Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
A bit of Lapsang Souchong is blended with Keemun and Darjeeling, yielding a mildly smoky tea. Perfect for an afternoon uplift. Another special (whole-leaf) blend from our London source of fine teas.
Learn more about this tea here.
As I’ve confessed many times, I’m not a big fan of Lapsang Souchong so when I receive a blend with Lapsang Souchong in it, I’m a little timid. I don’t hate Lapsang Souchong, but there are so many other teas that I’d rather be drinking. The overwhelmingly smoky note is just … well, it’s overwhelming.
When I first opened the pouch, I noticed the smoky notes right away. But I was happy to find that the smoke is not an overbearing presence in either the dry leaf or in the brewed tea. It’s there – it’s definitely there! – but it doesn’t overpower the blend.
This Baker Street Afternoon Blend from Upton Tea Imports is actually quite nice. The smoky notes are not overwhelming. It is mildly smoky and I’m enjoying the mild level of smoke here. It’s allowing me to enjoy the complexity of the tea.
And that’s important because there are three teas in this blend: Lapsang Souchong, Darjeeling and Keemun. I like that I can taste the fruity notes of the Darjeeling and Keemun. I like the way these two teas create a lovely wine-like flavor and the smokiness of the Lapsang adds a really interesting dimension to that wine-like quality.
To brew this blend, I used my Kati Tumbler. I heated the water to 205°F. I added 1 bamboo scoop of the tea blend to my tumbler infuser basket and I poured the hot water over the leaves. I let this tea steep for 15 seconds and then I strained off the leaves and discarded the liquid. (Yes, I did a rinse. There is Lapsang Souchong in this blend and I find that Lapsang Souchong – even when in blends – is much better tasting to my palate when I do a rinse.) Then I replaced the basket and refilled the tumbler with 205°F water and steeped it for 3 minutes.
Overall, a very enjoyable cup of tea. It’s called an “Afternoon” tea and it has a medium to full body to it, making it a nice choice for afternoon sipping, especially on a cooler afternoon like this. (I’m so happy that autumn appears to have finally arrived! I actually wore a sweater today!) It’s warm and cozy and it has a certain comforting element to it too. It’s a little more robust than a typical afternoon cup but that edge can be softened by the addition of milk and honey (if you like it in your tea), or you can save this for the afternoons when you need a little more than a gentle pick me up!