Accidents happen. We’re all guilty of them. But how often have our accidents turned out to be historical achievements? Such is the case of Lapsang Souchong - as well as Lapsang Souchong Benefits.

Indeed, this particular mistake, unlike most other mistakes, has proven to be immensely popular in recent years. But what is it? And how did it come into existence?

Once you’ve learnt more, you can buy it right here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. We pack almost every Loose Tea, Tisane and Coffee fresh to order, guaranteeing quality and consistency, time and time again.

Right now, however, let’s explore the facts, figures, history and health benefits of this remarkable Smoked Black Tea. 

What is Lapsang Souchong Tea

What is Lapsang Souchong Tea?

Traditional Lapsang Souchong comes from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian Province, China. Its name is twofold: “Lapsang,” in Fuzhou dialect, means “smoked variety” - or words to that effect.

“Souchong,” on the other hand, refers to the fourth or fifth leaf of the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant used in its making. Some also know it locally as “Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong.”

According to sources, this was the first Black Tea ever made (we’ll be talking more about this in our “History of Lapsang Souchong Tea” section below.)

Its characteristically smoky flavour is the product of factory workers drying the leaves over pinewood fires. This quality indeed transcends in your cup upon the first sip, followed by distinct woody undertones.

How is Lapsang Souchong Made

How is Lapsang Souchong Made?

Smoking this Tea is but one step in the process of its creation. The rest involves a high level of attentive professionalism, much of which requires experienced and dutiful workers.

Harvesting is, of course, the first stage - most commonly occurring in the second week of May.

This is somewhat later in the year than many other Tea types due to the moderate climate of the Wuyi mountains. Other stages include: 

Withering Process

There are two methods of withering Tea: natural “sun” withering and human-made “heat” withering.

The former involves placing the leaves outside, thus allowing them to wither according to the weather that day. The latter is when workers apply hot air to the Tea in a controlled environment.

Both methods produce the same result: kickstarting oxidation.

Rolling/Shaping Tea leaves

This stage, similar to withering, can occur either by hand or using machinery. Workers roll, twist, press and, ultimately, shape the leaves, which helps them to release their enzymes and juices.

Oxidation is well underway at this point, too, which plays a significant role in the overall character and profile of Lapsang Souchong Tea.


The process of oxidation applies to humans and Tea alike. We experience it, broadly speaking, through the transference of oxygen around the body.

With Tea, though, it refers to the change in the structure of the leaf, whereby it goes from being Green Leaf Tea to Black Tea. This applies to its colour as much as its taste.


When it’s time to halt oxidation, workers quite literally place the leaves in a hot iron pan and “fire” it. This is similar to the way you might stir-fry noodles.

It’s vital to note, however, that this stage must take place “later rather than sooner.”

In other words, oxidation must have occurred for long enough to make Black Tea rather than Green Tea.

Adding Smokey Characteristics

This, as its name likely suggests, is the most crucial stage for creating Lapsang Tea.

It begins with workers scattering the leaves into bamboo sieves, then placing them into a baking room to dry over a pinewood fire.

All that’s left, then, is to check its quality before shipping it to The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. 

History of Lapsang Souchong Tea

History of Lapsang Souchong Tea

We’ve already established that Lapsang Souchong Loose Leaf Tea was the world’s first Black Tea. But how, exactly, was it created?

No one knows for certain. However, there is a legend surrounding its origins - one dating back to the Chinese Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

This was a time of great upheaval in the country, whereby bandits and rogues travelled and pillaged freely. 

The story begins with a few Tea farmers living near the village of Tong Mu Guan. One day, while they tended to their crop, a band of thugs and villains descended upon their land.

These bandits wanted the Tea, insisting that the farmers harvest it ready for their return. But the farmers were not prepared to give up so easily. If they wanted to get their crop to market, though, they needed to be quick.

Desperation took hold. The farmers, wanting to be away before the bandits returned, dried their leaves over pinewood fires to speed up oxidation. The result was an unmistakably “Smoked” Tea.

At first, it seemed as if the crop had been ruined. Nevertheless, the farmers persevered and reluctantly packed their shipment ready for market.

It was at the port that, much to the farmers’ surprise, a group of Dutch traders expressed interest in sampling the what was to become Lapsang.

