Bringing coals to Newcastle - Lapsang Souchong



I'm looking for a tea that I can find in most UK supermarkets - Lapsang Souchong. It's a Chinese smoked Oolong tea, and it's lovely.


I moved here from the UK just 2 weeks ago, and was prepared for all sorts of things being difficult to get. My local Taste has Marmite, marmalade, feta - you name it, it's all there. The one thing I didn't expect to have problems with was tea!


Does anyone know where I can get this tea?




tea in China

Hmmm. I know I've seen it around -- have you tried Great in Pacific Place, or Gourmet in Causeway Bay?

Readers, any Lapsang Souchong drinkers out there?

It's interesting that it's hard to find this variety here. But so far as I know it's pretty strictly a western thing.

Mr Tall

Lapsang Souchong

Thanks Mr Tall. I might try later tonight since I'm currently staying in Wan Chai, so both Pacific Place and Causeway Bay are pretty handy for me.

If anyone has any confirmed sightings of this rare beast, do let me know!

Lapsan Souchong

Hi there,

According to a Wiki entry written in Chinese, this [smoked] tea originated in the Fujian Province. It was actually an act of desperation for some tea manufacturers/processors back in the Qing Dynasty. They were unable to meet the deadline of shipping tea overseas so they use pine wood to setup a fire in order to dry the tea leaves. An astonishingly Europeans like it and it stuck. Most of this tea had mainly been for export.

I'd rather have green or white tea myself. :-P

I don't know if your browser could display this:


Or send me an email to I can send you the proper Chinese characters for this tea in a graphical file so you may print it out and try all those tea specialty stores out there and see if they have it. I mean the real tea instead of the tea bags.

If you are looking for tea bags, you might also like to try 360 in the Landmark, and the Oliver's in Prince's Building.

Best Regards,

Ha ha! Yes, I had read that

Ha ha! Yes, I had read that it was invented by mistake so to speak. I'm sure many people don't like it, I hear it generally gets an extreme "I love/hate it" reaction from people, a bit like Marmite. A lot of speciality meats and the like were first invented for purely practical purposes but turn out to be rather tasty. My wife prefers the daintier teas like green tea, I like English Breakfast and Lapsang.

Each to their own, I guess! Thanks for the pointers - I'll try all of those (I've tried 360 already) and post if I find it anywhere. And thanks for the chinese version, it displays fine in my browser so I'll bring that along toa speciality shop if I can't find it anywhere else.



Things invented by mistakes

Hi there,

I liked another thing made by mistake very much. It's Champagne. It could cost an arm and a leg for better ones, however. If I only have one wine to choose with I would definitely choose Champagne.


Tea Specialty Stores around

Hi there,

One tip about Tea Specialty stores. All reputable tea specialty stores would usually welcome tasting before buying. Also ask for tasting their recommendations of the season even if you are not buying anything if you could afford the time.

Best Regards,

tea in China

You can get Lapsang Souchong at H-TEA-O Tea Garden in Causeway Bay. Address is 1/F, Fashion Walk, 19 Great George Street, Causeway Bay, MTR Exit E.

H-TEA-O carry about over 70 teas that you can drink there or buy to brew at home. If you like Lapsang, you might also like Russian Caravan which is a bit milder on the smoky taste.

I love Lapsang, espacially as an afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream (we have the real stuff from the UK) but our staff think it smells like a chinese stomach remedy and run a mile when I brew it!



Hi Tony,

Thanks for the tip. I've tried Great in Pacific Place but no luck there, so your tip for Causeway Bay is perfect - I'll check it out this weekend. And you're right, Lapsang is great in the afternoon.


Thanks a lot,


Incidentially, I have

Incidentially, I have definitely found it at the Teaware Museum in Hong Kong park. I haven't actually bought any yet though, and haven't even made my way over to Causeway Bay and the shop Tony recommends yet But I will...