Lapsang Souchong

Monday, 3 October 2022 at 07:31 in the evening

My order from the British Store arrived today, with, amongst other things, 3 boxes of Lapsang Souchong tea. I first came across lapsang souchong as in ingredient in a smoked duck dish a friend of mine cooked for Masterchef while I was at university, and I was fortunate enough to have been a guinea pig. She didn’t win, but the dish was delicious, and I was grateful to have been allowed to help her practice.

Twinings Lapsang Souchong

I’ve always been a bit of an oddball—an Englishman who doesn’t like tea. But nothing beats a delicious cup of lapsang on a cold winter’s evening. The smoky smell reminds me of wood fired heaters and bonfire night, and I love the taste of the strong black tea without milk or sweetener that makes PG Tips seems so insipid and uninspiring.

I think I first fell in love with lapsang in Coffee In, a trendy coffee shop in Yaroslavl, which is now long since closed, but I spent hours there, sitting with a teapot, a chess board, and friends I’m not really in touch with any more.

Lapsang is a bold drink, and it takes some getting used to. My wife hates it, although she’s learned to tolerate the smell.

If you buy it direct from Twinings in the UK, you’ll pay about 7p per teabag. Imported, I am paying 2790 HUF per pack, which works out at around 12p. But given that I can squeeze three cups out of the same teabag, it’s well worth it.