Lapsang Souchong from Family Li (Unsmoked, traditonal processing.)
This tea was believed to be the first ever black tea ever produced, as it was believed to be the mother trees for the Ceylon, Indian and also Darjeeling tea bushes. It is also believed that Keemun Black tea came after the Souchong varieties. So, the history is truly incredible.
A little history behind the tea
People say that this tea originally wasn’t smoked, and it didn’t happen until the mid- Qing Dynasty, when some soldiers came to tea farmers and asked if they can take some rest on their tea racks. The tea farmers were not happy about it, but they were kind of obligated to say yes. So, the soldiers took some rest on the racks, and because of their heavy weight, the tea became very oxidized. People during that time in Tongmu only made green tea and pure black tea, but because the soldiers stayed on the tea for so long, the leaves became almost undrinkable. So, the farmers decided to maybe try exporting the tea out to the world, which actually brought great results to the farmers. So many Russian, Indian, and other importing countries truly fell in love with the tea. Also, some people say that because the demand was too high, the farmers wanted to really speed up the process. So, they used pine trees to ferment and smoke the tea lightly, which also was a big hit for many countries. From there, other black teas were produced, such as Darjeeling, Keemun, and Ceylon. However, this is just one version of the story that I’ve heard. Please don’t quote me on this.
The sweetness aspect of this tea is truly amazing. As soon as you open this packet of Zhengshan Xiaozhong, you will smell notes of beautiful roses, a type of potatoey sweetness, and a very distinctive hongcha aroma. This is the type of tea I would enjoy everyday. Anytime, morning, night, afternoon. Would definitely love to drink it afterschool, and when your mood needs a lift.
Basic Info about this special Tea
From Tongmuguan, , Wuyishan, Fujian Province.
26 /100 grams.
Xingcun Xiaozhong Species.
Temperature (92 degrees celsius)
Brewing Vessel (Big Gaiwan 100ml)
Grams of Leaves ( 5 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, increasing by 5-10 seconds every infusion)
Number of Total Steeps (more than 14)
Aroma of Dry Leaves (sweet corn, roasted basil, bergamot, and intense honey citrus.)
Aroma of Wet Leaves ( sweet potato, a little bit of orange and sandalwood )
Taste Profile ( see paragraphs)
Texture Profile ( thick syrup, medium bite)
Feeling/ Aftertaste ( bitter with some sweetness.)
Attitude Rank: 9 out of 10.
The first infusion is light but savory, and intensely honey like; while the texture is buttery. It’s the perfect drink for autumn and fall, being so cozy and warm on your body. Huigan is slowly arising, and and is not intense. Very relaxing to both the body and mind.
The second to fourth infusions carry more berrie notes, oak notes, and sweet potato notes. The huigan is more persistent, building up inside the mouth. I also taste some jujube through these infusions.
From the fifth to eighth infusions, a more complex, candy like quality is shown. Amazing broth with a golden brown colour. Sweet, tangy mouthfeel. More astringent than the previous infusions.
Even after the tenth infusion, more raisin and plum like aromas are present. Sweet potato always remaining. I think this may be the best black tea I have ever tried from Tongmu. Thank you Mr. Li for giving me this sample and many other teas to try. You guys should definitely check him out on instagram which is @tong_xin_she. This black tea is truly remarkable. Just super!