Review: Chah Lapsang Souchong Premium

Black Tea, Chah, Lapsang Souchong Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK" A light smokiness was there but undermined by a very typical tea-ish palate. It was like an English Breakfast with a bit of Lapsang thrown in, or better yet a Keemun/Lapsang "Russian Caravan" derivative. "
Geoff’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 7.5/10, Katie gave it 7.8/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
chahtealaspangsouchongThe founders of Chah Tea - a UK-based outlet - tout a decade-worth of research in East Asia prior to returning to England as tea merchants. The wide array of teas available on their site certainly supports the claim. I also enjoyed the various pictures scattered about showing their personal involvement in choosing the teas they sell. Quite fascinating.

One minor nitpick, though, I wish some of that same care had been spent on the Lapsang Souchong Premium profile. For other than listing the region, the months it took to acquire it, and the brewing instructions (which I greatly appreciated), there was nothing on there denoting it's "premium" rank. Was it directly from the village of Tong Mu? Were the leaves a bohea variety? Me and my nerdy spectacles wanted to know!

Not a big deal, really. I just like stories. Especially unique stories of how the tea was acquired. I consider it a part of the journey, and the sip is the finish line. All that aside, this was a fine smelling tea. Sure, it had the requisite smoky aspect, but it was much lighter than a standard Lapsang. Floral notes escaped the forest fire fragrance. It also smelled older, which would support the Tong Mu origin theory I had. Lapsangs from the source tended to have a dustier scent, almost liked a cooked puer; minus the rot.

The very British brewing instructions per the Chah site were: "1 tsp per 200ml; 100ºC; two minutes." The length of time shocked me a little. Sometimes I've heard as high as five minutes for a Lapsang, mainly for a more robust flame taste. But I was interested to see what a softer approach would lend.

The infusion brewed to a rusted gold color, off-yellow on its way to brown. The nose was earthy, but also possessed an ancient quality - like artificial post-fermentation. I wondered if two minutes was too short a steep. Oddly enough, this did not taste like a Lapsang at all. As mentioned above, it had a floral scent on dry presentation, and that attribute carried over to the flavor. A light smokiness was there but undermined by a very typical tea-ish palate. It was like an English Breakfast with a bit of Lapsang thrown in, or better yet a Keemun/Lapsang "Russian Caravan" derivative.

It was certainly a decent tea, and for those looking for something *not* like a Lapsang, they can't go wrong here. However, for those like me seeking that burnt pine promise, this is lacking. If I had one suggestion, it would be to brew this for an extra minute. If a Darjeeling can handle three, so can this.

— To purchase Chah Lapsang Souchong Premium, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Geoff's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Geoff.

    



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in