Caught between two legends, smoked black tea has made its mark on gastronomy. From the selection of its leaves to its oxidation with pine smoke, its production is written like a score. Its gustatory notes make it a legend. Let's dive into the discovery of this luxurious and intriguing tea.
- The legends of smoked black tea
- The culture of Lapsang Soushong
- The making of smoked black teas
- The taste of Lapsang Souchong
- The art of preparing smoked black tea
- The discovery of black teas with Lapsang Souchong
The legends of smoked black tea
Two legends tell the supposed origin of smoked black tea. Both of them start in China.
According to the first legend, the history of smoked tea is linked to a delivery problem. Indeed, producers in China were very late in delivering black tea to England. They decided to accelerate the process by drying the leaves in wood smoke.
In the second legend, the creation of Lapsang Souchong is fortuitous. It is workers who after being attacked tried to save their production of tea leaves by drying them on a wood fire.
However, Lapsang Souchong has been a luxury tea for many centuries and is famous all over the world.
The cultivation of Lapsang Soushong
Originally, the tea leaves used to make this smoked black tea were grown in China's Fujian province. More precisely, they were grown on the outskirts of the Wuyi Mountains.
Today, the success of this organic tea is such that it is grown in other parts of China. There are also productions in Taiwan.
The production of smoked black teas
Smoked black tea is produced according to a strict procedure. If there are varieties with spruce or cypress aromas, it is the pine wood that is used in the traditional recipe.
It is the large leaves at the bottom of the tea plant that are used to make Lapsang Souchong. They are then dried, rolled and placed in bamboo baskets. At this stage, the baskets are placed under a pine fire. During 8 to 10 hours the tea leaves will lose 95% of their water and take on a "smoky" flavor.
The taste of Lapsang Souchong
The taste of theLapsang Souchong infusion is characteristic. Its smoky aroma goes well with salty foods such as fish or red meat. Smoked tea can also be used as an aromatic note in purees or soups. It flavors the dish with the "smoky" aroma of the wood fire.
Low in theine, Lapsang Souchong can be consumed throughout the day. This "healthy" infusion can be drunk plain or blended with spices or rooibos.
The art of preparing smoked black tea
Like all scented black teas, Lapsang Souchong needs hot, not boiling, water to develop all its aromas. In bulk, it unfolds a wider range of flavors than in bags. An airtight box is however necessary to keep the smoked aromas. Half a teaspoon of tea (the equivalent of a bag) is enough for one cup.
Discovering black teas with Lapsang Souchong
Smoked black tea is a quality drink. It explores unexpected paths with the marriage of bitterness and spruce scented notes. As this black tea has nothing in common with the traditional Darjeeling, Ceylon or Assam, it constitutes an original approach to the world of tea.