Little Red Cup Co. Lapsang Souchong Tea
3.2g (bit over double the suggested amount from LRC since I wanted to gaiwan brew) tea, Brita filtered water, 120 mL gaiwan (figured out by now that overfilling my gaiwan was why I always kept spilling everywhere when pouring…), temp. right off the boil
dry leaves: like a burnt fire, but sweet haha. Wonderfully fragrant if you’re a fan of the campfire vibes!
3s flash steep: leaves: hay/straw, something sour, pine, smokey
Tea: smells fruity
Taste: sweet, then smokey and bitter (like a certain traditional Chinese medicine taken for stomach pain…), then lychee fruit aftertaste
I try my best not to peek at notes ahead of time, but I failed this time and I agree with the packet label that the lingering fruit note is very lychee-like. I guess this is a trade off with reading and not reading notes beforehand. I do believe that it can be easy to read notes into teas that maybe aren’t there sometimes (granted I’m not a tea sommelier of any sort), but then without seeing LRC’s lychee note, the best I could’ve offered was fruit of some kind.
7s: leaves: grassy, smoky, similar to earlier
Tea: ￼more fruity smell now
Taste: bitter then sweet
14s: leaves: more grassy and medicinal
Tea: similar smell
Taste: a little sour (acidic?), bitter then sweet
25s: leaves and tea: similar to before
Taste: similar to before then somewhat more grassy but also more sweet aftertaste
1 min: usually wouldn’t kick it up to 1 min so soon, but busy day today. Leaves similar to before. Tea is increasingly fruity.
I’m sure you could do extra steepings, but past this point I’m sure the differences would probably be more minute.
Overall, this tea is worth a try for the novelty of the aftertaste alone. It’s not immediately gratifying like the aftertaste of a good Oolong, but compared with the immediate taste of the tea, it is incredibly pleasant (nothing I can recall that I’ve tried compares to it exactly). I’ve never had a Lapsang Souchong before, so I’m curious if this is representative of the category as a whole. The smell of the dry leaves is very strong, and I personally like the campfire sort of vibe it invokes. Because the taste of the tea itself (excepting the aftertaste) is rather invoking of the stomach pain TCM I’ve had to take in the past (thanks mom and dad), I wouldn’t purchase any more of this tea, but I can definitely see why others like it! :)
3.75 stars/5 stars
edit: I had some leftover that I left sitting in a mug at my desk and wow this is fragrant enough to smell at my desk! Campfire in a cup indeed.
Flavors: Fruity, Grass, Hay, Lychee, Medicinal, Pine, Smoked, Sour