Lapsang Souchong, meaning “pinewood small leaves” in English, is a classic smoky black tea originating from China. It was first made in 1646 in the Fujian province by civilians who fled from Qing soldiers who were advancing through the area on their Manchu unification campaign against the Southern Ming. To avoid spoilage of newly plucked tea leaves grown on the plantations, batches of leaves were quickly dried over pinewood fires and buried in sacks. The leaves were then shipped and sold to Dutch traders who fell in love with the smoky tea requesting more and so, Lapsang Souchong was born. One of the oldest teas in the world, it is also famous for being Winston Churchill’s favourite tea.

Our Lapsang Souchong is made using the time-honoured tradition of seasoning the leaves over pine woodfires in three storey huts and is faithfully maintained in Tong Mu Guan Village in the sprawling nature reserve of Wuyi Mountain, Fujian province before being brought to Australia. It is one of our absolute favourites in our range of black teas and our go to after a meal with cheese or dark chocolate.  

What does it smell and taste like?

Our Lapsang Souchong will have you spirited away to whiskey lounges with deep Chesterfield sofas and leather-bound books when you breathe in this Cuban cigar of teas. Swirled in a whiskey balloon glass, peaty, burnt-toffee vapour and chewy texture is our not-so-guilty pleasure by a crackling fireplace, cracking into a velvety crème brulee. This brilliant amber liquor warms the soul with intoxicating vapours of peat, toasted pine, smoked paprika and roast parsnip. Bittersweet smoky whiskey and dark chocolate characters.

How to make Lapsang Souchong tea?

Heat water to between 90-95 degrees or add 10ml of cold water to every 100ml of boiling water to ensure you don’t “shock” the leaves and you release the most desirable flavours. Add one teaspoon of Lapsang Souchong to 250ml of prepared hot water and allow to brew for 1-2 minutes (the longer the brew the more intense the flavours).

Hint: remove the tea strainer from the tea liquid and reserve for a second brew – tastes even more smoky the second time around.

Serving suggestion: have some fun with this tea and serve in a whiskey balloon glass with your favourite dessert, we particularly love it at the end of a meal with soft cheeses. We also recommend trying it chilled, add an ice cube and enjoy with dark chocolate.

Food pairing

A decadent accompaniment to slow cooked or gamey meats, rich desserts and strong flavoured cheeses.

Is Lapsang Souchong good for you?

Super rich in antioxidants, Lapsang Souchong helps improve digestion and is immune boosting.

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