As with many of the best things in life, Lapsang Souchong was created by accident. The most popular legend claims that the tea was created in the Qing era, in the 1600s, when armies marched through the Wuyi province of Fujian in China. The villagers were worried that the soldiers would steal their tea and so quickly dried the harvest in order to prevent it from rotting. They did this by gently smoking the tea over pinewood, which made the leaves dark with a strong smoky flavour. The villagers considered this tea ruined and still to this day Lapsang Souchong is not widely enjoyed in China. However, Dutch traders who visited the region were offered this ‘special’ brew and loved it, promptly buying large quantities and creating an enormous demand for this unusual, tobacco-like tea.
A true testament to the fact that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
We can promise you that it is not only Dutch traders who love this tea, it is also a favourite among some of the UAEs and world’s finest Chefs and Mixologists. Renowned for its intense smoky aroma, our Organic Lapsang Souchong is often used as the base of whisky cocktails.
Organic Lapsang Souchong is an incredible substitute to alcohol, try this recipe below for an alcohol free cocktail.
Blacklock’s non-alcoholic Old Fashioned
Makes 1 serving
For the premix (makes 10 servings)
470ml hot water
20g hops – optional (see introduction)
2½ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cinnamon sticks, cracked
2 twists orange peel (or 4 twists if not using hops)
20g loose lapsang souchong tea leaves
140g light muscovado sugar
5ml orange bitters
9ml Angostura bitters
For the drink (per serve)
35ml old fashioned premix (see above)
1 orange twist, to garnish
Cooking with Lapsang Souchong will add depth of flavour.
Heavenly, when used as a rub for meat or to infuse rice and broth, this tea is incredibly versatile. You can also add it into pepper grinder and grind it over any bbq meats and vegetables.
One of the most innovative recipes we have come across is in the stunning book ‘Tea Sommelier’ by Fabio Petroni & Gabriella Lombardi. A must read for everyone interested in tea or who simply enjoys looking at beautiful pictures. They include a recipe for ‘Lapsang Souchong Spaghetti Carbonara’ where the tea leaves are blended with flour to make pasta and the dish is topped with finely ground Lapsang Souchong – heaven!
Add Organic Lapsang Souchong to heighten the flavours with these 3 easy options:
1. If you are making the pasta from scratch, add Organic Lapsang Souchong into the flour.
2. Steep the tea and add it to the egg and cheese mixture.
3. Boil the pasta into the tea directly.
We love seeing your innovative ways using our teas at home or restaurant, tag @avantchatea to share your culinary delights.