Lapsang Souchong from Twinings. . .

Chapters & Cups – The City of Brass’s Perfect Tea

Welcome my dear readers to a new segment exclusive to Sororitea Sisters! Here I will discuss my latest reads and what tea goes perfectly with the said read. I welcome your comments about new reads I should look into, what tea you would also think goes well with the read, or anything else you would like to add!

.Within the past few months, I have become the proud owner of S. A. Chakraborty’s debut novel, The City of Brass. To give you a little bit about this book before I get started, this book focuses on a young Egyptian woman who lives in poverty and to make ends meet she uses her impressively deft hands and the mysterious ability that allows her to heal the sick. Now since this is set in the 18th century her abilities mark her as unholy but regardless she is still called on by the population of Cairo to heal their ailments. While doing this she foolishly summons a several centuries old Daeva warrior that quickly pulls her into the world of Daevabad that is unseen to the human eye full of ancient magic and dangerously confusing court politics.

To say the least, I devoured this book and now I have to wait until 2019 for the next installment. And while this book is commonly referred to as a young adult because the protagonist goes on a journey of self-realization I think it will be more apt to call this an adult novel because of some of the themes in this book. There are violent and sexual themes but it is not to the level that the Game of Thrones series is. I would say that this would be good for someone who is 18 and up.

Now the tea that I believe that is the perfect companion is Lapsang Souchong. More specifically Twinings Lapsang Souchong but I am sure that any other tea brands will do. I think this tea is a perfect companion for this read for it is as rich and smoky as the mood is that Chakraborty crafts. From the smoky djinn and daeva to the richness of the history and the populace of Daevabad. Also not to mention there is a part where a certain magical tea is described and it reminded me instantly of Lapsang Souchong.

As you can probably guess reader, I give this book 10/10 cups of tea. This book is perfect for any fantasy lover that enjoys traveling to a new world inside of our familiar world. The protagonist is strong and clever and the cast of characters that are presented in the book are fully fleshed out and are memorable.

See you for the next read!

Kara


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Twinings
Description

Lapsang Souchong, also referred to as smoked tea, is one of the worlds’ oldest and most distinctive black teas. The tea is grown in the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian Province of China and is made by only a select number of estates. Once a very secretive process, Lapsang Souchong is prepared using the same manual techniques today that have been passed down from generation to generation.

After the tea is plucked, the leaves are withered over cypress or pine wood fires. They are later placed into barrels so that the smoky aroma intensifies. As a final step, the leaves are placed into flat wicker baskets and positioned on bamboo trays over smoky pine fires, where they dry and absorb even more aroma. The finished tea leaves are thick and black and when steeped in hot water, produce a rich tea with a unique, smoky taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden (Yunomi). . ..

The tea of the moment at Sororitea Sisters is Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden – available from Yunomi! I know the wordage seems like a mouth-full but wait until you EXPERIENCE this tea!

A little background on this unique Whisky Barrel Wood Smoked Black Tea from Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden…it’s a loose leaf black tea from the Shimada, Shizuoka, Japan region. The black leaves are smoked using wood from Japanese Whisky Barrels.

This tea is a Silver Medal Winner of the 2014 International Tea Tasting Competition. I can totally see and TASTE why this was a winner! This tea fascinates me! A lot of effort and hard work went into this one! Special nod to Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden as it is a family business, farm, and tea factory!

This is highly scented because of the whisky barrels used. It’s reminiscent of a Lapsang Souchong but it doesn’t leave the same aftertaste as many (or most) LS’s do! It leaves a sweeter, more pleasant lingering flavor and subtle hints of citrus, even!

I don’t know if it’s because I have been binge watching American Pickers or because I live in an area that has a sizable Amish population but I can’t help but think of a wooden barn on a damp, wet, rainy day. Regardless this tea awakens ALL of the senses! It forces you to pause and think. It’s a great way to take a short break from your busy day! This is a VERY MEMORABLE tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Yunomi
Description

Silver Medal Winner of the 2014 International Tea Tasting Competition, Matsumoto-san smokes his black tea using the wood from Japanese whisky barrels. No flavorings or additives used.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sherlock Holmes Inspired Tea from First Edition Tea Co.

Sherlock Holmes is certainly a classic literary character. There are various renditions of him on the market and everyone has their own favorite. My personal favorite is the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock. Though, regardless of which Sherlock you know and like, we can all agree that he is a bit of a jerk. Brilliant and has his soft spots, but “rough around the edges” is a bit of an understatement when it comes to this classic character.

With that in mind, I would say Mr. Holmes and a Smokey English Breakfast seem like a fitting pairing. Rough around the edges with a hint of sweet, and it doesn’t hurt that the base is traditionally English. Plus, among other things, the lapsang can invoke memories of the character’s well-known smoking habit.

