Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong
Most well-known under the moniker of Lapsang Souchong, this high-quality version has none of the tarry harshness common to the sort; instead, the soft smokiness of the long, twisted leaves transmutes into the flavours of roasted berries and grilled apples, like Tarte Tatin consumed in a grandmother’s kitchen. It shares a distinctive sweet-salty note with many of its Fujian brethren, which along with a soft mouthfeel and gentle pine aroma keeps it stimulating for infusion after infusion. If you’re a lover of the roasted, the smoked, and everything caramel, treat yourself to the best of this historic tea.
The true Lapsang Souchong
Nestled deep in the Wuyi mountains, the minuscule village of Tongmuguan has been an innovator of black teas in a region itself marked by tea discoveries, responsible for originating the Jin Jun Mei style, as well as perhaps black tea itself. For reasons which are now legendary, some oolong leaves were quickly dried over pinewood fires, and the favourable reception this tea received cemented this new style, becoming known in the West as Lapsang Souchong. Given its remedial origin, it is perhaps unsurprising that much Lapsang Souchong production today is made with inferior leaves heavily smoked to add value for export markets. In contrast, our tea is produced primarily for inland consumption, where it is known as Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, and its smoking is optional and used to enhance the flavour of the already quality leaves.
- ORIGIN: Tongmuguan, Wuyishan, Nanping, Fujian, China
- MEANING: Small varietal [from] upright mountain (zheng shan xiao zhong)
- CULTIVAR: Qi Zhong
- HARVEST TIME: Spring 2020
- AGE OF TREE: c. 70 years
- TASTE: Smoked apple, pine, berries