Lapsong Souchong is a black tea with a distinctive flavor created by the smoking procedure. Legend claims that the special smoking procedure was discovered by accident. During the Qing dynasty, a group of soldiers occupied a tea factory for one night. The factory contained fresh tea leaves to be processed for the next day’s market. By the time the soldiers vacated the factory and the workers returned to process the leaves, there was not enough time to dry the leaves the usual way. The workers lit fires of pine wood to quicken the drying. By the next morning, the tea was ready to be sold and was discovered to have a smoked pine flavor which enhanced the tea. Today, the leaves are first dried over fires of pine or cypress wood. Then they are placed into wooden barrels to ferment. The leaves are fried again and placed over smoking pine fires to absorb the smoke flavor. Lapsong Souchong, a favorite of Sherlock Holmes and other fictional Britons, can be enjoyed with or without milk and sugar.
The water used to steep this tea should be at the boiling point, 212°F (100°C). Use about 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea leaves for about every 5 ounces (150 milliliters) of water. A steeping time of about 3-5 minutes with more or less time is recommended depending on the desired concentration. Net tea weight 4 ounces and shipping weight 0.28 lb.