Danhu Old Bush Song Cultivar, Phoenix dancong oolong
Huangzhi Xiang Dancong
Cutting away from the main trail towards the more visited Zhongxin Yin and Lizai Ping, hidden away behind a spur, there is the quieter Wudong village Danhu. Shaded on the north of the dark rock mountain, it is cool here even at 4 pm on a summer day. The tea forests here are mostly made up of bushes 2 to 3 meters tall. Occasional 3 to 5 meter ones, each occupying a circular clearing around them, grow gloriously with their wide-spread crowns. Tiny patches of vegetables grown here and there under tea trees. The few families here have been tea farmers since their grandfathers remembered. As to when the old bush for our Song Cultivar have been here, no one can really tell.
Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
This old bush Song Cultivar Huangzhi Xiang is processed to the ideal balance in bouquet and sweetness. Like all genuine Wudong productions of single bushes, there is only one harvest per year per tree, in Spring. The batch size this year is about 5kg and that is actually very good for an old tree. We are offering only a small portion of that.
What really does the name “Song Cultivar” mean?
“Song” refers to a dynastic era in where China is today between the 10th and 13th century. Song dynasty was a golden age of civilisation where the arts, crafts, material technology and even the economy was at its height in East Asia. Tea trees survived from this era and their direct asexually produced offsprings are called Song Cultivars in the region of Fenghuang ( aka Phoenix ). The name is sometimes presented in its pinyin romanised form as Song Zhong.
Creamy rich floral aroma with sweet notes of vanilla, apricot, and mandarin orange. Accents of kumquat flower and honey on earthy, woodsy undertones. Buttery tactility carrying a sweet, round body of great depth. The interplay of minerals, sugars, fragrant oils and citric bites moves and changes in different zones of the mouth in the course of tasting. Refreshing sensations. Quenching, enduring, sweet aftertaste with clear and crisp citrus notes.
Contrary to common practices and concepts in Mainland China, very short infusion with a lot of leaves is NOT going to render the full profile of any finer Phoenix oolongs. If you are skilled in the gongfu style infusion, make sure your leaf to water ratio is good enough to give the tea at least 30 seconds of infusion. If you are able to control a slow and steady filling speed, you can reduce the infusion time by the same amount of water filling time. With this you can add more leaves for an optimum infusion result. Always blanch your leaves first when using such an approach.
The international infusion standard for tasting of 2 g to 100 ml for 5 to 6 min does render an all round taste profile, but not the best potential of this tea.
The amazing character of this dancong reveals itself also with even longer infusion time, say 10 min. Reduce the leaf to water ratio when you want to try that. Use an infusion vessel with better heat retention when so.
It is absolutely alright if you do not blanch the leaves for the first infusion. However, if you have matured the tea till the next half year after its production year or longer, a very quick blanch helps to bring out the full favour a little more easily.
We have let this tea settled for almost 4 months before rebaking it at low fire for enough depth. As long as you keep the package airtight, the tea will keep well providing standard tea storage conditions. Any further processing will destroy its integrity. The tea is good as of anytime you get the package, but if you want to mature it, do not open the bag.
|Dimensions||18 × 9 × 5 cm|
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This is metaphysical-grade dan cong.
What an exquisite and remarkable experience; every aspect of this tea, from the aroma of the dry leaf to the last sensations felt on the palate in the aftertaste, are completely and entirely without flaw. The execution of every single step in the making of this dan cong exemplifies sheer mastery of a craft that is hundreds, if not thousands, of years in the making.
This tea is utterly perfect, it could not get any better. I would have an easier time explaining what is at the end of two mirrors placed opposite each other, than I would be describing just how flawless this dan cong is. Even the best of poets would struggle to capture the ineffable beauty of this tea… there are simply no words that could be strung together that would effectively capture the experience that awaits the drinker.
Not only is this the best Huangzhi Xiang I’ve ever had, it’s also the best dan cong I’ve ever had. It may seem expensive, but for what it is, it’s actually underpriced, and I just want to thank Tea Hong for making such an experience like this possible.
The cong wei is very direct and apparent, the cha qi is transcendental, and the flavor profile is deeper than the Marianna Trench. If you are looking for a metaphysical-grade experience, you will find it here.
