Tasting evalution – Lapsang Souchong

Another colleague of Ivo gave him a Lapsang Souchong black tea and asked for my opinion.  Well, it would be much easy for me to do the objective tasting evaluation behind the scene.

Lapsang Souchong

P_20151202_210823The dried leaves are pretty dusty in smoky grey color. No strong smoke aroma.

The smoke aroma appeared after sipping in the warm water. But that aroma quickly weakened in the 2nd infusion and no trace of it in P_20151202_211352the 3rd infusion.

Lots of dried branch and broken leaves together with small and large leaves.

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Tea color: Brownish red. The clarity is good. The color of the 2nd infusion is slightly darker the 1st infusion, but the 3rd is almost same as the 1st again.

The taste:  The taste is pretty plain and flat.  I couldn’t go further with the tasting after the 3rd infusion, because the taste became so plain and flat as water even with the longer sipping time.  Basically it’s like a tea water (water with tea color but without taste of tea).

Conclusion to Ivo’s colleague: Don’t complain too much, after all it was a gift from friend.  Every time he drinks this tea is time to show some appreciation to the friendship.

However, I did gain some interesting learning from this tasting:

  1. Even though on the package, it mentioned the quality as “Carefully selected fine quality tea”, but I am afraid it is far even from the 1st grade quality.
  2. The first impression from the first infusion is not too bad, because it does have very mild smoke flavor, but why the flavor flattens so fast is another myth.
  3. The flavor and taste of old tea are not comparable to the fresh tea from the year. The aging storage could refine the flavor and taste, but it is unlikely to diminish the flavor and taste to such plain and flat.
  4. It is an OK quality if you brewed It only for one time, otherwise simply like to enjoy cups of tea water that does not have significant astringent flavor.
  5. Another option is of course to lower down your expectation on Lapsang Souchong black tea without knowing how to distinguish the quality of this specific kind of black tea.

During the visit to Wuyi this year, Ivo and I had an opportunity to taste very fine quality Lapsang Souchong on Tong Mou Guan:

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The fine quality Lapsang Souchong actually does not have very strong smoky flavor because what kind of wood to use and how to control the fire temperature are in another Kung Fu department.

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