Lapsang Souchong

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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15 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I was feeling brave a couple of visits to the grocery store ago and I picked up about a tablespoon of this. It promptly caused my pantry to smell like I had been frying meat in it, so I stuffed...” Read full tasting note
    56
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes
  • “As a Southerner, barbecue sauce is in my veins. In these parts, we like just about everything smoked except ice cream. In fact, if you ever pass through my neck of the woods, let me know. I'll...” Read full tasting note
    96
    Stoo 161 tasting notes
  • “From what I've read here on Steepster, everyone has an opinion on lapsang souchong. Being the not-so-gourment Steepsterite, I had no idea what that was. Luckily, the local co-op sells RTOP loose...” Read full tasting note
    86
    Calochortus 84 tasting notes
  • “Nothing particularly special about this Lapsang. For me, it lacks the small nuances that other high quality LS's have to offer. This LS is straight up smoke with just a hint of sweetness as it...” Read full tasting note
    62
    TFrankMac 37 tasting notes

From The Republic of Tea

The Tea of Mystery – The entrancing, smokey character of this tea is achieved by an elaborate process. The hand-picked leaves are smoked over pinewood embers, for a distinct and mysterious cup.

About The Republic of Tea View company

The Republic of Tea is a progressive and socially conscious business recognized for being the leading purveyor of more than 200 premium teas and herbs, ready-to-drink iced teas and more. Founded in 1992, The Republic of Tea sparked a tea revolution in America with the purpose of enriching people’s lives through the experience of premium teas and a Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp lifestyle.

15 Tasting Notes

56
911 tasting notes

I was feeling brave a couple of visits to the grocery store ago and I picked up about a tablespoon of this. It promptly caused my pantry to smell like I had been frying meat in it, so I stuffed the little plastic bag it came in into an unlabeled tin. And promptly forgot I had it (or blocked it out).

But last night I remembered and thought I’d try it this morning. Once I took the plastic bag out of the tin the house started smelling like bacon. Or ham. On fire. Once I got the leaf into water, though, the meat smell went away and it turned into pretty much burning wood. As I poured the tea out, I got a hint of a sweet smell – maybe maple – and I really really hope it was from this tea. The tea’s actually pretty light in color. For how this smells I was expecting something black as tar… And eeevil.

Hmm. This isn’t nearly as bad as I was fearing based on the smell. I makes me think of when you stand downwind from a campfire all night and the next morning your clothes (and hair and skin and everything) still smells like the campfire. It has that same taste. You know, if you were to eat those clothes. And there is a little sweetness to it! As it starts to cool, I’m getting a honey-smoked-ham type taste from it. Or maple smoked.

I made the husband try some and he compared it to Liquid Smoke and said that he feels like he’d smell like a smoker if he drank a lot of that (smoker as in device used to smoke meats, not one who smokes cigarettes). So yeah, he’s not a fan.

Honestly, I’m probably not a huge fan either simply because I am not a fan of drinking my ham. Not a big meat fan in general, actually. However, if I were looking for an easier replacement for fried ham in the mornings, this would get my vote. I do enjoy the smoothness of this (which is surprising) and the sweetness (because I am a big sweet fan). So I think I’m going to come down on the side of good tea, not for me.

I think I’m going to see if I can get my dad to try this next time I see him. If anyone would like smoked meat tea, I think it’d be him!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Luthien

I bought some of this for the Other Half the other day, since he’s a black tea drinker. I’m just waiting for him to open the packet. g

teaplz

Mmmmm, meat tea! I bet chocolate + lapsang souchong tastes like chocolate-covered bacon!

I love it how you threw it somewhere secret and safe and away from everything else because of its noxious fumes! Hahaha! I heart smoked meats, so that’s probably why I would like this. And gunpowder, its little cousin in smokey crime.

Auggy

You’d probably like this one! It actually seems like a good tea, just not something I can see wanting to drink too often. The second steep was nice, too – pretty consistent. But dude, it SMELLS. And need a 100% air tight tin for a home. Because it SMELLS.

LENA

but does it smell? :)

Auggy

Absolutely no scent whatsoever! ;)

teafiend

The smell gets me every time.
@teaplz, chocolate covered bacon? Come on USA, do we really have to put EVERYTHING into chocolate? Really?

teaplz

I looooove chocolate-covered bacon. I have to say it. I’ve also had saffron and chorizo on crusty bread with a warm dark chocolate spread at the best tapas place in NYC (Tia Pol). Sweet + savory is pretty awesome. And I’m teeny-tiny (90 pounds) so the fat content is not an issue.

Auggy

Dip it in chocolate or deep fry it! OR BOTH!

Teeny little teaplz. I put you in my pocket, k?

