Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Postby sriracha » Jul 19th, '09, 07:19

I found an online vendor over here that sells Zeng shan xiao zhong, it sems quite appealing even though I'm not normally interested in smoked tea. Hm...
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Postby jjb » Jul 23rd, '09, 10:50

sriracha wrote:I found an online vendor over here that sells Zeng shan xiao zhong, it sems quite appealing even though I'm not normally interested in smoked tea. Hm...

Please, if you end up buying some, tell us how it goes! I know I for one am pretty curious.
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby sriracha » Jul 23rd, '09, 20:09

I did order some, yesterday as it happens, and the slip telling me it's arrived at the post office came today. I just had no time to get it and probably won't until tomorrow...dang.

Expect a tentative review of sorts this weekend. =)
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby tea_mind » Jul 24th, '09, 16:17

I have to admit that I haven't as yet tried Lapsang Souchong. However, I have heard so much about it that I went and bought myself some just yesterday. I'm just waiting for a little quiet time tonight to try it out. I can't wait to see if all the rave reviews for it's "smokey" flavor are true, and whether it can tempt my tastebuds! :)
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby sriracha » Jul 26th, '09, 10:36

So, I just broke open my bag of smoked tea mentioned above. Smelled it, and it smells just like you would expect-smoky, but unlike, say, Twinings' offering, not overpoweringly so.

I have brewed it the way the vendor recommends for the first try which is

2.5 g tea
200 ml water

for 1 min.

It yields a cup which is a little weak to my taste. The smoke is defined but again not too strong or cloying. The tea itself is kind of sweet. I added 15 ml of milk after trying without. There is some astringency but I guess that is to be expected(or perhaps it's a sign of low grade tea?). Makes my tongue a bit dry.

Second brew, same parameters and the tea looks stronger, darker. There is less smoke scent but the tea is still a little sweet. Next time I'll probably revert to my ususal black tea ways with it though, making a single brew with more leaves and letting them steep for longer.

I had some chocolate-covered almonds dipped in cinnamon with it..nice.

Now, I'm definitely no expert since I normally avoid smoked tea but I have to say that this was alright. Not fantastic, not totally bland either. 3/5?
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby tealeaf » Jul 27th, '09, 03:32

I'm a relatively new convert to Lapsang Souchong. I had a bag of it in my cupboard for a long time in the UK, but the smell put me off and I didn't get around to drinking it. In the end it disappeared in a cupboard cleanout. On a whim, I bought a second lot whilst browsing in a lovely tea shop here in Germany. (I have no more details than "lapsang souchong", I'm afraid!). I was always a little put off by the smoke smell, but I'd read recommendations and thought I'd give it a try.

To me, the tea itself doesn't have a particularly smoky taste. That's part of what put me off trying it in the first place: I don't typically like smoky flavours in other foods or drinks. I find the tea very gentle and rounded, and surprisingly sweet. I prefer it on colder days when I want something a bit "thicker"; on hot days it can be a bit too cloying. The particular Lapsang Souchong that I have is very easy to brew; it's almost impossible to brew it too long or add too much tea. (That's as opposed to my Darjeeling Earl Grey, which makes an absolutely beautiful cup of tea when the moon is in its third quarter and virgo is frolicking with capricorn.)

Still, this particular Lapsang Souchong has become one of the hallowed three teas that live in my desk drawer at the university. :)
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby depravitea » Jul 30th, '09, 11:00

I like it a lot, though I can't drink it every day.
I gave some to my friend and when he made it his girlfriend complained that it smelled like a burnt down house lol.
I understand it's smoky, but come on, it's not like an arson site.

I will say that I find myself wanting it less in the summer. I think it's a better cold-weather tea, for me at least. I got two 4oz tins from Adagio so far. Great stuff!
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@sriracha

Postby jjb » Aug 11th, '09, 01:02

sriracha wrote:Not fantastic, not totally bland either. 3/5?


That's too bad. I had high hopes for it; I guess I've been duped by the article.
[clings to optimism.] Maybe it's the vendor!
:)


Jacob
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Re: @sriracha

Postby sriracha » Aug 12th, '09, 14:27

jjb wrote:Maybe it's the vendor!
:)


Possibly. I've since discovered another local source, one I consider very good but I 'm not sure if they're still closed for the summer(I guess they went to China to get more tea....).

I'll be sure to report if I find another, better LS. =)
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby Victoria » Aug 13th, '09, 05:16

If anyone is looking for a very mild, lightly smoky LS variety, I highly recommend Bohea from Tao of Bea. Really delicious, I've ordered it many times. Consistently good.

http://www.taooftea.com/detail2654-Bohea.html
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby sriracha » Aug 13th, '09, 07:39

Ooh thanks for the link!

I've been looking at those pretty canisters before but couldn't remember where I'd seen them! Now I have one more reason to get some :wink:
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby marlena » Aug 29th, '09, 14:07

I love the stuff, but I would advise you to get samples first. Upton's has some nice ones and their samples are inexpensive. I personally love the Hu Kwa mentioned above, but I have had one that so awful it put me off LS for a long time. The taste is better than the smell, so don't let that be your only guide.
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby JillDragon » Sep 10th, '09, 23:42

I got a sample of Russian Caravan that I love from a small tea store, but Lapsang Soushong by itself is way too smokey for me. It smells and tastes like liquid BBQ, bleh! :|
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby ericnicolaas » Sep 24th, '09, 00:55

My first experience with Lapsang Souchong was a Twinings tea bag. It was terrible. Absolutely horrendous. That box of tea sat there for years. The only time we used it was when we asked a friend what kind of tea they wanted and they said: "surprise me". They always got a surprise!

Recently though I've been wanting to drink a bit more Lapsang Souchong, especially the good loose leaf stuff. I picked up an Earl Grey tea blended with Lapsang Souchong as the base and was very impressed. Also recently tried a loose leaf Lapsang Souchong at a cinema of all places — again, it was very good. I think LS is one of those teas where it's easy to be turned off if you start off with a really crappy one.
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Re: Anyone tried Lapsang Souchong?

Postby AlexZorach » Sep 24th, '09, 11:43

I find Lapsang Souchong is too smokey for me and I can't enjoy it more than on occasion. Russian Caravan, on the other hand, I enjoy very much...it's a blend of Lapsang Souchong with other black teas, and it's just smokey enough for me.

The interesting thing about Lapsang Souchong is that if you get a decent quality of tea, it is *very smooth*. So it's a "strong" tea in that the smoke aroma is very powerful, but the tea itself is very mellow, more so than most black teas...not as bitter or astringent.
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