Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lapsang Souchong

The description on the tin :

"Lapsang Souchong processed in traditional way is produced in Wuyi-mountain ranges in China where the foggy high mountains with thick forests provide the best natural environment for tea growing and is characterized by stout leaves with the perfume of pine wood mellow-taste an fragrant aroma being on of the China's famous teas."

This tea known in chinese as "zheng san xiao chong".  I am making an intelligent guess, but the terminology 'lapsang souchong' is a lost-in-translation phrase that caught on with time.  This is a black tea that had been smoked with burnt pinewood.  This is a smoky tea......really......one of the smokiest tea I have come across.  When I had my first sip, I had imagined smoke coming out of my ears.

But this is a very drinkable tea.  It is quite addictive as well, if you enjoy real smoky tea.  The smoke scent is like a morning after campfire where you can smell the smoke from the dying embers.  Together with the taste of black tea, the smoke seems to complement well with the tea making it a delicious drink.  This tin of lapsang souchong, is produced by Fujian Tea Import and Export Co (butterfly logo), and comes  filled with 200g of this tea.  I brewed this tea by taking a very large pinch and putting it in a mug, filling it with hot water.  Do not use a clay teapot for this tea and the smoky aroma may linger for a considerable time in the teapot after use.  There are now 'lapsang' that is available without the pinewood smoke, but I recommend the original version.  I had purchased this tin for less than $10.  Value for money.

But I digress.  A tea blogger recently wrote about my blog -http://teacloset.blogspot.sg/2012/07/feel-good-tea-blogs-and-other-random.html.  Here is a short excerpt of her thoughts :

"Just as in your tea consumption, you need a varied diet when reading tea blogs.

  • "If you need the cold hard truth and real thinking- you head straight over to MarshalN because he is tirelessly challenging us to drink better teas, think for ourselves and not lapse into complacency.   But sometimes you don't want to think critically about all the mediocre tea you've bought.  You just want to feel good about puerh in general.  That's when you head over to read sunny blogs likeWilson's Traveling Teapot.  Wilson exudes the most overwhelming aura of positivity. You can tell straightaway from the title font of his blog that he will provide you a cheerful experience and it's rare he meets a beeng he does not like.  He's mostly a shu drinker and he always manages to focus on the positive.  (I had not been too keen on my Haiwan and Menghai shus but he fixed that for me and I'm excited to retry them. Thank you Wilson!) "

My thoughts:

1.  Thank you for the nice write up.  I am honored that I am being compared to MarshalN, regarded highly by the internet tea community.  Although I am on the opposite end of the scale - his is the cold hard truth while mine is the sunny blog, it felt real good when I could 'exude the most overwhelming aura of positivity'.  I felt like Yoda for a second.  I met MarshalN in Hong Kong last month.  He is very passionate about Chinese Tea.  But.....  he is a fun person.  Really!

2.  Yes, I try not to delve on the negatives as I personally feel what is positive or negative about a tea is a personal preference.  There were instances where I am with tea friends sampling a tea and I was quietly asking myself why I did not like a particular tea sample when the rest seem to like it.  I believed that I have not reached that level of appreciation.....yet.  That's another story.

3.  I am happy when I brew my pot of tea, drinking them and blogging about them.  I hope to infect my readers with my enthusiasm for tea.  


hster said...

Dear Wilson,

I love reading your cheerful blog and any apologies if I put you in the hot seat. Your posts always leave me feeling good about all teas.

You uphold an important balance in the tea blog universe. Don't turn to the dark side!


wilson said...

No apologies needed. Glad u enjoy reading my blog. Thank you for your kind comments. wilson

MarshalN said...

Glad I'm fun, at least for a fellow tea nerd. Look forward to see you soon.