How is Lapsang Souchong Produced?
The infamous smoky characteristics of Lapsang Souchong are created during the production of the tea, through a careful process that involves skilfully exposing the leaves to pine wood fires for the perfect amount of time during the drying period. This drying process causes the tea leaves to develop complex woody notes that complement the natural flavours.
The tea leaves used to make Lapsang Souchong are plucked by hand and are generally harvested in early May, with the larger, older leaves being selected as they are coarser in texture and more suited to absorb the smokiness from the pine wood.
The leaves are then withered, either outside in the sun or in a heating room, by being laid out on bamboo matting placed on slatted racks, with pine wood fires burning beneath them. The rolling process follows, which helps to release the oils in the leaves and begin the oxidation process. After several hours of oxidation, the leaves are pan-fired and rolled a second time to extract residual moisture, before being dried in bamboo sieves over smouldering pine wood fires.
What Does Lapsang Souchong Taste Like?
Revealing wonderful smoky flavours and complex woody notes, Lapsang Souchong is a delicious, well-balanced and robust tea that can be served on its own, with lemon, or with milk and sugar to taste.
Bold and distinctive, Lapsang is ideal for those who love smoky flavours, wood smoke aromas and piney notes, offering a flavour profile that is reminiscent of dried longan, peaty whisky and smoked paprika.
As with other black teas, Lapsang Souchong should be prepared using freshly boiled water; filtered tap water or bottled spring water are the best options. Using one teaspoon (5 ml) of loose-leaf tea for every 8 oz (230 ml) of water, leaves should be steeped for 2-5 minutes at 203°F (95°C).
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