ZS90: Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon

Tea type
Black Tea
Lapsang Souchong
Char, Fireplace, Resin, Smoke, Wood, Ash, Smooth
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Loose Leaf
Not available
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rumpus Parable
Average preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 16 oz / 487 ml

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72 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Had this this morning using the ForLife mug I’d bought my mom as a gift (since replacement teapot has yet to arrive). I think that my tea mojo is slowly making a comeback. There’s still a ton of...” Read full tasting note
  • “BIG storm coming. Pushing Summer out, and bringing what little of Autumn we will see riding in the wake. Time to ride the dragon.” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank heavens! Youngest had finished her lapsangs on Friday. How on earth could she do geometry without it? As it happened, we went in a different order today so this very generous sample from...” Read full tasting note
  • “I got my Upton order today!!! Super quick shipping also which was nice. I put a sample of this in with my order and I am excited to try it. In fact, this is the first tea I’m trying from my order....” Read full tasting note

From Upton Tea Imports

This is a Lapsang Souchong. It is a fairly light one for this type, with sweetness under the smoke. Not overly smokey, a good place to start for the novice to Lapsangs

About Upton Tea Imports View company

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72 Tasting Notes

371 tasting notes

Had this this morning using the ForLife mug I’d bought my mom as a gift (since replacement teapot has yet to arrive). I think that my tea mojo is slowly making a comeback. There’s still a ton of stress in my life (job interview tomorrow and the GRE looming), but I think that I’m starting to handle it a bit better. I think. NE

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Good luck on the interview and GRE—I’m sure you’ll ace both!! :)


I remember the GRE. I actually had fun taking it, but that was because I’d already taken the LSAT


Good luck and I know what you mean about tea mojo….


Funny…I was just going through a 4800-word GRE study list. Not because I’m taking the GRE (I’m not) but in general vocabulary maintenance mode. I enjoy studying it for fun, but I think if I was on a time-crunch it would be different. Good luck Rabs!

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368 tasting notes

BIG storm coming. Pushing Summer out, and bringing what little of Autumn we will see riding in the wake.

Time to ride the dragon.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I just got my first ever Upton order yesterday! I got this and Baker Street. Their tins are gorgeous! I need to find Out which of their other teas I “need.”

Jim Marks

I love the tins. I’ve had some of them for ten years.

Pants! I meant to order Baker Street and forgot.

You need their “yunnan gold, rare grade” and the pre-chingming da hong pao if there’s any left. The first flush Singbulli from this year was fantastic if any of that is left.

I always have either their wang pu-erh or celestial tribute pu-erh on hand. If you like shu style pu-erh, they are great value daily drinker types.


Ooo, thanks for recommendations and enabling! :)

Jim Marks

The more tea you drink, the less life sucks.

Hesper June

Ditto to that,Jim.

Autumn Hearth

Sigh I need to order more of this and the Baker Street now that it tis the season. Been quite a few months since our last Upton order. I will note your recommendations for samples and consider getting the tins as well!

Jim Marks

Once you have a few of the tins, order in the pouches and just re-fill the old tins. The labels peel easily off the mylar and can be affixed to the tins.


They do sell the tins, too.

Jim Marks

If I was going to buy something that wasn’t full of tea, I’d get something glazed ceramic. Completely inert and so has the least impact on the tea leaves. Metal is great, but ceramic is better.

Also, buying the tin alone is $2.50 but if you look at the pricing of the Black Dragon, and compare with and without the tin, they only charge you $2 for the tin when it is full of tea :-)


I almost ordered the smaller size, but when I saw that they had such a limited number of them, I changed to the larger one.


I only bought a few tins in the beginning when I had more tea than tins. Now, I have more tins than tea……

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3317 tasting notes

Thank heavens! Youngest had finished her lapsangs on Friday. How on earth could she do geometry without it? As it happened, we went in a different order today so this very generous sample from SimplyJenW arrived in the mail just in time for geometry!

Youngest opened the bag and sniffed. Ahhhhh! This smells heavenly! She was quite taken with it.

She made a pot of tea as I was running out the door to drive to Cary to pick up birthday worms for hubby. (He really loves his earthworms…he has two compost bins, one compost pile, and a Worm Factory 360. LOL! I told him we could harvest worms from the yard for him. He said no, they were to remain free range worms. He was going to get rescues. I think these don’t qualify as rescues. It’s a worm mill, for cryin’ out loud!)

I took a cup of the tea and told her to call me in ten minutes and let me know how she liked it. She loved it! She said didn’t the tea didn’t last nearly as long as geometry did.

As for my cup, it was very sweet and light, and the smoke is pretty light. It is very present in the aroma, but isn’t one that leaves a lot of lingering ash flavor in the mouth – whether that is good or bad depends on your love of

This is a great first Lapsang for people who are afraid of it, a good tasting tea base. And even if you love strong smoke and lingering ash flavor, this one has a lot going for it. It deserves the hype it has received on here.