Indeed, no words can describe the experience of this tea. Thank you for saying it so poetically and in such a wonderful way. I am so very happy that one more person appreciate the meticulous work behind the making of this. It is only with people who care to understand such quality that this beautiful tradition can propagate. Thank you!
This is a very fantastic tea. I usually like the more fruity Dan Congs, such as the Eight Immortals Wudong or the Huangzhi Xiang Classic and have tried some more fruity Song Zhong from other sellers. But this tea, even though it doesn’t have the strong fruitiness that I usually enjoy so much, still makes me appreciate this tea even more for its very pleasant taste which I would probably describe as vanilla pinewood with a very pleasant sweetness. This tea has a very long and pleasant aftertaste and during the session the whole room fills with the unique smell of this tea.
But I think what makes this tea so unique for me is that its taste has a certain calm wisdom to it. Drinking this tea almost feels like a form of mediation that directs my thoughts inwards and makes me think about the things in life that truly matter. I don’t think any other tea I’ve drunk so far has so much wisdom in its taste. This works very well with the calming body sensation that this tea brings during the session. It is a gem in my tea collection that really has the perfect balance.
I prefer to brew it using 3g in a 100ml clay pot at 95°C, increasing the temperature to 99°C for the later infusions to get more out of the leaves.
Indeed, sometimes we want a fragrant tea, sometimes a fruity one, yet some other times things that are a little deeper. There are teas that easily appeal to most people and there are teas that only some will understand. When I was young I could not bear the taste of bitter gourd, but some time somewhere in my adulthood, I suddenly found the taste of bitter gourd amazing. They say it is only after one has learned the bittersweet nature of life that one can appreciate bitter gourd. I think it is the understanding of taste itself.
One of the few teas that made my heart skip a beat, or shed a tear in pure admiration. Everything about this tea is graceful, refined and elegant. I was shocked since the entry is quiet and subdued, but the mid to late palate is so smooth and gentle with veritable depth. I’ve never thought that an oolong could emulate a gushu pu’erh. Too many plantation teas smack you in the face with their sappy, candy-like fragrance. This one is the definition of minerality and long aftertaste.
Knowing that a fine tea like this one being appreciated is a joy that I still have to find words to describe. Maybe it is rather like I have made an abstract painting that I think optimally transmit a feeling and a viewer is emotionally moved by it. A quality so precious as this Danhu Old Bush demands the delicate sensitivity of the taster to understand. I am grateful that you share the same reverence for this gem of tea.
It took some time for me to fully understand this tea since there are many more aspects to research and enjoy.
It is complex but simple. The citrus note takes the center of the stage at all movements. Aroma, taste, mouthfeel, aftertaste and even the body sensation from it’s force are resemble to my experiences with good citrus fruits. This tea can dive deep and pull me to the bottom of my mind and bring enjoyment from the ground up.
This tea is the cornerstone of my life experience and it will always find its place in my heart.
So happy that you have built a relationship with the very special find. “Complex and simple” is quite a poetic and true description. I love this tea dearly myself.
This tea was the embodiment of the wonder, and sublime calm and peace in a tea cup some of us seek. What more could one wish for from a tea?
Thank you for sharing your feelings on drinking this tea. It truly is the transcendence of the state of mind that this rare dancong helps us to attain that is the most precious thing about tea.
This is the best Oolong I’ve ever had.
The vanilla and mandarin orange flavour honestly blows me away.
It’s such a rich-tasting tea, I would even say that the price is too low for what you are getting.
If you consider this tea but you are unsure because of the price, I can guarantee you that you won’t regret buying it. A must-have tea.
I used 6g for 200ml water and my infusion times were:
1. 1 minute
2. 45 seconds
3. 45 seconds
4. 45 seconds
5. 1 minute
6. 1 minute
7. 1 minute and 30 seconds
8. 2 minutes
9. 3 minutes
10. 5 minutes
You can even try more infusions.
I bought 1kg of Huang Zhi Xiang in Chau Zhou at 5000 RMB/ jin so it is more expensive tea than this Danhu tea. I did tasting comparison with friends. This tea wins without doubt. Drink it quietly. This tea transcending with most wonderful tastes and scents.