Lapsang Souchong Tea - Twinings Tea Tasters

19 January 2012

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Lapsang Souchong Tea, featured on Tea Tasters, fresh from the Wuyi Mountains of the Fujian province, China.

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Lapsang Souchong Tea

WHERE IS LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA FROM?

Lapsang Souchong comes from China, from the Wuyi Mountains of the Fujian province (pictured below). The Wuyi Mountains region of Fujian is best known for its oolong and black teas.

GO TO: WATCH THE TEA TASTER CLASS | THE LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA STORY | HOW TO BREW | SEE SOME IMAGES | BUY LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA ONLINE

MAP Fujian Province, China

HOW IS LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA PRODUCED?

Lapsang Souchong is made by a few tea producers in the Wuyi Mountains.  It is made using the same, very manual techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation - a highly crafted skill.

The process has changed very little to this day and after plucking; the leaves are withered over cypress or pine wood fires.  Then, after the rolling process, they are placed into barrels, until the aroma intensifies.  As a final step they are placed into flat wicker baskets and placed on shelving over smoky pine fires where they dry and absorb even more aroma.  The finished tea leaves are thick and black and when steeped in hot water produce a bright golden cup of tea.Wuyi Mountains_2Wuyi Mountains

 


THE TEA EXPERT VIEW: Watch Georgina talking about Lapsang Souchong Tea

 

THE STORY BEHIND LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA

The stories of the origins of this tea are as unusual as the tea itself and it is said that the smoking process was discovered by accident.  It is said that during the Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), an army unit passing through the town of Xingcun, camped in a tea factory filled with fresh tea leaves waiting processing.  When the soldiers left and the workers returned to the premises, they realized that in order to arrive at market in time, it was too late to dry the leaves in the usual way.  So they lit open fires of pinewood to speed up the drying.  Not only did the tea reach the market in time, but the smoked pine flavour created what is now a world wide sensation!

 

SO WHAT'S LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA

It is a wonderfully smoky tea, which is created in this pine forest region and it dates back to the 16th century. It s a black tea, originally made with small leaves, driving the name souchong meaning 'small leaf ' but now more commonly associated with large leaves which are rolled - it is manufactured using the orthodox method.Lapsang Souchong dried tea

As a result, these tight rolls completely unfurl as it is brewed, allowing the delicate but smoky character to come through.Lapsang Souchong Tealeaves

 

MAKING YOUR LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA

  • Measure a couple of teaspoons of loose Lapsang Souchong Tea into a cup
  • Boil Your Kettle
  • Either use the hot water just before the water starts to boil or leave the boiled water to rest for a minute before pouring on your Lapsang Souchong tea leaves.

DRINKING LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA

The leaves need to be left to brew for about 3 minutes, to give a really well balanced brew.  3 minutes is just enough time to allow all the flavour to come out and give it a lovely mellow character, without it being overpowering.Brewing Lapsang Souchong Tea

When tasting it (some will love it, some may hate it! - but every tea connoisseur must give it a try), you'll find it has a delicate, rounded, smoky character to it; it is quite an acquired taste, but it is such a special tea from a particular area that it is really worth trying.

Lapsang Souchong can be drunk with or without milk, as both have quite a different character. When adding milk, you'll get a similar bright golden appearance, and a very rounded, smooth character, although still fully smoked.

 


SOME MORE IMAGES FROM THE LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA TASTER VIDEO

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