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One of my favourite red teas (hong cha) is Lapsang Souchong because it is usually really fruity and it reminds me of the first time I went to one of Belgium’s best tea houses in Antwerp (Biochi). When I first visited the tea house, Jef brewed a really nice Lapsang, which made me fall in love with it. I still have a lot of samples left from Hey China so I picked their Premium Lapsang Souchong.
Premium Lapsang Souchong
Lapsang souchong is widely considered to be the oldest red tea (hong cha) in the world. It dates back to the Ming dynasty and was created by farmers in the Wuyi mountains in Fujian Province.
This Premium Lapsang Souchong comes from Tongmuguan in the Wuyi area, which is also the birthplace of this tea. It sure looks like an interesting tea so I’m curious to see how it brews. It’s an unsmoked version, which is what I prefer anyway.
- Water 90°C
- 5g for a 150ml zisha teapot
Opening the bag immediately fills my nostrils with a strong and fruity aroma. The twisted leaves have a black colour and are medium-sized. Once the leaves touch the warm pot, it gets sweet with a hint of exotic fruits.
Infusion 1 (15sec): once I take a sip, I immediately recognise the typical lapsang flavours. It’s gentle but definitely intense enough to be enjoyable. The aftertaste is long-lasting and feels really fruity. The infusion itself is fruity with a malty undertone. Somewhere in there, there is also a dark sweetness.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): still really gentle. It’s almost as if I’m licking a cloud. It starts with a silky fruitiness and it slowly becomes sweeter towards the finish. The aftertaste just keeps on giving.
Infusion 3 (25 sec): it has changed a bit and it feels as if the fruitiness has higher peaks, if that makes sense. It’s a bit maltier as well and the finish is sweeter. It even has some traces of caramelised sugar.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): it’s more stable and it feels gentle again. It’s fruity but I also notice something floral from the middle onwards. This is an interesting combination that works well. It slowly diminishes into the finish and the aftertaste is mostly fruity with a dark sweetness.
Infusion 5 (40 sec): this one is similar, but the sweeter notes at the end have disappeared and it’s less floral. I’m mostly getting fruity notes and a lingering aftertaste.
Infusion 6 (long): this is the final infusion because I feel the flavours are fading a bit. It’s still fruity but not as intense. It’s really subtle but still enjoyable.
Right from the start, I could tell it would be a fantastic session. Opening the bag of this Premium Lapsang Souchong offered an explosion of aromas.
It was mainly fruity with a dark and deep sweetness in the finish. Infusion 4 even became a bit floral. Really complex and interesting tea and I’m so happy I finally tried it.
If you want to try it, you can buy it over here.