Today we introduce you a truly unique black tea: Lapsang Souchong, a smoky tea that will open you a whole world of new, suprising sensations and taste pairings.
What is Lapsang Souchong
Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese black tea grown in the Wuyi Mountains region in the province of Fujian. What makes this black tea unique is the way its leaves are processed: after the drying phase, the leaves are roasted over burning firewood, acquiring the characteristic, intense smoky aroma. The leaves are usually laid in bamboo baskets called honglong. Pine is the most commonly used wood.
Lapsang Souchong is also known as Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong in China, and it can be found in several precious tea blends, like many varieties of Russian Caravan and Smoky Earl Grey.
How to enjoy a Lapsang Souchong at its best
Lapsang Souchong has a peculiar bouquet with prominent smoky descriptors and notes of dry wood, undergrowth, longan, whiskey and dried fruit. This extraordinary smoky black tea is ideal alone, but its strong body and smoky taste make it a very interesting pairing for salty dishes, in particular fish or rice-based courses.
The invention of smoky tea
According to many, smoky tea was invented in China in the XVII century, during the Quing era. When the armies passed through the villages of the Wuyi Mountains, the annual processing of the leaves was delayed. In order to satisfy the demand of tea, the producers dried the tea lives over fires made from the wood of nearby pines. Lapsang Souchong is widely considered the first black tea in history.
Enjoy your Lapsang Souchong!