Don't worry, it's not what you think. This tea is famous is the oolong world, but can sound a little off-putting if you don't know the history. The leaves are large and soft and go through a multi-step oxidation process to enhance the honey-like aroma. Steamed, the leaves have an irresistibly full, creamy, toasty, floral-sweet aroma. The first steep is buttery smooth and rich with notes of sweet cream and fruit. Each steep opens new notes in the leaf and the tea gets progressively more floral and green as the toasty fire notes recede. This tea will go for many steeps and is best enjoyed with an aroma cup to fully enjoy all the of aromatics it can offer.
Dan Cong oolongs are plucked form Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong, China. The term "Dan Cong" translates to Single Bush, which historically meant that the tea was all plucked from the same tea tree. More commonly it is used to describe teas from Phoenix Mountain which have been plucked from the same cultivar and are allowed to grow into large trees. They are famous for adopting various aromas and this tea is no different.
According to legend, the farmers who made this tea plucked the leaves from tea trees growing in soil that was a yellowish-brown color. The tea was so exceptional, they called it Ya Shi Xiang (Duck Shit Aroma), hoping to prevent people from stealing their tea or taking cuttings from their trees. Think of it like the old Greenland/Iceland switcharoo. It didn't take long before word got out about how good the tea was, though, so here we are!
Harvest: Spring, 2023
Origin: Guangdong, China
This small leaf shou puerh is made from a blend of ancient tree leaf material across four districts in Lincang County. Fermented in 2007 and carefully aged in Kunming ever since, this tea straddles the balance between soft and bold. The aroma has notes of earth and raw chocolate and steeps a liquor that is rich burgundy with no murkiness. The initial steep is a soft introduction to the tea, with each steep reaching deeper notes. The mouthfeel is smooth washes down your throat, leaving lingering flavors of clean earth and smooth river rocks. The age of the leaves allows the tea to be steeped upwards of 10 times before losing flavor and has an uplifting effect on the psyche.
If you remember when we had this tea years ago, you will be so happy to see it back. We were able to get in touch with contacts in Lincang who have access to the same leaves we had previously, and it has only gotten better with age.
Origin: Yunnan, China
This is a new tea for us, which we are so happy to share with you. Harvested from Bitter Bamboo Mountain in Yunnan, these ancient leaves are sun-dried and pressed for Blue Willow into 100g cakes. The aroma of the warm leaf has notes of dry wood and fruit leather. The leaves steep velvety smooth and fills the whole mouth with flavors mimicking chocolate, kumquat, and cedarwood. The roughly 300-year-old trees have deep roots, channeling minerals to the tips of the leaves which linger from the roof of the mouth to deep in the throat.
These leaves are lightly rolled after withering, increasing the amount of time to oxidize, which makes the tea sweeter. The process of sun-drying instead of baking allows more enzymes to live, altering the flavor of the tea and making it ideal for aging. Over time, the enzymes will continue to create more sugars, making the tea sweeter and sweeter the longer it ages. These leaves were harvested in 2022 and are already full of flavor, so we can't wait to see how the flavors progress.
Origin: Yunnan, China
*Label art hand-drawn by Ali, Boss Lady*