Monday, July 7, 2014

Tea Review: Lapsang Souchong

Lapsang Souchong

Reviewed by: Rebekkah
Type of tea

Black, loose-leaf
Flavor aspects

smokey, natural
Where I got it

 The Tea and Spice Exchange

How I brewed it

1.5 tsp at 190F in a 16-oz pot for 3 minutes
Rebrewing notes

First rebrew is good. I still got the full smokey flavor and the rich taste of the tea. However, the second rebrew was a bit weaker. I'd suggest your third pot be brewed with hotter water and for a tad longer, and I wouldn't expect to get much more 2 rebrews with these leaves. 

This tea was recommended by an online tea group; I was looking for the best teas for reading different types of fantasy, and this came up as the favorite of several people for urban fantasy. Therefore, when I was at the tea store I had to pick up a packet to try.

It's smokey, and when I say that, I mean it very much feels like drinking the essence of campfire (hickory wood, I think). It's a black tea, and if you were to add a drop of liquid smoke to black tea, you might end up with a flavor much like this. In this case, though, the flavor comes naturally from how the tea is prepared (the leaves have been actually smoked). It's a traditional Chinese tea.

I find the taste pleasant and very unique. If you're looking for something off-beat, I'd suggest giving this tea a try. Still trying to figure out if it's the novelty that I find so appealing, or the flavor itself, but I do quite enjoy it. The brand is a good, respectable-quality loose-leaf tea; my taste buds tell me it's worth the price, and if you prepare it as I did, it has a very nice, mellow black tea flavor under the smoky taste. However, if BBQ isn't your thing, and you're not a fan of the taste of smoked foods, you should pass on this one.

Note that if you don't usually make black tea with water hotter than 195F, ignore the instructions on the packet. It has you using tablespoons of tea instead of teaspoons and at a hotter water than most black tea, but I suggest following your usual method of black tea preparation--turns out fine, plenty strong, and not over or underbrewed.

Image from Tea and Spice Exchange--
I suggest ordering by the ounce to try before you commit
to a larger quantity; they let you do that here.
Also, the spice blends are excellent, too.


  1. Aah, Lapsang Souchong brings back memories of my first term at university. A group of us would often find our way back to someone's room where they always brewed it, and we would sit sipping tea and listening to Carmina Burana. I usually fell asleep as a result of too many weeks of too-late nights and too-early lectures.