The first black tea in the world is supposedly Lapsang Souchong and that is what I’m tasting today. Teasenz sent me some samples and this is the second one I tried. If you want to read about the other samples I received, you can do so if you click on the following links:
- Liu An Gua Pian Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
- Fujian Silver Needle (Teasenz)
- Anji Bai Cha Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
- Yunnan Gold Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
- Wild Orange 2009 Ripe Puer Tangerine Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
Don’t know where to buy tea online in Europe? I made a list with over 80 online shops and I keep updating it regularly. You can check it over here.
Lapsang Souchong is one of the most famous black teas in the world and there are a lot of different versions of it. The batch I got is from 2019 Spring and is handpicked. Originally, Lapsang Souchong comes from Tong Mu village but the one I’m tasting today is from the Wuyi region in the North of Fujian Province. These leaves are traditionally smoked on pinewood to get a subtle smokiness. I’ve had some delicious Lapsang Souchong’s in the past so I’m curious to experience this one. I did not stick to fixed infusion times but changed them according to the flavours I was getting.
I was surprised because these leaves are smaller than other Lapsang Souchong teas I have tried. It’s a very deep black colour. The aroma is unlike anything I have smelled before when dealing with black teas. I’m getting notes of milk chocolate; it reminds me of a kind of chocolate chips. Some light exotic fruits as well.
The relatively small leaves have opened after infusing. The colour has also changed into a darker brown instead of black. The aroma is quite different as it starts with some woodsy notes. This is followed by a dominant fruity and exotic smell of sweet lychee. The chocolate is still present.
- Water 99°C
- 4g for 90ml gaiwan
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
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Infusion 1 (15 sec): dark reddish-brown colour and deep malty flavours at the start. Beneath the initial maltiness, there are some fruity flavours. The maltiness is definitely dominant but the aftertaste has a pleasant and subtle fruitiness to it.
Infusion 2 (10 sec): I only did a 10-sec infusion to see how it would affect the taste. This resulted in a less intense maltiness in combination with a sweet and exotic fruitiness. The aftertaste is a bit astringent.
Infusion 3 (15 sec): I’m getting a maltiness again from the start that changes into some sweet fruits in the middle. This fruitiness is very subtle but it adds a nice touch to the maltiness. The aftertaste is a bit astringent and it has some flavours of very dark chocolate.
Infusion 4 (20 sec): the maltiness is less dominant while the fruitiness gets more intense. Very enjoyable infusion. No real aftertaste, only a light astringency.
Infusion 5 (20 sec): I’m happy I did a 20-sec infusion again because this infusion is very pleasant. Subtle, sweet and exotic fruits such as sweet lychee. Unfortunately, no real aftertaste.
Infusion 6 (25 sec): I think I didn’t steep it long enough because it’s not strong enough. No sign of the maltiness from the earlier infusions as I’m getting some sweet fruits. Not that intense but you feel that it’s there.
This is a smoked tea but I didn’t experience any smokiness, which is a good thing. Some black teas are just maltiness without anything else but this one is quite complex. In addition to a maltiness, I also got some sweet and exotic fruits. These were not that intense, but delicious nevertheless! I also noticed some subtle notes of dark chocolate, which is similar to the smell of the dry leaves. In general, this tea combines malty flavours with more exotic and sweet fruits. The earlier steeps were dominated by the maltiness, while the later steeps were much sweeter. I was pleasantly surprised by this tea because I expected something else by looking at the leaves. The session turned out to be a massive success and the exotic sweetness really brightened my day.
If you want to try this tea for yourself, visit Teasenz’ store by clicking here.