Li Xiangxi's family works together in Tongmu applying their incredible skill at roasting to their spring-fed high mountain tea. Their proceeds go to teaching rural tea ceremony.
While Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is usually smoked, the same leaf material and finishing technique can be used without the final smoking step. Hua Xiang means floral fragrance, referring to the natural but subtle floral notes in Xingcun Xiaozhong varietal that are brought out through the Li Family’s expert hand-processing. When smaller leaf material mixed with delicate buds is used, rich vanilla undertones can develop, accenting the savory hazelnut flavors. The main difference between this tea and a classic Wuyi Gongfu Black is that Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is not necessarily curled and twisted as thoroughly, giving it a more open structure suitable for incorporating that smaller bud and leaf mixture that wouldn’t work in the tight twists of Wuyi Gongfu Black, but both are very traditional calls back to the very earliest black teas in the world.
Li Xiangxi's family home and workshop in Tongmu
Dried wood is stacked neatly next to the room where the Li Family smokes their black tea
the Li Family smokes their black tea above these wooden beams in bamboo baskets
the Li Family has been using this room for generations to smoke their Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong