Review: Red Leaf Tea Double-Smoked Tea

Black Tea, Red Leaf Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I wanted to go camping after drinking this. I never want to go camping."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Chelsy gave it 6.0/10
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Talk about overkill. Not only was this black tea smoked once, but it was given a second hardwood smoking afterward. Following that, smokehouse flavoring was added. I had no idea what a smokehouse was prior to running into this. Turns out it's where meats are cured. Red Leaf Tea even says this tea goes great with meat-oriented meals.

My only major question is this: Would that make it a "Triple-Smoked" tea then? I dunno. Probably not, since the last bit of "smoke" is a flavoring of some sort. Whatever; semantics.

For all intents and purposes, this smelled like a Lapsang Souchong. While the description doesn't call it such, the hickory/campfire aroma was unmistakable. And, damn, I love that smell. It's the only time I ever get nostalgic about camping. The leaves themselves looked as if they'd been thrown into a campfire then collected after it died; completing the aura of roughing it.

Brewing instructions called for 1 flat teaspoon infused with 6oz of boiling water for three-to-five minutes. I was trying this early in the morning and not quite in the mood for a screwed-up brew. I forwent my usual lighter-side approach and opted for a middle-ground steep of four minutes; 1 tablespoon in 8oz, though.

The leaves colored the water almost instantly upon connection. I actually watched as the cup shifted from bronze to a medium red-brown. Steam from the mouthpiece smelled as smoky as its namesake but with a malty and floral dual characteristic included. The flavor was crisp on the forefront and settled superbly into its smokehouse savoriness. "Smooth" is not often a word I would associate with a Lapsang or anything like it, yet this qualifies. If it had a major flaw, it would be the bitterness on the aftertaste, and that's usually dealt with in a lighter steep.

In short, I wanted to go camping after drinking this. I never want to go camping. How's that for a compliment?

— To purchase Red Leaf Tea Double-Smoked Tea, 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.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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