Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea (Ye Sheng Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong)

93
Percentile
3 ratings
Picture of Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea (Ye Sheng Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong)
This tea's info last updated: Jan. 17, 2018

Commercial Description

...Teavivre’s wild Lapsang Souchong gives a strong dried longan aroma, smooth drinking feeling without any stimulus or any astringency when passing through your throat. The unusual wild undertone, mellow taste and reddish liquid brought by the traditional rolling procedure contribute to its exotic flavor...

Ratings & Reviews

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Reviewer pic84 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
(45 reviews) on

This is a weird tea. The dry leaves smell like chocolate and flowers, but as soon as water is added it smells like baked potatoes. It takes a while to brew: I usually end up brewing it for 6-7 minutes the first time and even longer for the next two infusions for a total of three cups.

The flavor is somewhat unusual for a black tea. Baked potatoes and cooked vegetables form the base of the tea's taste, with a bit of malt, bread, and a sweet chocolate note on top, finishing with plum and dark chocolate notes. It's a very mellow tea. However, it can be brewed as long as you want to make it stronger and bring out the chocolate. Unlike most black tea, it just doesn't get bitter or astringent no matter what you do with it. I once started brewing it and then forgot about it for a couple hours and it still tasted fine (aside from being cold, of course).

This is an interesting tea and a nice change from the types of black teas I'm used to. It makes me want to try more unsmoked lapsang souchong, but I probably won't buy this specific one again.
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Reviewer pic86 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
(31 reviews) on

Very nice tea! It has a strong chocolate taste/aroma and also has some sweet potato hints as well. Pretty good tea for the price also.
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Reviewer pic94 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
(1403 reviews) on

A lovely tea, mellow, and complex, among my favorite Lapsang Souchongs ever sampled. Thank you again to TeaVivre for the sample! This is a traditional Chinese lapsang souchong, it lacks the strong smoky aroma that the more widely-known style of tea popular in the West has. Compared to other traditional Lapsang Souchongs, this was the smoothest I've ever tried, and the most subtle, although it had a slightly weaker warming quality and weaker cocoa notes in the aroma.

The fine, wiry leaf looks slightly dusty and has a beautiful and pleasing fragrance, suggesting sweetness. It is not at all smoky like the British-style Lapsang Souchong; rather it has a strong malty aroma, a little like high-grade Assam and Yunnan teas, but much softer-smelling. The smell is so good, it makes me excited to try the cup.

The brewed cup is extremely mellow. The mouthfeel is soft. The aroma is subtle, a little like cocoa, a little vegetal as well, and there are some spicy notes mid-sip. Flavor is surprisingly sweet, especially in the middle of the sip. There is little astringency unless you brew it very strongly, and then there is a balance of astringency and bitterness. Only the faintest hint of smokiness, only when brewed strong. The aroma of the brewed cup is also much less malty than I expected from the smell of the leaf.

Infuses slowly. Brewing with a teaspoon of leaf per cup, I found that I like a 5 minute first steep. Longer and it becomes slightly astringent and the aroma gets muddled, although people who like richer cocoa notes might like a very long first steep. Alternatively this tea works well for gong fu brewing. I was able to get a surprising amount of steeps through any brewing method...I got three steeps even with a single teaspoon of leaf and a long first infusion, which is almost unheard of for a black tea. You can watch the leaf unfurling very slowly, it's not even fully unfurled after a five minute steep.

The character of the tea changes a lot through the steeps. I find it starts out more warming and it becomes fresher and cooler, with more herbaceous notes, in the later steeps.

I was astounded at how I was able to steep this tea three times, even using only a single teaspoon of leaf, and still produce such a pleasing cup. This tea may not grab your attention forcefully, but I thought it exquisite. I would gladly pay the premium in price over the smokier version, for this more nuanced variety.
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