Thank you, Jen! :) Looks like she will make it through the week! And in spite of the dramatic doodles, I am pleased to report that she made an A on her first geometry test last week!


Free-range rescue worms, LOL! Back in the early ’80’s when I first started working in the science and technology reference department at our Central library, we couldn’t keep books about earthworm farming on the shelves.

I’m enjoying your lapsang souchong reviews.

Jim Marks

My compost bin is full of tree roaches and jumping spiders. I’d feel bad for the worms if I put any in there.

Jim Marks

Also, this is my favorite lapsang and I love it dearly.


Jim: so far Black Dragon is her favorite, too! Her Teavivre hasn’t arrived yet. It really is on a slow boat from China! Do you have Soldier Flies? We are hoping we have them! :)

Jim Marks

I think shipments from TeaVivre are literally on boats from China. They’re shipped from China, at any rate, and so they do take a while.

I have no idea if I have soldier flies or not. All I know is that 80 gallons of lawn clippings turned into about two cubic feet of dirt and all my kitchen scraps and dog scooping seem to get nowhere in terms of filling the thing up. So whatever lives in there, they’re doing a good job.

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1015 tasting notes

I got my Upton order today!!! Super quick shipping also which was nice. I put a sample of this in with my order and I am excited to try it. In fact, this is the first tea I’m trying from my order. I’m also extremely terrified of this tea. I have started to develop a taste for smoky teas, but I’m wondering if this will be too smokey, too soon…. The scent is straight up smokey almost bacony….but not off-putting.

Okay, I’m too much of a chicken to try it straight up so I added a healthy dose of cream and a bit of sugar. Here goes…..wow, this is actually pretty good. I don’t know about drinking it plain but as a milk and sugar tea this is good. Perhaps even great, but I’ll have to see if this is something I crave. The tea initially hits you with a whisper of smoke that blossoms into more sweet smoke. Even though I added stuff to the tea, I can tell that there is a natural sweetness. I’m liking this.

3 min, 45 sec

This was onw of my samples too – but for my husband. He is crazy for Lapsang, and I know this one is highly regarded by other Steepsterites! I also got the Imperial Lapsang for him to try.


Maybe Lapsang appeals to the primal…??? Hunting, cooking on open fires.
Every sip I take of lapsang is full of memories and connections. Other teas don’t do that for me…
Then again, it could be something else. But I am with your husband JacquelineM, crazy for it.

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985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning (thanks to the recent review from Jim Marks…)

I had nearly forgotten about this one. But it is the perfect version of lapsang souchong for me. The smoke is light and homey, and it really warms me up on a cold morning. I did notice my tin getting low, so I had better add it to my Upton list!

Usual teapot method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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2816 tasting notes

I love ordering from Upton Tea Imports. Everything they have available you can also get in a sample size, which is great for people like me who get sick of drinking certain teas after trying them once or twice.

I got a brand new Finium tea cup with a fine mesh gold filter, which I think is AWESOME!

This tea was a surprise, it is definitely one of the lighter lapsangs I have tried up until now. The smoke is subtle and the tea has a nice sweetness to it and brews up to be a reddish amber color. The flavor is almost floral like! I was not blown away by it but it was certainly very pleasant and delicious. I think I still prefer Hu Kwa which has a more unique aroma and flavor, but this was good!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Stash has inexpensive lapsang souchong from Tong Mu Village which is the home of lapsang souchong. It is made there in the traditional way in smaller quantities. Harder to get in the U.S. I’ve heard.


Thanks, I might need to check it out.


My sample of this scares me, ha.


@Cheryl – have you tried it yet?


Dylan loves his finium filter. It looks like it will deal with any tea and leave no stuff in your cup.


Amy…not yet. Reviews like yours convinced me to order a sample. Will soon. Maybe.


Cheryl, sweetened it is kind of like a toasted marshmallow……


Don’t be scared!


Eep, marshmallow. How can it taste like marshmallow, when it smells like you’re downwind from a grill cooking barbecued (something)? Alright, I’ll try it. Umm. Tomorrow. Heh.


It smells smoky but it doesn’t taste like smoke – hard to explain. LIke a toasted marshmallow perhaps. :)

Yogini Undefined

Mmmm toasted marshmallow sounds wonderful :)


Missy: good to know about the Finum. We need to buy something to send to Irish BF of my daughter’s so he can make loose leaf. He loves tea and is branching out from teabags.


Amazon has them for a decent price. I’m currently thinking about grabbing another. My daughter likes tea as well and the basket that came with her teapot leaves much to be desired.



My intestines can be scared of certain teas, if you know what I mean! Note to self: No more stale, older green teas please.

LS for me is an occasional tea, unless I find A good one with more mild smoke. I do miss the sweetneess of a LS.


Scott – have you tried this one? It is fairly mild IMO


No, but I’ve had my eyes on it for quite some time.

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259 tasting notes

Since I wrote my first, fairly cautious tasting note on Upton’s LS Black Dragon, I have returned to it again and again. It has become my everyday first thing in the morning tea. I have at least two cups and I slurp and slobber and am very unladylike. I have not found a Lapsang Souchoung I dislike, but I like this more than others. It’s got a touch of natural sweetness and it’s also not quite as tarry as some LS teas.

I like the balance of smoke and sweet. I like this tea black, but I also like it with milk and sugar when I’m in the mood (often).

This tea became what I had hoped that Jackee Muntz might be—but Jackee is in limited supply. I am no longer “dating” Black Dragon tea. We are married. We’ve said the vows. We’ve plighted our troth. We are in this together for better or worse, till death do us part. I may take some afternoon lovers; I may have many French liaisons and I may have other trysts, but I’ll always wake up with you!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

Yay for true tea love!


Did you not hear the soft strains of violin and viola as the post began and then an upwards movement joined by other strings, soft woodwind instruments and then brass & percussion instruments and then the crescendo of all those orchestral instruments ending in triumph as this post ended???? WOW. Okay, time for a drink. I may just have to add this to the shopping list!


This might be one of my favorite review/comment combo that I’ve yet to read! Brilliant!


Another must-get from Upton Teas!

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525 tasting notes

Me: sips tea Hm.. interesting. Pups, you like this?
Snuggles: sniffs thoroughly and gives a curious lick when offered a drop. Goes back to sleep
Cali: Sniffs twice and turns away. Gives a polite lick
Husband: Sniffs and makes a horrified face. Tries to give mug back
Me: Come on! The pups are braver than you! Man up!
Husband: Sips …didn’t I hear you flush a minute ago?

And that’s how my family reacted to this tea. :)

EDIT: For those who are interested, I made a marinade with soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup, grated garlic, dad’s homemade hot chili sauce, and a strong brew of this tea.
Marinated some cubes of pressed tofu and shrimp for 5 hours or so. They were so very tasty. Smokey, sweet, spicy, savory, and totally awesome. I served this over some rice with sauteed cabbage. Drank a cup of this tea with my meal. Perfection.

As husband was going in for his second helping I said to him, “You know that tea you thought was disgusting earlier?”
“Uh huh?”
“I made this food with that tea.”
He mimed throwing up, and then ate the rest of his dinner. What a silly goose. :D

On another note, I went to make a pot of green tea with the same strainer I had used to make this tea. I noticed it smelled strongly of smoke, so I soak it for a few minutes in boiling water. Out of curiosity, I sipped on the liquid the basket was steeping in and it definitely tasted like smoke. Yeah… this stuff sticks!


At least you won’t have to share the rest of it.


I’m going to concoct a marinade with this!


Don’t forget to tell about how it turns out.


Bonnie, I updated my note with my cooking experiment just for you!


That sounds so scrumptious!

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6768 tasting notes

This is a really good LS. It’s smoky and woodsy but not overdone. It’s not bitter and doesn’t leave a funky aftertaste. It has a mysterious hint of pine as well which is nice. I really like this!


I brewed a cup of LS before and promptly dumped I can’t get passed the smoked cheese smell.

Hesper June

It is acquired taste, BoxerMama.
But, I can tell you this, I used to hate the stuff and now I can not go a couple of days without a cup.
A good quality LS also makes all the difference in the world:)


I have a sneaking suspicion I received some in a 12 days of xmas exchange, so I should be trying some again soon.

Hesper June

Good luck! If its not your cup of tea, that is fine, thats why there is so many kinds of teas out there in the world:)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ohhh the choices – my favorite thing about tea! (Besides the awesome taste, of course). This one sounds good!

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911 tasting notes

I was hoping for good things from this tea and maybe that’s my problem – my expectations were too high. I mean, it’s not a bad tea. It’s a gently smoky tea with a nice sweetness at the end of the sip. Super-faint hints of cocoa occasionally pop up, as well as something almost floral. It’s got a nice depth of flavor and actually reminds me of Teas Etc’s Bohea (which I love).

All of this sounds great, right? But there’s one thing that makes this one a non-happy tea for me. The aftertaste. There’s a little twinge of something on the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. I can’t quite peg what it is but it’s a little… off. It makes me think I’ve just walked through a big cloud of hairspray while inhaling through my mouth. Something sticky and a little perfume-ish/chemically. It’s not a very strong aftertaste so it’s almost ignorable, especially if I sip a little more quickly. But ultimately it means that this tea gets no love because there are other softly smoky teas in my life that behave better.

I’m wondering if Upton does something to their leaves that gives them this aftertaste. This funkiness isn’t near as strong as the ick that was the Extra Bergamot aftertaste (that one was bitter and sticky and wrong) but they could theoretically be related. Perhaps the way they store or package or maybe even flavor their teas? I see nothing that indicates that this tea is artificially flavored but maybe?

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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