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Wild Artisan Lapsang Souchong (unsmoked)

6,5021,40

Unsmoked Lapsang Souchong from naturally grown Bohea tea bushes at 1400 meters altitude in Wuyi Mountain, Fujian, China. A specialty of the organic producer, Wuyi Mountain Farmers Collective, ist die Artisan-Verarbeitung von Wildpflückungen. Diese schöpfen aus aus den umliegenden wilden oder semi-wilden Arealen, wo die Teebäume in biodiverse Lebensräume eingebettet sind.

Für weitere Informationen und Illustrationen siehe bitte untenstehende Produktbeschreibung.

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Description

Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, unsmoked, from Zhengshan area, Wuyi Mountain, Fujian province, China

(click picture to enlarge)

Artisan Lapsang Souchong (unsmoked)

Our artisan-processed, wild-picked Lapsang Souchong is certainly one of the rarest teas to find in China. The over 200 years old Bohea tea bushes grow in a virtually untouched, biodiverse ecosystem at altitudes near 2000 metern in Fujians Wuyishan. The areal is part of the famous “zhengshan” region. At this, “zhengshan” means as much as “original mountain” and stands for Wuyishan’s core areal for finest Wuyi rock Oolong and black teas. There, black teas such as our Wild Artisan Lapsang Souchong are traditionally made from the native local “Bohea” tea plant variety.

The Producer – Wuyi Mountain Farmers Collective

The agricultural grassroots collective dwells on the organic cultivation and processing of characteristic Wuyi Oolong and black teas. At this, the profits are equally distributed between the villagers. A truly fair trade, so to speak, with the whole village community sharing in the benefits. Apart from this, the collective engages in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables around the village.

The teas of Wuyi Mountain Farmers Collective belong among the best to come out of Wuyishan. The true specialty, however, are the collective’s wild pickings. These draw on the surrounding wild or semi-wild areals, where the tea trees are embedded in their natural environment.  It is particularly these wild teas that are looking back on a long tradition in that small village. And from this tradition results the experience without that an artisan tea like our wild Lapsang Souchong could not come to exist.

 Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, unsmoked, from Zhengshan area, Wuyi Mountain, Fujian province, China

(click picture to enlarge)

Picking and Processing

In accordance with the standard for Lapsang Souchong, up to 5 of the mot upper leaves of each branch are picked. In order to shorten the fermentation processes coming with withering, processing takes place very soon after picking. During processing, firing with well-dried pine wood creates the honey-sweet pine flavor of this tea. Finally, the tea leaves undergo a light roasting, effecting the infusion’s characteristic red color.

Unlike the known standard for Lapsang Souchong teas, our Wild Artisan Lapsang Souchong is not smoked. While the partially heavy smoking of typical Lapsang Souchong teas is often used to camouflage inferior picking and processing qualities, any connoisseur of fine black teas will agree that this tea doesn’t need such camouflage.

Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, unsmoked, from Zhengshan area, Wuyi Mountain, Fujian province, China

(click picture to enlarge)

The Tea – Taste and other Properties

A first try of the deep dark-red infusion offers a range of suprises especially to Lapsang Souchong connoisseurs. First impressions are full-bodied flavor, Longan-like sweetness and a smooth and well-balanced roast aroma. Even a hint of smoke that might become discernable, is indeed an integral part of said roast aroma.

Clearly, the element to attribute this tea to is fire. This supports, besides the taste, the warming effects Wild Artisan Lapsang Souchong shows immediately after drinking. Wild-picked tea leaves contain higher concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants than conventionally (monoculturally) cultivated teas. From this comes the “inner warmth” and accompanying sensation of happiness that are tangible effects of this tea’s “Qi”.

And by the way, there’s no risk of “too long” storage! As Wild Artisan Lapsang Souchong ages in true dignity. In a manner of speaking, its aromatic body grows with the years, and gains on complexity during that process.

Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, unsmoked, from Zhengshan area, Wuyi Mountain, Fujian province, China

(click picture to enlarge)

Preparation

For preparing Wild Artisan Lapsang Souchong, we recommend to apply a black tea preparation standard. For this, first spread 3-5g tea leaves on the bottom of a teapot. Then pour 200-300 ml boiling hot water after calming over the tea leaves. Then let infuse for 3-5 minutes according to indivdidual taste preferences. This way, Wild Artisan Lapsang Souchong will produce 2 full value infusions.

Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, unsmoked, from Zhengshan area, Wuyi Mountain, Fujian province, China

Wuyi Mountain

Wuyi Mountain, in the north of Fujian province, has been a venue of legends and mythical tales for millenniums. This could well come from the fog surrounding Wuyishan’s higher altitudes all year round. Also, responsible for the particular fertility of Wuyi soils is the mountain’s volcanic origin.

Fluss der neuen Windungen in Wuyi Mountains, China

Wuyishan has a name for tea since the “Golden Era of Tea” in China, the time of the Tang dynasty (618 – 906 AD). Already back then, Wuyi teas were considered as particularly precious. This is why they also were a highly esteemed gift to the emperor back in those days. For this purpose, they were usually wrapped in sheet gold and adorned with a dragon/phoenix motif. Legend has that the Chinese emperor valued Wuyi tea so much that he did not even share his supplies with his officials.

 Lapsang Souchong – Legend & History

According to legend, the discovery of Lapsang Souchong tea goes back to events of mere coincidence. The story takes place at the times of the Qing dynasty, China’s last imperial dynasty, lasting from 1644-1912. Back then, the inhabitants of the village Tongmu, located at famous Wuyi mountain in the Chinese province of Fujian, once unexpectedly got under attack. Thus, they had to dry their tea leaves much quicker than usual. In order to achieve this, they decided to heat the tea leaves over the hearth fire of burning pine wood.

The resulting strong smoke aroma and flavor proved to greatly camouflage the the less desirable taste features of the basically low quality tea leaves. Moreover, the smoke aroma and flavor made this tea something special, i. e. a specialty. The same quickly established as a popular variant among Westerners, while Lapsang Souchong was long considered a “poor-man’s-tea” among the Chinese themselves. Accordingly, to produce the actual original Lapsang Souchong, preferably minor quality tea leaves (a possible meaning of “Souchong” is 4th and 5th leaf) were smoke-dried over fires of fresh-cut pine wood.

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25g, 50g, 100g

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