Type: Red (black) Tea
Origin: Tongmu Village, Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, China
Lapsang Souchong was the first red (black) tea ever created and the process to produce it was developed in Tongmu Village, in the Wuyi Mountain region of Fujian, China. Due to the proliferation of over-smoked, poorly produced and low quality Lapsang Souchong teas in the market, it's gained a bit of a bad reputation as tasting like discarded cigarettes or tyre fire. True Lapsang Souchong however has a complex flavour that strikes a balance between smokey and fruity.
While the non-smokey varieties have gained in popularity over the last few decades, traditional Lapsang Souchong from Tongmu Village is a smokey tea.
GETS BETTER WITH AGE
The tea producers of Tongmu Village generally don't sell Smokey Lapsang Souchong that has been produced in that same year. The smokiness tends to be too strong and overpowering all the delicate flavours inherit in the tea leaf. They prefer instead to let it age at least one year before deciding to sell it. And as the years go by, the flavour only gets better as the smokiness begins to dissipate to reveal a more dried fruit-like flavour. This is one tea that only gets better with age.
There is a distinct pinewood smokiness at the beginning, which actually makes the tea taste a little like smokey bacon. This then slowly gives way to a complex and deep fruitiness that's reminiscent of dried longan and stone fruits and leaves a pleasant, sweet, lasting aftertaste. A full-bodied tea with a smooth texture and satisfying mouth-fill.
3g per 300ml of water
95 degrees Celsius
*Perform a quick 3 – 5 sec rinse before steeping the tea
Gong-Fu style (preferred method)
4g per 60 – 100ml of water
95 degrees Celsius
10 secs per infusion* (up to 5 infusions)
*First infusion is a quick 3 – 5 sec rinse and isn't drunk.
5g per 500ml of water
6hrs in the fridge
Proper tea storage is super important. Improper storage leads to flat, flavourless and potentially weird tasting tea. So as a rule of thumb, keep your tea leaves in an airtight container (the less air inside the better) and away from heat, light, moisture and strong odours.