Are you interested in trying out new teas? If so, consider giving Lapsang Souchong tea a try! This type of black tea is distinct from other teas offered by Revolution Tea. Let’s explore more about Lapsang Souchong and why it’s a great choice for adventurous tea drinkers.
What is Lapsang Souchong?
Lapsang Souchong is a type of oxidized black tea that originates from China, specifically from the mountainous Wuyi region in the Fujian province. It was first created when civilians in the area were escaping from Qing dynasty soldiers. In order to preserve the tea leaves, they quickly dried them over fires and buried them until they could return. The name “Lapsang Souchong” comes from the Fuzhou dialect, where “souchong” means “small sort” referring to the smaller black tea leaves used for this tea, and “La” and “sang” mean pine and wood, respectively. When combined, the term “Lapsang Souchong” means “small sort pine wood” – referencing the unique pine smoking process used to create this tea.
What does Lapsang Souchong taste like?
Lapsang Souchong has a completely unique taste that sets it apart from other teas. Although it comes from the same Camellia sinensis shrub as black tea, the oxidation process gives Lapsang Souchong a sweet, refreshing, and smoky flavor. During the tea-making process, pine needles and pine wood are burned to smoke and dry the tea leaves, resulting in a distinct smoky flavor with hints of pine resin. The tea has a coppery-golden color when brewed, and a smoky scent. Lapsang Souchong can be enjoyed on its own, or with the addition of sweeteners like sugar or honey, and various types of milk such as almond milk, soy milk, dairy milk, or coconut milk. Some Lapsang Souchong fans even use maple syrup to sweeten their tea, as the natural caramel and vanilla notes of the syrup complement the smoky flavor of the tea.
How is Lapsang Souchong made?
Lapsang Souchong is made using black tea leaves, but the unique flavor and aroma comes from the specific preparation process. Here is a step-by-step guide to how Lapsang Souchong is made, from harvest to cup:
- Hand-picking and drying: High-quality tea leaves are hand-picked and placed in bamboo baskets over a pine wood fire to dry them and eliminate most of the moisture.
- Oxidation: The tea leaves are rolled to break up the cell walls and packed into bags or wooden barrels to oxidize for up to 5-6 hours, providing them with a unique and smoky flavor.
- “Frying” and rolling: To halt oxidation, the leaves are “pan-fried” quickly to sear the cell walls, and then they are rolled again, giving them their characteristic shape.
- Final drying: The tea leaves are placed into bamboo baskets again and dried over a fire infused with pine needles to further enhance the flavor and eliminate any remaining moisture. This step takes about 8-12 hours.
Overall, Lapsang Souchong is a distinctive and flavorful tea that’s worth exploring for adventurous tea drinkers.
Is Lapsang Souchong Banned in Europe?
Lapsang Souchong tea has raised some concerns about its potential carcinogenic properties due to the smoking process used to make it.
Some varieties of Lapsang Souchong tea have been banned in Europe due to concerns over their potential carcinogenic properties. To comply with European regulations, certain types of Lapsang Souchong tea are now made by lightly roasting the tea leaves instead of smoking them. This means that Lapsang Souchong tea can still be safely consumed in Europe, providing tea lovers with a delicious and unique option.