Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Pekko Teas
Lapsang Souchong is produced in Fujian province in China. The process begins with freshly picked tea that is withered over pine or cedar fires, pan-fired, and then rolled by hand. Once rolled, the leaves are pressed into wooden barrels and covered with cloth and allowed to ferment until they begin to emit a pleasant aroma. Once fermented, the leaves are rolled again into tight strips and then placed in bamboo baskets which are hung over burning pine boughs. As the leaves dry, they further develop their smoky flavor. The Lapsang process results in a tea with leaves that are thick, black, and glossy.
Learn more about this tea here.
Not long ago, Pekko Teas introduced themselves to the members of Steepster by offering us free tea! Well, I wasn’t about to pass up such a generous offer! This is the tea that I received (it was a random selection), and while it is not a tea I would have selected for myself (I’m not big on Lapsang Souchong as some of you may already be well aware), I am glad that this was the tea that was randomly selected for that very reason. Well, that and the fact that this is a really good Lapsang Souchong!
I prepared this the same way I would normally prepare a Lapsang Souchong, with a quick preliminary rinse before steeping for 2 1/2 minutes. The result is a smoky-sweet cup that is actually rather delightful. I find that this initial rinse is especially important with Lapsang Souchong (at least for me it is!), it helps tone down the smokiness just enough so that I don’t feel like I’m drinking pine ash. This allows me to fully enjoy the wonderful notes of the Lapsang.
And this is really a wonderful cup. Smoky, yes, and as I mentioned, sweet. The caramel-y sweetness melded together with the smoke is quite delicious. The smoke is strong, but it doesn’t overpower the cup. I can taste delicate notes of pine, and a rich earthy undertone. It is an aggressive cup and would make a good choice for a morning tea – especially good for those mornings when you’re just not ready to wake up but you have to anyway.
I’m really quite delighted with this tea … the first that I’ve had the opportunity to try from Pekko Teas, but I daresay not the last!