expatCanuck wrote:Greetings -
I've very much enjoyed some pu-erh teas with smoky/tobacco notes, tho' I find Lapsang Souchong (LS) to be, for the most part, vile. Too over the top. Perhaps I've just not found a good source.
My reading indicates that LS smells/tastes smoky because of its processing.
I was wondering whether the smoky notes in some pu-erhs is likely a result of processing, aging, the leaves chosen, some combination of the foregoing, or something else entirely.
Learned wisdom welcome.
I've always wondered about this myself, and from my readings of things online it seems to be during the drying process after picking the leaf. Pu'er is supposed to be sun-dried normally, but the weather is not always nice so they artificially dry it with the help of fire- which explains the smoke. Tea leaves are almost like sponges of moisture and aromas so it would explain why this smoke stays for decades sometimes.
Anyway that's my take from my own few readings on the subject. I'd love to hear some more experienced teachatters confirm this or provide the real answer.