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Introducing 3 Varieties of Phoenix Dancong Oolong Tea

[2023.05.25] Posted By

We have released new types of Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea that are finished with more rounds of roasting with traditional charcoal fire by skilled tea master. In Phoenix, the locals called it Nong Xiang style, meaning that tea is giving more intense matured flavor.

Nong Xiang tea refers to tea that has been roasted multiple times to promote aging and produce a sweet/dried fruity aroma.

What is charcoal roasting by skilled tea artisans?

Roasted tea is a common type of tea in China and Taiwan, but it is crucial to ensure that it is not burnt. Recently, some tea producers from regions like Wuyi Mountain have started using high temperatures to burn the surface of the tea leaves once or twice, a process known as “charcoal roasting.”
When tea is roasted at a certain temperature, its components are oxidized and burned at the same time. If tea is roasted at high temperatures, it loses its unique flavor and instead takes on a burnt smell.
Therefore, it is important to roast tea at a lower temperature to prevent it from burning. However, low-temperature roasting results in slow changes in the tea’s aroma with each roast. This means that repeated roasting is necessary to transform the tea into a mature, sweet aroma. However, this process can only be successful if the tea leaves are rich in substances that can withstand repeated roasting and produce a rich aroma.

Phoenix Lao Cong Shui Xian Nong Xiang 2021

When it comes to Phoenix oolong tea, those with a strong fragrance are classified as “Dan Cong,” while those with a more subtle aroma influenced by factors like the age of the tea tree and the weather conditions during processing are referred to as “Lang cai” (浪菜) or “Shui Xian.” At HOJO, we carefully select and offer teas made from seed-grown tea bushes that are 80 years old or older.
What distinguishes Phoenix Shui Xian is its extraordinarily prolonged aftertaste, which is not commonly found in teas of comparable price and quality.

Interestingly, this Shui Xian undergoes a finishing process known as “Si Ci Huo,” which involves four rounds of charcoal roasting. Each round of roasting takes several months of aging to redistribute moisture of the tealeaf, and the entire process takes more than a year to complete.

The result of this painstaking roasting process is a unique, sweet aroma that reminds one of dried fruit, caramel, and whiskey.

Phoenix Dan Cong Lao Cong Ji Long Kan Nong Xiang Type (Thick Flavor) 2021

Ji Long Kan is a very famous tea tree, and the mother tree still exists today in Phoenix Mountain. It is said that it was named after its shape resembling a chicken coop.

The mother tree of Ji Long Kan

Like Shui Xian, this tea is made with four rounds of roasting. It takes a year to complete the four rounds of charcoal roasting, resulting in a unique and richly aromatic tea.

To prevent the tea from burning, it is carefully roasted at a low temperature, resulting in an aroma reminiscent of canelé, dried plums, dried apricots, dried dates, and whiskey.

Due to its strong aroma, it is especially delicious in cold weather.

The tea comes from Dong Jiao Village (烏崠山脈頂東郊村) in the Wu Dong Mountain, with an altitude of 700-800m and trees age of around 60 years. It is classified as a Zhi Lan Xiang Type (Orchid Aroma Type) tea.

Phoenix Lao Cong Dong Fang Hong 2022

Dong Fang Hong is a renowned tea, known for being a tribute tea to Mao Zedong. It is also the title of a song that praises Mao Zedong and the Communist Party. During the Cultural Revolution, it was considered the unofficial national anthem and became closely associated with Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party. While the mother tree of this tea no longer exists, it held great significance and symbolized the Wu Dong Mountains. I have personally visited this area multiple times and captured photographs of it.

Taken in 2013: The mother tree of Dong Fang Hong, which was vibrant and healthy at the time.

The tea from the mother tree of Dong Fang Hong had a period of high demand and steep price increases. In 2017, it reached an astonishing price of 2 million yuan for 500 grams.

However, around 2018, the Dong Fang Hong tree unexpectedly perished.
The existing Dong Fang Hong tea that is currently available is obtained through grafting from the original mother tree. Dong Fang Hong is a rare variety, particularly when it comes to old trees.
Our product consists of tea leaves harvested from trees grown in Gui Zhu Hu Village, Wu Dong Mountain, at an elevation of approximately 1100 meters. These trees have an approximate age of 80 years.
When grafting onto an old tree, it typically takes around 8 years for the scion and rootstock to merge, resulting in a flavor that closely resembles that of the original old tree.

The tea maker employs a meticulous two-step roasting method that involves two rounds of charcoal roasting, spanning several months to complete the entire process. This careful approach yields a harmonious fusion of robust and delicate aromas. Instead of fruity undertones, this tea presents a distinctive floral fragrance reminiscent of gardenia, magnolia, and lily flowers.

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