Free UK Next Day delivery for orders over £60

Get 10% Off Your First Order By Signing Up


30th August 2017


Spotlight On: Organic Bohea Lapsang Black Tea

Organic Bohea Lapsang

Our Organic Bohea Lapsang, black tea is smoky, sophisticated, warming, and a world away from the commercially produced Lapsang Souchong. Here are four reasons to love it:

It’s dried slowly

 Over barkless pine wood from the mountains for a soft, lingering smokiness.

It’s authentic

 This famous tea has been produced in Wuyi, China for over hundreds of years.

Its evocative scent

Natural pine smoke, with a supple, creamy and satisfying finish. Perfect for after dinner.

Easy to make

3 Minutes, 95°C+ filtered water renders a perfectly balanced infusion.

Bohea is the rich relation of the tea we know as Lapsang Souchong but to lump the two in the same sentence is almost a crime. The difference between Bohea and Lapsang is enormous, perhaps similar to the distinction between mass-produced whiskies and slowly made, properly aged, artisan malts. Many Lapsang are heavily smoked by burning pine oil rather than using a special pine wood found only in the Wuyi Mountains.

Organic Bohea Lapsang

The Story of Bohea Lapsang

Nearly 400-years ago, in the late Ming Dynasty, the legend goes that a family picked fresh tea leaves from the mountains and lay them out in a wooden hut to wither overnight. That evening, an army of soliders passed through the village and slept in the hut, unknowingly upon the beds of fresh tea. When they left the next morning and the family came upon the scene, they found that the tea had been bruised and, as a result, had oxidised the leaves, changing from vibrant green to a reddish-purple. The shape of the leaves had become distorted and pliable.

Unable to afford simply throwing the tea out, they dried the leaves over a pine wood fire – a common fuel in this mountainous village. The pine fire imbued the tea leaves with its delicate fragrance.

To their surprise, the tea sold at the local market and they were immediately asked when the next batch would be ready. Over time, its popularity grew and it found its way to London in 1689. Other producers, keen to capitalise on the demand for this tea, tried to render their own version but didn’t quite know the secret, which is how Lapsang Souchong – tasting so little similar to authentic Bohea – came to be.

The Origin of Bohea Lapsang

The outstanding growing and production site of Bohea tea can be found deep in the Mountains of Wuyi, Fujian, China. The air is very humid (60-90%) and extremely pure. The village is a protected area – in fact, no one is allowed to enter except residents and those lucky enough to be invited.

Bohea is always made from leaves picked from tea bushes – Camellia Sinensis Bohea -  grown only in Tongmu village in the Wuyi Mountains. They thrive in the local environment due to the suitable characteristics of the soil composition and acidity; humidity; altitude and aspect of the mountains. The trees are grown organically in small, sparsely populated gardens supported by local streams and varied flora. In contrast, Lapsang Souchong is produced from a blend of four black teas from Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangsu provinces – these are not necessarly poor quality teas but they do not express the unique terroir that is so apparent in a sip of Bohea.

We selected our current Bohea for its rich base and excellent quality for its price – others at this level can taste weaker but our extensive tasting process meant we found one that was fully rounded.

Smokehouse for the Organic Bohea Lapsang

How else to enjoy our Organic Bohea Lapsang

Bohea Lapsang Tea & Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten Chocolate Cake

A pairing

This decadent lava cake pairs the rich notes of molten chocolate with the smoky undercurrent of Organic Bohea Lapsang tea.

Organic Bohea Lapsang Loose Tea

 Learn about Black Tea

More about this tea type

Our short guide will take you through the world of black tea, including history, tips on how to make it, and more.

Black Tea Taster Box

Explore Black Tea

Black Tea Explorer Set

 The perfect introduction to the world's finest black teas, including Chinese, Indian and Sri Lankan varieties.