Sweet Potato Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Cocoa, Rye, Salt, Sweet Potatoes, Allspice, Astringent, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Carrot, Chocolate, Clove, Drying, Earth, Flat, Grapes, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Orchid, Potato, Red Apple, Savory, Sour, Squash, Sweet, Tannin, Thin, Tomato, Bread, Malt, Mineral, Stevia, Umami, Vegetal, Wood, Honey, Vegetables
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 50 oz / 1464 ml

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This tea is a favorite in my household, that I’ve re-ordered many times. It tastes like roasted sweet potato, nutmeg, cinnamon, and molasses. My husband and I can’t get enough of it.” Read full tasting note
    95
  • “I’ve had a few sessions with this tea over the past few months. Each time, I read all the logs that have come before me — and then get surprised when my session is enjoyable, lol. I don’t find this...” Read full tasting note
    82
  • “Simple, maybe too simple tea. But you know, not always you have to drink fancy teas. It’s fine, but it is like eating raw sweet potato. Not a flavour profile that I will look for often.” Read full tasting note
    52
  • “Spring 2019 harvest from Leafhopper, thanks for sharing :) The scent of the leaf both in bag and in hand is admirable in its spicy and floral characteristics that complement dry-roasted sweet...” Read full tasting note
    20

From Yunnan Sourcing

The grower of this Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong (正山小种) calls this “Sweet Potato” (红薯) Xiao Zhong. The processing and roasting of this tea was done with the intention of creating a black tea that would be full-bodied, aromatic, yammy, sweet and slightly toasty (just like a baked sweet potato). This is a very tasty black tea that will a perfect addition to your black tea collection. It’s affordable and delicious but has a unique and satisfying character!

Region: Wu Yi Shan Area of Fujian

Late April to early May 2018 picking

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

14 Tasting Notes

95
8 tasting notes

This tea is a favorite in my household, that I’ve re-ordered many times. It tastes like roasted sweet potato, nutmeg, cinnamon, and molasses. My husband and I can’t get enough of it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
391 tasting notes

I’ve had a few sessions with this tea over the past few months. Each time, I read all the logs that have come before me — and then get surprised when my session is enjoyable, lol.

I don’t find this overly or even particularly sweet. The warmed leaf has gorgeous smells of roasted and salted white sweet potato. Same comes through in the sip, with rye and some cocoa notes. A little dryness in the early steeps that I find interesting rather than distracting. I didn’t count my steeps, but it lasted longer than I expected it to.

I’d like to try this western.

Flavors: Cocoa, Rye, Salt, Sweet Potatoes

Marshall Weber

I still have yet to get any sweet potato flavor in the ZSXZ I’ve tried! I love sweet potatoes so I’m jealous. I’ll get it eventually :). Glad you enjoyed it!

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52
1845 tasting notes

Simple, maybe too simple tea.
But you know, not always you have to drink fancy teas.

It’s fine, but it is like eating raw sweet potato. Not a flavour profile that I will look for often.

Leafhopper

I remember warning you about this tea. I guess I’m not the only one who didn’t enjoy it.

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20
1548 tasting notes

Spring 2019 harvest from Leafhopper, thanks for sharing :)

The scent of the leaf both in bag and in hand is admirable in its spicy and floral characteristics that complement dry-roasted sweet potato, speculoos cookies, black grapes, rye and chocolate. And then there’s the warmed leaf which is an intense, rich mix of earthy, sweet and spicy chocolate-rye, red apple, varnish and cooked carrot.

Soft cocoa aroma in the cup.

First few sips are like drinking a raw, starchy sweet potato. It is astringent and medium-bodied but without much structure to the taste. I get a sour tomato-like finish followed by aromatic allspice aftertaste. When tea has cooled several degrees, it tastes morel like a mix of cooked potatoes, squash and carrots with a hint of clove and nutmeg. Tannic but not heavy; overwhelmingly drying.

Second cup is thin, savory and toasty, strangely sweet. Third goes back to only savory and is with the rye and malt impressions. I also notice fleeting mandarin orange and a hint of caramel before that sour tomato taste-feeling in the finish takes over. A flash of mouth cooling. Fourth infusion is earthy and sour.

Overall, there are some really nice components to the tea but it is severely disjointed and painfully drying. I suspect this tea is roasted with sugarcane and possibly has flavoring applied because of the way the rich and spicy scents do not translate to taste but then show up again briefly in the aftertaste. If I hadn’t taken the time to smell the dry and warmed leaf this tea would’ve been a big disappointment. I agree more with the assessments here on Steepster rather than at Yunnan Sourcing.