Everyone stood in silence, waiting for the verdict - which, as it turned out, was immensely positive. The Dutch indeed loved this strange, full-bodied infusion, and ended up buying the entire shipment. And so, Lapsang Souchong became one of the best accidents to happen to the industry.

Lapsang and Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill and Lapsang Souchong

There is significant debate as to whether the above tale ever took place. Another topic of speculation is to do with the famous British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), who, according to some, was a big fan of Lapsang Souchong.

One theory is that this iconic bulldog enjoyed a cup of Lapsang Tea due to its bold smoky taste. The belief is that he liked its similarities to his much-loved cigars. 

A few historians go as far as to suggest that Churchill drank it because it reminded him of his campfire days during the Sudan and Boer Wars.

However, like the legend of the farmers and the bandits, there is little historical proof. What we DO know is that Champagne was his greatest weakness - or strength, as he used to put it. “In success you deserve it and in defeat, you need it,” he once said.

History of Formosa Lapsang Tea

History of Formosa Lapsang Tea

Although “traditional” Lapsang Souchong originates from mainland China, there are other (equally delicious) subtypes.

Most notable is Formosa Lapsang Tea, which comes from present-day Taiwan (itself once called Formosa).

The history of this Tea variety began when there was little debate surrounding the island’s sovereignty. A time when Formosa was a strategic Chinese port many centuries ago. 

Mass-migration from China, prompted by the same turmoil that led to the legend of Lapsang Souchong, marked a new era for the local Tea industry.

These mainland workers promptly utilised their years of expertise, resulting in the likes of Formosa Oolong, Formosa Gunpowder Tea and, of course, Formosa Lapsang Souchong.

Nowadays, the latter famously boasts stronger, smokier flavours than China Lapsang.

Lapsang Souchong Nutrition

Lapsang Souchong Nutrition

The term “Lapsang Souchong Nutrition,” in this context, refers to its wealth in vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants.

These chemical compounds, when combined, are the primary reason for Lapsang Souchong benefits. Indeed, according to the latest scientific research, Lapsang Souchong properties can improve life in small yet significant ways. Here are just a few of its constituents:



Why Lapsang Tea is Good for You

Vitamin B-2 Vitamin B-5 Vitamin B-9
Iron Potassium Magnesium
Sodium Manganese Zinc

It’s worth noting, too, that this Tea has only two calories per 8-oz serving. This, somewhat unsurprisingly, makes it an excellent choice if you’re trying to cut down on sugary, fatty soft drinks.

It is also one of the ways in which Lapsang Souchong benefits can promote weight loss.

However, we’ll be talking more about its medicinal qualities below, so please keep reading. 

Lapsang Souchong Benefits

Lapsang Souchong Benefits

Lapsang Souchong benefits the mind, body and soul in a vast multitude of ways. It can help your mental wellbeing, for example, due to its calmative properties.

When it comes to your body, on the other hand, it offers support by boosting the immune system. Then there’s the fact that it is a soulful infusion from start to finish, which, hopefully, speaks for itself. 

But you shouldn’t simply take our word for it. Below, we have compiled the latest evidence showcasing Lapsang Souchong health benefits, all of which comes from reputable sources.

It’s vital to recognise, however, that we’re here to write about, not endorse, its potential. If, then, you have any concerns, we strongly recommend that you seek medical consultation.

It Can Improved Heart Health

Lapsang Can Improved Heart Health

Statistics from the Heart and Stroke Foundation suggest that 54% of cardiovascular-related deaths are because of coronary artery disease.

Meanwhile, 21% are strokes, and 16% are other forms of heart complications. Could Lapsang Souchong benefits be the answer? Not quite, although they could, at the very least, offer a helping hand. But how - and why? 

It’s all to do with its antioxidants, which combat free radicals in the body. Free radicals, in turn, are the product of natural, though often harmful, human oxidation.

When left unchecked, oxidation can lead to many of the conditions mentioned above - and many more. By neutralising free radicals, thus slowing down oxidation, Lapsang Souchong reduces risks significantly.

Boost the Immune System with Lapsang Tea

Boost the Immune System with Lapsang Tea

Research conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, USA, suggests that Lapsang Tea, like most Black Tea types, can support the immune system.

The key component contributing to this is L-theanine - an amino acid with several noteworthy qualities. In the context of immune health, it helps to prime the body for attacking invading bacteria, viruses and fungi. 

One study found that the immune system’s blood cells in Tea drinkers responded five times faster to germs than those in Coffee drinkers.