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I also heart chocolate and bacon together. It’s so good! (And I’m trying out the new italics function for the first time.)

Jillian

And so healthy too… ;)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Yeah, I know. That’s why I rarely have it. Besides, how often are you out and the restaurant has chocolate and bacon on the menu. I’m certainly not making it at home. =)

sophistre

I actually did make candied (but not chocolate) bacon earlier this year…for crumbling onto salads. It was good that way, but just not the sort of thing I want to keep in my house, at the end of the day. Vosges makes bacon-and-chocolate bars, for the curious.

teafiend

I think I might be the only person who honestly hates bacon. I totally have added chocolate to a bunch of savory dishes, like when I used to eat chicken and such. But bacon is just bleh, why ruin the chocolate?
I can think of more unhealthy things, like deep fried lard balls. “This is why you’re fat” is an awesome/ gross site.

Auggy

Mmm. Bacon. Bacon is goooooood. Well, if it is crispy. If it is like my college food service company used to make it? NASTY.

takgoti

To be fair, I have yet to hear of a college food service that does anything well.

Jillian

Actually the Food Training Caffeteria on my campus is quite good. The cooking students make some really neat (and tasty!) soups and entrees, and their desserts are incredible. The only thing they need is good tea (they only have Lipton tea bags).

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96
161 tasting notes

As a Southerner, barbecue sauce is in my veins. In these parts, we like just about everything smoked except ice cream. In fact, if you ever pass through my neck of the woods, let me know. I’ll hook you up with the best barbecue restaurant in the universe!

I was, therefore, very intrigued when I read about the Lapsang Souchong tea on The Republic Of Tea web site. A smoky flavored tea sounded very desirable to me.

I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for five minutes. I didn’t detect a smokehouse aroma coming from the tea, but I imagined that four cups of tea wouldn’t produce as strong a smell as 500 pounds of smoked pig.

Without a strong smoky smell, I was wondering if I would be able to detect smokiness in the taste. Well, it was there and at the perfect level! The smoky flavor of this tea is wonderful and quite bold. The black tea flavor is subdued but not to the detriment of the total taste. There is no artificial chemical aftertaste that you sometimes experience with smoky sauces. The flavor of this tea makes you fantasize about the broad tea leaves drying and curing in the smokehouse NEXT TO 500 pounds of pig!

If you don’t like smoky flavors, you probably won’t like this tea. But, if you crave barbecued pulled pork and ribs as much as I do, you will LOVE it!

This is another great tasting tea from The Republic Of Tea. This organization has just been added to my list of favorite and most reliable tea companies.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Hi, I hope you try some loose Lapsang Souchongs and play around with them in the future. I add a pinch to other tea to make them smokey…like…smoked Earl Grey or a Maple with a dash of Lapsang Souchong and a pinch of Applewood Smoked Salt from my cupboard…oh yes! I have a really strong one and a moderate one from a local store here in Fort Collins. If you ever want some, give me a halla and I’ll send you samples.

Stoo

Hi Bonnie. Actually, I did review this one in loose leaf form and it was great! Thanks for the idea to add this tea to other varieties! I’m sure it’s a wonderful complement to many different blends! I’ll definitely give that a try! If you don’t mind sending samples, I’d love to try them! That’s very nice of you! Thanks!

Bonnie

Could you PM me and then I’d have your address. Love to send you a sample and note of how I use this in cooking. (I put it in the water to steam broccoli too and the house smells good) I cooked pasta with it in a tea ball…wow good!

Stoo

Thanks, Bonnie! That is extremely nice of you! I’ll send you my address!

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86
84 tasting notes

From what I’ve read here on Steepster, everyone has an opinion on lapsang souchong. Being the not-so-gourment Steepsterite, I had no idea what that was. Luckily, the local co-op sells RTOP loose leaf tea in bulk, so it was really easy to try this tea out. I got about 2 cups-worth of leaves and prepared myself.

Despite a lot of people not liking the taste of lapsang souchong, I find this specific LS pretty enchanting. Now, I haven’t had any others, and I’m sure the quality and taste differ with each blend, but I’m happy with this. It’s smoky, strong, well-built, and aromatic. I also like that it can be watered down without affecting the quality — just add a bit more water if it’s too strong. I think that I would want to serve this at a Steampunk tea party, if those exist.

