Organic Lapsong Souchong (Ten Ren Tea)

On my trip to New York City, I dropped in on one of  Ten Ren Tea's famed Chinatown locations. I picked up a couple teas here for review, including this extremely aromatic Organic Lapsong Souchong.

Quick Info
FAB* Rating 5/5/3
Company Ten Ren Tea
Blend Name Organic Lapsong Souchong
Blend Base Black
Country of Origin China
Package Type Bag
Price per Package $12.00 USD
Quantity ~ 4 oz
*Flavor, Aroma, Boldness

Lapsong Souchong seems to be a love it or hate it tea. I've never found someone who thought it simply "meh." I personally like a good cuppa Lapsong Souchong. Though theer are a decided variaty of qualities in production.

The leaves here are uniformly dark and around 1/4 an inch in length. The aroma is extremely pungent and smells heavily of dark wood and campfire smoke.

I happen to find this aroma uniquely attractive for an imbibable beverage. In fact when I bought this tea they wrapped it in paper with an outer layer of plastic but it made the hotel room and my luggage and clothes all smell like I'd been out camping.

The aroma from the spent leaves is decidedly weaker. I'd say less than half as strong, but clearly still camp firey. There's light sweetness to the spent aroma which doesn't carry through any of the infusions, though it's also lingering in the aroma from the extra-dark amber liquor.

For those who don't like a more "firey" or "smokey" tea, Lapsong Souchong isn't ever really a good choice. And this extra aromatic tea certainly won't bring those individuals any closer to a smile. But for those who enjoy this smokey beverage, there's nothing else like it. The higher grade versions such as this one are extra-aromatic and extra-flavorful.

The smokey, fired, woody flavors some out nicely throughout the brew and across three or four steepings. Unlike lesser grade versions of this tea, there's relatively little astringency and almost no dryness on the palate. Just a smooth, steady, consistent campfire flavor.

If you like smokey teas, you'll love this Lapsong Souchong. You may also enjoy it if you like Pu'erhs.

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