Given my interest in any unsmoked lapsang that crosses my path, it’s no surprise this ended up in my cart. The low price made me pause, but didn’t deter me. I steeped 6 g of leaf in 120 ml of 195F water for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of honey, peach, hay, wood, and florals. The first steep has notes of grilled peach, honey, hay, malt, raisins, tannins, florals, and wood. The next steep adds orange, sweet potato, herbs, minerals, and more tannins, with a bit of that silky, viscous texture I associate with lapsang. In the next couple steeps, I get the earthy, forest floor notes I sometimes find in unsmoked lapsangs, along with less apparent fruit, honey, minerals, malt, and tannins. This lapsang is not particularly fruity, though the honey gives it some sweetness. Steeps five and six are more earthy, with honey, sweet potato, hints of peach and orange, tannins, and malt. Subsequent steeps have notes of honey, earth, malt, minerals, wood, and tannins.

This is a decent unsmoked lapsang, especially if you want something honeyed and earthy instead of fruity. However, I admit I’m kind of a lapsang snob, and I look for those upfront floral, fruity flavours. I also found the tea a bit tannic, particularly as the session progressed.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Forest Floor, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Raisins, Silky, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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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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