China Lapsang Souchong

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Bonnie
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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23 Tasting Notes View all

  • “It has been a very long time since I reviewed this Lapsang Souchong from Happy Lucky's Teahouse here in Fort Collins. It happens to be a tea that I've sent to England, Canada and all over the...” Read full tasting note
    97
    bonniejohnstone 673 tasting notes
  • “Here's another sample from *Bonnie* and a Thank You for another good Lapsang. I think I like this Lapsang using these times and temps, and doubt if I will ever use boiling water. I also used 1+ tsp...” Read full tasting note
    87
    ScottTeaMan 101 tasting notes
  • “This sample was generously provided to me by Bonnie (still haven't figured out how to make words bold). I was very curious about trying a smoked tea, and just a bit apprehensive. The aroma of the...” Read full tasting note
    90
    Kwinter 169 tasting notes
  • “When I opened the bag of this tea that Bonnie sent me, I was hit with the smell of bonfires. I immediately knew that this was the tea I wanted to drink. The smokey aroma lingered as it steeped,...” Read full tasting note
    100
    tawnykira 60 tasting notes

From Happy Lucky's Tea House

During the early 19th century, many black and oolong teas had a characteristic woody, smoked flavor, due to the use of wood-fired woks. At the request of English merchants, this smoking process was performed intentionally. In the smokehouse, tea leaves are hung from bamboo baskets above smoking pine ash. The flavor is very smoky, enjoyably smooth and uplifting. Compliments well with slightly spicy and oily foods. You’ll either love it or hate it.
This Lapsang Souchong is slightly sweet and has deep layers of smoke.

www.happyluckys.com

About Happy Lucky's Tea House View company

Company description not available.

23 Tasting Notes

97
673 tasting notes

It has been a very long time since I reviewed this Lapsang Souchong from Happy Lucky’s Teahouse here in Fort Collins. It happens to be a tea that I’ve sent to England, Canada and all over the United States when sending out samples of tea over the past two years. I even sent some to David Duckler at Verdant to use as a rub! (I have my nerve!)

Not too long ago, the Manager at the tea shop, Andy, had some ‘other’ Lapsang Souchong tea’s that he was sampling.
Andy said that he had some tea’s for me to try…so several Lapsang Souchongs were lined up for tasting. Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh.

None were as good as the original China Lapsang Souchong!
Why? Smoke without bitterness, depth of flavor and a little sweetness.

All agreed that there’s no point changing a favorite tea of so many people! This is one good Lapsang Souchong!

Personally, I’m never without a few ounces of this tea.
I grind it into a powder with freeze dried garlic and onion and sprinkle it on vegetables when steaming them (broccoli and cauliflower). I make meat rubs, and can’t wait until my daughter’s goats produce milk for cheese so that I can dust them with tea.

For those who received this tea from me and loved it, you can now buy it directly online. There’s another Lapsang blend with toasted jasmine and orange that’s called Lion and Lamb (less intense).
www.happyluckys.com

Terri HarpLady

You won’t believe this Bonnie! I almost just made a pot of this! I ended up making something else, because I’m trying to do sipdowns only & the sample I have from you is very generous!
I love this review! Now I wish I’d made the tea, we could have been drinking the exact same tea at the same time! :)

Bonnie

If you don’t drink it, cook with it. Put some in a mortar and pestle (grind into a powder) with freeze dried garlic or other herbs and sprinkle on veg when you steam them. The house won’t smell yucky!!!

Terri HarpLady

I’m going to try that. I’m going to measure out enough for a nice cup so I can do a sipdown, & grind up the rest for a sprinkle! Thanks!

TeaBrat

ooh, good to know. I just went to their website to check it out.

Bonnie

I just was playing around and made some lapsang souchong hard boiled eggs. Nice and smoky! Cooked and peeled the eggs then soaked in a tea bath with a little salt. Yum!

Terri HarpLady

Now THAT sounds awesome. I want to make tea eggs, tomorrow.

Bonnie

Fallish, good with pickled stuff..olives and such.

Terri HarpLady

I have lots of pickled things around here, lol, at least the cultured salty kind of pickles: Dilly Green Beans, Basil cocktail onions, dilled cukes, spicy cukes, root Kimchi, sauerkraut, & I still have one jar of christmas kraut in the dungeon fridge (where I store these scientific experiments once they are properly ripened). My next project will probably be Beets.

