My first ever lapsang souchong tea was by Whittard of Chelsea. The smoky pine wood notes and rich black tea had me instantly won over. So when Umi Tea Sets contacted me about sending some tea samples to review, I was eager to request their lapsang souchong offering!
In my full tea review of Colorful Tea’s Lapsang Souchong (sold through Umi Tea Sets) you’ll find out what a true smoky lapsang souchong tastes like, how to brew this Chinese tea type, and where to buy it online.
Umi Lapsang Souchong Tea at a Glance
- Tea: Lapsang souchong from the Wuyi region of Fujian, China
- Flavour: Jammy, fruity black tea with smooth smoky notes
This tea is so rich and delicious. The smoke in the aroma is actually very subtle in the flavour. Rich jammy notes of sultanas and dates with a hint of minerals, plus a soft, mellow black tea body.
Full Review – Chinese Smoked Black Tea
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Lapsang souchong (smoked black tea)
- Origin: Wuyi, Fujian in China
- Flavour Notes: Jam, sultanas, dates, minerals, soft black tea
- Aroma: Smoky, oak, malt, mineral rocks, dates
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Umi Tea Sets Official Website
Umi Tea Sets kindly sent me 50g of this tea to review! It arrives in a small cannister with a lovely wooden lid. Inside, the tea is within a plastic bag that’s tied with a wire. After opening it all up, the aroma from the dried lapsang souchong tea leaves is smoky, malty and has a slight fruity sweetness that reminds me of dates. There’s also a mineral rock scent too.
It brews into a crystal clear and very bright amber tea colour. Compared to other lapsang souchong teas I’ve drank, it’s a lot lighter. But no complaints here!
The aroma from the brewed tea has more pronounced notes of smoke. It’s more of a rich, oak type wood scent, than a fresh pine scent. It works beautifully with the jammy fruit notes.
And the flavour is so good. The body of the tea is quite light and soft, with a watery texture rather than a thick texture. But the flavour notes are very rich – jammy sultanas and hints of dates, with a slight salty mineral note and hint of smoke.
If you’ve been put off by the smoky aroma of lapsang souchong in the past, this will be a good tea for you. I could barely taste the smoke at all. And that’s a huge plus considering how great the other flavour notes were!
How to Brew Lapsang Souchong Black Tea
This is a black tea, so you’ll want to use very hot water. My water is about 95°C when the tea leaves it hit – but you can use water at a slightly lower temperature if you want. Just increase the brew time.
I used 2g of tea leaf (which works out as a scant teaspoon) in 250ml of water. I let it brew for 3 minutes, stirring a few times before straining out the leaves. You could brew for a minute more, but it doesn’t really need it. This is a surprisingly light tea.
If you’re the kind of person who just has to have biscuits with tea, then go for something plain. A shortbread finger, digestive or Hob Knob would work well without hiding the natural sweet fruity notes of the tea.
Why Umi Tea Sets?
The brand who makes this tea is called Colorful Tea, but it’s sold through Umi Tea Sets. I really love their website! They have such a huge range of Chinese teas to try, including some classics like Umi Lapsang Souchong, and some more unusual herbal teas like peach blossom.
You can also find teaware on their website. I have the Japanese-style rainforest teacup and it’s now on of my favourites.
For this tea, Umi Tea Sets describes it as:
Lapsang Souchong is fumigated with pine needles or pine wood, with rich and thick aroma. It is one of the oldest kinds of tea in the world. Gongfu black tea is developed on its base. Lapsang Souchong is ideal for dishes mixed with curry and meat, so it develops into the world-famous afternoon tea in Europe.
This is a really nice tea. While I found the flavour to be more reminiscent of smoked oak than pine, it was still absolutely delicious. I highly recommend you give it a try! Find it on Umi Tea Sets official website using the button below or the link above. Check out their teacups too while you’re there.
Looking for more traditional Chinese tea types to expand your tea horizons? Find more like Umi Lapsang Souchong, in my Tea Review Index. You can browse by tea type or origin to find a tasty new single origin tea to try.