Recently I’ve gotten hugely addicted to Lapsang Souchong. By addicted, I literally mean 8-10 cups a day. If you’ve never heard of it, Lapsang Souchong is a smoky black tea which comes from the Wuyi region of China.You’re either going to love it or hate it. The tea leaves get their smokiness from being roasted over burning pinewood in a bamboo basket. Legend has it that the tea comes from the Qing dynasty. When Chinese armies would pass through the mountains they created a huge demand for tea. To speed up the drying process, tea manufacturers started to dry tea leaves over bonfires made from the local tree – pines!
I first discovered the tea at a small tea shop in Edinburgh called Eteaket. I was having a brave moment and decided to go for something that was not green tea. I fell in love right there and will not stop bothering my friends and family until they all try it. When I came back to Paris, I wasn’t able to find the tea anywhere except in a few restaurants and cafés. I really wanted loose leaf, intensely smoky Lapsang to make at home and then I found it … under the name Thé Du Tigre. They sell it at Palais Des Thés and it was one of the happiest days of my life.
So since you’re on your tea-total month and you’ve given up whisky, if you’ve ever enjoyed a smoky whisky you’ll adore this tea. I used to work as a whisky tour guide and I hated whisky until I was given some smoky ones, and then I still hated whisky – unless it was smoky. So give it a go, and let me know what you think!