Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?


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Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby beforewisdom » May 29th, '13, 14:57

I've been enjoying some lapson souchong in the afternoon that I got from a bulk jar in a co-op. My acquaintance with green tea has made me alert to issues of quality and freshness. Do these same issues apply to lapson souchong? The stuff from the co-op tastes pretty good? Could I expect a significant improvement in taste from spending more money and going to a vendor on the web?
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby amaranto » May 29th, '13, 15:12

I am also wondering this due to the range of Souchong prices I've seen. I've heard that some vendors spray on the flavor, which could be a cause for concern. Regarding freshness, since the flavor of this specific tea is smoked in, I imagine it stays fresher longer than the standard green if well stored, though I could be wrong.

Also, I have had a difficult time finding a Souchong with the underlying longan/dry fruity flavor I've gathered they are supposed to have in addition to the smoked pine--not that it is absolutely necessary because I like the smoked, earthy flavor of the one I have been ordering from Seven Cups, which is not at all expensive and seems fresh to me.

Here is the link in case you are interested: http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/Lapsa ... -2012.html

And here is a link to a more expensive one: http://www.jingteashop.com/pd-jing-tea- ... uchong.cfm
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby teaisme » May 29th, '13, 15:53

amaranto wrote: I imagine it stays fresher longer than the standard green


much longer, in fact a good one made with decent leaf material is very good for aging

amaranto wrote:I have had a difficult time finding a Souchong with the underlying longan/dry fruity flavor

easier to find this if you change your search to zheng shan xiao zhong instead of lapsang souchong (though the jings one you linked did have some). Then the trick will be finding one that is more smokey :mrgreen:

amaranto wrote: I've heard that some vendors spray on the flavor

the spray smoke ones sound really sketchy to me...

beforewisdom wrote: Could I expect a significant improvement in taste from spending more money and going to a vendor on the web?

Absolutely. Usually the stuff you find in co-op bulk jars (Frontier?) is low grade tea, heavily smoked since there is not much else going on.

Anyone try this?
http://www.teatrekker.com/zheng-shan-xiao-zhong-tippy

And to get an idea of what is out there in this group of teas...
http://www.viconyteas.com/directory/tea ... chong.html
http://www.viconyteas.com/lapsang-souchong.html
http://teaseek.blogspot.com/2012/06/ton ... psang.html
http://teaseek.blogspot.com/2012/05/why ... ng-is.html

and if wondering about proximation to zhengyan wuyi yancha area...
http://teaseek.blogspot.com/2012/03/zhe ... bohea.html
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby beforewisdom » May 29th, '13, 17:23

teaisme wrote:
beforewisdom wrote: Could I expect a significant improvement in taste from spending more money and going to a vendor on the web?

Absolutely. Usually the stuff you find in co-op bulk jars (Frontier?) is low grade tea, heavily smoked since there is not much else going on.

Anyone try this?
http://www.teatrekker.com/zheng-shan-xiao-zhong-tippy

And to get an idea of what is out there in this group of teas...
http://www.viconyteas.com/directory/tea ... chong.html
http://www.viconyteas.com/lapsang-souchong.html
http://teaseek.blogspot.com/2012/06/ton ... psang.html
http://teaseek.blogspot.com/2012/05/why ... ng-is.html

and if wondering about proximation to zhengyan wuyi yancha area...
http://teaseek.blogspot.com/2012/03/zhe ... bohea.html


Yep, Frontier Herbs
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby amaranto » May 29th, '13, 17:40

This is all excellent information, teaisme. Thank you very much. Now I see why there is such a price range out there.
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby beforewisdom » May 30th, '13, 09:59

Can anyone recommend a particular product? I like the smokey kind, so far.
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby brunogm » Jun 1st, '13, 13:45

Maybe you want to try both extremes:
- very heavily smoked Tarry Souchong from Taiwan.
- very lightly smoked Yin Jun Mei from Fujian.
I tried both and they have definitely a smoky taste, but they also have a sweet fruity taste, not dominated by the smokiness at all, which I assume is the "longan" taste people are referring too.
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby teaisme » Jun 3rd, '13, 18:09

beforewisdom wrote:Can anyone recommend a particular product? I like the smokey kind, so far.


here are a few blog posts on lapsang I read a while ago to add to this thread in case interested...
http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2013/06 ... -best.html
http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2010/09 ... zhong.html
http://jakubtomek.blogspot.cz/2013/02/a ... psang.html

I've been curious to try this next...
http://teaurchin.com/shop-for-tea/red-t ... chong.html

but the ones at teaspring seems potentially good for what your looking for
http://www.teaspring.com/Smoked-Lapsang-Souchong.asp
http://www.teaspring.com/Organic-Lapsang-Souchong.asp
and these also, but I'm guessing these will not be smokey enough...
http://www.teaspring.com/Yin-Jun-Mei-Souchong.asp
http://www.teaspring.com/Tan-Yang-Jing-Zhi.asp (not in 'zhengshan' area I think, but smokey and good apparently)

and this one is more pricey, but does come with some recommendation from a couple older teachatters a few yrs ago. The reputed tea master who makes this is also the man who recently developed the new Jin Jun Mei lapsang style tea so you would imagine he knows some stuff about smoked teas
http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/Lapsa ... -2012.html

and then this none smoked variant also looks mighty nice and HQ, imagine this more enduring and stable throughout infusions then the rest
http://www.fivestartea.com/en_US/p/2011 ... d-Bush/118

I don't think I'm really ready to throw out a personal recommendation, still narrowing things down
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby Teaism » Jun 4th, '13, 09:24

I am a big fan of Lapsang Sauchong and prefer the less smokey type with flower fragrance (Hua Xiang). It is difficult to find a good quality ones nowadays as most of the quality tea leaves are converted to the more pricey JJM. Good quality Lapsang consist mostly buds and not in fine broken pieces and smell naturally smokey and not burnt.
They aged well and also great for smoking fish and meats. I have a few kilos of it which aged wonderfully well.
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby MEversbergII » Jun 4th, '13, 10:35

I recently finished a sample of this:

http://teahong.com/black-teas/7008-blac ... sance.html

I found it to be a very appealing non-smoked LS.

M.
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby Teaism » Jun 5th, '13, 11:09

MEversbergII wrote:I recently finished a sample of this:

http://teahong.com/black-teas/7008-blac ... sance.html

I found it to be a very appealing non-smoked LS.

M.



The tea leaves looks good. They look more like a good quality Dian Hong rather than a LS.
Anyway, just enjoy the good tea whatever they call it.
Cheers!
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby MEversbergII » Jun 5th, '13, 13:13

Do you have some examples of good quality LS leaves? I'll admit those look similar to the Black Gold Yunnanese tea at Yunnan Sourcing, though most Dianhongs I've seen are very golden in color.

M.
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Re: Quality Issues With Lapson Souchong?

Postby Teaism » Jun 6th, '13, 01:10

HI M,

I am travelling at the moment and can't take any photo for you unfortunately.

Generally the good LS tea leaves consist of more tips than fine broken pieces, not too black and the best way to find out is to taste it. They should be lightly smokey (not burnt) with mild longan fruit sweetness/flavour, mild flowery and pine aroma with full body. The tea color should be golden amber and translucent. The West prefer to more smokey type and it is good cos' they are cheaper. I have smokey type which I use them to smoke meat and fish.

Cheers!
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