Indigobloom

I always wondered if Lapsang would mix well with Whisky. They seem to have a similar nose in, in my mind (says the girl who knows nothing of whisky!) and I know its a waste of good whisky… but I’m still itching to try it! or perhaps with a vodka sauce on chicken! mmmmm.

Bonnie

Winston Churchill drank whiskey and lapsang souchong side by side, which I’ve yet to try. We have a new whiskey distillery in town (Fiesty Spirits) that has a tasting bar… I should take some tea.

Indigobloom

yes pls!! cheers Bonnie on for a whiskey Lapsang tasting note…

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87
101 tasting notes

Here’s another sample from Bonnie and a Thank You for another good Lapsang. I think I like this Lapsang using these times and temps, and doubt if I will ever use boiling water. I also used 1+ tsp leaf per 10 oz mug.

The dry leaf smelled instantly of a campfire, with a certain sweetness that was inviting. This seemed less intense than my previous experience with Lapsang Souchong many years ago. As the tea began steeping, I couldn’t help but think, “Holy shishkabobs Batman!!”. The campfire smoke aroma intensified & jumped out at me. Tobacco aromas lingered in the air as well. My cup liquor was a rather translucent brownish-red color, with pleasantly sweet aromas reminding me of those summer campfires, and tobacco smoke.

The wet leaves smelled like tobacco smoke, with a definite ashy quality that cooled revealing new leather aromas and a natural sweetness. The flavors were surprisingly smooth and sweet, with tobacco and mild campfire smoke on my palate and the back of my tongue. Such a full flavor without being heavy.

I steeped a second cup somewhere between 5 to 5.5 minutes. Campfires were still ablaze, but this time with more smoked tobacco aromas. Sniff….sniff…yes, I was actually getting whiffs of smokey bacon! My cup was slightly darker. Wet leaves smelled of deeper tobacco smoke, with a more pronounced ashy quality. Once cooled, there was a deeper leather aroma that was sweeter, reminding me of pipe tobacco. The flavors on my palate were heavier-smoked tobacco/ashy quality, with less campfire notes.

Today I had two more cups yielding similar results. I decided to have a third cup resteeping the leaves, and was surprised by the continuing strength of the aromas and flavors. Through the second & third cups, the aromas and flavors were full bodied and satisfying-yet mild, and not bitter and offensive.

The demons of my previous experience with Lapsang Souchong are now conquered. I would imagine it’s much like the battles the Caped Crusaders would face every day, as Batman would exclaim, “To the Batcave, Robin!”. Sometimes, I wish I had a hermetically sealed cave, if only to store my tea there. :))

Cupped: Monday & Tuesday, June 4-5, 2012.

Reviewed: Tuesday, June 5, 2012.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I can see you are not a total fan nor totally freaked out by LS but brave! Glad you tried my local brand! I’m eating some pasta cooked in LS laced water (used a tea sack) .

ScottTeaMan

It’s not a tea I would drink regularly, but I did like this very much! I have a new appreciation for LS. :))

Lynne-tea

Yum! I love LS and am glad your appreciation for it grew =)

jason

I can echo the sentiment from your review, and this is by far my favorite so far if I’m going to drink one. Well put sir!

ScottTeaMan

Lynne-While I probably could drink most LS now, I really liked this one. :))

Jason-My LS experiences are limited, but I can’t imagine one being much better. I found this LS to be well balaced, and I would reach for this one too. As my experience with Lapsangs grows, maybe I’ll realize how truly special this one is. Maybe I will not wait that long to up my rating. :))

Tawny Kira

I’ve never tried LS, I’ve heard good and bad things about it so I was unsure whether or not I should. But after reading this review I think I will have to try it! Your review painted a picture in my mind (and on my tastebuds!) that I have to experience in real life!

ScottTeaMan

Tawny-Thank You! II used water well below boiling and only a 3 min steep. It is still really flavorful this way. Keep in mind, not all LS are created equal. This one is not too smokey, IMO. :))

Bonnie

I’ll be out for awhile today, however…If Tawny wants to follow me back (I just followed her) I can PM her and send her a sample of this Lapsang Souchong if she wants some like I did for you!

Tawny Kira

Scott- Awesome thank you! I will definitely keep that in mind! :)
Bonnie- I haven’t been on since this morning as I’ve had my hands full with my little ones but I just followed back :) Sending you a message!

