Guangdong is one of the southern provinces of China with humid subtropical monsoon climate. The famous oolong tea grows in the north of the province, in the Phoenix Mountains, outlying Chaozhou city, 潮州. This area is located near the East China Sea, so the climate is mild here, with rainfall of about 2000 mm per year and an average annual temperature of + 22 ° C. The weather can change several times a day here and if it is raining half a kilometer from you, it does not mean that over your head should not be sunshine.
“Dan Cong” tea bushes 单丛 (single bush) grow at an altitude of above 400 to 1,300 meters. That's a pretty high tea tree with thin branching trunk and large leaves. Depending on the height of the mountain slopes, the fog density, humidity, air temperature contrast and soil fertility these tea trees provide more than 80 varieties of Guangdong oolongs with unique aromatic bouquets.
The leaves are picked separately from each plant. The best-known tea variety is Feng Huang Dan Cong (凤凰 单 丛), “Single bush from Phoenix Mountain”. Actually, any Guangdong oolong can be called by this name, but the "full name" necessarily includes variety details. Usually the tea name includes the name of orchids: Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong, 蜜兰香单丛 (Single Bush with Honey Orchid Flavor), Yu Lan Xiang Dan Cong, 玉蘭香单丛 (Single Bush with Jade Orchid Flavor) and others. We want to mention such varieties as the Ba Xian Dan Cong, 八仙单丛 (Single Bush of Eight Immortals), Bai Ye Wu Dong Dan Cong, 白叶单丛 (White Leaf) Xi Ren Xiang Dan Cong, 杏仁香单丛 (Oolong with Almond Flavor). These and many other Chaozhou oolongs have truly wonderful, rich taste palettes, excellent flavors, long lasting and deep aftertaste. Tea technology mastering, fixing the selected flavors is a great skill that has been developed in the Phoenix mountains for centuries.
The Chaozhou oolong processing technology is similar to The Wuyi technology. By the way, some very talented artists have their "family" secrets of oolong producing. Dancong oolong bouquets are characterized by astringent berry and honey tones that make them different from Wuyi oolongs. The bouquet specialty come due to differences in climate and varietal features of Dan Cong tea bushes.
The big article about Guangdong oolong
View our film about Chaozhou
Another interesting tea made in the North-East of Guangdong is Chao Cha or “Roasted” Tea. The authentic technology for its manufacture in an unchanged form came from the Ming era. This is one of the first varieties of loose tea in history. The essence of the method is the long-term (at least 24 hours) roasting of small batches of tea leaf over low heat with interruptions for cooling. A distinctive feature of the technology is the fact that even today they use a wood stove. As raw materials, the upper leaves from the dancong shoots distributed in the vicinity of the Fenghuangshan mountains are used.
Video report from a small farm where this rarity is made: The most unusual tea from Guangdong. Chaocha - “roasted” tea.