Lapsang Souchong Smoky Black Tea (Yan Xun Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong)

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Smoke, Toffee, Vanilla, Earth, Pine, Scotch, Wood, Leather, Plums, Sweet, Burnt, Cedar, Tar, Malt, Molasses, Peanut, Ash, Tobacco, Campfire
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Scott
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec 5 g 11 oz / 318 ml

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106 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Not really ready to review this, just giving more of an update. My tea and my kettle set up were the last things I removed from office. I had two grocery sacks of tea – mostly samples. This...” Read full tasting note
    ks6 1546 tasting notes
  • “Backlogging from this morning: i realized I hadn’t tealogged this one today when my youngest daughter walked by and said, with great depth of feeling, "Mom, we have Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 2014 tasting notes
  • Thank you Teavivre for this tea sample! Ya’ll know I love me some Lapsang Souchong…Amen! (left over accent from living in Texas years ago!…long story…)...” Read full tasting note
    bonniejohnstone 673 tasting notes
  • “This is what I took to work today. We’re getting the outer edges of Hurricane Sandy, so the world outside is gray, cold, and very windy. The perfect day for something that smells and tastes...” Read full tasting note
    tabby 518 tasting notes

From Teavivre

Origin: Wuyi Mountain, Fujian, China

Ingredients: Da Bai Hao (Pekoe)

Harvest time: May 02, 2013

Taste: smoked taste, mellow, sweet aftertaste

Brew: 2-3 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194ºF (90 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Black teas contain antioxidants, which help in the prevention of some cancers and help reduce the affects of aging that is caused by free radicals. They can also reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks due to natural chemicals that reduce cholesterol.

About Teavivre View company

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106 Tasting Notes

59 tasting notes

This sample was generously provide to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.
Dry Leaf: Had a sweet and smokey pine aroma.
Wet Leaf: Had the smokey pine aroma.
Liquor: Had a bright and beautiful reddish brown color.
Taste: Had a perfect amount of the pine smoke flavor. This tea was smooth and not bitter at all. The soup was more on the watery side.
Overall Opinion:I give this tea a 89. This tea I believe is a love it or hate it type of tea. I find it very unique. This tea is very smooth and no bitterness. The tea reminds me of sitting by a nice campfire. The only thing I would want from this tea is more texture to the tea soup and that cooling effect you get in the after taste of higher quality Lapsang Souchongs. Again, can not be to hard on this tea since it is not overly smokey and so smooth with a pinch of sweetness.
Vessel: SAMA DOYO Gongfu/Kungfu Teapot. I used 7 grams of leaf for 220ml or approx. 7oz. water in the inner cup of pot.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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269 tasting notes

We had some friends over tonight, and one of them was from the Netherlands. I brought this out for him to sniff, and he immediately knew exactly what it was, which made me so happy to know there are more people like me! :) Although he pronounced it more like Lapsang Soo-Wong, which may be the correct way to pronounce it, I have no idea. He picked this out to drink and was very happy with it!

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137 tasting notes

Backlog from last night. Or was it two nights ago? I don’t remember.

Anyway, I got this as a sample from TeaVivre ages ago and have finally gotten around to trying it out. Thanks, Angel and Teavivre!

This is going to be a short note since I didn’t write anything down whichever night I had this.

Smoky, but less so than some other lapsang souchongs I’ve had. Most of the smokiness seems to be in the smell. Smooth, malty, with a bit of sweetness that becomes more pronounced as it cools. Very enjoyable with the fall weather!

Thanks again, Angel and Teavivre!

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166 tasting notes

I’ve never tried a Lapsang Souchong until this one that came as part of the black tea sampler I purchased. Since the description said smoky, I assumed it would not be “my cup of tea” but was pleasantly surprised at how the smoky flavor was just right, not overwhelming the tea flavor. It is a subtle and smooth cup of tea. It would probably never be an everyday cup for me, but that’s a matter of personal taste, not quality. I can envision when cooler weather arrives in the fall,that this would be a very enjoyable cup to savor.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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1 tasting notes

A new encounter for me so m expectation are a bit high.

the smell inside bag was very smoky, the dry leaves smelled very good, dark and campfire like, just like a goos Lapsang. Using 2tsp of leaves into my teapot for making a cup, and used the suggested time and steep temp. The brew was as expected smoky in flavor, still powerful it filled my senses.

