I had the perception that lapsang souchong is a smoky tea. I remember having one with ‘high tea’, and I was not sure if I liked it. Under this challenge, I reviewed two other lapsang souchongs. One was (I am very particular) that artificially flavoured. The smoky character of it was too much, I do not think it could be a natural smoky taste. The second one was lapsang souchong golden tips and unsmoked. This one is from this year, it is also unsmoked, but it has not had the golden buds, and it does not taste as sweet as the golden tips lapsang souchong not it was smoked. However, it is a very decent black tea with a lot of character.
The taste of this tea was strong, although it did not have a thick flavour. It was not very aromatic and sweet yet interesting. I tasted woody, pine-like, and malty flavours. The tea has a slightly sweet finish, but it was almost lost amongst other strong tastes. Overall, it had the quality of an elegant and comforting black tea.
Lapsang souchong was developed to be exported to Europe. The tea farmers in Wuyi Rock, Fujian Province already had invented the oxidation techniques during the Ming Dynasty. Still, the black tea was developed in the second half of the 17th century. The tea farmers oxidised the leaves 100% per cent and realised that the resulting tea can endure a long and harsh journey between China and the Hague (Netherlands). The Dutch were the first to popularise tea drinking, and they introduced it to other European countries and North America. They also monopolised the tea trade until the East India Company became more prominent during the 18th century.
Type: Black tea
Origin: Wuyishan, Fujian Harvest time: 2020
Leaf colour: Dark brown/black Liquor colour: Dark amber
Tea Aroma: Woody and malt
Tea taste: Strong character with pine, wood and malt flavours.
Steeping: Place 4 g of this tea in a porcelain gaiwan and add about 100 ml water at around 90°C. Rinse after 5 sec. Steep for 10 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 10 seconds. You can steep this tea about four times.
Shelf life: Up to three years.