ScottTeaMan

Bonnie I finished this sample Fri morning. My filter basket smelled liked shoe leather! :)) :))

Bonnie

My cleaner of choice is good ol baking soda! Gets the LS smells out!

ScottTeaMan

I did wash it really good, and it still smells. :)) I’ll just finish Lion and the Lamp before I soak it in BS.

Bonnie

No rub it like a paste and then rinse off!

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90
169 tasting notes

This sample was generously provided to me by Bonnie (still haven’t figured out how to make words bold). I was very curious about trying a smoked tea, and just a bit apprehensive. The aroma of the dry leaf is INTENSE pine smoke.

My dad makes his own venison jerky in a backyard smoker using a combination of pinewood and hickory, and that’s what the smell of this tea reminded me of.

The flavor proved to be more mellow, and I have to say I liked it a lot. I didn’t expect to like it this much. It was smooth and surprisingly light, and there is something very refined about it. It reminded me of grilled vegetables and a good cigar. Thanks again, Bonnie!

Side note: I take my SAT’s tomorrow morning, wish me luck!

Bonnie

Put a star at the beginning and end of what you want to make bold! *Good Luck *

Bonnie

Oops…don’t leave spaces! Good Luck

Azzrian

Good luck!! :)

Scatterbrain

Thank you! :)

TeaBrat

good luck!

Michelle

And to do italics, do _ italics _ (but without spaces): italics! strikethrough is – strikethrough -

ashmanra

Cool! I knew bold but not italics and strike through. Woohoo! I can hardly wait to try them all! Oh wait, I just did!

Bonnie

shut-up sorry I SAID SORRY! This is only a test! ; )

Kittenna

Good luck on the SATs!!

Invader Zim

Don’t forget underline by using +

Ninavampi

Good luck!!!

Scatterbrain

Just got home, WOW. That felt like it was never going to end. I had to drive 40 minutes away to take the test and it was 5 hours of testing with 5 minute breaks every 50 minutes. Whew…

Bonnie

Hooray!

Scatterbrain

I was really nervous, but I know I did well. :)

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100
60 tasting notes

When I opened the bag of this tea that Bonnie sent me, I was hit with the smell of bonfires. I immediately knew that this was the tea I wanted to drink.

The smokey aroma lingered as it steeped, and remained as I poured it although it was not quite as powerful as when I first opened the bag. It tastes just like I imagined it would. If you could drink a bonfire, this is exactly what it would be like. I really don’t know how else to describe it, the words have left me!

This tea would be great on a summer night as well as an autumn night. It brings a comforting warmth with its smokiness and I feel that it would be a good tea with which to blend your own custom flavors with. I’ve got a couple pairings in mind to try out actually :)

Bonnie mentioned steaming vegetables with a little of this tea & I already know that I’m going to try it out tonight! We’re having company over and grilling out and I think some smokey vegetables would pair perfectly with the meal! I’ll make sure to let you know how it turns out! :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Aha! Another LS girl! I sweeten mine!

ScottTeaMan

This LS is hard to beat! Bonnie, did tou give her some Lion & The Lamp? That is more of a dessert LS to me, and it is OH SOO GOOD!

Bonnie

No …was out of it! They plan to go online later in the year. Really great guys and support a good charity! Reasonably priced!

ScottTeaMan

You tell them,when they do go online, they have some customers waiting for their LS teas! If they’re not watching Steepster.

ScottTeaMan

And I WAS never a big LS fan, but the two LS of theirs that you sent me are really good.

ScottTeaMan

Tawny-Try grating some orange peel in the LS. You’ll at least get a sense of how good Lion & THE LAMP is! :))

Bonnie

U R Silly! It’s. LAMB not lamp!

Tawny Kira

Ooooh that really does sound quite yummy! I’ll have to try it! And when they do go online I hope you let everyone know so I can get some of it too! :D

Bonnie

Sure! If anyone wants some though I can get it. Not expensive.

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95
240 tasting notes

Sample from Bonnie. Many thanks.

The dry leaf is smoky. It reminds me of a winter’s day in the mountains. The campfire is burning (as is dinner, probably), the skis are stacked for the time being and the sun is out. Or maybe it is the smell of the smokehouse with racks of meat hanging in the rafters being cured. It really is that sort of smell. Very strong but utterly lovely.

