Lapsang Souchong

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Campfire, Pine, Smoke, Smoked, Ash, Meat, Peppercorn, Wood
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by ZachMangan
Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 9 oz / 270 ml

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14 Tasting Notes View all

From Steepster

Our Lapsang is a hearty black tea which has been lightly smoked over aged pine. Surprisingly sweet and complex, note how the pine aromas start strong up front and soon diminish revealing a very structured and delicate flavor.

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14 Tasting Notes

538 tasting notes

when i smell the leaves dry, they smell nice and smokey and like a pine tree

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell more intense :D

when i smell the brewed tea, it smells like pine trees

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes like pine trees :D

i do note that the tea reminds me of basketballs

many thanks to toad thomas for this amazing tea!

Flavors: Campfire, Pine, Smoke, Smoked

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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107 tasting notes

9/22/14 builders tea with breakfast 12oz/212F/whole packet/five minutes or so?

Nice tea, excellent with milk and sugar. Exactly the pick me up I wanted on this cold rainy Ohio morning. Pleasantly smoky and rich.

A lot of the steepster teas are strikingly similiar to teas I get from Upton, and this one is no exception. I wonder if Upton wholesales.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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4835 tasting notes


I’m not a huge fan of overly smoky teas, and really, Lapsang Souchong is SMOKY. I can’t think of one that is smokier. I know that a lot of people out there dig that sort of thing, I just don’t. There was a time when I couldn’t stand it at all, I couldn’t even have Lapsang Souchong in my house because the smell was just so obtrusive and horrendous.

I have since come to learn the best ways for me to brew a Lapsang Souchong so that I can enjoy this tea. Not just be able to consume it without complaint … but actually enjoy it. I find that the key is to first “rinse” or reawaken the leaves for a 15 second brew, and then toss the brewed liquid and then start steeping. Steep for not longer than 3 minutes. And this usually produces a brew that is smoky, yes … but I’m no longer feeling like I’m drinking out of an ashtray. I even find myself enjoying the notes of smoke and the delicious caramel-y notes underneath that strong smoky presence.

And this one has a really lovely caramel-y note and I love how the caramel and the smoke meld together. It’s quite magical. Hearty and well-rounded. Not quite as hearty as I was expecting given the description of the tea, beyond that smoky note it’s not as robust as an Assam. It’s got a lighter body than my typical first cuppa for the day.

But the lighter body allows me to explore the layers of flavor. Notes of plum (like charred fruit!) and perhaps some nectarine. Notes of pine, woodsy and smoky.


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12 tasting notes

I thought this tea was disgusting. I felt like I was sipping smoked BBQ ashes. Steepster describing this as “slighty smoky” is a joke. Gag worthy!

Flavors: Ash, Meat, Smoke

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317 tasting notes

I had enough of this left over to give it a second chance (and third chance, honestly), and I recalled seeing someone on this site add maple syrup to a souchong, so I thought, why not?

Turns out maple syrup does improve it by a whole other dimension. Sweet + aromatic is a good combination. This is more like a breakfast tea preparation now, but souchong is a strange creature anyway…(I still don’t understand why Wikipedia has it as “regarded as tea for Westerners in China”, that’s a little drastic, don’t you think? Anyway, I know plenty of family and friends in China who enjoy it…)

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31 tasting notes

As this was my first experience with real lapsang souchong, I was excited to really try what Google tells me is sometimes referred to as the “scotch of tea,” especially because I am learning to enjoy scotch as well.

I have never had such an immediate and vocal reaction to opening a bag of tea. I tore open the pouch, caught a whiff of the dry leaf, and exclaimed “Whoa, this smells like bacon!” I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did sort of taste like bacon as well: smoky and rich, with a balancing tang and a breath of tannins. There was even some chew to the mouthfeel, and I found that my first cup left me with a feeling of rendered fat on the tongue. There was also an earthy quality to the brew, almost peaty but not enough to overpower the cup. I canfly understand why people may find the tea too strong, too smoky, too meaty for them, but I find it highly enjoyable. Excited to explore other lapsang varieties in the future. 9/10

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1 tasting notes

This Souchong variety is famed for its pine scent and soul-warming flavour. If I had to compare this Lapsang Souchong to a painting, I would image one done in oils of a mountain, with light snow, tall pines, and dark brown all around. The stars shine at night whilst a small fire burns inside. This Lapsang Souchong has a campfire taste and smell, with a hint of pepper. It is definitely one of my favorite teas, and something I will search for and hoard come winter.

Flavors: Ash, Peppercorn, Wood

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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2 tasting notes

Tremendous woody / charred smell that’s not quite backed up by flavor as full. But still delicious!

212 °F / 100 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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291 tasting notes

This is my first Lapsang Souchang! Yay Steepster Select always introducing me to new things!

I went on the light side for brewing this because I was a bit scared of overwhelming myself. I don’t consider myself much of a dark tea person (though they are growing on me). The scent of the dry leaves immediately reminds me of a campfire. The aroma of pine and smoke is very dominant, and the tea leaves themselves smell very similar to the type of black tea used in Thai tea. The taste is of pinewood and smoke, and yet again the taste of the black tea is very similar to the type of tea used in Thai Tea. There’s a peppery, spicy quality at the end of a sip. I’m guessing the similarities are there because both teas use “lower quality” leaves (4th and 5th leaf) to make the tea, then blend it with flavors to make it more palatable. Chai can be in the same boat.

I can’t say this is a favorite for me. It doesn’t really gain complexity with repeated steepings like higher leaf teas do, but it induces a nice warm nostalgic feeling that reminds me of a campfire glow and all the memories of nature and the outdoors associated with it.

So you have to kind of take it for what it is. The best premium tea out there? Not really. Still good in its own right? Definitely. I think it earned a few extra points just for nostalgia factor though.

Flavors: Pine

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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179 tasting notes

as it turns out, i don’t like Lapsang Souchongs. i thought this one might be better, considering the source, but i think it’s just me. do not like. but then, i don’t really like smokey flavored anything, really. except beef. and pork ribs. but smoke where it doesn’t belong? ew.

ON EDIT: 2nd steeping was a tiny bit milder on the flavor i’m not enjoying, but only a tiny bit. i must say, this is an incredibly smooth tea, considering, and lush and deep and full, but that smoked quality just. ugh. can’t get over it. no third steeping for me!

brewed as per directions on Steepster Select packet, April 2014 mailing.

Jilly Beane

I’m with you. I tried to have an open mind, but my mouth didn’t cooperate.


I highly recommend doing a ‘quick rinse’ of the leaves of a strongly smoked tea like Lapsang Souchong. I pour the hot water over the leaves for 15 seconds (well, with this tea I did 20 seconds, but that’s because I seemed to forget what I was doing in that 15 seconds. My brain isn’t functioning yet.) Anyway … a quick rinse of the leaves, 15 seconds in the hot water, and then pour it off and then steep it for the 3 minutes or however long you might steep it. It will still be smoky, but it won’t be as overpowering.

Jilly Beane

I’ll give it a go. Thanks for the tip!


After re-reading the suggestion, I didn’t want to mislead … the “hot water” that I use to rinse is boiling. I bring the water to a boil, perform a rinse, and then strain off the liquid, then brew as I normally would.

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