Lopsang Souchong


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Lopsang Souchong

Fev 27, 2011, 12:44 am

Smoke flavor!!!!


Fev 27, 2011, 8:50 am

Definitely an acquired taste. Which I have yet to entirely acquire.

Fev 27, 2011, 9:57 am

Absolutely my favorite tea, ever!

But it's one of those teas that people either love or hate. No one seems to be indifferent to it.

Fev 27, 2011, 11:04 am

I love smoky taste.
Though I live in Mexico I am not a fan of the taste of chiles. Chipotles, though, are something else. They are just a chile that has been smoked, but that hint of smoke makes all the difference.

Mar 7, 2011, 4:50 pm

I usually love all things smoked: salmon, meat, cheese, chilies. But I couldn't stand the taste of Lapsang Souchong. I couldn't even get the mug up to my face because the smell was so strong and, at least to me, unpleasant.

Mar 7, 2011, 6:00 pm

I like it (Although I usually mix it with Assam). It is a tea that I need to be in the right mood for.

Mar 7, 2011, 6:54 pm

Hmm, I might try that Assam mix thing. Thanks fr the tip. And yeah, it's definitely everybody's daily well... cup of tea.

Mar 14, 2011, 3:41 pm

I don't like it alone. In certain blends, like Upton's Baker Street Blend, I thought it was nicely balanced. My favorite use for it, though, is as a cooking ingredient (meat rubs, for instance).

Mar 14, 2011, 3:57 pm

> 8

I use it for tea-smoked duck and the result is awesome.

Mar 15, 2011, 4:35 am

It's a tea I sometimes really like, and then I drink a lot of it for a few days or weeks, and then I forget about it for months. Until something (like this topic) reminds me of it again.

I'm thinking I might use it for Chinese tea-eggs. Has anybody else tried this?

Mar 23, 2011, 9:34 pm

I love this tea too. However, be careful not to consume too much as it is mildly carcinogenic (due to the smoke). Like most things, enjoy in moderation.

Mar 24, 2011, 11:29 am

Has anybody tried smoking it?

Editado: Mar 25, 2011, 10:39 am

#11 - Is this a real risk or one of those instances where you might get cancer if you drink a gallon a day for two hundred years?

ETA - I've just done some searches. I've found assertions that it's carcinogenic and that it contains anti-oxidants that decrease the chances of cancers. What I couldn't find is a link to hard evidence either way. I shall assume the two things cancel each other out!

Mar 25, 2011, 10:36 am

Mar 25, 2011, 2:04 pm

It's been establshed that reading about cancer causes cancer.

Mar 27, 2011, 1:35 pm

It does seem like an acquired taste. One of my co-workers has been drinking a Lapsang Souchong at the office this past week (actually, this blend right here: http://www.davidstea.com/organic-lapsang-souchong-star) and I swear it smells like burning Christmas trees. He says it smells like the pine tar you put on skis. Either way, not something I can face in the morning! But he seems to be acquiring a taste for it, or he's just continuing to drink it because he bought it and is darn well going to finish it off.

(also ha! at message 15. Actually laughed out loud.)

Mar 31, 2011, 7:13 am

>15 LintonRobinson:

Well said! I've also been told that life invariably ends in death, and that it shouldn't be undertaken lightly.

Mar 31, 2011, 9:24 am

I was walking through the hall with some yesterday and a coworker came by and asked if we smelled salmon...I never thought of smoked meat when I smelled it, but I grew up with a wood-burning stove (not the cooking kind, the heating kind) so my smoke-smell associations are a little different.

Mar 31, 2011, 9:34 am

#14 - good link.

Risk - it is a very difficult thing to portray accurately. Do not take a media headline seriously. remember that twice as risky as a very safe thing is still a very safe thing.

Personally I'm not that taken by LS even though I do tend to like smoked foods.

Editado: Maio 29, 2011, 10:42 pm

>However, be careful not to consume too much as it is mildly carcinogenic (#11)

Wow, that's new to me, but I rethink about it, eating smoked salmon or beef jerky would have stronger effect than drinking LS tea. I will keep drinking it ... I am not drinking it often anyway.

Maio 26, 2011, 2:51 am

Somebody once said, Too much of anything is bad for you. That's what "too much" means. :^)

Editado: Jul 14, 2011, 3:32 pm

Someone who would drink Lopsang Souchong with a shot of rBST milk and two packets of Sweet N Low...My God, I can't even joke. That person would be looking for trouble. Imagine if they used beef jerky as a sort of cinnamon stick...Holy cow!

