Lapsang Souchong

Tea type
Black Tea
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Camphor, Menthol, Pine, Smoke, Smooth, Ash, Char, Sweet, Caramel, Cedar, Malt, Spicy, Tar, Toast, Vanilla, Wood, Campfire, Metallic, Dark Wood, Leather, Meat, Fireplace, Smoked
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 9 oz / 267 ml

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72 Tasting Notes View all

From Adagio Teas

Black tea from the Fujian province of China. Lapsang Souchong tea (also called Russian Caravan tea) has a famously smoky aroma and flavor. To create this, tea leaves are dried in bamboo baskets over pine fires, achieving a perfect balance of smoke and tea flavor. The ‘Eroica Caravan’ typically draws strong reactions: you’ll either love it or hate it.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

72 Tasting Notes

257 tasting notes

EDIT: I think that Adagio has done something very WRONG with their Lapsang Souchongs in the past year—or else my taste has evolved. I would not order from them again. It’s weak and synthetic.

Have I ever met a Lapsang Souchong I did not like? Does a bear wear a mitre around hte Vatican? I wanted to test some Adagio samples and sprang for a full-load of this and do not regret it.

I think that Narien LS is smokier and stronger and I like the sweetness that Black Dragon from Upton Teas adds, but Adagio has acquitted itself more than honourably here. Very well done and their speedy shipping is deeply appreciated.

I know that I will order this again. I have a perpetual motion machine going of various Lapsang Souchongs coming in and going out and I don’t know that I will develop loyalty to any one brand—beyond my need to keep Black Dragon in stock. Knowing that I like this tea so much, I might see if I can concoct a special blend, although I cannot conceive of a Souchong sharing center stage with other flavors.

And I now see that this is my tasting note #200! It is right and fitting that it be in celebration of a Lapsang Souchong.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Congrats on your 200th tasting note! Hooray!!!


Congrats, D!


Wonderful note and congratulations on 200!

This was my first ever LS and thus will always have a special place in my heart and my cupboard. Now that I’ve had the Black Dragon and Narien (thanks to you!) I know for sure that this is a good LS, but I do like the other two a bit better :)


Congrats!! ;)


Congrats on 200!


wooohoooo! ’grats

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365 tasting notes

Le sigh…

I realized that I haven’t had this tea in about 2 months due to my overflowing tea cupboard (and bookcases). I actually picked up some decorative picture album boxes this weekend to use for sample storage. I also broke down Doulton’s Shakespeare box and took it to the recycling bin at work yesterday. I actually don’t want to think about that right now cuz it’s makin’ me a bit sad.

I really wondered what I’d think of this tea due to the fact that it’s been so long since last I had it. I became quite excited to have more of this as I pulled out my sample tin. After all, last time I had this I was winging the temp and this time it’d be accurate. Oh yes, it’s still yummy — if not yummier. It still seems to have captured the essence of a cozy campfire. Still a TG for me. Off I go for steep #2!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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243 tasting notes

Cold, rainy weather…check. Long, rough day at work…check. Strong desire to get new samples of tea…check.

All of these things mean it is time for some comfort, coming tonite in the form of tomato soup and Lapsang Souchong from Adagio. I have had a few other samples of the souchong since I wrote this first review, and I have to say, that I am finding this to be different than my first brew, probably because of shorter infusion time. This cup went 3.5 minutes with no additives. The tea was still slightly sweet up front, full bodied black in the center finished off with the warming, smoky flavor.

Absolutely delicious, going to brew another cup right now.

3 min, 30 sec

So where did you end up ordering some tea from?


actually bana tea company, got the pu-erh sampler. gonna try and go through some more of these adagios too so i can clear up some space…


Ohhhh =] great sampler! Can’t wait to read the reviews from it.


Can’t wait to try them :D

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767 tasting notes

i got a small sample bag of this so i could keep tinkering with my personal sherlock blend. but i put one scoop aside so i could try it straight.
not the best lapsang i’ve had. but still smokey and sweet all at once. not bad not bad at all. just a little flat in comparison to the possibilities. but i wouldn’t be surprised if i ordered the sample size of this the next time i place an order.


Have you tried Baker Street Afternoon Blend from Upton? It is really good. It isn’t a straight Lapsang, though.


i have and i love it! i have one scoop of tea left and i think i’m saving it. or hoarding it. for a special occasion? lapsang blends are very enjoyable. i should buy more lapsangs from upton too. definitely.


Our tin is quite empty. I am trying to sip down a whole lot of tea before ordering more, but that will be one of the first.


This was the first LS I’ve tried (well, aside from what I now know to be LS in the Teakoe Fireside Chai). Smoke is one of my favorite flavors so I’m in love, but interested to know that in the world of LS Adagio’s isn’t one one of the best. I’m so excited to explore more!

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98 tasting notes

Alright, let me just say that I know people who really like this and thats all good but for me this just tastes straight up nasty. The smell is pleasant to me though, reminds me of summer camp and making bonfires. The steeped tea smells even more like a bonfire and leaves a strong oder in my filter, oh well. The taste is very smoky and reminds me about the worst part of summer camp, starting up a failing fire. There is also an after taste that is very similar to smoked ham. I hate ham. Always have. So it’s safe to say that this is not something I want ever again. Though I might try from somewhere else just to see if this is something that is isolated to Adagio’s or to all of these. My roommate loves it though so they can have it.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

My youngest child loves lapsangs, but not all lapsangs. Some are oak campfire, some are pine, some are smed ham, some are like bacon, some like cigarette ashtrays (ick!), and some are downright tarry. Our favorites are Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon from Upton and Baker Street Afternoon Blend by Upton, and Lapsang Souchong by Teavivre. The best ones have a delicious natural sweetness to the base! Hope you find kne you like! Youngest says she couldn’t get through geometry without it. We had two pots today.


