'Xue Ya Shi Xiang' Dancong Oolong Tea
Phoenix Mountain, Wudong Village, Guangdong, China
This variety of Dancong oolong offers the sought-after floral fruitiness that Dancongs are known for, but adds complexity with warm, baked almond notes. The 'xue' in this tea's name means 'snow', and indicates that it is winter-picked, making for a beautifully subtle tea. The rich flavours last many, many steeps, throughout which you can watch the large, green-tinged leaves unfurl.
We call this tea Snow Duck because the original name of this variety, 'Ya Shi Xiang' translates to 'Duck Sh*t Aroma'. This odd name comes from a Phoenix mountain tale in which, many many years ago, a tea farmer discovered exquisite-tasting tea bushes on his farm, and in order to discourage other villagers from stealing them he started a rumour that he was spreading duck poop as fertilizer around these special bushes. It must have worked!
Gongfu style: 80°C water, 5g leaves per 100ml of water. 1st steep: 15 seconds, then add 5 seconds for each subsequent steep.
Western style: 80°C water, >1g per 100ml of water (since these leaves don't really fit in a spoon, this is about a three-finger pinch of tea for a large mug). 1st steep: 2 minutes, then add 30 seconds for each subsequent steep
Meet the Grower:
Chaozhou Tea Growers
The Huang family have been growing Dancong oolongs for 60 years in Wudong village, on Phoenix mountain in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, China. This region is one of the birthplaces of Chinese oolongs, and for good reason- the cool mists that often blanket Phoenix Mountain are ideal for production of the rich, floral Dancongs. Unsurprisingly, the Huangs specialize in Dancongs, and offer a large selection of carefully handcrafted teas. We have picked two of our favourites to share with you, Snow Duck and Honey Orchid.