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The Rock Tea, Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea

[2013.07.22] Posted By

Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong at Wu Dong Shan

I was at the Phoenix town to purchase Phoenix Dan Cong oolong. I had an opportunity to visit Wu Dong Shan and survey the condition of the tea garden.

Wu Dong Shan is the best place for Phoenix Dan Cong oolong

Generally, it is said that the Phoenix Dan Cong oolong is produced from the Phoenix Mountain. However, there is no specific mountain called Phoenix Mountain. The name ‘Phoenix Mountain’ refers to a number of peaks exists around the Phoenix town. As a matter of fact, roughly more than 80% of tea is not even produced from a high mountain but just from an ordinary tea garden at a much lower altitude (sometimes below 500m above sea level). Out of many peaks of the Phoenix Mountain, Wu Dong Shan is known to be the best place for quality Phoenix Dan Cong oolong. The highest peak of Wu Dong Shan is at around 1400m and the tea trees scattered almost till the top of the peak. The tea from Wu Dong Shan is sold at a higher price than the tea from other mountains.

The hometown of Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong, Wu Dong Shan

The Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong is one of the two major rock teas in China

Usually, many people associate rock tea with Wu Yi oolong, and Phoenix Dan Cong oolong is less famous as rock tea. However, you may be surprised to see so many rocks in Wu Dong Shan. A number of rocks dominate the tea growing area and the tea trees are planted by trying to avoid those rocks. I sometimes wonder why their ancestors chose such place for tea planting; perhaps they knew that the harsh environment would produce fine quality tea. As a matter of fact, when tea trees grow in harsh environments, they tend to grow very slowly, resulting in a tea that is highly concentrated with constituents.

Rock road at Wu Dong Shan

Tea garden in Wu Dong Shan

The trees around the rocks are all tea tree.

Tea trees and rocks

Tea trees and rocks

There were many walls and path ways that were constructed by rocks. The tea bushes are formed layer by layer and it was built with rocks. It requires a lot of energy to walk around the tea garden of Phoenix oolong. Due to many holes and niches that existed between rocks, we also needed to be aware of venomous snakes present. It is very dangerous to walk around during morning, evening and night where the snakes are active when the temperature is low.

Wu Dong mountain

Wu Dong mountain

One of the routes I selected required a casual rock climbing

The harsh growing environment makes the after taste of a tea very strong and has a complex flavor.

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