A Nice Cup of Shut the Hell Up (Signature Blend) from Adagio Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Product Description:

Very biting tea smoothed over with a caramel smile. Great to wake up to, especially if you are dropping the coffee habit. Great for the early morning attitude enhancement with the added benefit of enabling you to think beofre you speak. Shut the hell up and give it a try.

Created by: Travis Pelt

Taster’s Review:

As some of you may know, I’m not particularly fond of Lapsang Souchong so I generally avoid them whenever possible.  I find the strong, smoky character of a typical Lapsang Souchong to be rather off-putting.

However, I am slowly developing an appreciation for strong, smoky teas such as Lapsang Souchong, but, suffice to say that while I am usually willing to try a tea with Lapsang Souchong in it, it is not something I probably would want to try.

But that all went out the window when I saw the name of this signature blend from Adagio Teas (created by Travis Pelt).  I knew I had to try it!

And I really am glad I did – this is actually really good.  The tea is very strong – ROBUST!  But what makes this tea especially good to me is the balance of tastes.  It is a smoky tea, but it isn’t too smoky.  It is, in fact, one of the most thoughtful blends I have encountered – and by that I mean that the underlying caramel-y notes of the Lapsang Souchong are highlighted with the addition of the caramel flavored black tea.  The sweet, creamy notes of the caramel are enhanced by the malty notes of the Assam.

The three types of tea create a very harmonized and yet hefty blend!  It is a little chewy and has a nice bake-y taste.  It makes a perfect morning tea, but I am actually enjoying it later in the afternoon at the moment – it is the perfect accompaniment to Dulce de Leche cookies from the Girl Scouts!  YUM!


Product Review: Lapsang Souchong Tea-Infused Chocolate Truffle from Arbor Teas

Where to Buy:  Arbor Teas

Company Description:

A rich, smoky combination of dark chocolate ganache and our smoked Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, square cut and dipped in dark chocolate.

Taster’s Review:

Editor’s Note:  This review represents part 1 of 6 reviews, one review for each of the six flavors in the truffle collection available from Arbor Teas

Oh yummy!  Is there anything more exciting than tea-infused chocolates?  As a foodie, I love it when two of my favorite edibles are paired together in one delectable item.  And as a tea enthusiast AND chocoholic, I simply cannot resist these Tea-Infused truffles from Arbor Teas.

The appearance of this truffle is truly luxurious.  Regal even!  It has a brush stroke of glittery edible gold leaf, which adds a bit of sparkle and elegance to this yummy truffle.

And as some of you are probably aware, I’m not particularly fond of Lapsang Souchong.  I am slowly acquiring a taste for this classic, but, still, it’s not my favorite tea.  So, this is the one chocolate truffle in the six about which I was the most skeptical.

But, it is truly amazing!  The smokiness that usually throws me off in a Lapsang Souchong tea tastes absolutely divine in this dark chocolate truffle.  The deep, dark caramel-y notes of the tea create a flavor that is euphoric!

If this chocolate is any indication of what lies ahead with the other five truffles – I am truly in for a treat!  This truffle is amazingly, SINFULLY delicious!

Lapsang Souchong from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

Lapsang souchong is a special Chinese black tea. This tea produces a reddish hue liquor with a smooth crisp taste and a smoky aroma of pine wood fire. The lapsang souchong is considered to be heavy and overpowering by many.

The method of production for this tea is the following: The leaves are first withered over fires of pine wood. After pan-frying and rolling, they are presses into wooden barrels and covered with cloth to ferment until they give off a pleasant fragrance. The leaves are fired again and rolled into taut strips. Then they are placed in bamboo baskets and hung on wooden racks over smoking pine fires to dry and absorb the smoke flavor.

Taster’s Review:

I feel that I need to preface this review with this:  I am not a fan of Lapsang Souchong teas.  I am one of the “many” as depicted in the above review that find Lapsang Souchong tea to be “heavy and overpowering.”  The pine smoke aroma and taste is a bit overwhelming for my personal taste.   And because my first experience with a Lapsang Souchong was not a positive one, and since that time, I’ve steered myself clear of Lapsang Souchong teas.

That being said, I have learned since that first experience that not all teas are the same – including Lapsang Souchong teas! – and it’s not fair for me to now judge all Lapsang Souchong teas based on one bad experience years ago… I mean, who knows?  Perhaps my tastes have changed.  Perhaps that one Lapsang Souchong was not a good representation of all Lapsang Souchong teas.  I need to not allow myself to become confined based upon my opinions.  I need to experience things to make sure I truly dislike them… only then can I be sure.

So, summoning up all the courage I can muster, I brew myself a cup of this Lapsang Souchong from Enjoying Tea.  I awaken the tea leaves first, giving them a quick “rinse” (or pre-infusion) with boiling water for about 10 seconds before I steep the tea.

The flavor and aroma is quite smoky (no surprise there, this IS a Lapsang Souchong tea).  But I do think that the pre-rinse did help, because it’s not as smoky as I seem to remember Lapsang Souchong being.  I can smell the pine scent, it reminds me of the scent of the smoke when one burns pine needles.  It isn’t my favorite scent, but it isn’t unpleasant, either.

This is a very complex tea.  I can taste the smoky essence and the presence of the pine.  But beneath those rather heavy layers there is a nice (yes, I said NICE) and delicious (yes, delicious) caramel-y sweetness that complements the smoky and pine flavors well, and while it is still not my favorite tea, I can see what others love in this tea.  It is not as terrible as I once made it out to be.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t let your opinions you’ve formed years ago shape who you are now.  Be willing to try something new and out of your comfort zone, and you might find something rewarding when you do.   Trying this tea was way out of my own comfort zone but I am really very glad that I tried it because I got to taste that delicious caramel flavor to this tea and I now understand this tea just a little better.

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