For those intrigued by oolong tea, the name Fenghuang Dancong may ring a bell. Recognized as a tea treasure, Fenghuang Dancong is celebrated for its robust flavor and enduring sweetness.
What is Fenghuang Dancong?
Fenghuang Dancong, a loose leaf oolong tea, stands as the epitome of Guangdong's oolong variety, specifically linked to Fenghuang Mountain in Chaozhou City. It earns its name from the tradition of harvesting, processing, and marketing tea from individual trees. Characterized by an intense floral aroma, a mellow taste, and a robust aftertaste, Fenghuang Dancong has rightfully earned its status as a precious oolong tea.
Evolution of Fenghuang Dancong
During the late Qing Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty, any tea crafted from the Phoenix Narcissus variety, with single-tree harvesting, processing, store and sales, fell under the category of Fenghuang Dancong. Preceding the Republican era, the majority of tea trees producing Fenghuang Dancong were sexually reproduced trees thriving in high-altitude environments.
From 1955 to the 1980s, during a period when the Chinese government encouraged tea exports, Fenghuang Dancong experienced significant growth. In 1955, a tea purchasing station was established in Fenghuang Town. Fresh leaves of the Phoenix Narcissus variety served as raw materials, giving rise to a series of Phoenix teas. Within the Phoenix tea series, three distinct grades emerged: Dancong tea, Langcai tea, and Narcissus tea.
In the 1990s, propelled by the progress of propagation technologies such as grafting, asexual reproduction became widespread. These techniques facilitated the mass replication of previously selected superior single-tree tea trees. Presently, Fenghuang Dancong no longer emphasizes the concept of "single-tree harvesting and processing" but rather broadly refers to these exceptional individual trees. Three major aroma types are now highlighted: Honey Orchid aroma, Yellow Twig Flower aroma, and Orchid aroma.
Distinctive Flavor of Fenghuang Dancong
Fenghuang Dancong tea is renowned for its "beautiful appearance, emerald color, rich fragrance, and sweet taste," embodying the four unique characteristics.
The tea features a straight, plump, and glossy appearance; a naturally elegant and high floral fragrance; a rich, mellow, refreshing, and lingering taste; a clear and bright orange-yellow liquor; green stems, red-edged green leaves, and a strong brewing resistance, collectively forming the unique characteristics of Fenghuang Dancong tea in terms of color, fragrance, and taste.
Mountain Charm of Fenghuang Dancong
Fenghuang Dancong boasts a unique "mountain charm" in terms of taste, representing a deeper level of expression that can only be appreciated through experience. This special "mountain charm" is crucial to the tea's quality and distinguishes it from other single-tree teas produced elsewhere. The key factors contributing to Fenghuang Dancong's mountain charm include superior ecological conditions, excellent tea tree varieties, and exquisite harvesting and processing techniques.
How to Enjoy Fenghuang Dancong
Pour the tea leaves into a teacup and observe their color and shape. The soup color of Fenghuang Dancong tea is orange-yellow or yellow-green, clear and bright, with a glossy appearance.
Gently shake the teacup to release the tea's aroma. Fenghuang Dancong tea has a unique floral and fruity fragrance with a lasting aroma that captivates the senses.
When tasting Fenghuang Dancong tea, let the tea leaves linger in the mouth for some time to fully appreciate its taste and aftertaste. The tea has a rich and smooth flavor, leaving a long-lasting aftertaste.
During the tea taste process, we can also experience the cultural connotations and historical heritage of Fenghuang Dancong. This tea is not just a specialty beverage in the Chaoshan region but also a cultural symbol passed down through the centuries.
Craftsmanship of Fenghuang Dancong
Fresh leaves of Fenghuang Dancong are typically harvested around the Qingming Festival. Tea tree buds, specifically at the stage of small opening (residual buds present), are plucked using the "riding horse" handpicking technique. If the harvested leaves are too tender, the resulting tea may be bitter and lack fragrance, while overly mature leaves can lead to a coarse and bland taste.
