Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Teavivre Lapsang Souchong

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark and somewhat curled
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 15 seconds
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: dark amber

I've spoken with many tea lovers who detest Lapsang Souchong and most of them give the reason that it tastes like an ash tray. While I find this to be very true of lower quality teas, a good quality lapsang is actually quite the enjoyable treat. This rendition from Teavivre was a great example of that. It was earthy and sweet with a lingering smokiness. It came across more like smoked bacon than campfire, which is pretty delicious if I do say so myself. There was no astringency and the mouth-feel was very smooth. Although very aromatic, it wasn't offensive or overdone. I did three infusions in a gaiwan using their recommended steep times of 15s, 25s and 40s but their instructions indicate that you can get at least seven. I tend to prepare all lapsang souchong this way because even the good quality ones are stinky and the smokiness was seep into plastic and any non-movable parts.

You can find out more about this tea here.