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Red Tea

Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong (Lapsang Souchong) 正山小種

Smokey with buttery sweetness of ripened dried Longan. This is the Scotch of tea.

Regular price $18.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $18.00 USD

About This Tea

Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong means THE small-leaf tea from THE mountain. Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, as the name signifies, is the world's oldest red tea, the original. A high-quality batch complements the sophisticated undertone of the tea for its smokey quality and never overpowers it. This is the Scotch of tea.

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  • Origin

    Gua Dun, Tong Mu, Wu Yi Shan, Fu Jian Province, China (~1000-1300m elevation)

  • History and Significance

    This is the tea rumored to be the one Robert Fortune, the British botanist, stole from China and planted in Darjeeling, India. It is the mother of Darjeeling and ancestor for many tea varietals worldwide. Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is often referred to on the market as Lapsang Souchong, and it is one of the most counterfeited teas. A true Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong not only needs to come from China's most exclusive tea region Tong Mu (protected since the '70s), utilizing ancient heirloom varietals, it also needs to be made uniquely. Tong Mu is notoriously one of the coldest tea terroirs in the world.

  • Category

    Category: Red Tea

    Sub-Category: Min Bei Hong Cha

  • Processing

    Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is an Heirloom Xiao Zhong (Small leaf) varietal. It is crafted in a specially made three-story wooden house lined with nothing but woven bamboo sheets, called Qing Lou (ironically, Qing Lou means greenhouse, but it is a smoking house). Specific pine wood is burned underground to fill the whole Qing Lou with smoke. The entire wilting and fermentation steps of the tea leaves happen within Qing Lou. This practice solves the problem of extreme cold weather that is detrimental to making red tea, and it also makes sure that the smokiness of the tea is gentle but deeply penetrated.

  • Tasting Notes

    A true Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong has pure sweetness and a buttery, floral mouthfeel. The smokiness complements the sophisticated undertone of the red tea and never overpowers it—Smokey with the buttery sweetness of ripened dried Longan.

  • Brewing Instructions

    Please see above for the category specific brewing specs for Gong Fu brewing. For brewing in a teapot, mug, or single cup visit this article here.

  • Learn How To Gong Fu Brew

    This foundational course is a great resource to help you understand the methods and motions of Gong Fu Brewing.