I recommend the Lapsang Souchong from Dr. Tea’s Tea Garden.


If you plain don’t like it, cook with it! Steam veggies with it in a t-sac. To clean your filter, make a paste of baking soda and that will take the flavor, scent and oils out if you rub with your fingers and then rinse. I clean filters with that all the time…and stainless too. Not things that you don’t want to scratch or seasoned clay…oh no! No soap in clay either…just hot water rinse!!!


I have to say I’m not a fan either :)


Just count it as a notch on your tea tasting belt and move on with your head held high. (I don’t like lapsang much either.)


Egh no me either, what I have had of Lapsang I do not like, unfortunately.

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61 tasting notes

The first time I heard about this tea was well before I really became a fiend. It was in a book, I’ve long since forgotten the name, that my friends had read and would joke about. I later read the book, cover to cover as I was crushing on the girl who lent it to me, and the description the main character had given was that the tea “smelt like water that a ham bone that had been boiled for a week.” Or something very similar.

I agree, it smells like jerky. But their are other elements to it. I can definitely smell and taste the pine, along with the smokey-ness its known for. It kind of tastes a bit like ham, but I haven’t eaten meat, ham especially, in ages so I might have forgotten. As it cools it almost like the resin of the pine is in my mouth. Very piney for me, a little smoky, and kinda meaty. As I don’t like any of these things, I don’t like this tea. But its not that the tea itself is bad, just not what I like.
I’m gonna go brush me teeth.


I tried a Lapsang Souchong for the first time a few days ago and ugh ugh ugh. I thought it was so gross :-p I didn’t even log it because I figured my 1/2 cup wasn’t a fair representative sample, but smoky meat just isn’t what I’m into for tea.


Awww…. that’s a shame. :( But no, it’s definitely not for everybody. I took my tin of Gunpowder Blend, which contains Lapsang Souchong, to work the other day to subject my colleague to it. I passed it around for smelling, and one person said it reminded her of smoked fish. I’m thinking more bacon myself. :)
But then again I LOVE bacon. :D


Maybe try a Russian Caravan, they’re a blend that contains Lapsang but they’re much lighter and less smokey-BBQ.


@Jillian, I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

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224 tasting notes

I’ve been waiting for another “Be Brave” day to try Lapsang Souchong. I like the salty, smoky way it smells dry but I have a hard time seeing it as a tea. I can picture using it as a marinade over seitan or tofu and I may try that at a later point.

I brewed it light with less leaves than I normally do and for less time, just 3:30 minutes. (It smelled so strong in the sample, I couldn’t imagine doing my normal kamikaze tea routine.)

It brews up into a light honey colored amber, though I’m sure that if i brewed it for four or five minutes it would be darker. It has a campfire smell that is reminiscent of smoked food, as someone said it smells like bacon or smoked meats. It has a light sharpness in the smoky taste. I can definitely see using this tea in cooking, especially to soak seitan or tofu in. I don’t mind it too much as a tea drink, either. Though I put it in the same category as drinking pickle juice: something fun and strange to do to wake up my taste buds, but not an everyday quaff.


I liken it to liquid BBQ. It’s just too strong and too smokey for me to drink it plain so I prefere it blended with other teas like in Russian Caravan.


It does have a sort of liquid BBQ taste. I was even thinking that a tea BBQ sauce might be an interesting use.


That is such a good idea to use this tea in cooking. Lapsang Souchong reminds me of Worcestershire sauce. I wonder how it would actually taste in say a jerky or baked beans. Thanks for the idea!

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355 tasting notes

Growing to love this more and more. May become a new everydayish winter tea.

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371 tasting notes

Thank You Garrett for sending this one. Hmmm where’s the beef? Except in this case where’s the smoke? I love a good lapsang. Whether it’s been smoking a pack a day or trying to quit and switched to ultra lights. I love cooking with lapsang. Marinating beef for chili or throwing a little bit in the crock with pot roast. Kinda like in So I Married an Axe Murderer if it’s not Scottish it’s crap and if it’s crap it’s not Scottish. Any lapsang would make me happy but it has to have a the smoke! I am disappointed because I have enjoyed everything that I have sampled from Adagio. It’s a decent black tea at base. Much like the Gong Fu black from Teavivre or another Chinese black from the Fujian province….sadly as far as lapsangs go this just doesn’t cut it.

Jim Marks

If you have not already, try Black Dragon from Upton Teas.

The DJBooth

Hmmm thanks for the suggestion

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176 tasting notes

WOW this tea was unlike anything I have ever had before! QUITE AN EXPERIENCE! I always considered things like ASSAM to be kinda malty and smokey but WOW THIS. THIS is what smokey tea really is. It was like drinking a campfire. Or some kinda fresh jerky, without the meat. REALLY UNIQUE but in the end… I THINK I LIKED IT!? I definitely want to try something like this again!


Again, some LS’s are harsh and some sweet and smooth. Try different ones when you can.

wish i had a punny tea name

YEAH totally! I would love to, I’m definitely gonna look into it.

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