Drinking the tea, it is smoky, sweet and there is depth to it as waves of flavour break on my tongue. In some ways there is too much going on for my fuddled brain to sort it all out. It is fantastic though. As I drink the tea a beautiful lethargy comes over me. I am calmer and more relaxed. It is also somewhat cooling. It’s odd really. I feel kind of spaced by this tea but not in any unpleasant way. I have thoroughly enjoyed this tea and I’m off to make more right now.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Aha my buddies at HL will be pleased that on this opening day of the Olympics good ol LS
from our shop in Fort Collins has been a hit with you there in the UK!

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1826 tasting notes

I love the description! Bonnie, did you write that?

This is a gift from Bonnie to help get youngest through geometry! I had ordered her sme from Teavivre but it will be about seven days before it gets here and she said she needed lapsang NOW! Bonnie was so sweet to send this, and it got here in just a couple of days!

I had a small cup, not wanting to deplete her pot of tea too much. It is very smoky, but it is not at all offensive. The cup is a very clear orange and the smoke remains strong after steeping. The Lion and The Lamb left a pleasant ash smoke flavor after the sip, but this one has a little less aftertaste I think.

The smoke is certainly strong enough, and youngest says she will be making it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next!

Bonnie

What comment? You mean ‘very smoky?’ Yep! Like Robbie the Robot…“Warning Mr. Robinson,this is a smoky Lapsang Souchong!” But it has a depth and sweetness also.

ashmanra

Yes, I loved how succinctly it was put! Just “very smoky.” Bam. Done. LOL! But it is nice smoke. Doulton would love this one. I miss Doulton!

Daniel Scott

I clicked to go see what you meant about the description before I read the rest. “Very Smoky” and nothing else. That IS singularly hilarious.

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1199 tasting notes

Lesson of the day: Don’t judge a tea by its overwhelming campfire smell.

I was feeling brave so I decided to once and for all tackle the sample Bonnie sent me of this tea. Smelling it once again I almost gave up immediately. It’s like every possible smoked item you could think of to the power of five. Campfires, liquid smoke, leather, tobacco, even after it’s steeped for almost 3 minutes, the cup of tea retains those same scents.

Just keep telling yourself bacon.

Finally brave enough to sip…it’s different. It’s spicy, smoky, and a little sweet. Since I’ve really never had anything smokier than the Smoky Chocolate from 52 Teas I am having a massive “oh my god this isn’t for drinking this smells like bacon dipped in liquid smoke kept in a leather purse!” reaction.

Going to keep sipping though. If I can stand it this way then if I made it more like everyone else has I should have less of a problem in the future. Yay trying new things!

It has a lot of depth but it’s not like being placed directly in the path of barbecue smoke while sitting at a campfire while wearing leather. Oh I can’t get used it yet! It’s just so weird. At least I seem to be having a better time with it than I had with ice skating.

Dylan Oxford

I had kind of the same thought with my first try of lapsang (mine was from Upton). As fond as I am of smoked… well… everything else in the world, it was just a little too weird for me. I did order a sample from Teavivre, figured I’d give it a shot. But so far, surprisingly not for me.

momo

Yeah I want to like it because it’s tastier than it smells but still just so weird. I have a sample from Teavivre too but I don’t know.

Bonnie

Laughing! So funny! It’s ok not everyone likes to drink LS! Good to cook with though. Read my note to you about that. Steam veggies like broccoli and good in pasta water (use the tea sac) .

CHAroma

LS is an acquired taste that you don’t have to acquire, so don’t feel compelled to like it. It’s not for me either. I got a lot of beef jurky that’s been sitting in campfire smoke when I tried it…not an entirely appetizing taste. But everyone can’t like the same thing or it’d be a boring world! At least you tried it!

Bonnie

So true and give it to someone else and they love it!

momo

I probably shouldn’t have even drank it to begin with after my throat being sore. I just wanted something new and didn’t even think until I was sipping it, ha. I’ll at least give the Teavivre one a shot too, but I definitely think I can cook with it, that’s what it just feels like it needs..something more than liquid for all that flavor. Using it to make pasta sounds awesome. I wonder if you can infuse it into oil, that would be very interesting with like caramelized onions.

momo

Or I can use Google instead of just wondering to myself: http://whiteaugusttea.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/tea-infused-oil/

Bonnie

I infuse tea into lots of things. Make flavored honey, syrup, vinegars for salads. Steaing veggies with LS or lemony tea. All kinds of things. Have yet to put a tea sack with tea inside a bird.

