|Like the discovery of tea itself, the creation of Lapsang Souchong tea (also known as Russian
Caravan tea) happened quite by accident. The story and a bit of history behind how this dark,
smoky black tea came to be is an interesting one I think you’ll enjoy.
|Lapsang Souchong tea is grown
in China in the Wuyi Shan Moun-
tains, in Fujian Province.During the Qing Dynasty (1644-
1911) a young emperor named Shunzhi ruled.
Emperor Shunzhi’s uncle, Dorghon, controlled the
affairs of state for his nephew, and it was Dorghon’s
desire to consolidate the provinces of Zheijang,
Fujian, and Canton, (which is now Guangdon) and
bring them all together under Manchu rule.
|An Accidental Creation
|Dorghan ordered the Qing army to invade the area
of Wuyi Shan, causing the terrified villagers to flee
|for their lives. A few who had learned in advance of the invasion quickly hid their tea. But to
prevent it from rotting, it first needed to be quickly dried. With no time to waste the villagers had
no choice but to dry their tea with whatever was close at hand, which turned out to be freshly
cut pine boughs from the surrounding mountainside forest.When the villagers returned to retrieve
their tea after the invasions, what they
dug up greatly disappointed them. The
tea was dark and smelled of wood smoke,
and at first glance appeared to be ruined.
Dutch traders had been
buying tea from
And so, a new tea called “bohea” was born out of a disaster.
The term “black tea” was not yet in use, so the term bohea was
Eventually this new smoky tea became known in local Fuzhou
Souchong was used to describe high quality large-leaf