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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.
Brewing for Best Results
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 209°F/98°C.
Minimum Brewing Temperature: 190°F/87°C.
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Steep 3-5 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time, the stronger the tea).
Milk / Sweetener / Lemon / Mint
Tea(s) From: China
Region(s): Fujian Province - Xingchun
Luxury Ingredients: China Black Tea
iced tea instructions
Per Serving: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. With and infuser, use 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 6-7 oz of fluid water. Steep 5 minutes. Add filtered hot tea to 16 oz glass filled with ice. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Per Pitcher: Makes 1 Quart. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea in a heat resistant container. Pour 1 ¼ cup of prepared water over the tea leaves. Steep 5 minutes. With a fine mesh sieve, filter the hot tea liquor to the serving pitcher filled with ice. Add cold filtered water to top off. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Making an amazing cup of tea requires several things. High quality tea, filtered or freshly drawn cold water, correct water temperature, time of infusion, and filters/infusers. Unfiltered water or too hot of water can ruin the best of teas. Always use filtered or freshly drawn cold water. Any flavor from water treatments or heavy minerals such as lime or calcium can taint the water. Brew at the ideal temperature. Too hot of water can scorch the leaves and produce a bitter brew. If you find that the tea is still bitter following the recommended brewing temperature, try lowering the brew temperature another 5 to 10 degrees. Use infusers that allow the tea leaves to fully expand and has full contact with the water. Ditch the tea bags. Know the steeping time for your tea. Too long of steeping can make your tea bitter and undesirable. Too short of time will make a weak tea. Don’t make tea in the microwave.
We strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea. Today’s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites and bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce the potential incidence of water-borne illness. Cool the water to the ideal brewing temperature before brewing.
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