Note: This is a reprint of My thoughts on Sherlock, the tea with a few extra thoughts added.
My thoughts on Sherlock…
Honestly, when you first smell the tea: My God, it’s smoky as fuck.
It’s a bit of a bummer that Sherlock’s the most overwhelming fragrance when you open the fandom sampler box; but I am hoping that if I keep Sherl separated from the rest of the teas, they will all come back to their own.
Sherlock: blended with assam melody, lapsang souchong, black tea, natural spice flavour, cinnamon bark, orange peels, ginger root, cloves, cardamom. Teas: lapsang souchong, assam melody, oriental spice.
When I was discussing the characteristics of Sherlock with a friend; she noted,“I have to admit that smoky isn’t a descriptor I am attracted to in my tea.” — and neither am I.
If you’ve never smelled lapsang souchong, it’s really shocking at first. It totally reminds me of campfire, and it’s almost too smoky at first — reminds me more like the acridness that comes of forest fire smoke. I find it a turn off to be honest…. Why would I want to drink campfire??
…But the thing is, once you get past the smoky and the tea gets brewed to the proper strength, when you finally get to drinking Sherlock you only get a nice sense of subtle smoke flavour; again, more like that feeling I mentioned of a cozy campfire. With the addition of milk and a touch of sugar (highly recommended, by the way), there’s a really nice smoothness that balances everything out.
As to the other flavours of Sherlock, I could only just barely taste the orange peel and the spices; but that might possibly be due to the fact that I tend to use less tea leaves than most people recommend when brewing a pot of tea, so I found that the orange peel & spices were both only subtle at best.
To be honest, I don’t know how I would feel if the spices were more prominent & noticeable; but I have a feeling it would taste too much like a chai at that point versus a really intriguing cup of smoky tea that totally brings to mind memories of old, stuffy, Chinese junk shops or the house of elderly relatives…
Be warned: the smoky becomes a lot more prominent & noticeable when your cup of tea gets cold!