Lapsang Souchong Chili
Some chilis are very straight forward with beef or turkey, beans, chili powder, cumin, sometimes tomatoes, sometimes not. Some chilis have ingredients that make you go hmmm. Coffee. Cocoa powder. Beer. Well this chili has tea.
What am I nuts?
Bear with me. This is not made with your grocery store variety Liptons (I mean EW). Those who know me are aware that I am a tea snob. I don’t drink bagged tea. The loose stuff is infinitely better. And there is so much variety out there beyond the boring Earl Gray or Celeyon. One of those is a fascinating tea called lapsang souchong.
The woman who sold me the tea actually told a story relating to camel sweat, but I won’t scare you away. There is no camel sweat in the modern lapsang souchong tea. What it DOES have is a lovely smokey flavor resulting from the fact that the leaves are dried over pine wood fires. She also said that she more often cooks with the tea than drinks it, and I was intrigued enough to buy a saple. What you will notice the moment you open the bag is the lovely and very obviously smoky scent of the tea. I’ve been dying to try it in chili. Well the end result was very interesting. I loved it. I’m really intrigued by all the layers of smokey flavor. My husband prefers more traditional chili. Eh, win some, lose some. If you’re looking for something different to try, this is it.