Chen Hongwei and his son Chen Weiqiao are the long-time operators of one of Chaozhou’s oldest tea factories. They enjoy close relationships with the smallholder farms that are home to some of Wudong’s oldest tea plants. Their company is even in charge of caring for one of the oldest tea trees in Wudong mountain.
The steps of production parallel with Rock Wulong that we have seen before: plucking, withering, the multi-stage zuoqing (oxidation), de-enzyming, rolling, drying, sorting, and roasting. However, there are a few unique details specific to Dan Cong wulong’s roasting.
Dan Cong processing aims to emphasize the bright, delicate, and changing aromas of the tea leaves, thus the charcoal roast is generally not carried to the same extent as Wuyi Rock Wulong.
Smokeless embers of locally produced lychee and longan charcoal are traditionally considered to be the best for roasting Dan Cong, adding no resinous smoke or sooty off-flavors to cloud the tea’s qualities, be they shocking or subtle.