Smoked Whisky Black
Smoked Whisky Black

Smoked Whisky Black

Thee van Sander

From one of the better prefectures for growing tea, Shizuoka (Makinohara area), comes this special black tea.

Inspired by smoked Lapsang Souchong, the creator of this tea, Hiroki Matsumoto, thought of using used whiskey barrels to smoke black tea. The combination of these barrels with the beautiful black tea gives a very enjoyable smoky tea.

The smokiness is stronger than the Smoked Thyolo OP1 from Malawi but not as present as the smokiness of the regular Lapsang Souchong. I personally think the balance turned out very well.


  • cultivar: Yabukita
  • harvest: Spring Harvest
  • Sourced: Makinohara, Shizuoka
  • Plantation: Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden
  • Maker: Hiroki Matsumoto

History of the tea:

This smoked tea is the first in Japan, a unique production. Its creator Hiroki Matsumoto first called the tea fuji-san Souchong. Together with his father, Hiroko manages a small plantation.

Some 15 years ago, Hiroki began taking over partial management from his father and started looking for ways to expand the business. He also wanted to do something different than just mixing black tea with fruits or flavors, for example.

He then came up with the idea, through Chinese Lapsang Souchong tea to smoke Japanese black tea. After several years of trying, he got idea to use used whisky barrels to smoke the tea with. This gave the tea a unique character and a new tea was born.

Plantation management

The tea is grown according to the "Chagusaba" method. It is a system of traditional farming techniques with grassland around the plantation whose green waste is used to improve the soil of the plantation. It is a wonderful example of a collaboration between agricultural production and biodiversity that reinforces each other.

Making process:

After harvesting the leaf, it is wilted for about 20 hours. Then the leaf is dried and rolled for 2 hours and then fully oxidized in 2 hours. Then the leaf is dried for an hour and then smoked for 6-8 hours with wood chips from old whiskey barrels from a whisky famous in Japan, the award-winning Ichiro Distillery in Chichibu, Saitama.

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