I remember I bought some, hated it. After about two weeks I got into it as a sort of Sunday afternoon in October drink. But I think each batch is a little bit different because I bought another bag that wasn't quite as likeable and haven't had any since then.

Jul 14, 2011, 8:13 pm

Those folks who do everything right, health-wise, are going to feel pretty foolish, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing in particular. :-)


Jul 14, 2011, 8:14 pm

Someone on this thread got me started on a cuppa hot LS in one hand and a small glass of single-malt Scotch in the other. Very nice... (to smell and to drink).


Jul 15, 2011, 12:10 pm

That sounds like the way to do it.

Jul 17, 2011, 5:24 am

#23 - Laughed out loud on that one!

#24 - I would have thought the peat smoke and the pine smoke would have clashed a bit. I suppose we could get into a whole new discussion over which malt goes with which lapsang!

Jul 17, 2011, 6:45 pm

>26 alaudacorax:
Actually, the it's really not peat smoke, but peat 'essence' in the scotch. For me, I think that's why the bit of smoke added by the lapsang works. About 10 years ago, I spent a few weeks in the west of Ireland in a cottage warmed by a peat fire. I've been homesick ever since. Now the hint of peat in the Scotch takes me right back there (which is a good thing, because I can't afford the airfare anymore).


Jul 20, 2011, 6:01 pm

#23 and 24: Osbaldistone clearly has the right idea, never thought of LS and scotch but...it makes sense : -)

Jul 20, 2011, 7:48 pm

Mix them and you get high-class four loko.

Jul 24, 2011, 7:49 am

I've commented before on the whisky/tea synergy. My view it that it takes a peaty malt to cut through the strong taste of Lapsang Souchong - I have in mind Lagavulin or Laphroaig, but any of the Islay malts is worth a try. If you insist on a malt/grain blend, then White Horse contains a good proportion of Lagavulin. I wouldn't recommend use of LS with a Speyside malt - they're too subtle.

Jul 24, 2011, 11:36 am

#30: would you actually mix them together or take alternate sips?

Jul 24, 2011, 6:55 pm

Definitely not mixed. Obviously allowing for variations in personal taste, I found the ideal to be a small sip of malt, allowing it to spread around the mouth, leaving swallowing for long enough to let all phases of the taste and aroma to permeate, followed by a larger sip of tea, possibly two sips, sensing the way the two interacted on the tongue, the tea replacing the whisky. Then repeating the process once the tastes had begun to fade.

I found that, in this way, the aroma assumed an equivalent status to the taste. For this, you definitely need just the smallest of sips of whisky ... an amount small enough to make swallowing almost unnecessary.

I found the combination improved if total mental concentration was deployed, which allows the taste and smell sensors to reach the pinnacle of their potential. The amount of whisky actually consumed this way need only be minuscule. After the first small measure, the palate tends to become less sensitive, despite the rejuvenation associated with the tea.

Perhaps I should press for the practice to be known as 'The Scottish Tea Ceremony', as the British equivalent of the Japanese practice!

Ago 1, 2017, 7:12 am

Another ideal accompaniment to a cup of LS is a slab of rich dark fruit cake. I prefer LS as a summer brew, and luckily here in New Zealand I can enjoy it at Christmas time, with the appropriate cake (minus the royal icing, thank-you very much. Though if you're offering butter icing, I could be persuaded.)
Inspired thought: what if the cake and/or icing were whisky-infused???

Ago 1, 2017, 8:51 am

Oooh. LS with a Jameson's soaked cake sounds intriguing.

I do enjoy pure LS but I also love a particular, LS blend, JP Morgan.

"JP Morgan Blend Tea -
This original proprietary blend created at Simpson & Vail by Mr. Vail and J. P. Morgan boasts a unique blend of Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong and other "hugger mugger" teas."

Ago 1, 2017, 11:07 am

I love Lapsang Souchong, although I would normally drink it only once a day, not as my regular tipple.

I agree with those who link it with Islay malt whiskies, which definitely is a favourite tipple.

A US friend once described Lapsang Souchong as tasting like a wet ashtray, and last month I went into a specialist tea shop in Pentagon City shopping mall in DC and asked for it and they didn't even seem to have heard of it.

