Lapsang Souchong Tea

Renowned as a smokey tea. Beloved for its uncommon smoke-like flavour, Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese speciality that offers a truly one-of-a-kind black tea experience.

Below you'll find the answers to any queries you may have on Lapsang Souchong along with information about the history of the tea. From the process that gives this smoky tea its aroma to the preparations made before it makes its journey from east to west and into your tea cup.

What is Lapsang Souchong?

A delicate process to make a delight:

Sometimes simply called Souchong, Lapsang is a wonderful treat any time of the day.

A black tea that first came to origin in the Wuyi Mountain area of Fujian, China; Lapsang Souchong's character can be seen in a single cup . It boasts a smoky flavour that resonates with pine smoke accompanied by an aroma of scotch whiskey and smoked paprika to help calm your mind. As is its job as a black tea, Lapsang tea promises a strong taste that will last long after you've taken your last sip.

As a black tea, Lapsang Souchong can be served at any time of day. Like a well-known English Breakfast tea perfect for an early morning or an English Afternoon tea or for your guests in the evening. Lapsang, like other black teas, also serves as a great option for those seeking to lower their caffeine intake.

Black tea is... red?

The term 'black tea' refers to the darker colour of the leaf after its been dried (unlike other tea,,Lapsang Souchong is smoked rather than being allowed to dry naturally in the sun, or roasted). This process is called oxidation and results in the final product bearing an attractive reddish hue.

Did you know?

Lapsang Souchong was first made during the end of the Ming dynasty when the interruptions of armies passing through tea villages in China slowed down production of their green tea. To make up for lost time, the tea factory workers collected pinewood to create campfires to speed up the drying process. Once the finished result was discovered to be red, they were considering disposing of the batch but they had no choice but to ship it. A year later, they were told by merchants that the tea sold twice as quickly for double the price! So production of Lapsang continued and flourished.

What does Lapsang Souchong taste like?

Like many other black teas, Lapsang Souchong has an absolutely compelling flavour with a significant aftertaste. But it also contains flavours that emanate the scent of fine cigars and exude the taste of peated whiskey. The tea also contains hints of pine resin from the fires it was smoked over and delicious traces of dried longan. Lapsang teas lack the bitterness found in most other types of tea, even in brews that are more vigorous.

Does Lapsang Souchong tea have caffeine?

At 27-35mg of caffeine in each tea serving, Lapsang Souchong can be savored at any tea time during the day. This makes it a good option for those seeking a lower caffeine intake or those who struggle getting to sleep but still can't resist having a cup.

How is Lapsang Souchong made?

Lapsang Souchong comes from the China - land of the rising sun, the fortune cookies, and the first black tea known to the world:

  • Originating from the same tea plant as other teas (Camellia Sinensis), Lapsang creates its signature and exceptional tea flavour by taking the supposedly less valuable tea leaves that are farther from the main bud and drying them to create a new experience for tea drinkers to enjoy. These outer leaves are referred to as 'Souchong'.
  • The tea leaves are then placed into bamboo baskets that are hung over pinewood campfires to introduce the essential smokiness. This smoke provides a flavour found in no other tea. Lapsang Souchong can then be sent begin winding its way from China to the UK and to you.

Where does Lapsang Souchong come from?

The Wuyi mountains in Fujijan, China. The mountains reach about 6000 feet into the air. The exact birthplace of the tea in the village of Tongmu, a small area occupied by only around 1500 people. With armies passing through, it may have been a common outpost for travellers heading through north Fujijan or specifically the mountains.

What are the health benefits of Lapsang Souchong?

Please note: We do not attempt to provide nor claim to provide advice surrounding the medicinal usage of any of our tea products. If you are unsure about the effects of any tea, please talk to your doctor. There is a lack of evidence on the health benefits of tea, however we provide anecdotal benefits and encourage you to research and make your own judgement.

It is commonly believed that black tea (along with green tea) are fine sources of antioxidants. Lapsang Souchong as a tea is no exception. Antioxidants are believed to provide benefit to the skin.

Is Lapsang Souchong carcinogenic?

Numerous studies have concluded that black tea does not influence cancer. This information is subject to change however and we encourage you to form your own opinion through legitimate sources that you trust.

How do you drink Lapsang Souchong?

  • Similar to the brewing of most teas, start by boiling fresh water to pour into your cup and teapot or whatever your preferred vessels are.
  • The amount of loose leaf tea you may decide to put in varies with the amount of tea you're attempting to brew. We recommend 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea for every 250 ml. Once all the loose leaf tea has been placed in the teapot, pour in the water.
  • Let the leaves infuse for approximately three to seven minutes to maximise the flavour. Too little time will result in a lack of flavour and too long will make the tea far too bitter.
  • Make sure you have a tea strainer or other device prepared to make sure that the tea leaves do not enter your cup, and begin to pour slowly and carefully to your preferred amount. Keep in mind the amount you strain will heavily influence the intensity of the tea, so try experimenting with different flavours to find your perfect fix.
  • Drink your tea! You deserve it.

NOTE: Make sure to empty the contents of the teapot into all cups or another container. You should avoid letting the leaves bathe in the water too long.


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