Fei Zi Xiao

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea
Flavors
Cardamom, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clean, Dark Chocolate, Dust, Leather, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Osmanthus, Round, Silky, Spring Water, Sweet, Tangy, Wheat, Wood, Cherry, Cocoa, Honey, Peach, Butter, Floral, Oak, Red Fruits, Smooth, Toast, Apricot, Astringent, Blackberry, Citrus, Fruity
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 oz / 108 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Spring 2022 harvest, a freebie with my order. Thank you! Round, fluffy-sweet and silky spring water with smooth fruity notes I can see as lychee and muscat grape. Threads of malt and chocolate,...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “Free sample from my last Verdant order. Verdant hit yet another one out of the park. The Li Family deserves an olympic medal for their teas. Absolutely gorgeous! Covers a gamut of sweet flavors...” Read full tasting note
    94
  • “2022 Sipdown 113/365! Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge April 2022: Raisin-y tea Although not a taiwanese tea, this black tea had some delicious, surprise raisiny notes! It was really quite good –...” Read full tasting note
    87
  • “So, against my own better judgement, I brewed this western style and followed the suggestions on the Verdant website about doing quick 15 second steeps for western (which sounds suspiciously like...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Rare varietal black tea with juicy lychee notes

Unbelievably lychee-forward black tea made even more complex in the Li Family’s hands, with notes of eucalyptus, cardamom, lilac and muscat to support the juicy lychee.

This intriguing varietal is sometimes literally translated as Concubine’s Smile (or laugh), but in reality, the tea gets its name from the Feizi Xiao (妃子笑) fruit, a type of lychee so loved by a royal consort that it always made her smile. The name couldn’t be more accurate for this stunning varieties, which truly tastes like lychee and peaches. An already luscious varietal gains even more complexity and nuance in the Mr. Li’s capable hands, finished with traditional sun-oxidation and gently fired. The minerality of the Li Family’s volcanic soil comes through beautifully, along with an impressive jasmine and honey aromatic complexity.

Tasting Profile

spice – eucalyptus, cardamom floral – lilac, honey fruit – muscat, tangerine, lychee savory – cinnamon, hot chocolate, whipped cream texture – sparkling, cooling

About Verdant Tea View company

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10 Tasting Notes

90
1547 tasting notes

Spring 2022 harvest, a freebie with my order. Thank you!

Round, fluffy-sweet and silky spring water with smooth fruity notes I can see as lychee and muscat grape. Threads of malt and chocolate, cinnamon and mild cardamom. Tangy, mineral, sparkling, playful tannins. Osmanthus in bottom of cup. Very clean, leathery aftertaste.

Excellent tea! I only drank this prepared in a 60mL gaiwan with 2.5g each time. Good longevity for a red tea this way.

Flavors: Cardamom, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clean, Dark Chocolate, Dust, Leather, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Osmanthus, Round, Silky, Spring Water, Sweet, Tangy, Wheat, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 OZ / 60 ML
Marshall Weber

I loved the free sample of this that Verdant sent me with a recent order too. So so tasty!

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94
131 tasting notes

Free sample from my last Verdant order. Verdant hit yet another one out of the park. The Li Family deserves an olympic medal for their teas. Absolutely gorgeous!

Covers a gamut of sweet flavors very well. It’s fruity, chocolatey, and pleasantly tangy. Peach is the most predominant flavor in the liquor. Thick, impressive mouthfeel for a black tea. No bitterness or astringency. Longevity is nice at 10+ infusions.

This varietal of tea is Fei Zi Xiao, named after a premium cultivar of lychees. This name translates as “the concubine smiles.” As the story goes, Emperor Tang Ming Huang of the Tang Dynasty ordered a batch of lychees to be rapidly transported (to keep them from going bad) from southern China to his palace in northern China to be given to his most beloved concubine, Yang Gui Fei. While I have tried many lychee-flavored things, I have not tried an actual lychee (on my bucket list), so take my next statement with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, I can’t claim to get any lychee flavor from this tea, but the lovely peach flavor will do in its stead :).

I’m EXTREMELY impressed with Verdant and they will be my go-to tea source for black teas and dan cong in the future. Also looking forward to trying some of their Chinese greens. From my limited experience with their teas, I am far more impressed with the quality than for other shops that offer such a wide variety, likely because they source from separate small farmers.

Not only is their tea phenomenal, but they obviously care about their customers, as this free sample is of one of their $0.44/g teas, which is exceedingly generous! As much as I love this tea, I don’t think I’ll have it on hand often because of the price (ballin’ on a budget), but I will certainly be ordering more of it from time to time.

Harvest: Spring 2022
Location: Wuyishan

Dry leaf: Dark chocolate, cinnamon, cherry.
Wet leaf: Malt, wheat
Flavor: Peach, sweet, tangy, honey,

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Peach, Sweet, Tangy, Wheat

beerandbeancurd

High praise, that’s awesome. I have opened their website so many times, but haven’t tried them yet.

