Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong of Wu Yi Fujian Black tea * Spring 2018

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Almond, Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Grapes, Leather, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut, Molasses, Sweet, Dark Chocolate, Sap, Sour, Cacao
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 35 oz / 1043 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

From Yunnan Sourcing

Classic Wu Yi mountain black tea varietal “Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong” means literally “from Wu Yi Mountain Small Tea Plant”.

Our offering is processed in a traditional style and has notes of dark chocolate taste and aroma with a sweet after-finish.

We recommend brewing with 90c temperature water. Wash once very briefly!

This is not a smoky “Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong” and should not be confused with the smoky type “Lapsang Souchong”!

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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6 Tasting Notes

1049 tasting notes

Alright, I’m finally back on here. It seems that I have very little motivation to type tea reviews these days. This was one of my sipdowns from the second half of last month. It was a very nice, likable Wuyi black tea, but it did not quite measure up to the spring 2018 Premium AA Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong offered by Yunnan Sourcing.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. I set my water temperature at 194 F and did not raise or lower it over the course of my review session. After briefly rinsing the 6 grams loose tea leaves I had set aside for the session, I started things off by steeping them for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of baked bread, malt, pine, cocoa, and smoke. After the rinse, I detected aromas of brown sugar, roasted almond, roasted peanut, and sweet potato. The first infusion introduced a subtle creamy scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented me with notes of cream, malt, baked bread, pine, cocoa, roasted almond, and roasted peanut that were balanced by hints of plum, smoke, pear, orange zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, and sweet potato. The majority of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cinnamon, orange zest, plum, red apple, pear, marshmallow, lemon zest, minerals, and roasted chestnut. Stronger and more immediately noteworthy impressions of plum, pear, smoke, brown sugar, orange zest, and sweet potato appeared in the mouth alongside notes of red apple, earth, minerals, roasted chestnut, and lemon zest. I also detected hints of lychee, marshmallow, tangerine, butter, red grape, leather, and roasted walnut here and there. As the tea settled and faded, the liquor shifted to emphasize notes of minerals, cream, malt, baked bread, roasted peanut, roasted chestnut, lemon zest, and leather that were balanced by subtler impressions of brown sugar, butter, sweet potato, pine, red grape, orange zest, plum, pear, and roasted almond.

This was a nice Wuyi black tea, but as mentioned in the introductory paragraph, it did suffer a bit in comparison to the Premium AA offering. Still, it had a very respectable mix of aromas and flavors and displayed more than admirable longevity in a lengthy and intense drinking session. Had the tea liquor been just a bit smoother and thicker and had some of the flavor components been just a little more deftly integrated, this would have been a great offering. As is, this tea was very good, but it just lacked those little extra somethings that would have pushed it over the top for me.

Flavors: Almond, Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Grapes, Leather, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

I have this unsmoked Lapsang too and agree that while tasty, it seems to lack a little something. The Teavivre version of this tea though was amazing.


I still have yet to try any of the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong offered by Teavivre. I did, however, try their Tan Yang Gong Fu and Imperial Bai Lin Gongfu earlier in the year and both struck me as being very good. Once I get the backlog a little more under control and get my cupboard a little more cleared out, I will probably place a few small orders from them. I’m hoping I can do this right around the time the spring 2021 teas are being listed.


LuckyMe, I’m glad to hear that Teavivre’s unsmoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is good. I was going to order it during the Black Friday sale, but was worried I’d have 100 grams of bad tea. I did, however, get their Tan Yang Gong Fu and look forward to trying it.

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15131 tasting notes

Sipdown! Running out of tea! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh


I worry about this Sil. Please order some tea pronto.


i’m trying…so few sales…


You can’t possibly wait until Black Friday! haha What about ordering from a shop that never really has sales?

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60 tasting notes

I’m still developing more complex taste buds, so bear with me.
Brew style: Gong fu

First infusion: Aroma is very sweet of molasses and malt. The first notes that hit you are very sweet — sugar cane and malt with a slight viscosity on the tongue but clean finish. It’s almost too sweet for me — reminiscent of a first sip of American Southern Sweet Ice Tea!
By the 3rd/4th infusion, the sweetness has subsided with more of a very light malty / very mild smoky undertone. However, I don’t really taste any additional complexity to this tea.

I plan to re-attempt a gong-fu style tasting to see if I change my mind, but if it proves the same, will brew Western Style as “run-out-the-door” drinking tea.

Flavors: Malt, Molasses, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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226 tasting notes

This is a nice, dynamic Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong that reminded me of some equally strong Keemuns. It has a typical wet leaf Keemun aroma. The taste is mostly dark chocolate and malt, with some conifer tree sap and a touch of sweet potatoes. A strong backbone and a defined bitter-sour aftertaste.

This tea does not exhibit much of complexity and barely has any sweet or floral notes. Simple, bracing, piney. It’s not for everybody but it does have some character. It works nicely for me as a wake-up tea at work or later in the day when I need a jolt of energy and concentration.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Pine, Sap, Sour, Sweet Potatoes

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676 tasting notes

This was a fairly tasty Fujian black tea. I loved Teavivre’s unsmoked wild Lapsang Souchong and would have bought some more except I didn’t want to be saddled with a 100g bag so I purchased this one instead from Yunnan Sourcing. I found it to be an enjoyable tea yet a little too basic for my liking. The Teavivre one had an amazing depth of flavor, while this doesn’t go beyond the chocolate notes. Frankly, I’m starting to tire of super chocolatey black teas. I have several of them and they all taste very similar. I love chocolate as a flavor component but want more complexity. Often I’ll remedy this by blending with a different black tea. Below are some quick notes I jotted down while drinking it. I tried it both gongfu and western style, and preferred gongfu for its richer and slightly more complex flavor.

Leaf appearance: very thin, wiry leaves
Aroma: dry leaf has a soft fragrance of cacao nibs, malt, and blackberries. wet leaf smells predominantly of chocolate

1st steep: starts of with sweet potato and cocoa. then as it cools, transitions to a rich Ovaltine chocolate malt.
2nd steep: more chocolate comes forward, specifically dark chocolate and a hint of sweet potato
3rd steep: lighter, but smooth and syrupy sweet

Flavors: Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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