Tea Bacon

Coconut Bacon with Lapsang Souchong

January 20, 2016 in Main Course / Tea Recipe

This may at first seem like a weird recipe/post for a tea blog, but hey, finding the most unique ways to use tea is one of the main goals for The Cup of Life. In case you haven’t heard of coconut bacon before, it is essentially coconut flakes that are coated in a sauce to recreate a bacon flavour. I first saw Cookie+Kate’s Coconut Bacon recipe and I finally found a way to recreate it with tea, of course. So, get ready to sprinkle tea bacon on everything!

I’ll continue by saying I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, however (and here’s where I might get some gasps!) I don’t enjoy bacon at all. The only time I have ever enjoyed it were as crispy bacon bits on top of salads and soups so that is why this recipe interested me. Also, my boyfriend is a vegetarian so I’m often making meatless meals for us to try together.

There’s a somewhat silly story that follows me finding Cookie+Kate’s Coconut Bacon recipe. While there are many coconut bacon recipes out there that are a bit different, they all involved one main ingredient, liquid smoke. Earlier last year when I first came across these recipes I shied away because my first thought was “What in the world is liquid smoke?!” and I didn’t feel like searching for it in grocery stores. Without looking into it, the thought of it sounded quite artificial I didn’t want to try and make the fake bacon (or “facon” as I like to call it) if I had to search for it all over the place.

Fast forward to 2016, I was in the grocery store grabbing items for a salad when the thought of coconut bacon came to mind again. I knew some of the basic ingredients I needed so I picked them up and figured I had whatever else was needed at home already. When I came back home, I realized I forgot about the liquid smoke. I knew it wasn’t the type of ingredient I could just omit and pray it turns out. I needed to make sure the coconut flakes would have a nice smoky aroma and flavour similar to bacon.

That’s when it hit me. Lapsang Souchong.Lapsang Souchong Coconut Bacon
How could I forget about this wonderful tea that I always express is the best tea to have in your kitchen cupboards?! It was definitely a face palm moment since it took this long to realize I’ve had a more true, more natural form of “liquid smoke” at home all along. I am definitely forcing all of my vegetarian/vegan friends to invest in some great quality Lapsang Souchong for cooking meat free meals now. Trust me, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese black tea that has been dried over pine wood fires. This gives it the rich and smoky notes it’s known for. Ironically, I’ve also heard some tea tasters share that they get bacon notes as well. If you want an example of the aroma, think of a campfire. A strong steep is needed for this recipe so we can really pick up on the characteristics of this tea in the coconut bacon. I started by steeping 2 teaspoons of the Lapsang Souchong in half cup of water for approximately 5 minutes and continued on with the other ingredients.

If you’re looking for a few great Lapsang Souchong recommendations, I really enjoy Teavivre’s, Tealish’s and Adagio’s. While I have yet to try Joseph Wesley’s I have also heard great things about that one. Lapsang Souchong Coconut Bacon
*Note: My grocery store does not carry large coconut flakes. The coconut flakes I had to work with are smaller than the ones Cookie+Kate used in her Coconut Bacon recipe. They still worked out perfectly and just resemble smaller like bacon bits. If you can find larger coconut flakes, use them.

Lapsang Souchong Coconut Bacon
Yields 3
Top anything you usually would with real bacon with this tea infused vegan coconut bacon. The smoky black tea is the perfect substitute for the typical "liquid smoke" required in a recipe like this.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  2. 3 tbsp soy sauce
  3. 3 tbsp lapsang souchong tea (steeped and cooled)
  4. 2 tbsp maple syrup
  5. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  6. pinch of salt (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. While the oven is warming, whisk together soy sauce, lapsang souchong tea, maple syrup and smoked paprika in a mixing bowl.
  3. Toss in the unsweetened coconut flakes and gently mix together until they are evenly coated.
  4. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out the coated coconut flakes and place them in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Be sure to check on them and toss every 5 minutes as they can burn easily.
  5. Once the flakes have reached a crunchy consistency, remove from oven and sprinkle with a pinch of salt (optional). Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Store in a mason jar or air tight container in the fridge. Top your salads, soups and more with these tea infused bacon bites. They can last quite a while if stored properly, but they are almost impossible to try to save. I dare you to try not to snack on them.
  1. To prepare the strong brew: Steep 2 teaspoons of Lapsang Souchong black tea in half cup of water for 5 minutes.
Adapted from Cookie+Kate
Adapted from Cookie+Kate
The Cup of Life http://theteacupoflife.com/
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Lapsang Souchong Coconut Bacon


*If you give this recipe a try, send me a photo of your creation on my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Include the hashtag #theteacupoflife.

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  • Reply Sarah Le Donne January 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I am an absolute tea lover, don’t matter if it’s summer or winter! So this post was super interesting to read. And I know that an organic supermarket here has those larger coconut flakes, so now I just have to find lapsang souchong tea! :) And you blog looks lovely by the way!

    • Reply Lu Ann Pannunzio January 20, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks Sarah! Yes, I’m definitely going to keep my eyes open for larger coconut flakes so I can make this again and again with them, too :)

  • Reply Thimo Pro January 20, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    i love coconut and bacon, don’t know the other one.
    Tnx for the tip

  • Reply Notes on Tea January 20, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Tea drinking vegetarians everywhere are happy, including me, with your creativity.

    • Reply Lu Ann Pannunzio January 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      So happy to hear that. Thank you! Let me know if you give it a try.

  • Reply Lucy January 20, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve never heard of coconut bacon before! I’m not sure my husband would appreciate my messing with his bacon though!

  • Reply For the Love of Blogs January 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    this is really unique i have to say!! maybe i can feature on a tasty tuesday post? have a nice day….xoxo

  • Reply Krystal Miller (@hhtfamilyblog) January 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I love bacon so much! I want to try this because it must be a ton healthier for you.

  • Reply Monique January 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    looks so amazing. Im in love with tea! xo

  • Reply Rachel Antony January 24, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    This looks kind of weird, but bacon makes everything better so it can’t be that bad! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Stephenie January 24, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Wow this looks so good!! Can’t wait to try it

  • Reply Heather Mulholland January 26, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    For the record, liquid smoke is usually found in the spice aisle 😉

  • Reply Marleen February 11, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    This looks amazing, I love tea but rarely branch out from my few favourites. By the way, the header for you blog is stunning

    • Reply Lu Ann Pannunzio February 11, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks Marleen! I’m curious to know what your favourite teas are?

  • Reply alice February 12, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Looks so tasty, I love tea but coffe too 😀

  • Reply Helene Meurer April 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Love this concept and can’t wait to try! Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog… I never would have discovered this recipe otherwise. Hooray!!!

    • Reply Lu Ann Pannunzio April 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting me back, Helene! :) I look forward to any other tea infused recipes you share.

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