Just like Mr. Holmes and his personality, smokiness in tea is a harsh and polarizing flavor component. It can be off-putting for some but when done right, as it is here, it creates an interesting scent and flavor, like a campfire. It is a bit like tobacco in taste but not bitter in the slightest. There is also a sweetness here though, like a hint of honey that compliments the smoke quite nicely. It’s subtle but it’s there and it keeps this tea from being one-note, and though I don’t personally sweeten my teas, I could see this taking sweetener quite nicely.

As far as smokey teas go, this is a nice take on a classic and in my mind, it is quite well suited to the literary masterpiece that inspired it.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  First Edition Tea Co.
Description

A mysterious blend of traditional English Breakfast tea packed with plenty of pipe smoke, a hint of bergamot, nettle, and a surprising touch of honey sweetness. Perfect for sipping while lost in your mind palace. It’s elementary.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sensiblyscript’s Take on Lapsang Chai by Bluebird Tea Company. . . .

Steeping specs: One teaspoon at 212 degrees for 4 minutes in 1 cup of water.

This was an exciting idea for a tea. I’ve tried actual lapsang souchong once and couldn’t get through my mugful (maybe it was a bad idea to add milk, but I couldn’t stand it without milk either so I figured it couldn’t hurt anything). It’s not because I don’t like smoky flavors, either. I love smoked meat (I mean, BACON, right?), and I love campfires although it’s true I don’t eat them. But combining smoky tea with other strong spices that I know I like sounds like a very clever idea. I only wish I’d had it. In fact, I think I might have the rest of that sample packet of Lapsang somewhere; maybe I should go experiment with mixing it with various chais.

But I digress. . . .

After steeping for four minutes I took a good whiff–it smells tantalizingly smoky. This could be either a good thing or a problem, as mentioned above. The color is amber-ish–on the light side for a chai, I think (and I do have the unfortunate tendency to judge my tea’s strength by its color! I’ve been known to waaaaay over-steep my tea just because it didn’t look dark enough to me). A few crumbs of leaf have escaped my basket, so maybe I’ll use the finer mesh next time I steep this. What’s really exciting is that although the smell is smoky, I can smell spices too! Cinnamon, ginger, and possibly clove, I think.

First taste: it’s definitely not tasting like liquid smoke here, which is good! The flavor combo is hard to describe, though. The smoky tang and the warmth from the spices hit me at approximately the same time with each sip, which means it really has a kick! It’s not a super spicy chai, though, so if you’re sensitive to spice that probably won’t be a problem (depending on just how sensitive you are, of course. Some people manage to complain of spiciness in foods that taste basically bland to me).

The smokiness combines especially well with the ginger notes for some reason. Does ginger have a smoky component normally? I don’t know. I just know that this tastes really, really good. The smoke lingers a bit after each sip, but like I said, it’s not overpowering.

I also tried this tea with milk and sugar and found it still enjoyable, although less unique. That could just be due to the fact that I have a tendency to put milk and sugar in all my tea, though the milk does seem to muffle the brightness of the spice notes a bit too.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Bluebird Tea Co.
Description

We like to do things a bit differently at Bluebird. Our latest infusion is a thoughtful blend of Lapsang Souchong, malty Assam + aromatic masala chai spices. A BREWtiful blend of tea + culture alike!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea. . . . .

I have been upping my intake of Lapsang Souchong as of late. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cooler weather, change of season, or just because I’m craving it – but what ever the reason I glad I am. Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea is the tea of the moment for me and I have been wanting to share it with you for a while now.

Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea is a stereotypical yet top-notch Lapsang Souchong! It gives off the ‘camp fire’ smell you would expect it would. It has a rather loud aroma and flavor but I would expect nothing less from this gem of a company! I enjoy this because of its pungency. Because of its quality. And because of its character. It does finish quiet smooth considering how it starts out and I find that fascinating and I welcome it.

If you are looking for something for the change of season or just looking for a potent, smoky, flavored black tea – try Lapsang Souchong from Little Red Cup Tea – I enjoyed every sip!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Little Red Cup Tea
Description

Our Lapsang Souchong (Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, 正山小种) is amazing. We know, that’s a bold statement, and some will disagree. But Lapsang Souchong is a love it or hate it proposition, and we’ve given our hearts to this tea. This is one of our strongest teas, think bridge abutments or skyscraper foundations. This is our most pungent tea — we send it to you in a ziplock bag in addition to our regular packaging.

The black tea is redolent three distinct flavors at once — the black tea base, a hint of longyan (Dragon Eye, a Chinese tree fruit similar to lychee) and the pinewood smoke which is the tea’s most defining element.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!