Maio 30, 2018, 3:26 am

I wasn't fond of it to start, but I started taking a liking to "Russian" teas, that tended to blend black and smoke teas. After that I went for the straight stuff, though usually on days when I find that normal black teas just aren't doing it, but I'm not after specific flavours.

Nov 21, 2018, 11:45 am

I know this is a very late entry, but if I can just add my two cents: My whole family loves this tea, except me. My daughter-in-law drinks it during fall and winter and my husband and sons like especially to take it on back-packing trips. I, however, can't stand the smell, let alone the taste. I enjoyed reading the comments on this thread, though!

Editado: Nov 21, 2018, 3:12 pm

>37 marell: A smokey taste is a strong one. Definitely a "love it or hate it" thing. I happen to love it, but I can totally understand those who don't even want to smell it!

Nov 21, 2018, 1:27 pm

My Italian teacher loathes the scent of it, and whenever I have some, she says, “Che schifo!” (Which basically means “Yuck!”)

Nov 22, 2018, 3:32 am

Hah, I once shared an office with two other tea-drinkers and one xmas we bought a tea-xmas calendar, i.e. 24 packets of tea. We rated them using a blackboard with a table like:

1. Lapsang Souchong - and a drawing of a thick robe from a sailship
2. Darjeeling - and a drawing of a Tibetan monk

One of the entries was a packet of Pu-Ehr tea and that got a drawing of "a landmark small bronze sculpture (61 cm) in Brussels" if you get my point :-)

Nov 22, 2018, 4:43 am

>40 bnielsen:

lol! Thank you for a good chuckle :-)

Editado: Nov 22, 2018, 10:27 pm

Heh. I had one of those calendars. I'm still going on it. Personally though, I love pu'ehr tea. I have a bad gut and it really helps.

My daily staple is always Red Rose (my sister and I have been trying every alternative and have yet to find one that reliably matches) but if I want something stronger, I crack out the Lapsang Suchong.

My problem now is that my usual tea store keeps discontinuing or changing all my favourite teas! My favourite pu'ehr teas are gone, including the one that works best for my angry stomach. They've discontinued my favourite chai, and now they've re-blended my Assam Banaspaty so it's not straight anymore but mixed in with ceylon for a new breakfast tea. Why do the keep doing this to me?! *dramatically sighs over cup of Typhoo which is not Red Rose.*

Editado: Nov 23, 2018, 4:32 am

Our "office tea club" also bought some tuocha (rather flat disc-shaped pressed green tea). That prompted a drawing similar to this picture (minus the soldiers, plus a cow).


Fev 20, 2021, 12:45 pm

I really wanted to like this tea. The name was interesting, but the flavor is "not my cup of tea".

Fev 20, 2021, 4:00 pm

I am not a fan of lapsang souchong for drinking, but when I got it in my black tea subscription package, I used it in my baked beans recipe to give a smoky flavour (instead of liquid smoke), and it was great. I wouldn't go out and buy it for that, but if I get LS again, I'll do the same. I'll have to investigate the meat rub, etc., too.

Fev 20, 2021, 4:08 pm

>45 tardis:

I used it in my baked beans recipe to give a smoky flavour

That sounds lovely!

Fev 20, 2021, 9:53 pm

I have heard about this tea, but haven't had the opportunity to taste it. I used to work for a franchise called David's Tea and there were so many other teas I've learned about, beyond what I only thought was just herbal tea. I thank that experience and opportunity and now, I might just look into the Lapsang Souchong- even while reading some of these reviews on it. Always up for trying new things.

Editado: Fev 20, 2021, 10:26 pm

>47 wittybree33: I'm quite a fan of Lapsang Souchon, but it has a very distinctive smokey flavor. If you tend to like strong, bold teas, there's a good chance you'll appreciate it. If your tastes run more to the delicate or sweet, it probably won't be a favorite.

Editado: Fev 21, 2021, 12:00 am

>48 tealadytoo: a very distinctive smokey flavor

A flavour I enjoy, which is probably why I like single malt Islay (rather than highland) whisky as well as Lapsang Souchong! And smoked meat, fish and cheese.

Fev 21, 2021, 3:39 am

>45 tardis: Ah, yes. Once in a while I drop a teaspoon of gunpowder green tea the last minute or two when I cook some white rice. Maybe I should try L.S. next time.

Fev 21, 2021, 10:18 am

I have also been known to use lapsang souchong when I run out of smoked paprika. We have two friends who, independently, came up with the names "ham tea" and "smoked salmon tea" to describe it.