This special offering Wild Tongmu Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is picked one young leaf at a time, entirely by hand. The tea plants are wildly propagated by seed and left untended. This natural selection creates genetic variation and diversity between each standalone tea bush. Each bush grows between one and three meters high, out of cracks in the volcanic rock of the Tongmu mountains. The result is beautiful long twisted leaves packed with textural complexity and minerality.
Tongmu is a tiny region that has been designated for special protection and recognition. Non-residents are not allowed into the preserve without special approval and sponsorship from a resident.
The region of Tongmu is unique within the Wuyishan region for its volcanic rock formations, and extremely thick vegetation coverage and biodiversity. Nestled along either bank upstream of the Jiuqu (Nine Bends) Brook, the mountains create a unique microclimate, perfect for many species of birds and a healthy ecosystem. Mountain spring water springs out of the ground and runs down every slope, and the rocky land and cold weather make for slow-growing but singularly incredible tea.
Crafted by the Li Family
This pure expression of the incredible terroir of the Tongmu microclimate is packed with sweet mouth-watering minerality from the volcanic rocky soil, and posseses the cooling tingling sensations the Li Xiangxi describes as yun, a nod to the biodiversity and the evergreen forests within the nature preserve.
weet potato, salted biscuit
melon, dried cherry
steamed bamboo shoot
sparkling, cooling, mineral
savory - weet potato, salted biscuit
spice - nutmeg, ginger
fruit - melon, dried cherry
floral - clover honey
vegetal - steamed bamboo shoot
texture - sparkling, cooling, mineral
Tongmu is one of the most famous tea growing regions in the world, and this tea shows why. While classic Wuyi Gongfu Black is full of rich sweet savory flavors and honey in the aftertaste, only a Tongmu harvest like this one can have such intense cooling forest flavors and lingering yun sensations to complement the natural mouth-watering minerality.
The aroma of whipped cream and malted barley mingles with high notes of nutmeg and a hint of rose. Sweet vibrant spice in the aftertaste plays with a satisfying mellow fruity quality, reminding us of the sweet oranges that grow alongside the Li Family’s wild tea plants in Tongmu
As the tea steeps out, the cooling tingling sensations build up in the back of the throat and on the tongue deepening the intensity of each brew until the tea seems to sparkle. In late steepings the juicy texture and honeyed sweetness come together to suggest persimmon. The aroma lingers on the tongue long after the tea is steeped out.
This new 2021 harvest is another beautifully classic and focused meditation on the importance of place and the character of wild tea.
"Where did Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong come from? Let me teach you a little history..." - Li Xiangxi, Tongmu, Wuyishan