Verdant Tea

2022 Wild Tongmu Unsmoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong

2022 Wild Tongmu Unsmoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong


    • DATE OF PICKINGSpring 2022
    • TongmuWuyishan, Fujian
    • ELEVATION600 meters
    • Xingcun XiaozhongTea Varietal

    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.
  • true
    cardamom, cedar, mulling spice
    chestnut, bamboo, coconut milk
    candied citrus peel
    steamed bamboo shoot
    deeply mineral-driven, cooling

    Tasting Profile

    • spice - cardamom, cedar, mulling spice
    • savory - chestnut, bamboo, coconut milk
    • fruit - candied citrus peel
    • floral - gardenia
    • texture - deeply mineral-driven, cooling

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 roasting chestnut and deep cozy mulling spice come forward as soon as water is poured over the leaves. The first infusion feels like eating caramelized tender bamboo shoot stir fried by Li Xiangxi's aunt at the family home in Tongmu, surrounded by the aromatic pine structure of their house. In the aftertaste, there is a hint of candied citrus a a floral touch of gardenia.

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 are carried on a creamy aromatic backbone reminiscent of coconut milk. The aroma lingers on the tongue long after the tea is steeped out.

This 2022 harvest is a 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

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