Tea: Clipped Smoked Lapsang Souchong (Zhongshan Xiaozhong)
Type: Tongmuguan Black Tea (hongcha)
Harvest: May, 2013
Region: Masu Village, Tongmuguan, Fujian
Producer: Zhang Family
The leaves of the clipped 2013 Lapsang Souchong were trimmed and prepared for export. The Zhang family said that at that time, many foreign tea importers preferred this style of tea leaf (as it fits more easily into teabags). One point of note here is that the leaves were intentionally prepared to be ‘clipped’ thus they are not broken tea leaves that have been swept up after all the whole leaves were sold, these leaves were the prime production.
Since the tea has been clipped, it can be quite a strong and wild ride. The tea brews up incredibly quickly, gives a lot of flavor in the few infusions it provides, and actually does have an impressive stamina. The extra surface area of the leaf, the ease of water saturation and extraction is evident in the cup. This is also a tea with huge amount of sweetness on the tongue and the body that has led one or two tasters to ask if sugar was added at some point of the process. Nothing was added to this tea, except for the natural horsetail pinewood smoke during its time in the Zhang family’s Qinglou.
The Masu village is located 1250 meters above the main Tongmuguan, and is a very small and isolated village. The Zhang family has been producing Zhongshan Xiaozhong (Lapsang Souchong) for more than 5 generations, and every member of the family is trained in the processing (sons and daughters both). This region, the village, the farmers, producers, and makers check every one of our sourcing tea boxes.
Read more about the Zhang family, and watch the youtube video about our sourcing trip and their production methods!