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!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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