This could mean that it plays a major role in warding off minor illnesses such as the common cold and the flu.

Then there is the fact that, if you’re unlucky enough to feel unwell already, there’s nothing better than a nice, warming cuppa.

Could it Enhance Brain Function?

Could it Enhance Brain Function?

In the UK alone, around 750,000 people live with conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to experts, could even double in the next 40 years as Britain’s population ages. Lapsang Souchong Benefits might, once again, provide support by enhancing brain function.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition can explain why. 

The research project, conducted by the University of Singapore, saw 2,500 participants aged fifty-five or over undergo cognitive testing. Two years later, scientists re-measured everyone involved.

They then concluded that those who drank 2-3 cups of Black Tea a day, including Lapsang Souchong, had a 55% lower chance of suffering from cognitive decline.

Drink This Tea for Healthier Teeth

Drink This Tea for Healthier Teeth

A long-held (and long irritating!) stereotype is that Brits drink excessive amounts of Black Tea and, as a result, have bad teeth.

Yet research indicates the opposite - thanks, in part, to Lapsang Souchong benefits. The answers come from a collaborative study conducted at the University of Iowa, USA, and the Institute of Odontology at Göteborg University, Sweden. 

Participants in the US Division used Black Tea to rinse their mouth for 30 seconds, five times, waiting three minutes between each rinse.

According to a report on the study, this took place to simulate the effect of sipping the average cup of Tea. The Swedish division, meanwhile, involved test subjects rinsing their mouth with Black Tea for one minute, ten times daily. 

Scientists concluded that the more people rinsed, the more their bacteria and plaque levels fell. The reason for this is the polyphenolic compounds found in Lapsang Tea, which can kill or suppress cavity-causing bacteria from either growing or producing acid.

Additionally, it affects the bacterial enzymes and prevents the formation of the sticky-like material that binds plaque to teeth.

Lapsang Souchong Weight Loss

Lapsang Souchong Weight Loss

Lapsang Souchong Smoked Tea might help you to fit into your favourite pair of jeans again. This is mostly because it boosts the metabolism of fat cells, which then enables the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.

Ultimately, this results in periods of exercise producing better, perhaps even more noticeable, results. And then, of course, there’s the fact that it has only two-calories per serving. 

But that’s not all on offer here. According to a study published in the 2009 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, its caffeine content can also help.

Participants consumed a dosage of caffeine similar to that found in Black Tea before their exercise routines. The research concluded that this increased basal metabolism by 6%, which, despite not sounding like a lot, could make a huge difference.

Reduced Stress and Diabetes Risks

Reduced Stress and Diabetes Risks

The same chemical compound that boosts the immune system can also reduce stress levels. Perhaps even more astonishingly, this then reduces the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

The reason is to do with the fact that chronic stress disrupts our sleep and our blood sugar levels. This then leads to increased hunger and comfort eating, ultimately resulting in a cruel circle whereby you gain unhealthy levels of body fat. 

Stopping stress at the source could be part of the answer. Lapsang Loose Tea has such a capacity because of its abundance in L-theanine, which stimulates the brain while maintaining a state of calmness.

So, next time you’re feeling a little down, why not brew up a cuppa? The evidence indeed suggests that Lapsang Souchong health benefits could work in multiple ways to support your mental wellbeing.

Could Lapsang Tea Help Fight Cancer?

Could Lapsang Tea Help Fight Cancer?

Before we get into how Lapsang Souchong cancer benefits can help here, it’s important to manage expectations. The scientific research into this beverage for combating cancer is minimal at best.

This is why we must again stress that we do NOT endorse it (or any other Tea for that matter) for this reason as research is at its early stages. 

However, there have been some promising findings, most notably from a 2015 meta-analysis. 

The research compiled suggests that drinking a cup of Tea a day (regardless of the type) reduces the risk of some cancers developing. Those who drank the “most” Tea, on the other hand, had up to a 21% lower cancer risk than those who drank none.

Lapsang Souchong properties, particularly its antioxidants, likely have something to do with this ability. Hopefully, more evidence surfaces in the near future.

Helps with Skin Health?

Helps with Skin Health?

Our skin is the largest organ - one that requires plenty of care by us. Drinking Lapsang Souchong (and perhaps even applying it topically, if you don’t mind its smoky scent!) might help in protecting it.

