Lapsang Souchong – Tongmu Reserve
A rare lot from the origin of Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, or Lapsang Souchong, this elegant tea was produced in Tongmu Village. It’s difficult to gain access to this remote, government-protected area in Fujian Province, but we were fortunate to visit a stunning mountaintop farm here in spring 2017.
The leaves undergo a unique processing method—withering in a smokehouse, spread on bamboo mats above smoldering local Chinese red pine—then a repeated sequence of rolling and firing. Considered to be the first style of black tea ever made, this traditional version is beautifully balanced, in stark contrast to the mass-produced commodities of the same name. Here, a subtle smokiness complements deep fruit and floral notes, rather than covering the essence of the tea. Notes of cranberry and a pleasant resinous aroma grow with each infusion; savor it through many steeps.
Region: Fujian Province
Tasting Notes: lilac, cranberry, pine
Harvest Season: Summer 2019
Probably my favorite black tea at the moment. Has a light but deep caramel sweetness and definite, but not overpowering, smokiness. Relatively little of the astringent/tannic character of a “breakfast” type tea. Just enough to round out the cup.
A truly fabulous tea - has the smokiness characteristic of a Lapsang, but still allows other flavors to shine through. Has been a huge hit in my housebound-by-COVID-19 family.
A special gift to a friend.
Good, with more subtle (than for the English taste) and pleasant smoke notes, but quite pricey.
First, not a bad tea, just not what I was expecting from a Lapsang...smell is smoky and mellow, but the smoke largely (in my opinion, entirely) disappears once steeped, especially when compared with most Lapsangs. Resulting flavor is more akin to a black tea than a Lapsang. Again, not a bad tea, just not a Lapsang.