Things i like: Lapsang Souchong

Wow, sorry for the lack of posts. Between being sick, the blizzard, and a big work meeting I am preparing for tomorrow, time has gotten away from me.

I know I just did a things i like, but I've got another one that I just can't hold off on.

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE tea. I love trying new flavors, new brewing methods, and just generally find it far superior to coffee. Like most tea people, I started out with plain old tea bags that you could find in any store. It really wasn't until I started my quest for a tea box that I discovered the power (and fun) of loose leaf tea.

On my quest, I found Serene Teaz, an amazing independently owned tea shop in Wheaton, IL. I discovered that not only did they have my tea box, but they have a HUGE selection of loose leaf teas, and they will let you try them all to your hearts content until you find one that you like.

Needless to say, I have been visiting and tasting ever since.

More recently, I have been previewing teas on their Web site before stopping in- I have found that I get overwhelmed by the options and leave the poor employees brewing sample after sample when I just stray into the store. So I have been pre-selecting a maximum of four samples before going in, based on the descriptions on the site.

Enter Lapsang Souchong. I found this tea on the site before my most recent visit- it instantly piqued my interest:

"A campfire in your cup!" the description says. "This remarkable tea has a crisp character with the heady aroma of pine and oak wood fire."

A tea that smells like a campfire? No way. So of course, I had to head in.

I prepared myself for disappointment as I browsed the shelves-- I have them memorized and found no trace of the Lapsang anywhere amongst the black teas. I tentatively asked an employee if it was sold out when she pointed me to the "Unique Teas" section.

What? I didn't even know that section existed. So I smelled the sample jar, and WOW! It smells just like every campfire I had as a kid. Like a fish on a hook, I dragged myself to the counter and asked for a sample.

No, this tea does not taste like ash. Nor does it taste like a campfire, per se. It just provides a wonderful, smoky palate that I have never found in another tea. I admit this tea is not for everyone, but for reference, I am a girl who never sweetens her tea and prefers whiskey over any fru-fru drink I am offered. So I find this tea perfect.

I wouldn't necessarily consider this a campfire tasting tea, but more of a tea that I imagine would be perfect to sip campfire-side. If only it weren't 3 degrees and I could test my theory...

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