Smoked Lapsang Souchong
Fujian Province, China
Availability: In Stock
- Tasting Notes
- Brewing Instructions
Smoked lapsang souchong is perhaps one of the more well known of the black tea types and one of the most beloved! It's delicious deep, smoky flavour is purported to appeal to whisky drinkers who find a flavour similarity to the peatiness in whisky.
As with many classic Chinese teas a story has evolved around the origins of Lapsang Souchong. One story is a Chinese army passing through a village in Fujian Province used the tea store as a resting place over night. On leaving the next day the villagers were horrified to find the soldiers had spoiled the newly picked leaves by sleeping on them. In desperation it was suggested the leaves, which had started to oxidise, should be roasted over the local pine wood to disguise any nasty smells or tastes left by the soldiers and Smoked Lapsang Souchong was born! Another origination story cites the same incidence of a passing army taking up residence in the village tea store but due to lost time and a need to meet the market dead line it was decided to speed the process up by drying the tea leaves over fires using the local pine wood.The tea was a great hit at market.
However the most likely explanation is the tea in that area was dried using the local pine wood and took on a mild smoky flavour. This proved popular especially in the West some 200 years ago and to meet this market's desire for deeply flavoured teas the smoking was increased and took on the desired deeper smoky flavours.
Smoked Lapsang is infused with the distinct smoky flavours in 2 stages.The harvesting starts in May producing well opened tea leaves which are firstly withered over smouldering native pine logs. After oxidisation the tea is placed on bamboo trays and suspended in a second room above the smoking chamber where the leaves were originally withered. Small holes exist between the 2 levels allowing smoke from the the smoking chamber to slowly drift upwards and dry the leaf whilst absorbing the smoky smell. The level of smokiness can be controlled by the age of pine wood burnt - young, unseasoned wood or older, dryer wood.
The dark brown leaves ooze a rich, deep smoky aroma. On infusion the dark red copper coloured cup releases an enticing aroma similar to the dry leaf. On sipping the initial taste of stone fruit and raisins quickly merges into a pleasant, strong pine -like finish. Delicious taken black especially after dinner.
Game, ham and pork, oily fish. Strong cheeses.
By the cup using an infuser: 2.5g or 1 level teaspoon to 200ml of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. By the tea pot: Warm the pot. Allow 1 teaspoon/ 2.5g per person and one for the pot. Heat freshly drawn water to boiling point and pour briskly over the leaves. Stir and leave for 3-5 minutes
Brew by the cup using an infuser or brew using a teapot and strainer
Buds and tea leaves