavoured tea – but I’ve been dying to try some of the teas from Pitch Black North for months now, so when they gave me a discount code at the start of January I had to cave and place an order…

What can I say, the unique marketing angle won me over.

Despite the loosely holiday themed name, the actual ingredients in this tea seemed like both the kind of thing I’d enjoy but also the kind of thing that would actually work year round. Sure enough, when I cracked open the sample bag is just smells like a really nice, really fresh peppermint tea. Steeped up, it’s almost just peppermint – but the black tea is providing some body that I think your standard cup of peppermint would be lacking, and the lavender adds a soft floral aroma that it soothing too. I actually don’t really taste it all that much, though.

It was a good tea, and refreshing/crisp! I was worried the peppermint might lean towards that more muddy/dirty type of peppermint but it’s much more of a crisp and cooling mint. Very clean finish, as well.

I look forward to eventually trying the other tea I picked up, and I’ve already been putting my “Hail Satan Steep Tea” mug to good use!

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