Lapsang Souchong – Smoky Black TeaPublished:January 11th, 2011
Lapsang Souchong is the one of the most famous types of black tea from the Fujian province in China. It is also called Russian Caravan tea and has a unique smoky aroma and flavour. The aroma and flavour are created by the specific way of processing the tea, namely the tea leaves are dried in bamboo baskets over pine fires. The Russian Caravan nickname comes from the fact that tea used to travel from China to Russia in chests, on camelback and such a journey took a year to complete. The tea absorbed the smell of campfires along the way.
Souchong means subvariety, so this tea is a subvariety of black teas. The Wuyi mountains in China are famous for the large leaf oolong tea, and Lapsang Souchong comes from these bushes. Lapsang souchong has a very distinctive flavour which is strong and smoky and has been compared to the smell of a campfire or of Latakia pipe tobacco. The pine smoke complements the natural taste of the black tea.
The strong smoky flavour makes this tea good with salty or spicy dishes and it also used to add a distinctive taste to some culinary creations. Added to mayonnaise, it gives a flavour that is appropriate for a smoked turkey sandwich. Smokey Deviled eggs is a recipe for those who enjoy a subtle smokey flavour. You have to marinate the eggs in strong tea for 24 to 36 hours. Egg whites take a brown colour and absorb the tea aroma.
Lapsang Souchong Chicken is a tasty entrée where the smokiness of the tea permeates the chicken. You have to grind the tea leaves until you obtain a fine powder which you sprinkle over the chicken breasts and the brewed tea is added to the sauce.