Tea time with lapsang souchong

Welcome back to the VIVA tea and food pairing project.

Starting with this month’s pairing, T. Kettle joins us. (Say hello everyone!) They’re offering a special discount code when you order the featured tea in each month’s pairing. We’re also giving away T. Kettle gift cards to 4 lucky tea lovers who participate in this month’s tea and food pairing. (Details below).

If you’re new to the pairing project, here’s a quick overview. Every month, we’ll be posting a new tea and food pairing prepared one of the tea experts who are creating these delicious menus. We ask you to try the tea and food pairing. Then take a photo and share it in with other tea lovers in the VIVA Perfect Blend Facebook group, or on Instagram by tagging @vivascandinavia and using the hashtag #teapairing. It’s as easy as that.


Here’s an example from our last tea and food pairing to give you an idea.

In this month’s pairing, we continue our exploration of black tea courtesy of tea sommelier Katie Cyr. You’ll be tasting lapsang souchong alongside grilled portobello mushroom and a berry flavoured chocolate. 

So let’s dig in!

About Lapsang Black Tea

Behold the smoky tea of Fujian! Lapsang is produced by hanging tea over smoking pine boughs as it dries, infusing it with a rich smoky character. This is done either as a cold smoke of the raw leaves or a hot smoke of previously processed leaves. 

The resulting signature flavour can divide tea lovers. If you love lapsang, you’ll adore the Organic Lapsang available to you from T. Kettle for this month’s pairing. Bright, smoky and exceptionally nuanced, this is lapsang for the ages. And they’re offering an exclusive discount to VIVA subscribers. Check out our email newsletter for the discount code. (If you aren’t already a subscriber, sign up here. We’ll be including the code in upcoming emails.)

Lapsang Souchong loose leaf

Pairing #1 – sweet

Raspberry or strawberry infused dark chocolate

“The intensity of the lapsang matches the slightly tannic and bitter taste of the dark chocolate,” says Katie. “The raspberry or strawberry adds and unexpected sweet twist to the pairing and is an homage to traditional Russian tea rituals where jam was stirred in to smoky cups of lapsang souchong!”

You can find raspberry or strawberry finished dark chocolate at your favourite local chocolatier. 

Berry infused chocolate with lapsang souchong

Pairing #2 – savoury

Marinated grilled portobello mushroom

“Grilled mushroom has a naturally occurring ‘umami flavour’ — Japanese for ‘pleasant savoury taste,’” says Katie. “This creates a ‘like with like’ pairing by adding the smoky lapsang souchong beside the rich, earthy and slightly smoky mushroom.”

Some common ingredients you can use in your mushroom marinade include a dried spices mix of garlic powder, pepper and cayenne; balsamic vinegar for tang; a splash of soy sauce for it’s salty umami flavour; and lastly some fresh rosemary.

You can check out this simple recipe we used from Well Platted for preparation and cooking instructions: https://www.wellplated.com/grilled-portobello-mushrooms/

Grilled mushroom with lapsang souchong

Now it’s your turn

Brew up some lapsang souchong tea and taste alongside one or both of the pairings above. What do you think of the flavours? Take a photograph of your pairing and share it on Instagram tagging @vivascandinavia and using the hashtag #teapairing so we can find it easily; or post your photo in our Perfect Blend Facebook group. 

Thanks to our tea pairing partner T. Kettle, we’ll be giving away a gift card for T. Kettle to four randomly selected tea lovers who participate in the tea pairing by sharing their lapsang souchong pairing photos in our Perfect Blend Facebook Group or posting them on Instagram and tagging @vivascandinavia and using the #teapairing hashtag.


About the expert

Katie Cyr
Tea sommelier and founder of The Monarch Tea Co., Katie Cyr

“Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I’m so glad you’re here. My first experience with tea comes in the memory of drinking Irish Breakfast with my grandmother out of delicate teacups.  Today, I carry the same reverence and passion for the art of tea into my day to day life. I founded The Monarch Tea Co. in March 2014 with the vision of bringing together the traditional eloquence of tea time with a modern twist.

“Today I’m a certified Tea Sommelier through Mohawk College and the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada.  My interactive tea talks have been taught worldwide in person and online in homes, corporate events and places passionate about food and beverage such as Goodness Me! And LCBO. I’ve had my work published in Tea Time! magazine , UK Tea & Herbal Magazine and spoken at the RBG Tea Festival & Toronto Tea Fest. 

“Needless to say I’m obsessed with all things tea and so excited to connect with others through this remarkable beverage. My favourite tea varies from season to season, but I do love a good cuppa Cream Earl Grey or Genmaicha green tea the most. Please don’t be shy in reaching out and saying hello. I’d love to chat tea with you! You can find more about Monarch Tea Co. at www.monarchteaco.com and @monarchteaco on Instagram”

Quick links
  • About Lapsang Black Tea
  • Raspberry or strawberry infused dark chocolate
  • Marinated grilled portobello mushroom
  • About the expert