Lapsang Souchong, the story of my favourite tea started many years ago. One of the main characters in a book I loved as a teenager was drinking Lapsang Souchong, I remembered the name because I thought it’s strange. I forgot about it until last year when I went to the Twinings shop and I got a lot of teas to try from them. A smoky Lapsang was one of them. I just had to try it and I’m glad I did, as this is my favourite tea.
Before moving to UK I didn’t use to drink tea as most of the tea I was familiar with was herbal. Now I drink tea regularly, Lapsang Souchong daily and I do enjoy other teas as well. Although I still don’t like herbal teas.
The Lapsang Souchong I drink is made in the Wuyi Mountains, in the north of the Fujian province and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tea is made with wood from pine trees. It’s still made in the same way as hundreds of years ago. It dates from the 1600s.
I’ve read two stories of how the Lapsang Souchong was made. One said that the smoking of the leaves was made to speed up the process of the drying. The second story says that thugs demanded money from a farmer, when he wasn’t able to pay, they set the sheds on fire. The farmer and his men put the fire off, but the smoke dried the leaves. When he tried to sell the tea, the Dutch trader loved the new tea and he asked for smoked tea every year. I’m not sure which one is the correct one, but both of them are very interesting.
I have at least a cup of Lapsang Souchong every day, usually two or three. I like it so much, without any milk or sugar. I brew it for 4 minutes, as I prefer a stronger taste. It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure. It has a strong taste and it’s smoky.
Do you like Lapsang Souchong?