Dragon Phoenix Tender Heart (maocha)
Notes of orchid, spruce, and ghee.
Oolong from Taiwan・2021・龍鳳峽軟枝・EU standard conventional
Dragon Phoenix Tender Heart is an unusual find, as it’s one of the few high mountain oolongs that is still traditionally crafted. It comes from Shan Lin Xi’s Dragon Phoenix Gorge, where the cooler temperatures and mist-shrouded gardens produce tea with clarity, aromatics, and texture. But only those crafted with care retain these qualities through production.
This tea is produced by a farm operated by the Zhang family. Two generations work together during the harvest, the older generation influencing the younger to produce rich, bold teas using traditional methods. The family uses traditional “cloth globes”, a process of rolling oolongs that takes significantly longer than modern techniques, but that develops more flavor and character. Heritage crafting techniques subject the tea to longer periods of oxidation, and retains essential oils, a fundamental component of flavor, that are pressed away by modern machinery.
Dragon Phoenix Tender Heart is crafted from a variety called ruan zhi, or soft stem. Ruan zhi predates the more common qing xin (green heart) cultivar. Though it’s more difficult to grow than a green heart, ruan zhi delivers a more persistent and structured finish.
The Zhangs ship this tea to us as a maocha (roughly translated to mean unfinished tea), almost immediately after production. This fresh maocha is distinctly funky, with a lively flavor and aroma both floral, and vegetal.
Through June, we are offering this tea in its un-roasted, maocha state. It's a small window of opportunity to taste this tea in its original form - at its freshest, before we begin the light roasting that will coax it to its final expression.
Brew: 6 grams・150 ml・203° F・2 min
This tea accommodates a range of brew styles. Our brewing guide highlights this tea’s long, structured finish. Decreasing steep time will result in a sweeter, milder tea.
More familiar with our old quantities? Here’s the conversion:
|Metric quantities||Ounce equivalent||Servings|
|30 grams (new size!)||1.05 oz.||5-8|
|60 grams||2.10 oz.||10-15|
|120 grams||4.20 oz.||20-30|
|240 grams||8.46 oz.||40-60|