Okay, so my first experience with Lapsang, the sample I got from Upton, made me think that it (surprisingly) wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. I expected smokey, but I didn’t expect my fire alarm to go off. Okay, I kid, my fire alarm didn’t go off, but I feel like it should have.

This? Whole different story. The smoke is much lighter on this blend, which means it actually tastes like a good, quality black tea with some smokiness. The flavor here is almost indulgent, sweet, lightly malty, and just enough smoke at the end to make you think about what you’re drinking.

Congratulations, Lapsang, you have been redeemed. I’m curious as to whether the steeping parameters from Teavivre (195 instead of 205) could make that much of a difference on the smoke aspect. Maybe the Upton one is better with a slightly lower temperature? I’ll probably never know.

I’m not sure I will keep this around as a permanent tea. Both the keemun from Teavivre I want to keep around, and the Baker’s Street blend from Upton have enough of a smokey aspect that it will probably satisfy my smokey tea cravings, without keeping this one on stock. But, I will definitely pick a few samples of this up every second order or so from Teavivre, just as a special treat.

Man, I just cannot say enough about the quality of Teavivre’s teas. These are so good.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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My fiancé and I are beginning to enjoy tea infusion, and it’s slowly becoming an interesting hobby that the two of us can share. Maybe not slowly… it’s somewhat amazing how much tea you can buy when everything looks shiny and new.

Tea Rating system:

90 – 100: This is a tea I will always have on hand at work, and at home. I will leave it on altars as offerings of perfection.

80 – 89: This, or one of it’s close cousins, will likely be in my cabinet at home. When this tea runs out, I will buy more. I’ll always wonder if there is something better, but be too afraid to look to stray from home to find it.

70 – 79: Definitely good, but not a clear winner. I enjoy it, I’ll finish it, but I probably won’t buy it again until I’ve exhausted all other versions of this product from any reputable retailer. Though, it may enjoy a resurrection for custom blending.

60 – 69: This tea is okay, but definitely not something I’m going to brew again. I’m going to give what I have left away.

30 – 59: I didn’t finish drinking this tea. I actually poured it out, and went for something else. I’ll still give this tea away, but I’ll do it with a warning and a plead for forgiveness.

0 – 29: This tea is riding securely towards an iceberg at the helm of the failboat. I’ve taken this out of my tea tin, and laid it on a napkin as potpurri. I do not consider it fit for human consumption.


Tacoma, Washington, United States

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