As the forefather of all black tea, Zhengshan Xiaozhong, also known as Lapsang Souchong, is not only famous in China, but is also frequently seen on the tea tables of British royalty, and smoked Xiaozhong, a black tea known for its "pine smoke scented longan soup", is the most traditional way of making Zhengshan Xiaozhong.
At first "Zhengshan Xiaozhong" black tea was called Bohea in Europe, where Bohea is a distorted spelling of Wuyi. In Europe, mostly in the UK, it was a symbol of Chinese tea, but later, due to the booming trade, the local people disrupted the market with other counterfeit black teas (artificial Xiaozhong or Smoked Xiaozhong). It was named "Zhengshan Xiaozhong" to distinguish it from the counterfeit teas.
When we say "Zhengshan", which means "the original mountain" we mean Tongmuguan Nature Reserve. Teas processed using the traditional technique, grown at high altitude, in the same region, using the same traditional techniques, with the same quality and unique taste of longan soup are collectively known as "Zhengshan Xiaozhong" or as "Tongmuguan Xiaozhong". The tea leaves of Zhengshan Xiaozhong are smoked with pine needles and firewood from the unique local Horsetail pine, which gives it a very strong flavour. Because of the smoking process, the tea leaves are greyish-black, which is why it became internationally known as "black tea", but the tea soup is of deep amber colour.
This is why "Zhengshan Xiaozhong" has to meet the two requirements: origin in the Tongmuguan Nature Reserve and the traditional smoking process.
The traditional historical method of smoking Zhengshan Xiaozhong black tea requires pine wood and the multi-storey wooden buiding where this smoky tea is made, locally called a 'Qing Lou'.
Traditional Zhengshan Xiaozhong smoking process: the raw tea leaves are shaken on a bamboo mats and put on the lowest level of the Qing Lou, where the pines are burned. The tea leaves continue to absorb the pine aroma during the whole production process, giving Zhengshan Xiaozhing its distinctive pine resin aroma.
However, in 2005, the successful development of Jin Jun Mei brought new life to the lagging Wuyi Mountain black tea market, and had impact on the traditional production process of Zhengshan Xiaozhong. At the same time Tongmu Guan became a nature reserve and it was forbidden to cut down the trees in the forest and since then the unique horsetail pine used in the traditional smoking process is becoming less and less available, thus it is rare to experience the authentic taste of Tongmu Xiaozhong.
Today Tong Xin She would like to share a 2006 Traditional Smoked Black Tea that has been stored for 16 years. This tea was made in 2006 and was smoked with horsetail pine, which has a unique taste. I decided to name this tea "Wang Shi Ru Yan" (往事如烟), which is a Chinese idiom meaning that past events vanish like smoke. What's in the past, is past.
The dry tea is dark brown with white frost, the pine aroma is rich, the tea soup is golden and amber in colour, visually it has a thick feeling like honey, the aroma of medicine, pine and jujube spreads slowly, the smell is intoxicating, the taste is sweet, the character of longan soup is obvious, when you take a sip, the words "pine smoke aroma, longan soup" come to your mind. The colour of the tea gets lighter and lighter in subsequent infusions, but as the colour of the tea is fading, the pine smoke aroma is still persistent, and the sweetness in the mouth is still spreading out.
If you would also like to try the taste of a historical black tea that took Europe by storm over 400 years ago, please visit my website at: www.txs-tea.com and select the 2006 Traditional Smoked Black Tea.
「正山小種」紅茶一詞在歐洲最早稱 WUYI BOHEA，其中WUYI 是武夷的諧音；在歐洲（英國）它是中國茶的象徵，後因貿易繁榮，當地人為區別其它假冒的小種紅茶（人工小種或煙小種）擾亂市場，故取名為「正山小種」。
但2005年，金駿眉研發成功，為低迷的武夷山紅茶帶來了生命力的同時，對傳統工藝的正山小種也帶來了衝擊，同時桐木關作為自然保護區，林中樹木禁止砍伐，煙薰工藝獨有的馬尾松也越來越少，想要品嘗到正宗的桐木小種滋味實在難得，今天同心捨茶館分享一款2006 Traditional Smoked Black Tea到今天，這款茶已存放了16年。2006年製作的這款茶，當年用馬尾松熏制，獨特的口感，我為這款茶起名叫:「往事如煙」。
如果你也想嘗嘗古法紅茶的滋味，品味一下400多年前風靡歐洲的紅茶，歡迎在我的網站:www.txs-tea.com瞭解一下這款2006 Traditional Smoked Black Tea。