Lapsang souchong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lapsang souchong
Lapsang Souchong.jpg
TypeBlack

OriginMount Wuyi, Fujian Province, China

Quick descriptionSouchong smoked over pine fire, smoky taste.

Temperatureboiling water (100°C or 212° F)
Time2–3 minutes
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese正山小種
Simplified Chinese正山小种
Literal meaningCoarse tea leaves from Li Mountain”
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese正山小種
Simplified Chinese正山小种

Lapsang souchong (/ˌlæpsæŋ ˈsɒŋ/; Chinese: 正山小種; pinyin: zhèngshān xiǎozhǒng), sometimes referred to as smoked tea (熏茶),[1] is a black tea (Camellia sinensis) that is originally from the mountainous Wuyi region in the province of Fujian in China. It is distinct from other types of tea, as the leaves are traditionally smoke-dried over pinewood fires, imparting a distinctive flavor of smoky pine.

Xiǎozhǒng or Siu2 zung2 (小種) refers to the larger, coarser tea leaves that are found lower on the branch.[citation needed] Lapsang souchong is a member of the Bohea family of teas, but is not an Oolong tea, as most Bohea teas are. ("Bohea" is the pronunciation in Minnan dialect for Wuyi Mountains, which is the mountain area that produces a large family of tea in South-East China).[citation needed]

Lapsang souchong from the original source is increasingly expensive because of increasing demand for this variety of tea, as Wuyi is a small area.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The story goes that the tea was created during the Qing era when the passage of armies delayed the annual drying of the tea leaves in the Wuyi Mountain. Eager to satisfy demand, the tea producers sped up the process by drying the leaves over fires made from local pines.[citation needed]

According to some sources, Lapsang souchong is the first black tea in history, even earlier than Keemun tea. After the lapsang souchong tea was used for producing black tea called Min Hong (meaning "Black tea produced in Fujian"), people started to move the tea bush to different places, such as Keemun, India and Ceylon.[citation needed]

Processing[edit]

“Souchong” (小种) refers to the fourth and fifth leaves of the tea plant, further away from the more highly prized bud (pekoe) of the tea plant. These leaves are coarser than the leaves closer to the bud and have fewer aromatic compounds. Smoking provides a way to create a marketable product from these less desirable leaves.[2]

The leaves are roasted in a bamboo basket called a hōnglóng (), which is heated over burning firewood, which contributes to the dried longan aroma and smoky flavour.[3] Pinewood is used as the firewood for lapsang souchong and imparts the characteristic resiny aroma and taste.

Chemistry[edit]

The aroma of lapsang souchong is derived from a variety of chemical compounds. The two most abundant constituents of the aroma are longifolene and α-terpineol. Many of the compounds making up the aroma of lapsang souchong, including longifolene, originate only in the pine smoke and are not found in other kinds of tea.[4]

Flavor and aroma[edit]

A black tea, lapsang souchong has a rich colour.

Lapsang souchong is noted for its rich aromas and flavors which include pine resin, woodsmoke, smoked paprika, hints of dried longan,[5][6] and the evocation of peated whiskey.[7]

It is common for even rather strongly brewed Lapsang Souchong tea to lack the bitterness common with other tea varieties.

Reputation[edit]

Lapsang souchong has a high reputation outside China; it is viewed as "tea for Westerners" inside China. It was drunk by Winston Churchill[8] and Gary Snyder,[9] who referred to it in Mountains and Rivers Without End.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the movie Casino Royale, David Niven's character orders a pot of jasmine tea from his assistant, which he clarifies as Lapsang souchong. [12]
  • In the book The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, the main character, Theo, is served Lapsang souchong tea by Hobie, a cabinetmaker.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Smoked Tea". silvertipstea.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  2. ^ Delmas, F. X.; Minet, M.; Barbaste, C. (2008). The Tea Drinkers Handbook. Abbeville Press. pp. 49, 159. ISBN 978-0-7892-0988-7.
  3. ^ "Lapsang Souchong Tea". Tea and Coffee. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  4. ^ Yao, S. S.; Guo, W. F.; Lu, Y.; Jiang, Y. X. (2005). "Flavor Characteristics of Lapsang Souchong and Smoked Lapsang Souchong, a Special Chinese Black Tea with Pine Smoking Process". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 53 (22): 8688–93. doi:10.1021/jf058059i. PMID 16248572.
  5. ^ "Lapsang Souchong Tea". www.flavorandfortune.com. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  6. ^ "Lapsang Souchong Tea - Smoked Chinese Black Tea". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  7. ^ Perry, S. (2010). Tea Deck: 50 Ways to Prepare, Serve, and Enjoy. Chronicle Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-8118-7288-1.
  8. ^ Heiss, M. L.; Heiss, R. J. (2011). The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide. Ten Speed. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-6077-4172-5.
  9. ^ "Mill Valley Literary Review magazine for writers readers".
  10. ^ Mitchell, Ben (September 1998). "Patrick Stewart - Beavis and Butt-head's biggest fan on theft, tea and Tetris". Neon (UK Film Magazine). UK: EMAP. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  11. ^ Lane, Anthony (January 2018). "The Claustrophobic Elegance of "Phantom Thread"". The New Yorker. USA: Condé Nast. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  12. ^ Template:Cite movie Casino Royale (1967 film)

External links[edit]