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Lapsang Souchong or Lao Song Xiao Zhong

 

This was the favourite tea of Winston Churchill and he loved it so much that even during the climax of World War II, when most trading channels were closed, he still managed to obtain it.

Smoked tea Lapsang Souchong. This tea has had many names. At first it was called Lao Song Xiao Zhong which the English transliterated as Lapsang Souchong. In 17t h century England they began to call it the Royal Black. In China they began to call it Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong after many similar products entered the market under the initial name of Lao Song Xiao Zhong. Currently this tea is also called Yan Xun Xiao Zhong, Yan Xun meaning “smoked”. A Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong may or may not be smoked, but a Yan Xun Xiao Zhong should definitely be smoked – and this is the tea that Winston Churchill enjoyed so much.

Yan Xun Xiao Zhong is smoked on real pine, hence the rich unforgettable flavour. Smoking tea on pine takes extra time and money compared to more conventional heating methods combined with adding artificial flavour. There are not a lot of smoked tea manufacturers and real Yan Xun Xiao Zhong is not all that easy to come by. One way of telling if a Smoked Xiao Zhong is artificially flavoured is by paying close attention to its flavour profile. If the smokiness seems rough and course, if it doesn't have a sort of transition into a more dried fruit flavour it may be an indication of artificial flavouring.

Yan Xun first-timers beware! This tea is unusual to what you would expect from a classic Black tea flavour. The aroma may initially remind you of ski wax, turpentine and burnt rubber! Or it may remind you of a campfire, leather, smoked fish, Cuban cigars and maybe even of cognac and whiskey.