Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf
Our Lapsang Souchong is a black tea smoked to perfection. This tea is savory, smoky, slightly cool with a hint of menthol. Look for a crisp sweet pine flavor as you are vrewing this excellent black tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Co-Op Membership here.
When I received this month’s Co-Op package from Simple Loose Leaf and found this Lapsang Souchong Black Tea among the five teas inside, I thought that I had already tried (and reviewed) it, but as it turns out, the tea I’m remembering is the Russian Caravan from Simple Loose Leaf. I knew I recalled tasting a smoky tea from them! (And I’m relieved that my memory is better than I thought it was.)
And this is definitely smokier than I remember the Russian Caravan being. This is a very heavily smoked Lapsang Souchong, so if you’re one of those who enjoy a very strong, smoky Lapsang Souchong – this is the tea for you.
Me, I’m not so much into the smoky notes, although I’m still enjoying this.
To brew this tea, I used my Kati Tumbler. One bamboo scoop of tea goes into the basket of my tumbler and 12 ounces of boiling water is poured over it. After 15 seconds, I discarded the liquid and poured a fresh 12 ounces of boiling water over the partially infused leaves.
The rinse! I find that this step is crucial for me because it helps to eliminate some of that smoke so it doesn’t overwhelm me. I’d find this far less enjoyable without the rinse.
After the rinse, I infused the leaves for 2 1/2 minutes in 12 ounces of boiling water. The result is a smoky cup – but not so overpoweringly smoky that I’m not able to bring the cup up to my lips to take a sip.
Actually, this is quite enjoyable. The smoke is strong, but the rinse really helps. For anyone who finds the smoky notes to be off-putting in a Lapsang Souchong, I strongly recommend doing the rinse of the leaves. It turns an otherwise undrinkable tea (for me) into quite a lovely tea experience and had I not discovered just how valuable a good rinsing of the leaves is to certain teas, I’d be missing out on a whole lot of tea enjoyment!
It’s got some lovely sweet notes to it. I taste notes of sweet plum and I love the way the plum and the smoke mingle. It’s very interesting and quite pleasant. I taste notes of honey too, and again, I like the way the honey and smoke flavors mingle. Imagine a plum, drizzled with honey, and then smoked over a smoldering fire. Yeah. That’s what I’m tasting.
It’s a remarkably smooth tea – I’m not tasting bitterness and while there is some astringency to this, it’s very slight.
It’s wonderful to curl up to on a chilly afternoon. (We’re not really experiencing a lot of ‘chilly’ at the moment, but it’s chilly enough to make me want the heater on, so I find this to be quite a cozy, comforting tea.) This one gets a thumbs up from me!