The well documented smoky flavour of Lapsang Souchong makes this tea a rare acquired taste, one I am beginning to pick up. This afternoon, I needed a break after working on the computer all day. What better way to completely leave the digital life behind than to go into the realm of the senses offered by this ancient tea?
Black, dark, with an aroma like sitting at a campfire, this Lapsang Souchong reminded me of simple living, camping in the evening, images like Brian Harris photographs of the Tibetan people, and twilight somewhere else in the world, without a computer in sight.
I made it too carefully today, it was a little weaker than I like it to be, and the milk I added made the whole cup of tea look insipid and dishwaterey. Next time I’ll be braver, make a stronger brew and steep for longer too. That will produce an entirely different experience, I’m sure. One dominated by taste rather than by scent.
But I know I must enter the realm of this particular tea respectfully. It is too easy to project my own preconceptions of what a tea should be, and to discount this as too strong, too flavourful, too “interesting” or even “difficult”. I know better. This tea has in it the dark pinesmoke of Asia; it carries with it that evocative flavour of the land. It is earthy. With its complex flavours it is maybe best drunk outdoors, when the air is slightly cool. Wearing a jacket and holding the cup to warm the hands.
I’ll continue my adventures with Lapsang Souchong when next I brew a stronger cup. This tea today is Organic Lapsang Souchong from Aura Teas. I love it that it is organic, and pure. No added “smoke flavour” but naturally smoked over pine in Wuyishan, the area where this tea has been grown and prepared for centuries since 1616.