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dancong ariaDancong oolongs are a rare variety from Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong province, China. Our Dancong Aria (Mi Lan Xiang) exudes a perfumy aroma of orchids and almonds. Smooth and refined texture with flavors of fresh apricot, peach pit and honey. Incredibly long finish. Dancong Aria is a tea to take your time with - for maximum sweetness use lower water temperature than for most oolongs and be careful not to over-steep it, because for a tea that's got 'flowers' going on for days, this is no shrinking violet. A rich, grounding cup, perfect to enjoy in multiple infusions.
Steep at 195° for 3-5 minutes.
dancong aria teabags
meet the farmer
Pan Hui Huang
Phoenix mountain county, Guangdong
Q How long have you been growing tea?
A"More than 30 years."
Q What got you started in the Tea industry?
A"Our family have dealed with tea planting for several generations. When I was a little boy, I have already worked with my parents for planting tea and making teas."
Q Can you describe a typical day out in the field. How many hours would that be?
A"Normally I get up at 6am. I will first have several cup of dancong with little breakfast. Then I will go to climb the mountain. It takes me one to two hours to climb the mountain. Picking up tea leaves and making teas by primary steps are my main job. It takes time to pick up the tea leaves because our tea trees are all around the mountain. After picking I will send the fresh tea leaves to the primary factory for simple making. Everyday I work like this for about 18 hours."
Q What is your favorite part of growing tea? What inspires you to keep going?
A"We live in the Phoenix mountain the whole life. I love every piece of my hometown. It is beautiful, fresh and green in the mountain. I enjoy the picking when I climb the mountain even it is a hard work. Whenever I think the beautiful mountain makes top dancong tea, I will be very proud of it. This inspires me to keep going and going."
Q Conversely, what is the hardest part of your job?
A"It is bad when we face the insects decroying our tea trees. Because we do not use pesticide in our field, we have to check our tea trees very often."
Q How has tea farming changed over the years?
A"Our Phoenix area is very traditional and backword to be honest. As a result there is not much changes in planting and picking during so many years except one thing the organic thought. We never use pesticide is not because we know it is unhealthy. But we were too poor to use it. But now we have leant a lot about the healthy organic idea. We are trying the best to develop our tea field to become an organic one. Which is a modern idea for us. We are excited that thanks for not using pesticide, teas from our tea gardens are in line with EU rules which is tested by our Eropean and Japanese customers. We have applied for the organic certificate in China last year. And hope we could apply an international one soon."
Q What do you think makes your tea more unique or better than others?
A"Of course it is the special ideal area here in Phoenix. Phoenix dancong is famous for its special flower flavor in China and abord. The special taste is only from our beautiful Phoenix mountain."
Q What makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful harvest?
A"The weather and experience are very important."
Q Do you exchange growing secrets with other local farmers?
Q Are there any tips you can give on how to best brew your tea?
A"The best idea is to use gongfu gaiwan teaset. We normally brew the teas with Gaiwan instead of teapot due to the long dan cong leaves. Besides, if possible use our mountain spring water. If not mineral water is better than tap water."
Q What is your favorite tea to drink and why?
A"Of course our Phoenix dancong. Whenever I have time after working, I will enjoy the teas with gongfu gaiwan with friends and faimlies. It is great to have a cup of tea which comes from my own hard working. Besides you could not find any fat people in our area including chaozhou and shantou near us. Because everyone drinks dancong. It is extremely good to drink after a big feast."
Q If you had any advice to give western tea drinkers, what would it be?
A"Dancong is a very special tea in China which only can be produced in Phoenix. The quantity is not big but the quality is good. Drink it very often, it can keep you fit and bring happiness with the traditional gaiwan."
Q What does this project & contribution mean to you?
A"I am very happy that people outside China can drink my tea. It will absolutly stimulate me to work harder and make better teas."
Q What would be the main benefit of receiving this donation?
A"I hope I can repair my factory as they are very old."
fresh from the gardenTo ensure the best quality and value, we import our teas directly from the countries in which they are grown, working closely with the farmers who tender them.
Our Roots Campaign connects our customers with the rich stories and the farmers behind some of our most popular teas.
fresh from origin
The southern coastal province of Guangdong is China's most prosperous, with a rich tea tradition. Phoenix Mountain is home to rare 'tea trees' - tea plants that grew as a single trunk, 15 to 30 feet high. Some are hundreds of years old. Dancong teas are noted for their ability to naturally imitate the flavors and fragrances of various flowers and fruits, such as orange blossom, orchid, grapefruit, almond. Often, these teas are named after what that particular harvest is reminiscent of: 'Honey Fragrance', 'Almond Fragrance', etc. A great tea for gongfu style brewing, where an entire afternoon can quietly slip by, cup after cup.