Shèmen Dancong Double Baked 2016
Rock tea of Phoenix
Deep in Wudong, the most revered area for Fenhuang Dancong production, the village of Shèmen ( sheh-mehn ) is home to one of the most elusive traditional style oolongs. Here the Shè ( 畬 ) tribe settled a thousand years ago and began producing oolong to bake it in a way that was copied in Wuyishan a few hundred years later to produce Wuyi oolongs. Tea Hong’s double baked and matured Shèmen Dancong is our best attempt to reconstruct the same tea of the peace-loving and hard-working Shè people 10 centuries ago. This old style oolong gives a clear and most eloquent definition of the tea term yan-yun — music from the rock. The term has been mostly employed to describe better Wuyi oolongs yet it has never been more beautifully defined by this Phoenix tea. If you ever wonder about the relationship of the oolongs between the two regions, this may well be the link you are looking for.
Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
珍藏 2016 文火深焙 老樹輋門單樅
Warm, sweet and refreshing aroma reminiscent of sun-dried lychee, with distinct undertones of peach, ginger blossom and almond. Accents of roasted Chinese liquorice and hints of star anise and fennel. Smooth, malty liquor of baked rye overtone tinkled with accents of mellow spices and oats. Undertone of peach and dang shen ( codonopsis pilosula ) accentuated with tings of peach peel and bergamot zest. Deep, long aftertaste of malt and the pacifying fragrance of sun-dried Xinhuai mandarin orange peel.
For a classic style Phoenix, if our Honey Orchid Supreme tastes too complex for you, and Orchid Gratus too sweet and floral, this Shèmen Dancong is an option that is rich and deep enough for veteran gongfu tea aficionados and can still be smooth and easy for casual infusion and daily consumption.
Contrary to common practices and concepts in China, very short infusion with a lot of leaves is NOT going to render the full profile of any finer Phoenix oolongs. Particularly for a tea as fine as this matured and double baked Shèmen Dancong. If you prefer a gongfu approach, begin with 5g to 150 ml water at between 85° to 90°C for 30 sec. Lower the temperature or leaf amount if you find this setting too strong for you. Otherwise, try raising the temperature a notch for moe aroma or increasing the duration for better umami and more complexity in the liquor.
For people who steep tea in conventional ways, such as in a mug, try 1g to 100 ml at 85°C for 5 to 7 minutes. Lower the ratio, but increase the duration for bigger vessels. Also very slightly raise the temperature. Always preheat the infusion ware. Always separate the leaves from the liquor after each round.
Avoid contact with unused leaves, not even the moisture from your breathe. Always minimise the amount of air in the storage bag and close the bag tightly. If you want to further mature this tea, it is better to keep the bag unopened.
We have stored and rebaked this tea in a seven month period and then further matured it for three years before releasing it. Tea Hong’s Shèmen Dancong 2016 is good as is but can be further matured if you want to. Maturing will give more complexity to the aroma and an even smoother body. It is important that you taste the tea as is before deciding that you like it and will mature it yourself. We recommend maturing with a properly handled and unopened pack. Store pack at between 20~25°C in a dark and dry environment.
Since this name has been mentioned in a few pieces of Fenghuang Dancong literature but the actual tea not easy to access, vendors have employed various substitutes or blends to create their own version of the tea. Various descriptions of appearance, taste and aroma have appeared in different Chinese sources and copied to sites in the West. Myths easily get propagated on the internet to the benefits of some. Such is the state of the world.