Lapsong Souchong or ‘smoked tea’ is the first black tea in history. It acquired the reputation of being one of the most assertive in terms of flavour teas, as the process of production of Lapsong Souchong includes smoke-drying it over pine needle fires, which creates a pungent smokey aroma along with an edgy smokey taste.
As the first black tea in history, Lapsong Souchong is extremely popular all over the world, especially in the western countries. The secret to its significance lies in its drying process that was established during the Qing era. The leaves are placed in special bamboo baskets over pinewood fires to smoke-dry. This method came to be as the conventional drying methods of tea leaves were abandoned in favour of deliberately set up fires in order to speed up the drying process and meet the production demands.
Lapsong Souchong has an assertive smokey flavour that can’t be compared to any other tea’s. ‘Over the fire’ drying process grants it with a distinctive aroma of smoke and reminds one of a fire at a campsite. It could be described to have a smooth whiskey aftertaste with a woodsy smokey tang. It’s best enjoyed on its own and although it’s taste is challenging to some, its too unique to pass up.
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