Lapsang Souchong Smoked
This black tea is a famous Chinese tea that is amazingly smokey in aroma and flavor. This is definitely a love it or hate it tea and we have mixed feelings in our shop. This is one of the more approachable Lapsang Souchong teas I've tried, but it definitely has an audience. If you're never tried it before, start with a sample. If you are a regular customer of this type of tea, grab some because this one is a treat. Note that it is very high in caffeine.
There are many grades of Lapsang Souchong. The smoking takes place while the fresh leaves are withering, and again while they're being rolled and oxidized. To do this, elaborate smokehouses, several stories high, are used. At the bottom level is the pine fire, which must be carefully controlled so its fresh, sweet fragrance isn't lost. The tea is spread out on each level of the house, and holes are cut in the floor to allow different amounts of smoke through. The tea master monitors the smoking diligently, being mindful of how the fire is behaving and how to filter the rising smoke through the levels of tea.