Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
Intelligent Nutrients’ Nurture #4 is warm, cozy and balancing. We are using the Li Family’s lightly smoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong black tea from the Wuyi Mountains as the base for a smoldering base to pair with certified organic Nature #4, and draw out the natural sweetness of the tea with elderberry and coriander. Like sitting by a crackling fire, this comforting blend brings warmth and balance.
Learn more about this tea here.
From the time that I first opened the package to the last drops dripping from my gaiwan into my cha hair, I was practically seduced by the flavor. I love the smell of this tea! To put it bluntly, it smells like musky hippie perfume that all those Tibetan souvenir shops always sell in one form or another. I know, not the most glowing description ever written, but I freaking love that hippie perfume. It’s slightly sweet and smoky, with perfume notes that evoke ancient biblical spices. Frankincense? Myrrh perhaps? I cannot for the life of me put my finger on it, but I am so intoxicated by the smell.
The large, long and lightly twisted leaves are dotted with coriander, and if you can look hard enough, you can see tiny dried elderberries hiding out, same color as the leaves. I gongfu’ed this tea and was delighted by the changes in flavor profile each infusion brought to the table. The new copper penny colored brew presented different combinations each time I steeped it. The first steeping I smelled a scrumptiously peppery aroma. I tasted the peppered aroma on my tongue, as well as that hippie perfumery.
The woody notes transitioned me into the next infusion, where I got a slight lavender essence, and upon smelling the top notes, I found a warm welcome of bread and malt notes. The smoke was an afterthought, until the third time around. I half wondered if there would be any smoke to it at all. But it came out to shine in the third round. It was as if someone had just blown out a match. Not so sting to turn you off anything smoked for the rest of your life, but just a hint so that I could taste the other fascinating notes. This time I got a vanilla orange spice to compliment the hint of smoke.
Sipping and enjoying this tea sent me on a sensory overload trip. I was transported to a different time and place. I know that most people upon hearing the word ‘perfume’ being used to describe tea will most definitely run for the hills. But there is so much more to this brew than the hippie cologne. Each time I took the kettle and dowsed the tea, it showed me a different card hidden in it’s sleeves. If I had brewed it any longer, it may have tried to pull a rabbit our of my cup. This is truly a strange brew.
Where To Buy: Harney & Sons
Mike visited this secret spot on his last trip to China. It was difficult to get in and no, he did not get to see the smoking process. This organic tea is much more subtle and elegant than other Lapsangs.
I recently received this from a TEA Friend of mine and enjoyed it VERY MUCH! Wuyi Shan Lapsang Tea from Harney & Sons DOES smell interesting yet good! It’s a smoky-chewy-honey like smell.
And oddly…it tastes much like it smells! Maybe not as smoky which is fine with me! There IS a bit of smoke there but there is so much else going on with this tea that the SMOKE isn’t isn’t the flavor that pushes to front of the over all taste!
It’s CHEWY and yummy….it seems I really REALLY like chewy teas! There is a honey-like taste to it and it has a sweeter finish.
I noticed as the tea had time to sit at room temperature – maybe 2 to 3 minutes – the honey tones seems to pop out more.
This is fairly complex and interesting and I like it very much!