Lapsang Souchong
Traditional Pest.Free

Super Premium 97 P.

SKU
3885
A top-quality, authentic and hand-processed lapsang souchong black tea (Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong) from its region of origin, Wu Yi. Pesticide-free. 50g
  • The authentic, original "Lapsang Souchong"
  • Historically the first black tea
  • From the tea's region of origin Wu Yi (Cliff Tea)
  • Refined, mild smoked tea (but not heavily smoked over an open fire)
 
Character Soft, rounded, smoky, fruity, silky, intense notes of plum, finished with honey sweetness
Tea Farm Privately managed tea farm recognised across China
Terroir Sandu Cun, Fujian, China
Harvest 1st flush, end of April to beginning of May 2022, hand-harvested
Cultivar Fuyun No.6 (福云六号); local, native Xiaocai cultivar (小菜茶)
Elevation 300-500m above sea level
Oxidation 97%, strong oxidation
Withering / Oxidation Sun-drying (2-3 hours), indoor withering (24 hours), rolling (2 hours), oxidation (5-8 hours), oven drying (120 °C, 80 minutes)
Organic Transition to organic farming in 2010; Chinese certified organic since 2015
Grading 97/100 p. (black tea category), Super Premium
€18.50
50g

Delivery : 1–3 business days

Incl. VAT, excl. Shipping

SKU
3885
€37.00 / 100g
In stock

Tea Farm

This recognised tea farm is privately managed. Nestled between the hills and cliffs of Wu Yi, the tea is cultivated on small plots of land (300-500m2) in the famously nutrient-rich red soil of the region. The tea farm is Chinese certified organic and a regional pioneer in organic cultivation.

Character

Flavour

Zheng shan xiao zhong is historically speaking the first black tea. In contrast to many other lapsang souchong smoked teas, which are typically heavily smoked over an open fire to conceal their low quality, this tea attains its delicate smoky notes via suppressed firing. The result is a deep red cup that is balanced in flavour. The texture is soft and silky, and the taste is reminiscent of plum and longan with pleasant and playful smoky notes. The tea finishes with the deep and long honey sweetness associated with Wu Yi Yancha.

Leaf

Finely twisted dark brown needles

Cup

Deep amber red

Black Tea

Black tea is the most oxidised form of tea. In contrast to green tea, the oxidation of the leaves after harvest and withering is not stopped with heat, but rather further facilitated by intensive rolling of the leaves, which breaks open cell walls and exposes the enzymes responsible for oxidation. Over the course of this process the leaves change from green to black and a full-bodied and broad aroma develops. The cup is often orange or red, which is where the Chinese name for this tea (hong cha, meaning "red tea") comes from.

Location, Cultivation, Processing

Location, Cultivation, Processing

The Wu Yi Shan Mountains in the northwest of Fujian Province traditionally rank among the most famous tea cultivation regions in China. This relatively large region, which is dominated by imposing rock massifs, densely growing forests and twisting rivers, is home to only 20,000 people. For centuries the mountains were a place of hermitage for taoist and buddhist monks, who began to settle in the region during the Song Dynasty (960–1279). From this period onward tea was cultivated on the cliffs and hills as well as in the gorges. The unique natural landscape offers unusual conditions for growing tea, but the results are impressive.

The karst topography offers excellent growing conditions for tea, as rainwater collects minerals from the cliffs and limestone gorges as it flows. The natural drainage and low surface water of the land was used by early monks and farmers to their advantage, resulting in very mineral rich soil. The tea plants growing in the valleys and slopes absorb these minerals to produce nutritious tea.

The cultivars used for this tea include the native, small-leafed variety known as xiaocai (小菜茶), which grows deep roots capable of taking in a high volume of nutrients. Since xiaocai produces such small leaves and grows slowly, it does not have a high yield. Consequently, the cultivar Fuyun No. 6 (福云六号) is also used for this tea because of its larger leaves and higher yield. This tea is composed of the hand-picked bud and first two leaves of these cultivars.

The freshly picked buds and leaves are laid out for withering over a smoky pine wood fire that gives the tea its finely smoked flavour. In the next step, the leaves are rolled and kneaded to break up their cells so that the leaf enzymes oxidise. To stop oxidation, the leaves are traditionally placed in roasting pans. In the last stage, the leaves are rolled and dried into their characteristic twisted needle shape. This final drying at first takes place over an open flame and then over a smoking pine wood fire.

Single Origin

This tea is exclusively sourced from the above mentioned tea farm in Sandu Cun. Sourced directly from the tea farmer.

Preparation

Preparation

Steep 2 heaped tsp per 200-300ml 80-85°C water for 2 minutes.

The tea farmer's recommendation for 4 infusions:
Prior to use, preheat the teapot and teacup with hot water. Steep the tea in 80°C water for 30-40 seconds. From the 5th infusion onward, steep for longer.

Packaging

High quality, airtight, resealable standing zipper pouch with 9 protective layers to preserve flavour and protect against oxidation and contamination.

Recommended Teapot

The ideal teapot for the traditional preparation of this tea is a teapot made from naturally red clay. During our tasting, a red tokoname kyusu brought out an even stronger aroma. Alternatively, a glass teapot with an integrated sieve can be used, so long as the leaves are able to freely drift inside the pot

Recommended Tea Caddy

Ideally store in a quality tea caddy made from cherry tree bark (wooden, kabazaiku chazutsu) or an airtight, double-coated metal tin.

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