Tong Mu Pine Smoked Lapsang Souchong
This is a rare find in the USA. It is the grandfather of all lapsang souchongs and has never been equaled by any other lapsang souchong.
The history of lapsang souchong is that there was a village where the villagers were just beginning to make their green tea during the Ming era. In the distance they could see a troop of soldiers headed their way. They abandoned their tea making to hide in the hills until the soldiers passed through. When the soldiers left the next day the villagers returned to find their green tea had turned black. They quickly dried the tea using pine branches, which created a lot of smoke. The smoke infused the tea. The villagers did not think the tea would sell but they put it on the market anyway. To their surprise the Europeans (Dutch at this time) really liked the tea and wanted more. Thus was born lapsang souchong. And Tong Mu is the very village where this happened.
Lapsang is often considered too bold for many tea drinkers. But Tong Mu is very different. The pine smoke is very subtle and the tea has a charming sweet finish to it.