Name: Lapsang Souchong
Brand: Golden Moon
Type: Black tea, smoked
Form: Loose leaf
Review: Lapsang souchong is one of those teas that people either love or hate. On one hand, a “smoked tea” (lapsang souchong is made by smoking black tea over a pine fire) does take a bit of getting used to. On the other, I suspect that the haters arrived at their position because they tried one of the many truly awful lapsang souchongs on the market. Unfortunately, many lapsang souchongs are made with bad tea and are badly flavored (in fact, I suspect that some are not smoked at all but are simply tea blended with smoke flavoring).
Fortunately, Golden Moon has sourced a very tasty lapsang souchong. The nose of the dry leaf is rich, smokey, with hints of pine and fruit and it infuses to a rich, deep copper. The tea itself is medium bodied, and surprisingly smooth. This tea tastes like it smells: Smokey and slightly fruity, but not overpowering.
Golden Moon’s Lapsang Souchong is a lovely, robust tea, perfect for the upcoming winter months.
Preparation Tips: I was suspicious of Golden Moon’s recommended steeping time of 5-7 minutes. But the tea is balanced enough that it can handle the long steep without becoming bitter. Don’t bother with milk or sweetener, neither works with this kind of tea. Golden Moon’s Lapsang Souchong can be re-steeped at least once.
Food Pairings: This can be an excellent tea to enjoy with a simple breakfast of buttered toast: The crunchy, buttery bread makes a great foil for the intensely flavored tea. Try pairing lapsang souchong with a bit of chocolate. Strange, but very tasty.
Other Uses: Because of its smoky taste, lapsang souchong is sometimes used as a “rub” for meat, or ground up and added to burgers or sprinkled on vegetables as a seasoning. In fact, if you are craving something meaty but it is hours away from dinner, try a cup of lapsang souchong to get rid of your cravings.
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