Marshall Weber

They are definitely worth trying imo!

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87
6105 tasting notes

2022 Sipdown 113/365!

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge April 2022: Raisin-y tea

Although not a taiwanese tea, this black tea had some delicious, surprise raisiny notes! It was really quite good – very rich and thick, perhaps a bit of dark chocolate, and raisins.

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258 tasting notes

So, against my own better judgement, I brewed this western style and followed the suggestions on the Verdant website about doing quick 15 second steeps for western (which sounds suspiciously like gongfu…) but I think I used more water than they suggest because this was watery in flavor after the stated time. So, I plopped the tea back in the water for another 15 or so. It’s still watery but at least it is drinkable with some flavors.

I’m chalking this up to user error and withholding a rating. Normally when this happens, I mention that I’ll update it when I do brew it up properly. However, this time I have no further tea of this kind as it was a sample. But, I do think this tea has some potential. I notice some faint fruity notes in there. Seems like a fairly juicy mouthfeel, especially if I extrapolate to what a fully leafed pot would be…

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100
48 tasting notes

I open the bag and am greeted with an absolutely gorgeous smell. Like apples and honey. Brewed this gongfu style

1st & 2nd Steep: At this first steep I am already loving this. Its like apples and toast. But so smooth, no bite back. The slightest hint of flowers lingers in the aftertaste. The smell of the wet leaves is like a mixture of wood and fruit.

3rd Steep: The flavor profile changes a bit to a more buttery flavor. Still with toasty and floral afternotes.

4th Steep: The taste of wood starts to come out. Something like oak and it mixes with the floral scents in a way that makes me think of the forest. The sweetness gets very toned down.

5th Steep and beyond: The wood taste remained as the bitterness started to come in more with each steep.

Over all I adored this tea as you can tell. Highly recommended!

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Oak, Red Fruits, Smooth, Toast

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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83
47 tasting notes

Dry aroma smells like a really fruity black tea.

100ml, ~200F, w/ a 5 second wash

Gorgeous dark red/orange colour. Looks like liquid cherry

It tastes like one of those complex black tea blends. Lots of fruity colors: peach, citrus, apricot, prune, grapes, cherry, and tangyness. All of this is backed by that general chinese black tea taste that’s common with most chinese black teas. Honestly, not a bad combination at all.

The further steeps have a really nice ‘dynamic’ combination. The fruity bits are strong and the primary flavour is both sweet, astringent, and slightly bitter.

One thing to note is that this tea is sensitive to heat. If temperature drops to 190 or below, you’ll get a significant less flavour per steep.

Overall not a bad tea whatsoever. It’s mainly a combination of lots of fruity flavours along with that ‘traditional’ chinese black tea taste. Quite nice.

About ~7 steeps in and tea’s almost out of flavour. Pretty decent. No drastic change in flavour over time, just flavour slowly dwindles (~6 steeps in and it’s like 20% the original potency).

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Blackberry, Citrus, Fruity, Peach, Tangy

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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141 tasting notes

.. I have no idea how to describe the dry leaf aroma. It’s fine,
Warm pot: smells just like lychee, lovely.

First steep: gummy berries, cream, bread, thickness in the throat, peach, it’s soo nice it tastes like candy :)
Second steep is more creamy/buttery/bready, malty with notes of lychee and peach still, a bit tangy.
Moves to more citrus, toast, peach, with some dryness in the 4th steep, then more mango/citrus in the 5th with like an assam-like feeling and now that I think about it, there’s some of that indian floral there. No more cream/butter

Definitely starting to taste like a darjeeling, which isn’t my favourite flavour profile. But it’s like a bit thicker and more decadent, and I’m still enjoying it. Mostly.

If that fruitiness and creaminess had stayed longer this could’ve been one of my favourites.

Rasseru

what was your temp/leaf ratio with this one?

Rasseru

Anything fruity & my sonar goes mental

Mackie

I was doing 98C and idk I was going for 5g I really need a scale.. my teapot was just under half full of wet leaf

Mackie

Also just wait for my review of the feng Huang wuyi black;) that one was amazingly fruity & durable

Mackie

Oh but I sid start to dial back the temp a bit when it got a bit drier which didn’t seem to do too much

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70
14940 tasting notes

terri sent this one my way and i thought i’d try that out today. I have to say i’m not getting anything very nuanced here. Gonfu with this one and it’s just sort of like an every day black tea for me. no hints of lychee or fruit…just a smooth, lighter sort of tea. oh well, happy to try new things!

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80
57 tasting notes

A pleasant, fruity black tea. Very little bitterness or astringency, and very easy to drink.

Despite the elaborate description, I did not find it to be at all unique. It just tastes like a run of the mill, quality Chinese black to me.

Perhaps gongfu style brewing will bring out more of its character when I try it at home.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
BigDaddy

I couldn’t have put it better. I brewed it gongfu and the result is a good cuppa black tea aromatic and fruity but it’s no Laoshan.

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