Review: Man Teas Smoky Bacon

Bacon Tea, Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong Tea, Man Teas Add comments
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I can't say whether or not this blend is "better" than the Maple Bacon Tea, but it is definitely an equal, at least. They are notably different from one another, and both are well worth your investment."
Dan’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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manteaslogoFor those not in the know, Frank Horbelt is the mad scientist of the tea world. He is the proprietor of Zoomdweebies Tea Bar in Wichita, Kansas - a seemingly unlikely place for an incredible variety of quality tea, served up in a nice cafe-like setting. There, he concocts tea blends in Dr. Jekyll-like fashion, and his tea bar boasts over 200 different varieteas (sic). Frank also heads up the wonderful 52 Teas "project", which sets out to create a different and unique blend of tea each week of the year, each of which is offered in uber-limited quantities and sells out quickly. Frank's latest project is Man Teas - something I identify with quite strongly. Frank and I are kin in our beliefs that the widely held notion of tea being a "girly drink" is just preposterous. So many countless companies, websites, tea rooms, accessories, and whatnot, are just frilled up unnecessarily with doilies and lace and frou-frou ridiculousness that it can be downright embarrassing to an entire gender. Frank plants tongue firmly in cheek with the creation of Man Teas - a "company" by, about, and for dudes, with flavors like Beer Tea, Radioactive (i.e. hyper-caffeinated) Tea, Coffee Tea, Mayan Chocolate Chai, etc. It's all in good fun.

Frank's revolutionary Maple Bacon Tea was the first (known) tea to infuse bacon flavor into tea. A genius idea that married imitation bacon bits with Indian Tea leaves and maple flavors. It was an instant success and in an unprecedented move, Frank re-blended the tea after a rousing success at 52 teas, now offering it full time. He also promised to craft many future bacon tea blends. Smokey Bacon is the first follow-up as promised.

Whereas the Maple Bacon tea took on a sweet flavoring from the maple aspects, Smokey Bacon utilizes the obvious for its tea base - a quality Lapsang Souchong (tea that is dried via smoke from burning pine wood). hence, I tend to throw a playful "hey, that's cheating!" jab, but it certainly makes sense. The initial side-by-side comparison to the Maple Bacon tea has the Smokey Bacon blend coming up incredibly strong in the Lapsang flavor. It somehow seems less bacon-y than the former. However, as the cup carries on, and the memory of the Maple Bacon fades from the palate, the bacon is omnipresent, very much so. Particularly in the finish, that savory bacon flavor saturates the taste buds, leaving you craving sip after sip.

I've just brewed up a cup of straight Lapsang Souchong, and I must say, I was way off the mark for thinking the Smokey Bacon blend was a cop-out. It is much more smooth than your average Lapsang, and the bacon flavor is ever-more prevalent the more I compare with a standard Lapsang.

The aroma of the dried blend has a certain succulence to it - the bacon rides strong aside the Lapsang, which is decidedly tempered here to positive effect for maximum bacon on the nose.. I kept with a 4 minute brew, utilizing just-boiling water, and this cup is ideal - although anywhere in the 3-5 minute range works nicely as well.

Overall, I can't say whether or not this blend is "better" than the Maple Bacon, but it is definitely an equal, at least. They are notably different from one another, and both are well worth your investment.

— To purchase Man Teas Smoky Bacon, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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