Taiwan Lapsang Souchong Black Tea

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Taiwan Lapsang Souchong Black Tea
Brand:Organic Herbie
Style:Lapsang Souchong
Region:Nantou, Taiwan

This tea's info last updated: Oct. 16, 2018

Commercial Description

Luxury Taiwanese medium-bodied black tea with smooth flavor and hints of oak and pine fire...

Ratings & Reviews

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Reviewer pic41 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
(1448 reviews) on

This tea sorely disappointed me and left me feeling sad and empty. I thought from the description that I was going to like it, but the description was somewhere between severely misleading and blatantly wrong. Thank you to Organic Herbie for the free sample. But PLEASE, update the description for this tea because it is inaccurate and will mislead people as happened to me.

The description reads "hints of oak and pine fire". I don't know about you, but when I read the word "hints", I think of an aroma that is mostly something else, and you notice just a bit of the characteristic mentioned. I DO NOT expect the aroma to be dominated by these "hints". Well, this tea is ABSOLUTELY DOMINATED by the wood smoke aroma...both the dry leaf and the brewed cup. There are no "hints". There is nothing but wood smoke in the aroma.

There are two distinct styles or types of Lapsang Souchong: the "British style" ones, ones traditionally consumed in Western tea cultures from the UK across to Russia, which have a very strong smokiness, like the smell of a campfire, and on the other hand the more traditional Chinese ones, where the smokiness is much more subtle. I have tried many examples of both, actually have examples of both in my cupboard right now to compare them to, and I strongly prefer the more traditional ones. I've had 5 or so of the traditional ones, and enough of the "British" style ones to know I don't really like them. But even there, this tea was on the stronger smoky side of the "British" style teas, and less smooth.

The brewed cup has an aroma completely dominated by the pine / wood smoke aroma. The flavor is pleasant, and stronger than I expect for this type of tea. But I didn't enjoy it, poured out the first cup, and didn't drink much of the sample. I found the overwhelming smokiness kept me from enjoying the flavor of this tea. This is a very bad result.

I do not recommend it. And I'm a little irked at Organic Herbie for the carelessness in the description. When I offer to accept samples, I try to specifically pick out teas that I think I am likely to enjoy both because I want to enjoy the teas, and because I want to give positive reviews that will help the companies out, because I want to see tea companies succeed. I picked this out specifically because the description, how it read "hints of oak and pine fire" led me to expect that this would be a traditional tea with a subtle smokiness, or at least, if it were a British-style tea, that it would be more on the subtle side of smokiness.

It always saddens me when I have to leave a genuinely bad review of a tea I received in a general sample offer. But at the same time, don't use language carelessly and expect me to think it's okay. It's not my job to write an accurate description. Someone needs to do that job with a bit of care. When a potential customer reads that description on your site, it is a unique opportunity for the business to communicate to them what they're going to experience when they buy the product. If the words are inaccurate, it comes across as not caring about the customer, not valuing them, or as just not knowing what you're doing.

With a tea like Lapsang Souchong where (a) there are both very-smoky and subtly-smoky variants, and (b) people tend to have strong love/hate opinions on the very-smoky versions...doing this becomes even more important.
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