CharacterA smooth crisp character with the remarkable and heady aroma of a pine and oak wood fire.
Regarded by many as the very first black tea, the original name of Lapsang Souchong was Min Hong which translates as 'The black tea made in Fujian Province' it is typically made with the 4th and 5th leaves of the tea tree rather than the normally prized bud and new leaves. These older leaves are coarser and have a less potent aroma than the newer leaves.
Lapsang Souchong with it's distinct smoky flavour was created by accident during the Qing dynasty when a group of imperial soldiers spent the night in a tea factory while travelling through a small village in the Fujian province. When the soldiers left in the morning the factory workers lit fires around the factory to force dry the leaves in order to catch up for the lost time. When the tea was dried and taken to market it was found to have been infused with the smoke from the fires producing a unique taste which proved popular with locals.
Today, while most black teas are laid out and allowed to naturally dry before pan frying Lapsang Souchong is forced to dry faster by drying it next to wood fires which infuse the leaves with the distinct smoky flavour that is is synonymous with then stored to allow them to ferment before pan frying.