Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flavoured Tea or Non Flavoured Tea - Lapsang Souchong

Greetings! Today we start a three part series on Flavoured and un or non Flavoured tea. There are a lot of strong emotions surrounding this topic...just ask your tea-purist friend and they will gladly, I am certain, impart their opinion on the topic of their favorite tea.

Well, to help clear some of the mystery about flavoured teas, and how they seemingly have gotten such a bad wrap over the years (not so much now, since flavoured teas are all the rage...we happily carry loose leaf flavoured teas in our Shoppe!) we will investigate, and see some of the types of teas, how they are graded, and how they are "treated." Read on, and stop back over the next few postings as we carry on for three posts on Flavoured or non Flavoured Teas.

Today, we are talking about the Grand-daddy of teas....Lapsang Souchong!

Lapsang Souchong is a black tea (check out our post next week where we will talk about the "color" of the tea and how the teas are graded). From the Fijan Province in China, this tea has a famously smoky aroma. As a matter of fact, in some restaurants, you can order a Lapsang Souchong and it comes to you with a "Tea Fog"...smoke rising from the glass of tea. Quite exciting.

Fijan Province in China

While this tea is being "finished" it is given extra drying time over a smokey pine fire. The smoking takes place while the leaves are withering and then again, when the leaves are either being rolled, or right after they are rolled and as they are oxidizing. At all times, the pine fire is made smokey with fresh pine wood, adding to the fragrance of the tea.

Now the question: would Lapsang Souchong have it's smokey flavour without being "flavoured"? Is Lapsang Souchong considered a flavoured tea? Talk amoung yourselves for the week, and stop back next week when we look at tea grading and flavouring.

Thanks for stopping by!

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