Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yunnan Sourcing Traditional Smoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong Spring 2015

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: amber

Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong has always been an interesting tea to me. When most westerners think of Lapsang Souchong we imagine tar pits, Liquid Smoke, burnt rubber tires and Winston Churchill (it was purportedly his favorite tea). The truth is that not all Lapsang is created equal. The traditionally smoked varieties are much, much more subtle. There's even varieties that aren't smoked at all, like the one from Joseph Wesley Black Tea. This offering was smoked lightly with pine wood. The affect wasn't overwhelming at all, even when I stuck my nose right into the freshly opened bag. Smoke was definitely the first impression but it was of a much more subtle kind. There was a peaty quality that reminded me very much of scotch or whiskey. By that I mean it was delicious. What can I say, this Irish American lass loves the products of her ancestor's homeland. Beneath the top level of smoke was a pleasantly fruity and floral Fujian black tea. Wuyi Mountain teas are some of my favorites so I was very glad to still be able to taste the tea itself. Since I prepared this tea in a gaiwan the smoke subsided quite a bit after the first few infusions. A western style brew might yield a stronger punch. At $6.50 for 50g this tea is very well priced for the quality, a common theme of teas from +Yunnan Sourcing. I was glad that I picked up some of this because it's one of the few teas that my boyfriend will willing drink with me.

Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong was purchased from Yunnan Sourcing.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on