Qi Lan Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong

A noteworthy addition to the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong heritage, this new adaptation has been made with the Qi Lan (meaning ‘rare orchid’) cultivar, usually reserved for yan cha production. Despite its pedigree, the brew is less floral than expected. Instead, the small leaves that make up this black tea are brimming with the aromas of a Chinese apothecary and its mysterious herbal cabinets filled with dried ginseng, jujube berries, and licorice root, opening up the palate to a rare mélange of flavors. While the sweet maltiness is reminiscent of the other unsmoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong from this year's harvest, the three can be compared to a meeting between distant relatives, whose features are similar yet so very different.
  • ORIGIN:  Dashuikeng, Wuyishan, Fujian, China
  • MEANING:  Rare orchid original mountain small [leaf] varietal (qi lan zheng shan xiao zhong)
  • CULTIVAR:  Qi Lan
  • HARVEST TIME:  12 April 2023
  • TASTE:  Ginseng, goji berry, toffee
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Preparation

IN THE TEAPOT
  • Quantity: 6g / 500ml
  • Water temperature: 95°C
  • Infusion time: 5 min
GONGFU CHA METHOD
  • Quantity: 3g / 100ml
  • Water temperature: 90°C
  • 4 infusions: 60, 60, 90, 120 sec

For best results in gongfu cha, brew in the traditional gaiwan or in a Yixing teapot. Too high water temperature would burn the leaves, resulting in bitter taste.

Additional Information

The true Lapsang Souchong

Nestled deep in the Wuyi mountains, the minuscule village of Tongmuguan has been an innovator of black teas in a region itself marked by tea discoveries, responsible for originating the Jin Jun Mei style, as well as perhaps black tea itself. For reasons which are now legendary, some oolong leaves were quickly dried over pinewood fires, and the favourable reception this tea received cemented this new style, becoming known in the West as Lapsang Souchong. Given its remedial origin, it is perhaps unsurprising that much Lapsang Souchong production today is made with inferior leaves heavily smoked to add value for export markets. In contrast, our tea is produced primarily for inland consumption, where it is known as Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, and its smoking is optional and used to enhance the flavor of the already quality leaves.