So I scooped out 2 tsp of leaves and put it in my gaiwan, then adding the hot water at the suggested 90 c. temperature. Sniffing the tea liquor as it brewed, the scent of smoke is still pretty powerful, perfect.

My first sip was lighter than the smell earthy, slightly smoky, slightly sweet and a velvety feel. a slight cocoa aftertaste reminiscent of the aroma, very nice touch.

In all it was a very good Lapsang, that i enjoyed. classic but just different enough to be engaging, and work its way into my cupboard.

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359 tasting notes

a great black tea! i love the campfire like taste :D like eating hotdogs cooked over a campfire

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1735 tasting notes

I wanted to try this one while the other Lapsang was still in my memory from a couple days ago. Right away, the scent from the dry black leaves with hints of gold are definitely smoky. Where the Nonpareil Dian Hong Wild Ancient Tree had many characteristics BUT smoke, this one seems to have smoke as the main flavor. This cup is darker than the light amber of the Wild — a much deeper red cup. The smokiness isn’t the strongest smoke flavor I have had in a tea, but it is definitely noticeable. The smoke makes the black tea itself tough for me to figure out but it tastes fine to me. The second steep is just as strong. This is a great option for all you smoky tea fans, at a great price. Not my favorite tea from Teavivre, but that seems to be all of the others. :D
Steep #1 // half a sample pouch for a mug (about 3.5 grams or 2 tsps.) // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute
Harvest: 2014

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242 tasting notes

Brewed with a gongfu glass tea pot.
Steeping parameters: No rinse. 30 seconds, 45, 60, 120

This would be my second Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, the first being from Wegman’s years ago. From the dry leaf alone I can tell that this one is of much better quality. Short and twisty, unbroken, they mostly are very dark – near black – peppered with a few golden leaves. They smell of burned conifer wood and smoke. The wet leaf aroma, of barbecued spare ribs. A hint of vanilla rises from the liquor.

Reddish in color, clear, and smoothly textured, it tastes much like it smells, and then some, including a pungent yet mellow smoky meat flavor. This tea leaves behind a sweet barbecue sauce aftertaste and a dry throat.

No rating, but recommended since I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t have this kind of tea often, but this is one I would go to if I wanted something different and smoky.

195 °F / 90 °C 7 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

I just used my leftover smoky souchong leaves for a rub on roasted chicken legs. They were amazing.


That sure sounds delicious! Never considered using leftover tea leaf for meat marinade.

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85 tasting notes

This tea is a complete mouth/nose experience. Unlike other Lapsang Souchongs I’ve had (mostly bagged), the smoke flavor doesn’t overwhelm the smooth, sweet black tea base. Instead, you get the satisfying smokiness from the smell, from the breath out, and from a subtle, lingering aftertaste.

Save this tea for non-cold or -allergy season – you don’t want anything to get in between you and the smell. Also, stay away from scented lotions on your hands when drinking, nothing spoils this experience like fake vanilla/peach/lemon/whatever.

Flavors: Smoke, Toffee, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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286 tasting notes

I am disgracefully behind in writing tasting notes. I have many, many wonderful samples from my tea friends, that I really need to get sipping.

This one came my way from dex, don’t even ask how long ago. I don’t remember.

This style of tea I really need to be in the mood for. When I drank it a couple of days ago, it was windy and chilly. The perfect day for a warm comforting tea. Sometimes in this type of tea, the smoke it too much for me, and in those cases I usually use it for my home-made pea soup for a smoky flavour in lieu of bacon. This tea, however, was nicely smoky. I added a splash of maple syrup, recommended by another steepster member, and it made for a delicious sweet smoky cup.

Thanks for the sample, dex!


I am disgracefully behind in writing tasting notes. I have many, many wonderful samples from my tea friends, that I really need to get sipping.


Aren’t we all behind on that..


Just happy to see you back logging teas!! :))


Agreed – Welcome back!


Thanks you all!! Happy to be back! Stressy environment be gone :)


Stressy environment be gone :)
Congrat’s – That must be such a big relief!


mrmopar, You’re very kind as always! I suspect you’re correct that this is a common dilemma due to the many favorite generous Steepster tea suppliers as well as Steepster members plus the many frequent sales that are just too good to pass up. And then there’s life: family, jobs, medical issues, … etc. Is it any wonder?


i not sure if i tried theirs before. i tried uptons’ version and its awesome

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