TeaBrat

Amanda, I was afraid of lapsangs too but now I actually like them, though I need to be in the mood for it. You can try steeping it for shorter amounts of time as well.

Kittenna

I have tried one straight LS, and ended up deciding that although I do like smokiness, I like it wayyyy better with some milk and sugar! Maybe one day I’ll meet a smoky tea that will change my mind, but most of the ones I’ve tried so far (52teas blends and the straight LS) are much better all doctored up :)

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87
1308 tasting notes

Bonnie! you inspired me to have some delicious Lapsang Souchong with your review the other day! thank you for the sample. Deeelicous!
This is malty and smokey and just overall good. Mmmmmm.
With a sprinkle of sugar and some milk, this is my cup of “country home”.
I’m trying to figure out how it differs from my other lapsang experiences… and I think the main thing is that I feel like the leaves are not just smoked… but burnt. In a nice way!
Also, somehow, it tastes alot lighter… but rounder yet not as deep.
Mmmm. Thanks again Bonnie! xxx

Erin

I cannot get into Lapsang. Blech

Indigobloom

yep, it’s definitely one of those love it or hate it teas! glad I am on the love side :P

Bonnie

Helps to try different kinds I have a mild blend.

Indigobloom

me to. The Spice Exchange lapsang is very light, in the smokiness. Russian Caravan is lighter as well!

Lynne-tea

I definitely love lapsang! =) glad to be on the love side too (currently- my cup smells like sweet BBQ sauce)

Indigobloom

bbq! oh yummmmm. getting hungry now!

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81
252 tasting notes

Still the best Lapsang Souchong I’ve tasted. Wish I had more! I shared some with my roommate and she said she really liked it and it reminds her of bonfires with friends in high school.

Bonnie

You can call them and order but in the future sometime they’re going to sell tea online.

Emilie

Great to know! I’ll keep an eye out for that

Bonnie

I’m out myself right now. Need more.

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98
160 tasting notes

An ENORMOUS thanks to Steepster Bonnie for this sample! I was looking forward to trying this blend since my last two experiences with smoky teas were delicious ones!

When I opened the sample packet, my nostrils were bombarded with a powerful campfire aroma. In addition to the campfire effect, I also detected a smell reminiscent of one of my favorite snacking treats when I was a kid – Slim Jims!!!

I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for four minutes as recommended by Steepster Bonnie. The smoky aroma continued to waft from the pot while brewing. The color of the steeped liquid was an inviting amber.

The flavor of this tea is OUTRAGEOUSLY GREAT! It is rich, smoky, smooth, and steady. My tastebuds seemed to detect a hint of bacon in the flavor. There is also a subtle sweetness to this blend that reminds me of my favorite barbecue sauce. The smoky-themed aftertaste of this tea is light, sweet, and easy.

As I’ve said before, smoky foods are in our blood as well as our stomachs down here in the Sunny South. I can’t think of a better way to wash down a big plate of barbecued ribs than with this incredibly tasty tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Ya’ll had better pass them ribs Stoo!

Stoo

Sure thing, Bonnie! I happen to be very blessed to live down the road from the #1 BBQ restaurant in the country (according to BBQ Magazine). Let me know if you ever decide to visit South Carolina. I’ll treat you to a plate of ribs so good that you’ll start whistling Dixie!!! :-)

Bonnie

I won a cooking contest for Black History Month (long story) and got first place for my pecan pie young man! I know Soulful cooking! We could kill ourselves slathered with such goodness! (I’ve never been able to whistle but I can sing!)

Stoo

Singing is fine. I tend to be a hummer myself. I’ll bet your pecan pie is out of this world! That’s also one of my faves! Hmmm…maybe we can work out a swap deal. ;-)

Bonnie

Cool! I won first place for apple pie at the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Paradise California if you like that better (French Apple Pie with Apple Schnopps in it somewhere secret)…and Stoo…I hate making crust! Joke is on me! Hum hum hum!

ashmanra

Stop, I came there in less than four hours…I won’t eat anything til I get there! LOL!

Bonnie

Girl you are so funny! We need some serious meet-ups with food and drink! Some of these big tea companies need to sponsor events like that for us to come to don’t you think? HINT HINT!

Stoo

I’ll gladly accept frozen crust too, Bonnie. I’m not fussy. Apple pie, pecan pie. Either is fine. IT’S ALL GREAT!!!

Stoo

Ashmanra…please pick me up on your way! :-)

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