Wednesday, 13 August 2008

New Tea - Lapsang Souchong

I spent last weekend in Melbourne, where I was lucky enough to be able to make a trip up to the Dandenongs (where it snowed!!) with my family for lunch, after which I stopped in at Tea Leaves to have a browse and possibly a purchase. I came away with a couple of different teas, a couple of tins to store them in, and a tea cosy (pictures to come soon!). The teas I bought were Lapsang Souchong, and a honey-flavoured sencha. I haven’t had the chance to give the sencha a proper go yet – the water at work would ruin it, I should think – but I brought in the Lapsang to give it a try.

Well. It’s powerful stuff, that’s all I can say. Lapsang is a black tea from Fukien province in China, and it is smoked over cypress and pine branches, which gives it an amazingly intense smoky scent and flavour which lingers in your throat and nose a bit after you’ve swallowed – not in an unpleasant way though. You get the taste of lovely fresh woodsmoke without the scratchy, choking feeling of breathing it in. It’s a little medicinal-smelling in the cup too – that would be from the pine branches, I suppose.

I haven’t been brewing the tea very strong, but even so it’s a bit overpowering and I’m finding I can only drink it in small quantities and quite slowly. At the moment I’m having some of it mixed with rooibos, which takes a bit off the edge of the flavour and rounds it out a little. Still, at present I feel that, for me at least, this is not a tea that drinks particularly well on its own. I did just finish off a cup while eating some bread and baba ghanoush (smoky eggplant dip), and that was excellent. So I think I will be saving this up mostly to drink with strong-flavoured foods.

A Google search suggests that Lapsang is a tea that people like to use in cooking quite a lot. Here are a few links to recipes which I found (and may try soon – especially the tacos and the truffles, they sound great!):

Lapsang Souchong Smoked Quail

Black Bean Soft Tacos

Luscious Lapsang Souchong Seitan

Lapsang Souchong Chocolate Sauce

Lapsang Souchong Chilli Truffles


  1. Verity you are a gem!I looked up your blog and I feel like, after years of stumbling around in the jungle (which, of course, is a metaphor for the incredible amounts of tea out there..) I've stumbled across a real treasure...someone who can tell me (with REAL knowledge and experience!) what tea I should and shouldn't be drinking! As for that Lapsang...(I've forgotten the rest, the smoky tea?), I'm saving that for when my boy comes to the ACT, I'm sure he'll love it, because I didn't either!

  2. Hey Issy! Thanks very much - so glad you like the blog. It's my pleasure to offer any advice I can, so any questions you have don't hesitate to ask! :)

  3. I agree. Lapsang is a powerful thing! I personally prefer less 'smoky' in character teas, such as Yunnan Golden Tips, or Black Needle. But my friend is an absolute Lapsang lover. Thanks for great reading.


Thanks for taking the time to comment... I appreciate it!


Related Posts with Thumbnails