Hu Kwa is purported to be the top-notch Lapsang Souchong from Taiwan. Steeping one cup at a time, I use one teaspoon of leaves per cup, and I steep the tea for five and a half minutes in just-boiled water, as per Mark T. Wendell Tea Company's website. The dry leaves have a very strong smokiness to them, as is normal with Lapsang Souchong. However, with this one, there is a slight undertone of sweetness that can be noticed in the dry leaves. The aroma of the steeped tea is also quite smooth. Past experience with Lapsang Souchong has exposed me to some that were so rough as to suggest that perhaps one should be sitting outside on the ground around a campfire while drinking them, not sipping this noble drink in a more civilized setting.
The five and a half minutes is up, so I decant the tea to remove the leaves and allow the tea a minute or so to cool slightly (scalded taste buds do not make for accurate tea tasting). Heavily smoked is a good descriptor of the taste, but not overly smoked. That strange line of sweetness that went through the scent of the dry leaves is still present in the tea itself. The smoothness of this tea made it quite enjoyable to drink. Smooth and not thick. This tea deserves an 87/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.
Photo credit to the Mark T. Wendell Tea Company.
This tea may be found and purchased from the Mark T. Wendell Tea Company website, here.