Lapsang Souchong

Tea type
Black Tea
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Earth, Plum, Smoke, Smoked, Herbaceous, Pine, Wet Earth, Dried Fruit, Scotch, Sweet, Wood, Campfire, Medicinal, Tobacco, Whiskey
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Ilya Kreymerman
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 5 g 113 oz / 3346 ml

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7 Tasting Notes View all

From Fortnum & Mason

To give this tea its unmistakable flavour, the plucked leaves are placed in bamboo baskets and smoked over smouldering fires from particular pine trees. Once confined to China’s Fujian province, it is now enjoyed across the globe. Drink it alone, or add a spoonful to other black teas to lend them a hint of its aromatic flavour.

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7 Tasting Notes

180 tasting notes

Thanks, adagio breeze for swapping!
I used this to make a Lapsang baked tofu. (Recipe from here:
It turned out great! This was the perfect Lapsang to use – strongly smokey with a good amount of depth. Tasted awesome with the saltiness of the shoyu mixed in. It’s making me very tempted to add some salt next time I drink a cup!


OMG! What a great idea this is , never would have thought of that, thank you! I usually add a few drops of liquid smoke to tofu when I BBQ it, but lapsang will add a new dimension to it, love the recipe :-)


I can’t wait to try out that recipe!


It was delicious and really easy to make!

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42 tasting notes

The scent of a wood-burning fire and the taste reminiscent of a fine single-malt whiskey — this was the Lapsang Souchong that took me from a fan to a convert. Dense, earthy, smokey, delicious.

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2 tasting notes

One of my all time favourites. Can’t stand this smoking aroma!

Flavors: Earth, Plum, Smoke, Smoked

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 45 sec 5 g 400 OZ / 11829 ML

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65 tasting notes

First Lapsang I tried just from the description at the airport. I was blown away. It was like if you could turn Christmas lifetime movie into a drink. It was warm, toasty and reminded me of a camp fire on a cold day- an odd description for tea but it created a nice ambiance.

It was very very smokey, artificial, it was what I liked. I love the smokey taste so much and it was very prominent in this tea. The tea was very forgiving in the brew time. I found that out by accident. It is also not as great when cold, so drink it when its hot or warm. Cold it taste like liquid smoke.

Definitely glad I picked this up at the airport and I am trying to find a lapsang similar to this one. Having a hard time doing that though.

1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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20 tasting notes

(Note: I used the proportions recommended on the tin for this tasting, aka 3 teaspoons for the teapot. I made it for two.)

This was my first time trying a Lapsang Souchong. I didn’t get a sample of this one, I bought a whole tin right away – it was somehow calling me in a way that I can’t really describe. I had to have it shipped to a distant acquaintance in England who then brought it to France. The shipping costs are awfully high when you have F&M’s tea shipped to the continent.
It would have been an absolute personal tragedy had I not liked this tea. But I tried to dive into it without having too high expectations.

The leaves of this one are very nice to look at. They’re long-ish and unbroken for the most part. I’d never smelled Lapsang Souchong before. So I opened the tin, preparing for the best moment of my life and… salmon. And rubber tyres. What?
I must admit, I was disappointed. I had been hoping for that deep, wonderful revelation you only see in movies. But like all challenging teas, your love for Lapsang Souchong must be earned. You gotta work for it. So that’s what I did.
I smelled the tea every now and then during the whole steeping process. The initial salmon and rubber progressively turned into a more herbaceous smell that was very evocative of a romanticized hearth and everything it implies. You know – the small home you’d imagine the people from the Middle Ages might have lived in (I’m sorry, darling), where everyone would gather and have tea together near the fireplace. As I said, romanticized.

Once steeped for 5 minutes, the brew was very clear and bright orange.
Now, the taste. It was very difficult, for me, to go beyond the salmon and rubber. I had to force my way through it until I emerged on the other side. Lapsang Souchong is a quest – not everyone makes it (which is okay, to each their own!), but if you do the finest rewards await you. What a delight to sit at the table and know that your cup contains such joy and happiness, and that if you truly want to get through to them, all you have to do is listen to the leaves!
At first I didn’t sense any astringency at all, which made me wonder if I had brewed it wrong somehow. I later realised that it is, in fact, astringent, but in a very stealthy way.
When I finished my first cup, I wasn’t quite sure I had made it yet. Therefore, I very bravely put the leaves back in for 2 more minutes.

And then – oh wow. The earthy notes just exploded. It tasted like the ground in a forest, just after it has rained a little. The twigs crack under your feet while you walk further into the woods. Pine needles are everywhere on the floor, and a cold wind is blowing your scarf away. This tea tasted like comforting silence. I loved it.
And that’s when I realised – I have overcome the barrier of salmon and rubber that might have prevented me from enjoying Lapsang Souchong. I did it.
The tin suggests mixing some of it into other black teas to add aroma; I think I’ll try this in the future, out of curiosity.

Tl;dr: I’m OBSESSED.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Pine, Smoke, Wet Earth

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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5 tasting notes

I have had smoked teas before, but they were a bit bland and there was just this one aroma that overshadowed all others. This one is different. The smell of the brewed tea is that of a light camp fire with a lot of sweetness, but its taste is only mildly smoky. It’s not like a liquid ham sandwich, but more like fruit that were dried by a fire and that took up a little smoke. I find that very pleasant. People often recommend to steep lapsang souchong only for a few seconds to a minute or two and to do that several times. I think this tea also allows for longer steeping times, as it does not really get bitter, even after 10 minutes and longer (I just leave the leafs in the pot, so the tea develops). Given the quality and heritage of this tea it is a true bargain and worth trying.
PS: It was the favourite of Sir Winston Churchill. It is therefore a drink that truly stands for Britain.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Scotch, Smoke, Sweet, Wood

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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6 tasting notes

Has the aroma of Laphroiag or Talisker whisky with the smell of phenols, creosote and tar coming strongly through. If you like peaty whiskies you’ll love this taste but the aroma is even more incredible. If it tasted like it smelt it would probably be undrinakable but the taste though peaty has no bad aftertastes and is quite rich in texture. I thought I would try a cup and ended up having another straight after.

Flavors: Campfire, Earth, Medicinal, Pine, Smoke, Tobacco, Whiskey

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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