This post comes to you from my frustration with the Plumber. Who was supposed to be here 4 hours ago to repair whatever is causing my bathroom to flood. In order to keep myself out of jail and texting him every 5 minutes, I have decided I should have a cup of tea and simmer down.
Lapsang Souchong is one of my favorite teas. The leaves are small, black, with no golden tips. The aroma of a good Lapsang Souchong is powerful, sweet with a smoked aroma. A mix of pine and hardwood smoke, fruit and spices reminding me slightly of orange and clove. It has a medium body and the flavor usually matches the aroma.
It is among the oldest of the black teas from China and one of the most beloved.
Lapsang Souchong leaves are infused with their smoke flavors in two stages. Once they are harvested, the leaves are withered for two hours to make them supple, in a room above a chamber where an even fire of native pine logs slowly smolders. After withering, the leaves are rolled to form small, spindly needles. The rolling starts the oxidation. The needles are then gathered up into woven bamboo baskets and covered with a cloth. Gathered together in deep baskets and covered from the open air, the leaves take on the much more gentle flavors characteristic of Chinese black teas. The teas oxidize in a dry room, free from steam and after 2 hours of oxidizing, the dark brown leaves are spread out on to bamboo trays and moved to a small room above the same smoking chamber where they were withered. The same hot, piney smoke rises to the level above. The leaves rest here for four hours, drying out and absorbing a smoky flavor. The aroma of this tea is just perfection!
It goes great with chocolate and is really good with breakfast and type of smoked meats!
If you haven’t tried it please do and let me know what you think!