Notes of tangerine, apricot seed, and raspberry.
Oolong tea from Guangdong, China・April 2016・新園単叢・Organic
This unique dancong oolong is from a new organic tea garden on Phoenix Mountain. It is a combination of five distinct cultivars: huangzhi xiang, song cultivar, ye lai xiang, duck shit, and honey orchid. All were harvested from 7 year old tea plants grown on one of the first fully organic tea gardens on Phoenix Mountain, Chaozhou.
In China, Phoenix mountain oolongs are called "Dan Cong" - meaning single grove, or single origin. This term refers to a generations-old cultivation method that isolates and propagates distinct aromatic characteristics from a mother tea plant. Once a particular profile is isolate and propagated, it is given a descriptive name that usually corresponds to that aromatic profile. Today, over 100 distinct aromatic profiles exists. It's important to keep in mind that Dan Cong types do not represent distinct tea varieties, per se. Rather, each type is a unique expression of the genetic make-up of a particular tree.
The tea garden is a new venture by a family with over a generation of experience cultivating and crafting Phoenix oolongs on Wudong Shan. The garden broke ground in 2008 with the express mission to remain organic - neither pesticides nor fertilizers are used to increase yield. The first plants were planted in 2009, and the first cultivation occurred in 2015. This 2016 spring batch is from the second year of harvesting.
New garden production is quite low - especially in a garden unassisted by fertilizers and pesticides. The low yield in these early years is the reason why we chose to blend rather than offer single cultivars. As production increases over time, we hope to begin offering distinct cultivars from the same garden. For now, the blend creates a wonderful, perfectly balanced amalgamation of unique aromatics. Everything about this tea is atypical for a dancong: from its clarity to unique aromatic notes of tangerine, apricot seed, and raspberry.
Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・200° F・1.5 min
A young dancong is temperamental. We brew for sweetness and aromatics rather than finish, and to do so requires a smaller dose, and a lower temperature than is typical for these oolongs.