World's Oldest Chinese Black Tea
Lapsang Souchong Tea5
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The Lapsang Souchong (Zhengshan Xiaozhong) is the world's oldest black tea. This King grade consists entirely of tea buds and epitomizes the famed longan fruit flavor and slight smokiness.
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.
Today, 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 variety survives the passage of time.
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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 - Golden Brow. It is an emerging star and sometimes sells for more than $100 per packet!
When our Tongmu tea garden shared him with us at much lower prices, you couldn't imagine our excitements!
His quality is outstanding. The tea buds are young and fat, the tea liquor has a beautiful glow, and the taste is rich and mellow. Unlike the traditional Lapsang Souchong, it is not overtly strong and is more harmonious.
He truly deserves a King grade as a Lapsang Souchong tea!
By Cathie (Nanaimo British Columbia)
I was delighted and pleasantly surprised with the Lapsong Souchong because I had tried a sample elsewhere and found it so strong, but yours was delightful.
With a meal, I'd rate it the Lapsang Souchong 5. It has a nice solid body which helps to clear the tastebuds after a meal.
As a stand alone or when I want to be refreshed - I'd give it a 3.5. Mostly because it lacks the gentle, simple lightness of the other teas I've sampled from my order.
In a nutshell let's say the teas from the Wuyi 7-in-1 Sampler pack lift me whereas the Lapsang grounds me. How's that?
By Michel (Isreal)
The Maofeng tea is my regular daily tea as it's reflected in the increased quantity I ordered.
The real surprise was the Lapsang Souchong.
Once you drink that and you understand that for years you've been, well, may be not cheated, but certainly served quality that cannot even be compared with this one.
I've reduced the 1/2 point just in case there might be an even better one that I'm not aware.
By Lennox (Great Cacapon)
I was surprised at how subtle the King grade Lapsang Souchong is.
At first I was a little disappointed, since I love the robust burnt flavor of other Lapsangs.
However, after maybe 3 cups I became a fan. The King grade is a tea I shall be drinking as well as rather than instead of the lesser grade Lapsangs.
The quality of all of the teas I received from you is excellent.
By David (New Orleans)
I enjoy drinking the Lapsang Souchong. Since this is my first time drinking Lapsang Souchong, I can’t compare your tea to others.
I enjoy drinking it, so 4 out of 5.
By Matthew (Fort Lauderdale)
The Lapsang Souchong is probably a 4 out of 5. Taste is real strong. Stronger than I even thought it would be.