Notes of raisin, longan, and scotch.
Red tea from Fujian, China・April 2016・正山小種・Organic
Cypress Smoked Small Leaf is a traditional Chinese smoked tea. Often called Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong in Chinese, the unusual sweetness and clarity of this tea stands in stark contrast to the heavily smoked lapsang souchongs available in the west.
This tea was picked April 2016 from an organic tea garden in northern Fujian Province. The variety is a small leaf tea indigenous to the area. Only young leaves were plucked for this tea, and after bruising and a period of enzymatic breakdown, the leaves were dried over cypress pine fires.
This drying process is what smokes the tea. The smoke is gentle, and the slow drying develops sweetness and dried fruit notes in the tea. This is in contrast to the typical lapsang souchong’s intense smokiness, which in actually is a defect that comes from attempting to smoke already dry, and often low grade tea. This tea was made by the same tea maker who produced our Cypress Smoked Wild Leaf.
This tea brews with clarity and sweetness, with the sweetness of raisin, the spirited aroma of dried longan fruit, and a hint of scotch.
Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・208° F・1 min
This is an uncharacteristic smoked red, and while it could certainly hold up to a strong brew without yielding bitterness or astringency, we feel this tea is best brewed sweet. We suggest very high temperature but short steeps to bring out this tea’s effervescence.