Lapsang Strong Smoke

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cornerhouse
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Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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5 Tasting Notes View all

From Seven Cups

This smoky certified organic Lapsang Souchong is the most popular and familiar Lapsang tea. It comes directly from the original Lapsang Farm in the WuYi Mountains. This tea is crafted with the same traditional techniques used hundreds of years ago. Lapsang Souchong is the tea made famous by the British royal family and by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictitious character, Sherlock Holmes.

Location: Fujian Province
Tea Bush: Qi Zhong local Tongmu Bush
Tea Master: Liang Jun De
Harvest Time: end of May
Picking Standard: 1 bud to two leaves
Brewing vessel: glass cup, gaiwan, glass or porcelain pot, yixing pot
Brewing Guidelines: 1st infusion ½ Tbs per 20 oz 212F for 2 min
Infusions: at least 5 times

About Seven Cups View company

Seven Cups is an American tea company based in Tucson, Arizona. We source traditional, handmade Chinese teas directly from the growers and tea masters who make them, and we bring those teas back from China to share with people everywhere.

5 Tasting Notes

257 tasting notes

Excellent! I love strong smoke and this is a fulfilling start to the day. I can just hear Paul Robeson singing the anthem “Peat Bog Soldiers”:

“Far and wide as the eye can wander,
Heath and bog are everywhere.
Not a bird sing out to cheer us.
Oaks are standing gaunt and bare.

We are the peat bog soldiers,
Marching with our spades to the moor."

I don’t know why drinking this tea makes me feel like I’m a peat-bog soldier, preparing to
resist tyranny, but it does. It’s good strong smoke in a tea with a lot of earthiness and a bit of saltiness.

Seven Cups sponsors tea tours of China. I wish I could go.
Delivery time from Arizona was 48 hours. Exceptional service from Seven Cups.


Good to know about Seven Cups! They have the sweetest little web casts featuring their tea master. Her teaching how to use a gaiwan is really good and inspiring.

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171 tasting notes

It has been taking me entirely too long to do my reviews, so from now on I plan to only mention those things that are noteworthy; why did it take me this long to finally come to this decision?! I don’t know! I admit I judge I’m sometimes a little slow on the uptake. : – }

Experience buying from Seven Cups

Date of Purchase/Frequency of drinking: I bought this in spring 2011 and have been drinking it off-and-on since then.

Aroma of dry leaf: unbelievably strong smell of smoke!

Brewing guidelines: Ceramic six-cup teapot, with large metallic tea-ball; stevia added; I always use my standard black tea guidelines with this tea.

Aroma of tea liquor: unbelievable smell: I absolutely love that smoky aroma!

Flavor of tea liquor: Incredible! It makes me think of times when I have sat around a campfire on a cold evening while enjoying a warm beverage with friends!

Aroma of wet leaf: Smoky, wonderful!

Blends well with: I would think it wouldn’t take much of this to add a little smoky flavor to any tea.

Value: $4.31 / 50 grams (I think it was 25% off). Not a bad price for the quality (considering it wasn’t a ‘fresh’ tea).

Overall: When I read in Heiss and Heiss’s Tea Enthusiast’s handbook that Lapsang Souchong is a ‘love it or hate it tea ’ I just had to try it. And, fitting with what they said, this tea absolutely blew me away when I first tried it (astonishingly enough, even my wife liked it initially, but she has sense changed her mind). I will never forget that drinking this tea gives me a sense of sitting around a campfire, which still amazes me, as I truly enjoy recalling that image every time I drink it. I have been drinking this tea here-and-there since I bought it, and I spontaneously decided to brew up the last of it today (which inspired me to finally write this review). I am sad that it’s gone (but the reality is it’s time to make room for new teas, although this one’s going to be hard to replace). A minor note: when drinking the first steeping after it sat and cooled quite a bit I noticed that I don’t like the taste as much as when it hot (unlike some teas which can be just as good). Still, I really enjoy both the taste and the aroma of this tea. I recently purchased a Lapsang from Culinary Teas, so I’ll have to see how good that one is. I think Lapsang Souchong is a tea I have to have in my cupboard at all times (it may even have to be Seven Cups Strong Smoke version, we’ll see). I can believe that this is a love it or hate it tea, and I am definitely in the ‘love it’ camp (of course, with the ones sitting around that campfire!). I think of the legend many years ago when some oppressive overlord decided to pay a visit to a tea plantation in China. This visit forced the tea farmers to inadvertently hide their unprocessed tea leaf stash in a place where the leaves took on a smoky flavor. That unusual happenstance allows me to reap the benefits! Thank you to all of the people and the unusual circumstances who/which made this wonderful smokey tea possible!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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6 tasting notes

I think of this as campfire tea. If I’m sitting at the back of Seven Cups and someone orders it, I can smell it as soon as they start brewing it. It smells like a campfire.

I’m not into very smokey teas, and this is not a favorite tea for me. However, I have had it and enjoyed it (it’s a friend’s favorite tea). I am always surprised by the complex flavors under the smoke since the smoke is so overwhelming that I often forget they are there.

While I’m not into smokey teas, I am always impressed by this tea. Plus, I get a good giggle whenever I smell it being brewed.

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21 tasting notes

Lately I’ve been drinking this as part of a lapsang/pu-erh blend, but today I decided to take it on it’s own. Six infusions from 1-4 minutes long, each yielding a fine, smoky tea that one feels the need to inhale deeply for several minutes before even drinking.

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5 tasting notes

ok. not smoky enough for me.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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