What am I drinking?
Lapsang Souchong Superior
Where am I drinking it?
The fantastic Fumbally, who regularly feature on these pages because of their brilliant coffee, and attitude towards café culture in general. It’s always a brilliant spot – though sometimes gets quite crowded – not least for the sunshine streaming in from its huge windows.
What does it taste like?
Lapsang Suchong is a smoked tea, and this one is particularly strong. It’s difficult to shake the association with bacon out of your nose once you realise it, but that doesn’t detract from the flavour. It packs a punch with both the smokey and the strong black tea flavours.
What does it look like?
Fumbally serve their loose-leaf teas unceremoniously in little filter tea-bags and a mug of hot water: it’s not ideal as the tightly-twisted bags don’t steep that well, though the whole impression fits in rather well with their re-used, cobbled-together aesthetic. You also only get one mug of hot water rather than a pot, so no second infusion (though I’ve no doubt they’d oblige if you ask for one).
Where does it come from?
Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese black tea from the Wuyi region. Though black teas from India or Sri Lanka are generally more popular, this one is special as it is smoked over pinewood, giving it a totally unique flavour.
What effect does it have?
This is a very strong-flavoured tea, so works really well with lunch or a snack (something not too sweet). Its aroma will certainly wake you up in the morning and simultaneously satisfy any bacon cravings, so try it with breakfast.
Where can I get it?
Lapsang Souchong is quite difficult to get except for in specialist tea shops, but you’ll find decent ones in the usual spots, like Wall & Keogh (who also supplied this particular one).
Is it worth the try?
It’s a really different experience to your usual greens and blacks, even the flavoured varieties, as the smokiness is intrinsic to the flavour rather than being an added layer. Definitely give it a go, for just €2 a mug in Fumbally.