"Xiao Zhong" is one of the oldest varieties of red tea. The technological peculiarity of the processing is withering and prolonged heating on pine tree coals, during this process the tea leaves are infused with resinous aroma which earned its first name "Lao Song Xiao Zhong", "Old Pine - Rare Grade". English transliteration is "Lapsang Souchong", so the English hear the Chinese "Lao Song Xiao Zhong". This tea became popular in Europe and this fact determined its export and the development of tea business. Popularity and demand, exceeding the small volume of production, led to a large number of similar products made in neighboring regions. To distinguish "the original" tea from Tongmu, the producers now call it "Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong", which means "Rare Grade from Right Mountains". "Chuantong" means "Traditional": baked on pine coals within 48 hours.
In appearance: small lengthwise twisted leaves of dark brown color. The aroma is intensive, smokey. The infusion is transparent with red-brown shade.
A bouquet of ready-made tea, despite its venerable age, is unexpectedly bright, warm, complex, resinous-spicy, with cognac, prunes, woody and biscuit notes. The aroma is deep, "smoked". The taste is rich and soft, silky, with fine resinous bitterness, berry sourness and sweetish nuances of dried fruits, transforming into lingering finish.
Brew tea with hot boiling water (95°C) in a porcelain gaiwan or a teapot of porous clay. The proportion is 5 g per 100 ml. The time of the first steeping is about 10 seconds. After that do short steeps (just for 2-3 seconds), increasing steeping time for each subsequent step, if necessary. You can steep the tea up to 9 times.
A magnificent ceremonial tea for the sophisticated connoisseur. The impact is very specific, subtle, meditative.