Harvested leaves are usually processed on the same night to preserve freshness. The entire tea-making process takes about 10 hours and includes eight steps: harvesting, sun-drying, air-drying, shaping, fixation, rolling, baking, and final product creation. Each step requires meticulous attention to detail and precision.
Unique Ecological Environment of Fenghuang Dancong Production Area
Chaozhou City, located in the eastern part of Guangdong Province, has a subtropical maritime climate with mild temperatures. The average annual temperature is 21.4°C, and there is abundant rainfall, averaging 1685.9 millimeters annually. Chaozhou's tea-producing areas benefit from a short daylight period, abundant cloud cover, and rainfall, with no severe cold in winter and no scorching heat in midsummer—ideal conditions for tea tree growth. Tea trees in Chaozhou have no distinct dormancy period and can produce tea throughout the year.
The soil types in the tea-producing areas of Chaozhou include yellow soil, red soil, red lateritic soil, and paddy soil. Yellow and red soils are mainly distributed at altitudes above 400 meters, with a pH value ranging from 4.5 to 6.5. These soils are deep, rich in organic matter, and contain numerous micronutrients. Red lateritic soil and paddy soil provide good water and thermal conditions, with a pH value ranging from 5.5 to 6.5, suitable for tea tree growth.
Chaozhou City has abundant rainfall, numerous mountain streams and rivers, and well-distributed reservoirs, ensuring ample water resources. The region's diverse vegetation, picturesque landscapes, high green coverage, and forest canopy contribute to a unique ecological environment conducive to Fenghuang Dancong tea production.
Fenghuang Dancong Storage Tips
Similar to other tea varieties, Fenghuang Dancong is susceptible to moisture absorption, potentially impacting its quality. This is attributed to tea leaves having a high affinity for moisture and odors, and their fragrance being notably volatile.
For those who prefer enjoying tea in small quantities at home, a common practice is to store it in iron-colored tea canisters, tin bottles, colored glass bottles, or ceramic containers. Optimal storage is recommended with iron-colored tea canisters featuring double-layered lids and long-necked tin bottles. Ensure these containers are airtight, and tightly pack the tea leaves to minimize the presence of air inside.
Health Benefits of Fenghuang Dancong
Fenghuang Dancong tea not only delivers an exceptional taste and quality but also offers various health advantages. Firstly, it is rich in tea polyphenols and antioxidants, supporting antioxidation and combating the damage caused by free radicals—playing a pivotal role in overall health maintenance and the deceleration of the aging process.
Secondly, Fenghuang Dancong tea boasts numerous health benefits, including heat-clearing and detoxifying properties. It has the capacity to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol while promoting stomach health and spleen nourishment. Incorporating Fenghuang Dancong tea into daily life can contribute to regulating bodily functions, enhancing metabolism, and improving the digestive system.
For those yet to experience Fenghuang Dancong or undecided on which type to try, exploring the Honey Orchid fragrance Fenghuang Dancong is recommended. Even for those not accustomed to regular tea consumption, this variety is likely to be perceived as exceptionally delicious. iTeaworld offers a high-quality, cost-effective, and popular Honey Orchid fragrance Fenghuang Dancong. If you desire to explore not only Honey Orchid fragrance Fenghuang Dancong but also other classic Chinese oolong teas, consider iTeaworld's thoughtfully curated Oolong Tea Sampler. Furthermore, iTeaworld provides various tea sampler to assist you in discovering the best loose leaf tea based on your preferences.
We trust this article enhances everyone's understanding of Fenghuang Dancong, a celebrated oolong tea, and sheds light on why it is cherished. In reality, there are numerous aspects of Fenghuang Dancong worth savoring, and the best way to appreciate them is through personal exploration—drinking, observing, and tasting. May every enthusiast of Fenghuang Dancong discover the tranquility and joy they seek in this remarkable tea.