Friday, August 9, 2013

Lapsang Souchong

If you have ever wanted to know what a punch in the face feels like, then this is the tea for you!  The key word in the flavor description is "smokey" and that is the very reason why I was compelled to venture into this tea.  Usually, I can smell a tea through the box and I know what to expect.  Somehow, this tea was undetected by my nose... until I opened it.  That, my dear readers, is when the Kraken was unleashed.  It smelled of burning wood.  It smelled STRONGLY of burning wood.  That's where the punch in the face comes in - minus all the pesky blood and secret Fight Club lifestyle.  The usual beautiful aromas that you associate with a nice cuppa like the comforting and mouth-watering aroma of the bergamot in Earl Grey are replaced by Smokey the Bear's nightmares.  It gains this when the tea leaves are smoked in a bamboo basket above burning wood.  I really didn't know what to expect at this point and was certain that I was about to meet the elusive "tea I don't like" that I never thought actually existed.  I brewed it, and dove in.  Hand to Goddess, this tea wasn't nearly as strong and smokey as it smelled, which was a huge relief.  It does have a very distinct smokiness but it isn't nearly as strong as the smell is.  I also find that the taste and the smell are actually very different.  It smells like burning wood but tastes just slightly smokey and woodsy.  You can only find this one at specialty stores and online.  This was another one of my local British shoppe finds.  When I purchased it, the shoppe owner asked if I heard about it on Oprah because apparently she mentioned it and then he sold out in a week.  Being a former Barnes & Noble employee and seeing how books she mentioned flew off the shelves, I understood exactly what he was talking about.

A little warning about this tea:  It makes things in it's surrounding smell like it does.  I put one in my handbag and everything smelled like it.  I put it in my tea cupboard, and the teas near it started tasting like it.  I have since placed the little tea bags in a ziploc and put them back in the box they came in.  You can still smell it when you handle the box, but it doesn't spread like the plague anymore.

I definitely recommend this to anyone who has never had a smokey tea before.  I can actually say that I do enjoy this tea... as scary as it may smell.  Cheers!

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