The summer heat inspired us to feature a cold brew Lapsang Souchong for this week’s Tea Tuesdays post. Lapsang Souchong is a smoked black tea from the Fujian province in China. This smokey tea can be enjoyed hot or cold, and the tannins in this tea complements a creamy cheese such as camembert (pictured above). When cold brewing the leaves, steep the tea leaves overnight for 8-12 hours. Using room temperature water to steep the leaves instead of using hot water ensures your iced tea serves up clear and not cloudy. Lapsang Souchong is made by smoking the tea leaves over pinewood or cypress. The black tea leaves are withered over fires of pinewood/cypress and later placed into barrels to further oxidize. The tea leaves will undergo several stages of pan firing and rolling. The final procedure is reminiscent of the manufacture of Jasmine tea, as the tea leaves are dried over smoking pinewood fires. This reduces the moisture content while allowing the tea to further absorb the smokey aromas coming off of the fire. The origin of this tea comes from a legend dating back to the Qing Dynasty. According to this legend, an army passed through Xingcun and set up camp in a tea factory. The army disrupted the tea workers daily routine, causing them to fall behind on their quotas. The tea workers smoked the tea over pinewood fires in order to make up for lost time. The result was a highly aromatic and flavourful black tea that reminds us of cigars, ash and whiskey. See below for our sensory evaluation of Lapsang Souchong.