Lapsang Souchong 2012 Reserve
This traditional Zhenshan Xiaozhong, or “Lapsang Souchong,” comes from Mali Village in the Tongmuguan region of Wuyishan. At 1600 m above sea level, Mali Village sits at the highest mountain peak within this area. This high altitude region, which sees a great deal of rainfall, suspended fog, and drastic fluctuations in temperature throughout the day, produces some of the best black teas in the world.
This should not be read as a platitude: Tongmuguan is known as the birthplace of black tea, and is one of the most revered tea regions in China. The expanse of healthy, mountainous forest here is breathtaking. Tea plants grow strong and resilient here, scattered throughout the steep hills, supported by the diverse forest, and sheltered by bamboo trees and rocky outcroppings.
The leaves for this Lapsang Souchong come from these semi-wild groves of tea trees. Once picked, the leaves are slow-smoked in a small wooden house that was built out of local pine in the 1930s, specifically for this purpose, and has been used continuously since.
Traditional smoked lapsang souchong is distinct, but not overpowering. The notes of smoke, ash, and forest are integrated with the sweetness of the tea leaves – in equal measure to its incense qualities we taste longan and sap.
While being caffeinated, this tea is deeply soothing. Perhaps because its gentle warmth feels like a perfect inverse of the cool, wet, challenging conditions that produce it – and as such, it is by nature, restorative.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||10