Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong Black Tea
Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is produced in one protected, natural area deep in a mountain valley of the Wu Yi Shan. It was created on Wuyi Mountain, which is also the birthplace of oolongs and home to some of the finest in the world. This incredible tea is organically-grown and traditionally crafted in a 20-step process that involves 3 different phases of smoking over pine wood. It is grown and smoked in Tong Mu, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is there, primarily in Tong Mu Village and adjacent small tea villages, that this smoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong tea is made. The fresh leaf comes from tea gardens that are located in the vicinity of the smoking sheds. Here, the fresh leaf is processed and smoked during the production of this unique black tea. The leaf is essentially given a 'cold smoking' during processing, which gives this tea a lightly-smoked character while maintaining flavor and finesse.
Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is produced in limited quantity each spring. it is elegant, light and exotic, quite different than the assertively smokey (or ‘tarry) Lapsang Souchong that is made for export.
The smoky, campfire fragrance augments the rich, velvety black tea body without overwhelming it. Unlike low-grade lapsang souchongs available in the West, the smokey aroma remains until the very last steeping.
Brewing tool: cups, bottles, tea wears, tea bags
Water temperature: 170° - 185° F
Amount of tea: 1 table spoon
Amount of water: 6 - 10 oz.
Put the hot water & tea into a cup. Stirring the tea will help make the tea flavor come out faster.
Stir for about 30 - 60 seconds for the first cup, strain it out.
If you want more tea after the first cup, put more water back in the cup, steep for another 30 - 90 seconds, then strain it. out
This amount of tea leaves can make 2 - 3 cups of tea.
Try to keep infusion time to 15 - 20 seconds. Don’t worry if the tea isn’t very strong – it’s not supposed to be, at least not at the beginning. After 2 - 3 brews, the leaves will wake up and start yielding a dark red color. That’s when you should keep steeping time under 60 seconds. After another 3 - 4 brews, as the potency of the tea decreases, feel free to gradually increase the length of infusion time to maintain the desired level of strength
Black tea is a good option to form part of your diet because of its several health benefits, most of which can be attributed to its favorable nutritional profile. Due to increased oxidation, black tea is more flavourful and caffeine laden than its other counterparts. Moreover, the flavor of black tea can be retained for a much longer time than other teas. The black tea benefits for health are given below.
- Due to its high caffeine content, compared to other teas, drinking black tea can kill oral viruses and thus, help in preventing skin infections and keeping your skin blemish free.
- Placing moist tea bags under your eyes helps in reducing puffiness.
- Black tea also helps in reducing mimic wrinkles and preventing pre-mature ageing and pimples. Thus, those suffering from these skin problems can try having one or two cups of black tea daily for beneficial results.
- The antioxidants present in black tea provide protection against skin cancer.
- The extract of black tea acts as a sun blocking agent when applied on skin.
- Polyphenols and tannins present in black tea accelerate the process of skin regeneration.
- Black tea contributes to glowing and blemish-free skin. Tannins protect your skin from the harmful impact of environment, improve blood circulation and fight bacteria in your body, thus providing protection against skin diseases.
Due to abundance of antioxidants and caffeine, black tea is considered extremely beneficial for hair. Black tea can be incorporated into your hair care regimen for stronger and damage free hair. The various benefits of black tea for hair are given below.
- Caffeine present in black tea helps in decreasing DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), a hormone found in the scalp which causes hair loss. Thus, black tea helps in increasing hair thickness and lowering hair loss.
- Another benefit of caffeine is that it stimulates hair growth when used once in a month. (Excess usage of caffeine should be avoided as it may stunt growth).
- Using black tea rinses as part of your hair care regimen adds shine, luster and natural darkness to your hair because of its dark hue. For this purpose, add 3 bags of tea to 6 cups of boiling water. After keeping this mix for an hour at room temperature, pour it on your head and wrap your hair in a towel. Wash your hair normally after an hour or two.
- Black tea acts as a natural dyeing agent and is suitable for women who have dark black or brown hair and want to get rid of grey hair or fading hair dyes. It darkens your hair besides adding shine and bringing out natural highlights.
Just like other teas, black tea contains caffeine, amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, potassium, minerals, manganese, fluoride and polyphenols. In addition to these, it also contains catechins, tannin, guanine, purine, gallic esters and xanthine. The antioxidants polyphenols are associated with a number of health benefits. The nutritional profile of black tea comprises of the following.
Low Sodium and Calories: Black tea has a low sodium and calorie content provided that you do not add any sweeteners. Thus, it is advantageous for people who want to lose weight or just maintain optimum weight. It can be a great substitute to unhealthy soft drinks or colas which have a high content of sodium and fat.
Antioxidants: Black tea contains complex flavonoid, polyphenols that play an important role in antioxidant consumption and disease prevention. A cup of black tea contains an average of 200 mg of flavonoids. The flavonoid polyphenols, thearubigins and theaflavins act as powerful antioxidants. Research has observed that drinking three cups of black tea per day for two weeks results in increased concentration of flavonoids in the blood by 25%.
Hence, black tea is extremely beneficial for your health, hair and skin. However, it should be consumed in moderation as large doses can cause side effects like digestive problems, varicose veins, insomnia, acidity, palpitations and the like.
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