This is for several reasons, although it’s mostly because of its antioxidants. The polyphenols and Tannins in Tea, for example, can boost the rejuvenation of skin cells. 

Its catechins and flavonoids, meanwhile, might prevent skin infections. Lapsang Souchong caffeine has a part to play, too, as does its anti-inflammatory properties.

It also has anti-ageing properties and might, according to preliminary evidence, protect you against UV radiation. Some researchers even believe it reduces blemishes, including acne, while at the same time combating puffiness.

Lapsang Souchong Side Effects

Lapsang Souchong Side Effects

Lapsang Souchong Loose Tea, Earl Grey, Keemun Tea and Assam Tea all have one thing in common: they are types of Black Tea. This means that there’s a risk involved in consuming large quantities of any of these infusions, mostly because of their high caffeine levels.

Those who’re sensitive to the Effects of Caffeine, in particular, should exercise caution. Lapsang Souchong Side Effects include: 

  • Restlessness and sleeplessness (insomnia.)
  • Headaches.
  • Increased urination.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Tremors.

First and foremost, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company care about the welfare of its customers.

As such, if you have any of the above symptoms, or suffer from discomfort of any kind after drinking Lapsang, you should consider seeking medical help.

Although there is much to celebrate with Lapsang Souchong benefits, sadly, they don’t apply to everyone. So be careful.

Lapsang Tea During Pregnancy

Lapsang Tea During Pregnancy

The Effects of Caffeine, contrary to popular belief, do not only negatively impact those with diagnosed conditions. Pregnant women, too, might find themselves at risk from this stimulating chemical compound.

Experts believe that too much can lead to babies having a low birth-weight, as well as a higher chance of your child having health problems later in life. 

So, is Lapsang Tea safe for pregnancy? In moderation. NHS Choices recommends that expecting mothers limit their caffeine intake to 200-mg daily.

This is usually the equivalent of two cups of Coffee, four cups of Black Tea, five cups of Oolong and eight cups of White Tea.

Nevertheless, if you have any concerns, we again urge you to talk to a doctor, nurse or another health professional before drinking.

Does Lapsang Souchong Have Caffeine

Does Lapsang Souchong Have Caffeine?

You will probably know the answer to this question already. Lapsang Tea does, indeed, contain caffeine. But what is the specific Lapsang Souchong caffeine level?

All types of Black Tea, regardless of which one, tend to have around 45-mg per 8-oz cup. That is no doubt enough to get you out of bed in the morning, which is, of course, one of the reasons why so many choose it. 

Did you know, though, that the caffeine in this infusion contributes to Lapsang Souchong benefits?

Dutch researchers can explain how and why. They conducted a study involving 44 young volunteers split into two groups. The first group consumed Black Tea extracts, while the second group received a placebo.

It found that the first group had improved focus during a mental performance test due to its caffeine.

How to Brew Lapsang Souchong Tea

How to Brew Lapsang Souchong Tea

When it comes to “How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea?,” you’ve chosen well with Lapsang Souchong.

What, exactly, makes the “best Lapsang Souchong,” however, comes down to personal preferences.

Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we stock many varieties of Lapsang Souchong Tea.

Each one has something unique, indeed extraordinary, to offer. Follow these instructions below, and you’ll find out soon enough. 

1, Fill Your Tea Infuser / Filter

Add Lapsang Loose Tea to one of our Tea Filters or Infusers available here.

2, Boil Hot Water.

Put the kettle on, making sure the water is fresh. This will ensure better oxygen levels and, ultimately, better Lapsang Souchong Tea taste.

3, Hold off Before Pouring.

Allow the water to cool to no more than 96°C, flick the lid of the kettle for 10 seconds.

4, Add the Filter or Infuser to your Cup.

Place the Tea Bag in a PORCELAIN cup, which has the least influence on the taste. Metal cups, in comparison, create an often unpleasant metallic undertone.

5, Pour Freshly Boiled Water.

Fill your mug or cup with the hot water from the kettle.

6, Let it Infuse / Steep.

Allow the Tea to steep for AT LEAST three minutes and NO MORE THAN five minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger it tastes. Past five minutes, and it might start getting bitter.

7, Consider Additions.

Some like to have milk or a milk alternatives for tea, sugar, honey or lemon. Most, however, serve it black.

8, Time to Indulge.

Your Lapsang Souchong is ready to enjoy at your leisure.

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.