Decaf Lapsang Souchong


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby gregy52 » Oct 12th, '09, 16:35

A friend of mine can no longer have caffeine so he gave me all of his tea collection (including a bunch of Lapsang). I want to return the favor by finding him some DECAF LAPSANG. Is there such a thing?
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby Ritva » Oct 13th, '09, 04:19

I don't know about decaf Lapsang but your friend might consider trying some teas that naturally have low level of caffeine, for example houjicha. It is roasted Japanese green tea. Roasting gives tea a smoky flavour that your friend might enjoy - especially if he likes other "smoky" teas like Lapsang Souchong. Houjicha can be found in most shops that sell Japanese teas, here are some:
http://www.adagio.com/green/hojicha.html?SID=7b00b80cb40da5e06a90054dc130c353
http://www.denstea.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=108
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby edkrueger » Oct 18th, '09, 18:16

Hojicha isn't even remotely similar to Lapsang Souchong.
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby Ritva » Oct 19th, '09, 07:50

edkrueger wrote:Hojicha isn't even remotely similar to Lapsang Souchong.

No it isn't, but it has a strong flavour with smoky notes. Of course it's completely different because it's green tea and not black, but often people who like Lapsang Souchong like other strong-tasting teas as well.
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby edkrueger » Oct 19th, '09, 09:25

Hojicha doesn't even have much of a smokey taste. It is roasted, but hardly strong.
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby Intuit » Oct 19th, '09, 12:55

Maybe hojicha can have a smokey taste if the roasting unit isn't well ventilated.

"Our famous hoji-cha is slowly roasted over a charcoal fire.."

Have to agree with Ed, though - roasted Japanese tea isn't exactly equated to very strong flavored Lapsang teas. Heavily charcoal/pine pitch roasted qimen, maybe...although I've read recently that high-end qimen producers are eliminating traditional smoking steps in favor of other flavoring methods, due to changing consumer demand towards a 'softer' tea without smoke bite.

Aged pu would have the flavor attributes that might appeal to a Lapsang lover, and not necessarily have the caffeine kick of black teas.

I've finally given up on the idea of decaf teas having any semblance of decent flavor.
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby edkrueger » Oct 19th, '09, 23:20

High end lapsang exists and is not as smokey, but it still doesn't take like hojicha. Seven Cups claims that the less smokey is traditional.
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby AlexZorach » Oct 20th, '09, 16:59

I haven't ever seen a decaffeinated lapsang souchong or Russian caravan tea.

Lapsang Souchong's aroma is more from the smoke than the tea, in my opinion. It is made over pine smoke. The tea itself has a very smooth flavor and isn't particularly strong.

I suspect that if one took a smoother herbal tea, and put it through the same process used to produce Lapsang Souchong, the results could be quite good. For example, a pine-smoked rooibos. If one desired a tea flavor, one could blend a pine-smoked herbal tea with decaffeinated black tea, producing a russian-caravan-like blend.

Perhaps this is an unexploited niche for a creative tea manufacturer!
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Re: Decaf Lapsang Souchong

Postby Intuit » Oct 20th, '09, 17:52

Description of new style LS tea, specifically mentioning the use of smaller young whole leaves to soften the flavor of the tea

http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/produ ... 298&page=1

I should amend my statement, production method variants have evolved to cater to changing consumer taste preference for this specialty tea.
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