|"I wasn't belching "buuurning" after the initial sip."|
There's no gentle way to put it here, it smelled like campfire. I happen to love the smell. It reminds me of the family cabin up in the Big Horns - chill air, calm night, roasting wood. The scent brought that all back in seconds, and it was strong. Appearance-wise, this batch looked like any other roasted/smoked black tea, soot-colored and twisty. They also appeared longer than average for a leaf, consistent with the above claim that larger leaves were used.
Brewing instructions were on the thick side of easy, 1 tsp per 6oz of boiled water, steeped for four or five minutes. I did something I usually don't do and brewed it at the least recommended time, mainly to see what other characteristics beyond pine smoke I could pick up. (If any.) That and I went with a tablespoon of leaves in an 8oz cup.
At only four minutes, it brewed rather light for a black tea; bronze-to-russet. The aroma was not entirely all smoke but close, yet there was also a sweetness to it like burnt cocoa. The taste was bold on the forefront, smooth in the middle, and surprisingly floral and earthy on the aftertaste. I wasn't belching "buuurning" after the initial sip. This more layered cup was probably due to the shorter infusion. Had I waited another minute, I'm sure I would've had more pine smoke than I could deal with. However, that speaks volumes about the product itself. Just a difference of a minute can change the outcome of this tea - a trait Lapsang usually doesn't possess. Whether it be campfires or camping in from of the computer, this is a welcomed winter tea.
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