Nestled within the verdant slopes of China’s Phoenix Mountain lies a treasure trove of flavor known to tea connoisseurs worldwide – the Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong tea. Our recent expedition to this tea heaven offered us a glimpse into the delicate dance of tradition and nature that culminates in a cup of this exquisite brew.
Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong is not just a tea; it’s a legacy, cultivated and perfected through generations. The term “Dan Cong” translates to “single bush,” indicating that each batch comes from a single tea plant, offering a unique flavor profile. These tea trees are the living heritage of the mountain, with some aged over a hundred years, deeply rooted in the mineral-rich soil.
Our day began with the morning dew, as our skilled tea pickers set out at dawn. Their hands moved with practiced grace, selecting only the tenderest leaves, a trio of two leaves and a bud. In their palms, the future of a perfect brew gently rested.
Once harvested, the leaves basked under the Phoenix mountain sun, spreading across bamboo mats in an open field. This natural wilting process is pivotal, allowing the leaves to soften and initiate oxidation. As the sun journeys across the sky, the leaves absorb its warmth, enhancing their inherent sweetness.
The scent of fresh tea leaves filled the air as we moved to the factory, where the leaves undergo a transformation, embodying the soul of Phoenix Dan Cong. Here, the leaves were gently tossed in bamboo drums, a process that bruises the edges, kickstarting oxidation. This step is an art form, requiring precise timing and temperature control to coax out the leaves’ floral and fruity notes.
The final stages include rolling, which shapes the leaves and brings out the oils that carry the tea’s essence, and roasting, which halts oxidation and locks in the flavor. Each stage is monitored with an artisan’s eye, ensuring that every leaf meets the high standards of Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong tea.
Our visit was more than just a tour; it was an immersive experience into a world where human touch and natural elements intertwine to create a symphony of flavors. From the sun-kissed fields to the rhythmic sounds of the factory, each step of the process is a testament to the commitment of preserving the environment while crafting a tea that not only delights the senses but also honors the planet.
As we sipped the final product, the layers of taste unraveling with each infusion, we were reminded that Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong is not just a drink. It’s a moment of tranquility, a connection to the earth, and a sip of harmony between humanity and nature.