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62
37 tasting notes

Nothing particularly special about this Lapsang. For me, it lacks the small nuances that other high quality LS’s have to offer. This LS is straight up smoke with just a hint of sweetness as it cools. I tend to get a more robust flavor profile from other LS’s that provide a multitude of flavors and scents. This tea definitely lacks that quality. So overall I would rate this tea just so-so.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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81
39 tasting notes

My fiancé bought this one awhile back because it smelled like barbecue. It seemed fitting to brew some up in my burnt orange University of Texas mug (my alma mater). It smells smoky and tastes smoky. I’m typically not a black tea fan, but I could get into this one. It doesn’t have the bitter tannic taste I can’t stand from black teas. The darkness almost reminds me of a pu-erh, but each time I bring the cup to my lips, I wish I was eating some beef brisket, cole slaw, and pickles. The smoky flavor lingers and lingers for minutes after my last sip.

This tea is quite tasty, but with a relatively high novelty factor. Don’t see myself reaching for it too often, but a good one to keep stocked when I need a bigger caffeine boost or am in that just right Texas summer barbecue mood.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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57
10 tasting notes

So far, besides the sencha I order from o-cha.com, I’ve been trying various samples, either from Zhi Tea or just the bulk sampler bags at Whole Foods. While leafing (get it?) through the sampler bags during my latest grocery-shopping adventure, I was smacked right in the face by the incredibly strong smell of SOMETHING, which I subsequently identified as this tea. I’d never heard of Lapsang Souchong before but I decided if it was bold enough to capture my attention without me even seeing it, it deserved a taste. I looked it up when I got home (and took a few more whiffs of the leaves) and the strange odor suddenly made a lot of sense. However, it smelt something like tobacco or smoked meat (neither of which I enjoy too much) so I was somewhat skeptical about what kind of tea would result. Fortunately, the taste of the tea was not nearly as strongly smoky as the aroma of the dry leaves, and I liked it quite a bit. It strikes me as a tea that would be great to drink while at the banya.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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57
10 tasting notes
Lapsang souchong is one of those teas that’s not for the faint of heart. It must be the Texan in me that desires smoked everything—meat, cheese, salt, spices…

Some describe this style of tea akin to drinking a campfire. And with some poorer versions of the tea, it pretty much is. A good lapsang souchong has a smoky aroma, but a mellow, almost sweet taste and heavy mouthfeel that counters the strong aroma. Sadly, this is not a good lapsang souchong, but it’s adequate. The flavor is a bit bland, so really all you notice is the smoke.

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94
5 tasting notes

Lapsang Souchong is a polarizing tea. It seems most people either love it or hate it. I love it! Smokey and wonderful, it’s the only black tea (so far) that I can stand with out milk and sugar. You can also make many infusions. I’d strongly recommend ignoring the suggested brewing method on the tin and instead doing short (15 second) infusions with a small amount of fairly hot water. With this method I can get about 8 infusions before noticing a decline in flavor or aroma! It’s a lovely tea. My mother told me that Fergie, Duchess of York, like to drink this cut with earl grey. My mother and grandmother used to have “Fergie tea” holding their pinkies out and everything. It makes this tea all the more memorable for me.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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43
14 tasting notes

I’ve heard of course that you either love or hate Lapsang Souchong. I should have known that it wouldn’t be my “cup of tea,” but I wanted to try it anyway!

Sometimes friends of my family will make us smoked turkey on Thanksgiving & it makes the refrigerator smell terrible. I don’t like the flavor either. Plus, if you eat it, you get that smoky aftertaste in your mouth. Yuck. Well this tea gives you that same aftertaste.

HOWEVER, I found a way to tame it. I mixed it 50/50 with some English breakfast tea, added a teaspoon of maple syrup & a good splash of milk and this is enjoyable stuff! It’s a bit more astringent than I’m used to, but not a bad thing to wake up to on a cold day. I’ve heard that other types of Lapsang Souchong aren’t so heavy on the smoky flavor..Maybe I’ll look for those next time.

I’m going to try to cook with this one though. That might be interesting.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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86
1293 tasting notes

I rarely drink Lapsang Souchong, which is why my Republic of Tea can from ancient history is still more than half full. Every time I do drink this tea, I realize that I like it a lot, but it does not leap to my mind as a craving—not like Earl Grey or Sencha or Assam or …

It might have been the weather—freezing rain—but something said to me that today was a day for Lapsang Souchong. I cannot even recall the last time I had a cup, so I brewed up a Bodum full of the stuff and discovered that, perhaps because it is already so “cooked” and aged, the taste never really seems to change. Hearty and flavorful and reminiscent of a bizarre cross between the smoky embers of a campfire and a Dostoevsky novel, Lapsang Souchong is nothing if not unique!

I have noticed that leather notes in perfume are often redolent of Lapsang Souchong. So I suppose that I could say that the tea is leathery. Or is it, rather, that leather notes in perfume are sometimes more like smoked tea?

I drank this reddish-brown tea brewed strong and splashed with cream. Just right for a gloomy and pensive day like today with nary a ray of sunshine anywhere in sight.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec

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