A young monk once asked the wise tea master Lao Cha:
– Shifu, how come Lapsang Souchong tastes so good and so comforting, especially in the evening? Every time I drink it I get so cozy.
– The secret lies in the smell of a campfire. Mr.Wen, who made this tea, makes sure that the tea gets nicely fried by the rising smoke of pinewood. The gentle tea leaves absorb the smoke. Then, later at night, you can enjoy the soft mellow taste with the fragrance of a campfire. It’s the precise combination to make a person feel oh-so-cozy.
Lapsang Souchong (Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong) is the forefather of all the black teas. Furthermore, our organic Lapsang Souchong is handmade by a very experienced tea master, Mr. Wen, who is very strict about using only traditional tea-making methods. Indeed, making Lapsang Souchong requires at least twenty procedures, including withering, rolling, oxidation, and other traditional crafting techniques.
Our Smoky Lapsang Souchong is processed in a traditional building with several floors. There is a large fireplace on the first floor where the pinewood is burning. The tea absorbs the rising smoke through all the stages. First, when farmers spread the tea leaves to rest and dry out during the withering. The lack of moisture makes the smoke sink even deeper into the leaves during the drying stage. Finally, the leaves are slowly infused with the smoke to the core during the baking and re-baking. The finished tea is called "smoked souchong" (烟小种 – Yan Souchong) and holds the unique scent of smoky pine. This smoky fragrance is very well-balanced, complementing the tea's natural sweetness. The unique flavor is present in each cup until the very last brew.
The Wild (Ye Sheng) Lapsang Souchong uses tea leaves from freely growing tea shrubs in the WuYi mountain. Its moist black leaves are tight and firm, with a delicate shine, as if they're glowing from within. The intensive deep amber tea soup is clear and transparent. Its high, intensive aroma balances notes of dried dates and longan with the signature pine smoke fragrance. A warm, comforting taste combines sweet honey with hints of rock flavor, just like walking into an alpine forest in full bloom on a sunny day. The tea is naturally brew-resistant, and a lasting aftertaste lingers on the teeth and inner cheeks long after the final brew.
Today's market is flooded with tea, calling itself Zhengshan Xiaozhong. However, the core production area of this special kind of black tea is tiny. It comprises 12 villages within the Tongmu Guan area in Wu Yi mountain. The Tongmu village in the center of this area was the birthplace of black tea almost 400 years ago. It is an area of protected designation of origin (PDO). It is where our tea comes from - Tongmu, Wuyi Mountain, the birthplace of Hong Cha, a legendary tea region of many peaks, valleys, and a river with nine bends.
Watch a video on how this tea almost ceased to exist
- Place of Origin: Tong Mu Guan, Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, China
- Harvest Time: April 2022
- Picking Standard: One bud and two or three leaves
- Aroma: Remarkable and strong, but not overwhelming
- Taste: Notes of smoky pine flavor. The taste is soft, mellow, with a sweet finish; leaving a very pleasant fragrant smell lingering in the mouth and throat
- Cultivar: Wuyi Qi Cong ( 武夷奇种)
195℉ / 90℃
1g per 50ml 3-4min
1g per 20ml 10sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion
This is a lovely smoky Lapsang that hits all the right notes. Wonderful smoky smell. My only wish would be a little more smoke in the taste but what you get taste wise is still really nice. Lovely sweet notes, almost like banana candy flavor. Nothing overpowering. Great balance. Perfect tea for a damp cold morning or afternoon.
I hope that my batch was non-typical, but smokey was an understatement, so much that it drowned out any other nuances that the tea possessed. I tried steeping then re-steeping in hopes of the flavor mellowing - but no. Not my "cup of tea".
Sorry for the disappointment, Larry!
We are a bit surprised and perplexed, as the tea is very balanced and sweet, without much smokiness in the actual taste, just in the aroma. The aroma is smokey, indeed, just as it is supposed to be.
Please allow this tea to rest for a week or two, and try it again. Sometimes tea goes into a shock caused by transportation; in such cases, only the most coarse notes are coming through.
This tea is made by a very experienced tea master, Mr. Wen, and it's hard to find a well-balanced smokey Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong like this one.
My huge compliments to the grower of this tea and the shop for finding and stocking it. This is probably the 12th Lapsang Souchong I've tried and it's the first that has clear quality, nuance, real flavor, and is absolutely smooth throughout. You can taste the deliciously unique (traditional) smoking process. That's extremely hard to find these days. This was worth every penny and an absolute joy to brew and sip.
Smoky is for sure with this tea. It brings up so many memories of moon light filled, nighttime campfires.
The taste is smoky and yet not overly. The aroma is like , well I love it...
I look forward to many infusions of this one.
Smoky... tobacco... toasted... roasted... tar... burnt... fire... woody... piney... reminded me of a combination of the smoked meats counter at the local deli and the pipe tobacco (Half 'n Half) my grandfather used to smoke those many (60+) years ago. First time tasting it. It is DIFFERENT to be sure. They say you either love it or hate it. My wife Barb hated it. No doubt about that. Me... I'm stuck somewhere in the middle. It will take a few more sessions before I know on which side of the fence I fall. But even at 73yo it is still fun to try new things.