Huang Zhi Xiang (Yellow Sprig)

Dan Cong Wulong Tea 2019

A lightly oxidized, medium roasted Dan Cong wulong tea with a mellow body and a buoyant gardenia aroma. Young leaves harvested early in spring for minimal bitterness, from tea plants descended from the oldest Phoenix Mountain mother bush. A popular Dan Cong wulong with the characteristic high fragrance and a honey yellow brew with a light yet full flavor.

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Tea Origin
Phoenix Mountain, Chaozhou City, Guangdong Province, China

Tea Bush
Huang Zhi Xiang (Yellow Sprig)

Tea Master
Chen Xiong

Harvest Time
Late April

Picking Standard
Zhong kai mian

This lightly oxidized and medium roasted Dan Cong wulong tea brews a light honey yellow tea color, with a sweet, mellow body and a light gardenia aroma. Huang Zhi Xiang (Yellow Sprig) is a great tea for new Dan Cong wulong tea drinkers because of its high fragrance, light flavor and affordable price.

Yellow Sprig’s origin of Chaozhou, in China’s southern Guangdong province, is famous for producing Dan Cong wulong tea. The climate here is tropical, bordering on subtropical, and the yellowish-red soil is rich and fertile.  According to Chaozhou’s local history, the near-by Phoenix Mountain was first cultivated for tea production over 600 years ago.

The namesake of Phoenix Mountain is a legend from the last years of the Song Dynasty. As the legend tells, a young Song Dynasty emperor and his officers were being chased by Mongolians attacking from the north when the fleeing emperor was passed through this mountain range. The emperor was very thirsty, but had no water to drink. A bird flew over the emperor and dropped tea leaves and seeds in his hands. His servant instructed him to chew the leaves to quench his thirst. The emperor did so and was refreshed. He pronounced the tea a treasure sent to him by the legendary phoenix. By this legend, the mountainous region was named.

The Phoenix Mountain tea region is very large and has many different peaks within it. The tallest peak, Wu Dong Mountain, is where the region’s tea history began. There are still over 4,000 tea bushes here that are over 100 years old. The oldest of these bushes is the mother bush of the Huang Zhi Xiang (Yellow Sprig) variety. The mother bush is six meters tall and is about 600 years old.  Old bushes like these have large tree-like trunks and deep root systems and are locally referred to as “half-tree” tea bushes. The tea brewed from their leaves bares resemblance the robust and concentrated quality of old tree Puer tea from Yunnan.

Dan Cong Wulong like Huang Zhi Xiang begin picking in early April. Pickers choose the top 3-4 leaves of the new growth branches. The fresh leaves are carried back to the factory to wither under the sunshine for 1-2 hours. After that, they are sent inside the factory and placed inside a large rolling machine.  Good quality rolling machines are made of woven bamboo, all run by an electric motor. Lots of people use stainless steel machines, but our tea is made using a bamboo one. They will gently rotate the leaves a few time over about 2 hours to help them keep withering. They will raise the temperature of the machine to help the oxidation process and shake it more often over the course of 4-6 hours. The tea master will then take the leaves and use a very hot (above 200 degrees celsius) and quickly fry the tea leaves for about 10 minutes to kill the enzymes and stop the oxidation process. After the tea is fried, the leaves are soft and can be twisted into their shape. A kneading machine is use to compress and knead the leaves until they are twisted in to their long shape. The leaves will be wet and moist, so they are dried in an oven for about 40  minutes. The mao cha is now finished. They will pack all the mao cha in large bags and wait until the season is over to sort out the sprigs and unfolded leaves. The tea will be roasted one more time and will then be done.

Yellow Sprig offers aromatics akin to gardenia flowers and yields a brisk flavor that can be compared Snow Orchid, although slightly milder. As with every dan cong wulong tea, you can reuse the leaves over and over multiple times — more so than you would other types of tea. Good aroma will accompany you to the last infusion.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.



Huang Zhi Xiang (Yellow Sprig) 2019 brewing guidelines

Teaware: 12 oz. glass, porcelain or yi xing clay pot
Amount: 1 Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 212°F (boiling) filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 1 minute. The leaves are good for 6 infusions.