Ingredients from: China
Region(s): Fujian Province – Xingchun region
Shipping Port(s): Fuzhou
Grade Composition: Special Leaf Lapsang Souchong
Growing Altitudes: 1500 – 4900 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type(s): Orthodox (Traditional leafy), Small batch crafted.
Cup Characteristics: A superior leaf Lapsang Souchong offering a crisp character with the remarkable and heady aroma of an oak fire. Certainly a unique tea.
Infusion: Tending bright with reddish hues.
Pairing Suggestions: Baklava, Salty and Spicy dishes, Muenster cheese, Gorgonzola cheese.
Luxury Ingredients: Black tea
Caffeine: Caffeine content: Medium
This special smoked tea has a distinctive flavor sometimes referred to as tarry, and is a special tea from Fujian province. The Fukienese word ‘souchong’ means sub variety – that is a sub variety of other black teas from the Wuyi Mountains of Fujian. When Lapsang Souchong was first exported to western European countries and became famous on the international markets – it was no doubt due to the distinct aroma and flavor. Interestingly the best Lapsang is produced in the nature preserve located in the Wuyi Mountains where the high mountains with thick pine forests and heavy mist provide the ideal environment for growing top quality tea.
Legend claims that the smoking process was discovered by accident. During the Qing dynasty, an army unit passing through Xingcun (Star Village) camped in a tea factory filled with fresh leaves awaiting processing. When the soldiers left and the workers could get back into the premises, they realized that to arrive at market in time, it was too late to dry the leaves in the usual way. So they lit open fires of pinewood to hasten the drying. Not only did the tea reach the market in time, but also the smoked pine flavor created a sensation!
The method of production is as follows: The leaves are first withered over fires of pine or cypress wood. After pan-frying and rolling, they are presses into wooden barrels and covered with cloth to ferment until they give off a pleasant fragrance. The leaves are fired again and rolled into taut strips. Then they are placed in bamboo baskets and hung on wooden racks over smoking pine fires to dry and absorb the smoke flavor. When finished they are thick, glossy black strips, and produce a dark red beverage with a unique aroma and taste. It is generally consumed with sugar or milk. Depending upon one’s palate the taste can be light and intriguing or it can be heavy and overpowering. Lapsang Souchong is best described as an acquired taste.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 portion pack for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
SERVING THIS AS ICED TEA IS GENERALLY NOT RECOMMENDED. HOWEVER, SHOULD YOU WISH TO BREW IT ANYWAY, PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 portion packs into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the tea or removing the bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about.)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 portion control pack into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining
the tea or removing the bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. Sweeten and/or add lemon to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT: More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF. Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF.