I thought it would be fun to drink my newly purchased 2021 Wild Lapsang from TheTea immediately after the awesome Wild Lapsang from What-Cha. When I wrote my review for this tea a few years ago, it was among the first Lapsangs that I tried, and I didn’t have too many reference points. Will it measure up now that I’m more Lapsang savvy?

I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus a few long infusions.

Compared to the aroma of the What-Cha version, this Lapsang has less candied fruit and a milder lemon, plus aromas of orchid, veggies, malt, cookies, wood, orange, and pineapple. Togo mentioned moss, and I can detect it now. The first steep has notes of lemon, cooked pineapple, lychee, apricot, orange, orchids, cookies, moss, grass, wood, and malt. The second steep introduces tart raspberry, cranberry, plum, and cream along with the citrus, pineapple, and pastry. Cooked pineapple, lychee, tart berries, apricot, plum, and citrus are nicely mixed in the next couple steeps, and there are hints of dark chocolate and bread. The tea is soft and viscous with a lingering red fruit aftertaste. Steeps five and six lean toward jammy berries, plums, and apricots, with a growing presence of lemon plus wood, pineapple, tannins, cookies, orchids, other unidentifiable flowers, and minerals. Subsequent steeps are more malty, with lemon, moss, veggies, cookies, minerals, and wood, though the fruit also persists.

While What-Cha’s Lapsang is a showoff, this one is equally pleasant, though a little more subdued. There’s plenty of pineapple and a jammy berry element I didn’t notice in the What-Cha version. The citrus is less prominent, but still runs through almost the entire session. The What-Cha Lapsang has a more typical sweet potato, bready, and vegetal backbone, while this one has a mossy note and perhaps more assertive malt and wood.

I’m giving these Lapsangs the same high rating because they’re both excellent teas. The one from What-Cha is definitely cheaper to access, both in terms of pricing and shipping. Nonetheless, I feel I’d have missed out if I hadn’t tried this version, and will be tempted to buy more when I run out.

Flavors: Apricot, Berries, Bread, Citrus, Cookie, Cranberry, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Grass, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Orange, Orchid, Pastries, Pineapple, Plum, Raspberry, Tannin, Tart, Vegetal, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Daylon R Thomas

They are really close and similar, but What-Cha’s is more forward.

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Daylon R Thomas

They are really close and similar, but What-Cha’s is more forward.

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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