Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong

The renowned village of Tongmuguan can add another success to its long list of exploits: this black tea is sweet, soft, and smooth. Rather than the fiery focus of the smoked version, the unsmoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong emphasizes the aromatics of the leaves themselves, and these ones offer the long lasting—and almost smoky—sweetness of mesquite honey, enlivened by the barest hint of hazelnut and a touch of orange on the sides of the tongue. It may be the best black tea to accompany a simple butter shortbread, or a long morning unmarred by bitterness.
  • 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:  Mesquite honey, orange, hazelnut
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$15.50 $15.50

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.