Sipping the cup of Lapsang Souchong, your imagination brings you to a small village in China’s Fujian province, sharing a meal with the locals. A communal pot of tea is passed around, and from the smoky fragrance you recognize that it is the product of the large black leaves smoking over a pine needle fire – an age-old tradition.
Like many other great teas, Lapsang Souchong was discovered by accident. According to a Qing Dynasty legend, an army unit passing through a small tea-growing village camped overnight in the tea factory. After the soldiers vacated the factory, the workers hurried to get the tea dried in time for market. Having been delayed, there was not enough time for the leaves to be dried in their usual manner, so fires were lit in order to speed up the drying. The leaves were dried in time, but the workers were dismayed when they found that the leaves smelled and tasted of smoke from the fire. Convinced that the tea would not sell, the workers were greatly surprised when the tea caused a huge sensation at the market, and people demanded more.
"Mountain Berry cured wild BC salmon, sablefish with Lapsang Souchong dashi, or the gone but not forgotten Morning Mist granita - the list is endless with what one can create with this fabulous tea." - ICON Robert Clark