Lapsang souchong – the original black tea!
Imagine brewing a cup of black tea above a traditional campfire stove. Now imagine drinking the tea once it’s captured the smokiness of the campfire. Et voila, you are now on your way to imagining the taste of lapsang souchong tea!
Lapsang souchong tea has an absolutely unique flavor due to the fact that once the tea leaves have been picked, they’re then dried over the heat of a fire made from burning pinewood. But that’s not all – once dried, they’re rolled into tight strips to oxidize, then pan-fried and placed in bamboo sieves for a final smoke-drying process again over burning pinewood.
Originating from the Wuyi mountains of the Fujian Province in China, this tea has been enjoyed for centuries. But what are the benefits of this unique tea?
What are the benefits of lapsang souchong tea?
Lapsang souchong tea is rich in beneficial B vitamins that help the body draw energy from the food we eat. As well as that, it’s also rich in antioxidants including polyphenols, flavonoids, theaflavins and catechins that help to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage our cells, including that of the immune system, in their quest to stabilize themselves, leading to potential illness.
What’s more, lapsang souchong tea is also a rich source of tannins, a compound that gives all tea leaves their distinctive tea flavor, but also with beneficial properties. Tannins are similar to antioxidant polyphenols and can have a regenerative effect on the cells. They’re also linked with an improvement in metabolism which can lead to healthy weight management.
What does lapsang souchong tea taste like?
Lapsang souchong tea is a black tea, rich in tannins that give it its dark color. This means it has a fairly strong tea taste, but the smokiness gives it a faint ‘campfire’ like hint. Light to medium bodied, lapsang souchong tea has a dark, roasted, smoky flavor with hints of pine – making it a tea that doesn’t suit all tastes. But if you like smoky flavors, then you’ll love black lapsang souchong tea.
This smoky tea contains caffeine at the normal levels you’d expect in any black tea. This means that it's best to drink lapsang souchong tea in the morning or before lunchtime for energy and good metabolism, so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep later on that day.
(Incidentally, lapsang souchong tea also has a relaxing effect due to the presence of a compound called theanine. So drinking it could mean that you’re energized, ready to take on the day, yet in a calm and stress-free manner!)
How do I drink lapsang souchong tea?
We recommend adding 1 tsp Nature Restore Lapsang Souchong Loose Leaf Tea to 8oz boiling water and leaving the leaves to infuse for between one to five minutes, depending on personal preference.
The longer you leave the leaves to infuse, the stronger, more bitter the tea will taste so it’s worth experimenting and shortening the infusion time if you’re new to lapsang souchong tea.