Lapsang Souchong (Zhengshan Xiaozhong)
Longan Fruit with Smoke

The Lapsang Souchong (Zhengshan Xiaozhong) is the world's oldest black tea. Today, it ranks amongst the best.

lapsang souchong

He has a fascinating story. More than 400 years's old, he is the world first fully oxidized tea.

Amazingly, his birth came purely as an accident.

According to legend, during the late Ming Dynasty, a tea owner deserted his factory when an army invaded. When he eventually returned, the tea leaves had fully oxidized.

To salvage his losses, he decided to dry the leaves in bamboo baskets over pine fires. The resulting beverage was a enchanting balance of smoke and tea.

The tea became a sensational hit in Western Europe.

Tongmu

longanToday, the same village - Tongmu - is a National Designated Protected Zone. Lying at the north of Wuyi Mountain, they are part of the UNESCO heritage site.

Situated at an altitude of 1200 to 1500 meters, the thick pine forests and heavy mists provide the ideal environment for growing top quality tea.

In the old days, smoky tea was so popular that it was produced in many parts of Fujian province.

The highest quality grows in Tongmu and surrounding villages. They are called Middle Mountain - which is translated as Lapsang.

Only tea produced here is called Lapsang Souchong - which means Middle Mountain Small Leaf Variety.

Teas produced in other parts of Fujian is called Outside Mountain. These lower qualities disappear over time - only the authentic Lapsang Souchong survives the passage of time.

King Grade (Spring 2014) - 49 grams

Unlike traditional Lapsang Souchong, which is made from "leaves", this King grade is made from young tea buds.

In China, he is marketed using a different name - the Golden Brow. This tea sometimes sells for more than $100 per packet.

When our Tongmu tea garden tells us we can have him at much lower prices, I am too pleased to offer him here.

The quality is breathtakingly outstanding. He truly deserves a King grade as a Lapsang Souchong tea.

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