My general opinion of any lapsang souchong is that it’s like drinking bacon rinds. After disliking my small sample, I passed it to a friend, who did the same to another friend, and I’m afraid it ended up fertilizing somebody’s houseplants.
“EDIT: I think that Adagio has done something very WRONG with their Lapsang Souchongs in the past year--or else my taste has evolved. I would not order from them again. It's weak and...” Read full tasting note
“Le sigh... I realized that I haven't had this tea in about 2 months due to my overflowing tea cupboard (and bookcases). I actually picked up some decorative picture album boxes this weekend to...” Read full tasting note
“Cold, rainy weather...check. Long, rough day at work...check. Strong desire to get new samples of tea...check. All of these things mean it is time for some comfort, coming tonite in the form of...” Read full tasting note
“i got a small sample bag of this so i could keep tinkering with my personal sherlock blend. but i put one scoop aside so i could try it straight. not the best lapsang i've had. but still smokey...” Read full tasting note
Black tea from the Fujian province of China. Lapsang Souchong tea (also called Russian Caravan tea) has a famously smoky aroma and flavor. To create this, tea leaves are dried in bamboo baskets over pine fires, achieving a perfect balance of smoke and tea flavor. The ‘Eroica Caravan’ typically draws strong reactions: you’ll either love it or hate it.
Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at www.adagio.com and in many gourmet and health food stores.
Lapsang SouchongDream About Tea
Lapsang SouchongWiseman Tea Company
Lapsang SouchongTea Cozy
Lapsang SouchongKu Cha House of Tea
You’ll probably love or hate this tea, but I love it. The tea smells smoky out of the bag and maintains that smell after steeping. It reminds me of evenings spent next to a campfire with friends and then discovering you still smell like campfire smoke the next day. Maybe I’ll take this tea next time.
Method: Gongfucha with 4 grams of tea to 100 ml of water with a quick rinse.
Upon opening the bag, you are overwhelmed by the strong scent of smoke, like you’re sitting right beside a campfire. The dry leaves are completely black and of a good size.
First Steep (10 seconds): The Color of the first infusion is a nice red-orange. The liquor Smells like a blend between Assam and campfire smoke. The Taste is smokey, with just a hint of fruit in the background. And the Aftertaste is simply like a clean black tea layered with a bit of smoke.
Second Steep (15 seconds): The Color becomes an even deeper shade of red-orange. The Smell has become a little more smokey, but hasn’t changed too much. The Taste is, again, a little more smokey. The Aftertaste hasn’t noticeably changed.
Third Steep (20 seconds): The Color is still that deep shade of red-orange, but the Smell has become completely made of smoke. The Taste has let go of some of the smoke for a more balanced blend of smoke of crisp black tea. The Aftertaste now tastes just like how pine resin smells.
Fourth Steep (25 seconds): The Color hasn’t changed at all, and the Smell is beginning to thin out, but is still has that nice smokey aroma. The Taste has taken on a slightly creamy citrus note in addition to its smokey flavor, and the Aftertaste still tastes like the scent of pine resin.
Fifth Steep (30 seconds): The Color has become noticeably more orange, with just a hint of red. The Smell is still that crisp blend of black tea and smoke. The Taste has let go of the citrus, and has become an interesting “creamy smoke” flavor. The Aftertaste is like the smoldering embers of a campfire.
Summary: This tea is definitely not for someone who doesn’t like smoke. The tea tastes and smells like smoke (to be expected), but has enough other flavors to make it interesting. I like this tea, but I can see why some people would be averse to it.
Followed some advice, lower temperature (just under rolling), more tea (three spoons for 2 cups), shorter brew time (3 minutes) and it has worked wonders on my Lapsong. The dark amber of the two was in full swing by 3 minutes, almost looking like rooibos. It was smokey but no bitterness in the end. In fact the end tasted like water, perhaps too thin?
The second steeping (3 minutes), this time no sugar, tasted of green tea, wondrous, and the smoke has settled to a low ember, not burning at all- excellent to the palate.
I’ve been looking forward to trying this one.
Smells like: campfire, bbq smokehouse.
Taste reminds me of: pine, smoked bbq, and a little bit of a grassy taste. I was expecting strong flavors after smelling it, but it was actually kind of on the mild side.
I’m tempted to try this in some kind of marinade.
Reading over the past tasting notes, it seems like you either love or hate this particular tea.
I love the woodsy and warm taste of this tea. Totally a morning or early afternoon drink. It reminds me of the bonfire we had every year at a Masquerade function I always went to. Good times.
It’s not as good as the Spice and Tea Exchange Lapsang Souchong, in my opinion, a three minute steeping time left a weaker and more astringent taste. I plan to perhaps use slightly more tea and a two minute steep time next time I make a pot of this.