zheng shan xiao zhong

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

zheng shan xiao zhong

Postby mageta » Oct 17th, '13, 13:51

I got this as a sample from Jing's tea shop a long time ago and finally tried it this week. On the envelope it says Chinese red tea, but a quick search suggests that this is a Lapsang Souchong?

The dry leaves have a rich smokey smell to them, with some wood as well, makes me think of barbecue. I used around 2-3 grams in a 120 ml yixing pot, wasn't really sure what the brewing parameters were so I did 45 seconds the first steeping and did around a minute and a half for the second steeping.

The flavor is similar to the smell; smoke, wood and I feel like there's a bit of a dry cocoa taste in there as well. The finish leaves that smoke taste that lingers for quite some time.

It's not my favorite, but It's certainly interesting. I read that the smokey aroma can linger in unglazed pots so I'll probably use the gaiwan next time and I may increase the amount of leaf and do shorter steep times. I'm curious if anyone else has had this from Jing's or another shop and what parameters were used.

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Re: zheng shan xiao zhong

Postby Evan Draper » Oct 17th, '13, 14:12

mageta wrote:On the envelope it says Chinese red tea, but a quick search suggests that this is a Lapsang Souchong?

Is that a question? zhengshan xiaozhong = lapsang souchong, basically, although calling it ZSXZ may imply that your vendor knows more about Chinese tea and it is better quality.
Chinese red tea = Western black tea. I don't know about everyone else, but I avoid saying "red tea" because of the confusion: to me it's either "black tea" or "红茶 [hóngchá]" depending on the audience.

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Re: zheng shan xiao zhong

Postby Poohblah » Oct 17th, '13, 14:36

Fun trivia: smoked Lapsang Souchong is Sherlock Holmes' favorite tea.
Evan Draper wrote:
mageta wrote:On the envelope it says Chinese red tea, but a quick search suggests that this is a Lapsang Souchong?

Is that a question? zhengshan xiaozhong = lapsang souchong
Not always. (For example)

"Zhengshan Xiaozhong" (正山小種) is the common term for the smoked tea, but it does not always refer to the tea that is known for being smoked. Refer to the above link for a counter-example. If you want to be totally unambiguous, the smoked variety is called "Yan Zhengshan Xiaozhong" (煙正山小種).

I have had a number of examples of Lapsang Souchong. The variety from Jing's Tea Shop is a very good example. A good smoked Lapsang Souchong will have a smoky aroma, but the liquor will be full-bodied and taste of black tea. Poor examples of this variety are thin-bodied and harsh, with smoke and campfire being basically the only note present in the tea.

Lapsang Souchong is a common topic in these forums due to its uniqueness. Do a search on the forum to find out more.

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Re: zheng shan xiao zhong

Postby AlexZorach » Oct 24th, '13, 09:34

My experience has been that companies that label tea as "Zhengshan Xiaozhong" are more likely to carry more traditional variants of the tea, whereas ones that spell it Lapsang Souchong are more likely to sell the British style, the one that hits you in the face with the campfire smoke aroma.

I'm more partial to the more subtle variants. I've had some that has only a hint of the pine smoke, and has great complexity to the underlying black tea. One of my favorites in this regard was sold by Life in Teacup, a tiny company I'm a huge fan of...although I think they may not have any in stock these days.

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Re: zheng shan xiao zhong

Postby chrl42 » Nov 20th, '13, 22:07

Poohblah said it right,

In China, ZSXZ is often not smoked..smoked ones are often for exportation..that's all I can say..

BTW, ZSXZ is a mother of black teas...Mt.Wuyi (Bohea) is a birthplace for Oolong and black tea, during Song dynasty the best green tea also came from here (Huizong emperor referred to as 'white tea')....a birthplace of confucius Zhuzi theory which later heavily influlenced the Korean mentality..a very remarkable mountain that is. :D

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