This tea didn't always have a smoky flavor. A long time ago while the leaves were drying, it began to rain. Fearing that the crop would be ruined, they were taken into a smoke house to finish drying. There the leaves absorbed the smoke of the pine wood, and acquired the tea's distinctive aroma.

The scent is very strong and affects the flavor of the tea as well. Drinkers tend to have emotional reactions as strong as the scent. Those who love it often say it reminds them of nights by the fireplace or camping under the starry sky. Those who hate it say it reminds them of wet ashes and sewers.

Lapsang souchong is a black tea which, like oolong, originated in the Fujian province in the south of China, across the straits from Taiwan (Formosa); these two regions now account for much of the world's production of both kinds of tea. Lapsang has a strong smoky flavour, imparted by the production process: the leaves are first withered over open pine or cypress fires; they are then partially dried in pans, rolled, and packed into cloth-covered barrels to mature until they release a tarry aroma. After this they are rolled into strips, fired again and smoked in baskets to make them absorb even more evergreen smokiness.

It has such an intense, almost overpowering odour that anyone trying to drink other teas in smelling range is likely to find it hard to appreciate its flavour over the smokiness of the lapsang. In my opinion lapsang is best drunk without milk or sugar, although some would disagree. Some people like to add lemon juice. Lapsang is more of an afternoon or evening sort of tea than a breakfast tea, unless you are the kind of person who likes very strong savoury flavours first thing in the morning. It is powerful enough that it can be used to add a smoky flavour to marinades. The name souchong refers to the large, high-grade black tea leaves used to make lapsang; the New Oxford Dictionary of English describes the 'lapsang' as an 'invented first element'. In Mandarin Chinese it is known as Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, where Zheng Shan is its place of origin; whether Zheng Shan somehow mutated into 'Lapsang', or whether the words are quite as unrelated as they sound, is a mystery.

According to legend, the idea of smoking tea came about by a fluke. In Qing Dynasty China, an army made a stop over in a tea factory for some time, throwing out the tea workers in mid-process. When at last the soldiers left and the workers returned to the factory, they realised that they would not have time to get the teas to market if they dried them in the normal way; improvising, they tried drying the tea out quickly on an open fire. Not only did this get the job done in time, it turned out that the pine-smoke flavour went down a treat with the local tea drinkers; the idea caught on, the process was refined, and people around the world are drinking lapsang souchong today as a result.

Lapsang
Souchong
Smells strong
So strong
Smoky
Black tea
Does it
For me
Lapsang souchong is the tea
To make my friends all leave the room
It doesn't matter much to me
'Cause I'm sure they'll be back soon
Lapsang
Souchong
Some pong
You're not wrong
Smell's burnt
Pine trees
This tea's
Chinese
Lapsang souchong is the tea
To make my friends all leave the room
It doesn't matter much to me
'Cause I'm sure they'll be back soon
Lapsang...
Souchong...

Production process as described at http://www.cookscorner.net/Tea/Info_Lapsang.html and http://www.culinarycafe.com/Store/Lapsang_Souchong.html; the latter provides the origin story re-told here.
The song should be sung in a deep growl, punctuated by a chunky guitar line.

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