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Absolutely my favorite tea, ever!
But it's one of those teas that people either love or hate. No one seems to be indifferent to it.
I love smoky taste.
Though I live in Mexico I am not a fan of the taste of chiles. Chipotles, though, are something else. They are just a chile that has been smoked, but that hint of smoke makes all the difference.
I usually love all things smoked: salmon, meat, cheese, chilies. But I couldn't stand the taste of Lapsang Souchong. I couldn't even get the mug up to my face because the smell was so strong and, at least to me, unpleasant.
I like it (Although I usually mix it with Assam). It is a tea that I need to be in the right mood for.
Hmm, I might try that Assam mix thing. Thanks fr the tip. And yeah, it's definitely everybody's daily well... cup of tea.
I don't like it alone. In certain blends, like Upton's Baker Street Blend, I thought it was nicely balanced. My favorite use for it, though, is as a cooking ingredient (meat rubs, for instance).
It's a tea I sometimes really like, and then I drink a lot of it for a few days or weeks, and then I forget about it for months. Until something (like this topic) reminds me of it again.
I'm thinking I might use it for Chinese tea-eggs. Has anybody else tried this?
I love this tea too. However, be careful not to consume too much as it is mildly carcinogenic (due to the smoke). Like most things, enjoy in moderation.
#11 - Is this a real risk or one of those instances where you might get cancer if you drink a gallon a day for two hundred years?
ETA - I've just done some searches. I've found assertions that it's carcinogenic and that it contains anti-oxidants that decrease the chances of cancers. What I couldn't find is a link to hard evidence either way. I shall assume the two things cancel each other out!
It does seem like an acquired taste. One of my co-workers has been drinking a Lapsang Souchong at the office this past week (actually, this blend right here: http://www.davidstea.com/organic-lapsang-souchong-star) and I swear it smells like burning Christmas trees. He says it smells like the pine tar you put on skis. Either way, not something I can face in the morning! But he seems to be acquiring a taste for it, or he's just continuing to drink it because he bought it and is darn well going to finish it off.
(also ha! at message 15. Actually laughed out loud.)
Well said! I've also been told that life invariably ends in death, and that it shouldn't be undertaken lightly.
I was walking through the hall with some yesterday and a coworker came by and asked if we smelled salmon...I never thought of smoked meat when I smelled it, but I grew up with a wood-burning stove (not the cooking kind, the heating kind) so my smoke-smell associations are a little different.
#14 - good link.
Risk - it is a very difficult thing to portray accurately. Do not take a media headline seriously. remember that twice as risky as a very safe thing is still a very safe thing.
Personally I'm not that taken by LS even though I do tend to like smoked foods.
>However, be careful not to consume too much as it is mildly carcinogenic (#11)
Wow, that's new to me, but I rethink about it, eating smoked salmon or beef jerky would have stronger effect than drinking LS tea. I will keep drinking it ... I am not drinking it often anyway.
Somebody once said, Too much of anything is bad for you. That's what "too much" means. :^)
Someone who would drink Lopsang Souchong with a shot of rBST milk and two packets of Sweet N Low...My God, I can't even joke. That person would be looking for trouble. Imagine if they used beef jerky as a sort of cinnamon stick...Holy cow!
I remember I bought some, hated it. After about two weeks I got into it as a sort of Sunday afternoon in October drink. But I think each batch is a little bit different because I bought another bag that wasn't quite as likeable and haven't had any since then.
Those folks who do everything right, health-wise, are going to feel pretty foolish, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing in particular. :-)
Someone on this thread got me started on a cuppa hot LS in one hand and a small glass of single-malt Scotch in the other. Very nice... (to smell and to drink).
#23 - Laughed out loud on that one!
#24 - I would have thought the peat smoke and the pine smoke would have clashed a bit. I suppose we could get into a whole new discussion over which malt goes with which lapsang!
Actually, the it's really not peat smoke, but peat 'essence' in the scotch. For me, I think that's why the bit of smoke added by the lapsang works. About 10 years ago, I spent a few weeks in the west of Ireland in a cottage warmed by a peat fire. I've been homesick ever since. Now the hint of peat in the Scotch takes me right back there (which is a good thing, because I can't afford the airfare anymore).
#23 and 24: Osbaldistone clearly has the right idea, never thought of LS and scotch but...it makes sense : -)
I've commented before on the whisky/tea synergy. My view it that it takes a peaty malt to cut through the strong taste of Lapsang Souchong - I have in mind Lagavulin or Laphroaig, but any of the Islay malts is worth a try. If you insist on a malt/grain blend, then White Horse contains a good proportion of Lagavulin. I wouldn't recommend use of LS with a Speyside malt - they're too subtle.
#30: would you actually mix them together or take alternate sips?
Definitely not mixed. Obviously allowing for variations in personal taste, I found the ideal to be a small sip of malt, allowing it to spread around the mouth, leaving swallowing for long enough to let all phases of the taste and aroma to permeate, followed by a larger sip of tea, possibly two sips, sensing the way the two interacted on the tongue, the tea replacing the whisky. Then repeating the process once the tastes had begun to fade.
I found that, in this way, the aroma assumed an equivalent status to the taste. For this, you definitely need just the smallest of sips of whisky ... an amount small enough to make swallowing almost unnecessary.
I found the combination improved if total mental concentration was deployed, which allows the taste and smell sensors to reach the pinnacle of their potential. The amount of whisky actually consumed this way need only be minuscule. After the first small measure, the palate tends to become less sensitive, despite the rejuvenation associated with the tea.
Perhaps I should press for the practice to be known as 'The Scottish Tea Ceremony', as the British equivalent of the Japanese practice!
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