Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong Smoked

Smoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is better known in the West as 'Lapsang Souchong', but this is not your back-of-the-tea-cabinet leftover, oh no. Rather than the taste of bottled fire, the leaves here have been given a very careful smoking that slips one easily into another environment: think of an old barn in the countryside, aged wood soaked with years of sheltering, or a lightning-struck tree whose hollow you might have sat in, or the morning after a carnival bonfire. The tea soup swirls the aroma gently around in a texture that retains the bouillon mouthfeel, red fruit, and malt of unsmoked renditions, with a creamy touch. While an appreciation for smokiness may be a prerequisite, one doesn't have to fear the sting of overwhelming tar. Smoked tea as it should be.
  • ORIGIN:  Tongmuguan, Wuyishan, Nanping, Fujian, China
  • MEANING:  Original mountain small [leaf] varietal (zhèng shān xiǎo zhǒng)
  • CULTIVAR:  Qi Zhong
  • HARVEST TIME:  Early April 2022
  • TASTE:  Charcoal, aged wood, red fruit
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$15.00 $15.00

Preparation

IN THE TEAPOT
  • Quantity: 6g / 500ml
  • Water temperature: 95°C
  • Infusion time: 5 min
GONGFU CHA METHOD
  • Quantity: 3g / 100ml
  • Water temperature: 90°C
  • 4 infusions: 60, 60, 90, 120 sec

For best results in gongfu cha, brew in the traditional gaiwan or in a Yixing teapot. Too high water temperature would burn the leaves, resulting in bitter taste.

Additional Information

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 flavor of the already quality leaves.