Flavors: Allspice, Astringent, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Carrot, Chocolate, Clove, Cocoa, Drying, Earth, Flat, Grapes, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Orchid, Potato, Red Apple, Rye, Savory, Sour, Squash, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Thin, Tomato

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Leafhopper

I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t tried this tea yet. I just thought it would be something you’d like. Maybe Yunnan Sourcing isn’t the place to go for lapsangs.

derk

I do see a review from you! The aromas were spectacular, so I am grateful that your generosity allowed me to try this tea on a chilly morning :)

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72
414 tasting notes

This is one of a few Zheng Shan Xiao Zhongs that I bought at the end of 2019, and it’s from the spring of that year. I didn’t know that Fujian black teas don’t tend to age as well as those from Yunnan, so they should be consumed more quickly. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, and 120 seconds.

The dry aroma is of baked sweet potato, caramel, chocolate, and malt. The first steep has notes of sweet potato, caramel, chocolate, malt, rye bread, and earth. The aroma is much stronger than the taste, which is fairly light. The next steep takes an unusual turn, adding notes of glazed carrots and vegetal umami while maintaining those savoury sweet potato, chocolate, and bready flavours. The veggies are a bit less prominent in the next couple steeps, though they’re still present, and there’s a long aftertaste of sweet potato and stevia. Carrot, sweet potato, brown sugar, other starchy vegetables, earth, and malt feature in the next few rounds. The final steeps have notes of malt, minerals, earth, tannins, wood, and faint sweet potato.

While I enjoyed the sweet potato and chocolate in this tea, its weird vegetal notes and high amount of sweetness put me off. I’m not sure if these things are due to age or to processing, but for me, they take away from the balance of the tea. Derk, Daylon, and Martin, let me know if you want a sample after reading this glowing review. :)

Flavors: Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Carrot, Chocolate, Earth, Malt, Mineral, Rye, Squash, Stevia, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Umami, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Martin Bednář

Just put it in. Even it’s not that fune. It can be good daily drinker at work :)

Leafhopper

Okay, will do. It might be better Western steeped. I’ve also been drinking a lot of good Lapsangs from Wuyi Origin, so my standards might be high.

derk

Yeah, toss some in. I’ll have to give you a bag of Jin Guazi from Old Ways Tea – same age and hasn’t lost a step.

derk

Did I already give you a bag?

Leafhopper

I don’t think so. Sounds like it would be something I’d like. :)

I’ll definitely throw in some of this Sweet Potato ZSXZ.

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60
1796 tasting notes

I love black teas with sweet potato notes, so I was particularly excited to try this.

It is so sweet, and has a stevia like coolness that lingers in the throat…which I don’t love. It is starchy and sweet potatoey, but the intense sweetness overwhelms it. I’ll have to try this again with different steeping parameters.

Flavors: Stevia, Sweet Potatoes

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79
15061 tasting notes

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75 tasting notes

Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan, and served in my porcelain tea cup via my glass cha hai. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout.

Lasts maybe 6 – 8 infusions brewed gong fu style:

Rust liquor; dense aroma suggesting charcoal-baked Murasaki sweet potato, and a touch of burnt toast if pushed. Very slight floral/vegetal notes emerge in later infusions as the core yam notes soften; sweet, rich, malty palate entry with hints of chestnut and longan leading into a medium-dry, lightly earthy finish with a whisper of smoke; smooth, medium body with hints of starch more than cream.

While the processing doesn’t taste “artificial,” it is difficult to believe this aroma/flavor was achieved without any additives to the tea given how prominent the “sweet potato” notes are from the aroma of the dry leaf on through multiple infusions in the cup. While lacking the chocolate notes I sometimes get from Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, this remains an indulgent, almost dessert-oriented tea.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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557 tasting notes

F**k Yeah!!!
Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is also my fav and this one is soooo Delicious!
description is spot on :)

ashmanra

I have had the one from Teavivre and it is a favorite! Haven’t tried this one.

Tommy Toadman

you should try it, its soo yummy, i should have tried it last year lol haha

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76
226 tasting notes

Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is one of my favorite type of teas so I opened the bag with teas with quite a bit of anticipation. I was surprised: this tea was different from all other its relatives. The dry leaves smell surprisingly strong of vegetables: sweet potato and carrots. And the taste is a veritable vegetable stew: fried cabbage, roasted carrots, baked sweet potato and, for some reason, grapes. And oh my, it is REALLY sweet: it’s hard to believe there is no added honey or brown sugar in the cup. On the negative side, the aftertaste is minimal and the tea does not resteep well degenerating instead into a vaguely sweet mush of tastes.

I tried to like it but after trying it 3 times I still not into it. I like my Zheng Shan Xiao Zhongs with some structure, bitterness and with a lingering aftertaste and this tea is completely different. But if you are into unbridled sweetness and roasted vegetables this would be a good tea for you.

Flavors: Grapes, Honey, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetables

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