Dancong tea or Dan Cong tea also called Feng Huang Dancong or Phoenix Dancong is a kind of Chinese oolong tea, produced in Feng Huang Town in Chaozhou City of Guangdong Province. Feng Huang means “phoenix”. Dancong means “excellent single tea tree”.
Like Wuyi rock tea, Dancong tea has many types, more than 80 varieties and has many different fragrances. It is also a national geographical indication protection product of China.
1. History of Dancong tea
According to historical records, Dancong tea trees began to be cultivated in the late Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), more than 900 years ago.
There are more than 3,700 ancient tea trees that are more than 200 years old preserved in Chaozhou City, among which a tee tree called “Song tea” has been more than 600 years old.
In 1278, the emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty passed through Feng Huang Town and was thirsty. The local tea farmer offered the Dancong tea. After drinking it, the emperor felt refreshed and named it “Song tea”.
In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Dancong tea became a tribute tea due to its excellent quality.
During 1875-1908, in order to improve the quality of tea, the local tea farmers selected and cultivated excellent single plant from tens of thousands of ancient tea trees and carried out single plant picking, single plant making, and single plant sales, therefore “Dancong” (single tea tree) appeared.
2. Growth environment of Dancong tea
The tea production area of Feng Huang Town has the characteristics of high mountains and short sunshine, heavy cloud and rainfall, not cold in winter and not hot in summer, which is very suitable for the growth of tea trees. There is no obvious dormancy period for the growth of tea trees, and the tea can be produced in all seasons.
The yellow soil and red soil in Feng Huang Town are mainly distributed over 400 meters above sea level. The soil is deep, rich in organic matters and dozens of trace elements, which paly an important role in the formation of the characteristics of Dancong tea.
In addition, there are many rivers and mountains in Feng Huang Town, with reasonable reservoir distribution and abundant water resources. Therefore, in the dry season, except for the plain tea garden, which needs water irrigation only in the seedling stage of the tea trees, the mountain tea garden generally does not need water irrigation.
3. Characteristics of Dancong tea
Dancong tea is famous for its rich varieties and rich fragrances.
There are more than 80 types of Dancong tea, some of which are named after the leaf shape, some after the leaf color, some after the leaf size, some after the tea fragrance and so on.
So each type of Dancong tea has a different shape, color, fragrance, and taste. The color of tea soup is usually orange-yellow, red-brown, golden and so on.
The top 10 fragrances of Dancong tea, which were proposed and defined in 1996, are the most typical fragrances.
- Ya Shi Xiang
- Mi Lan Xiang
- Apricot fragrance
- Orchid fragrance
- Jasmine fragrance
- Gardenia fragrance
- Tuberose fragrance
- Cinnamon fragrance
- Osmanthus fragrance
- Yulan Magnolia fragrance
- White Ginger Lily fragrance
Dancong tea has a unique “mountain flavor” which is a meaningful flavor and can’t be expressed. The “mountain flavor” is the key to the characteristics of Dancong tea and is different from other Dancong teas.
The unique characteristics of Dancong tea can not be separated from three necessary conditions: superior growth environment, excellent tea trees, and exquisite processing technology.
4. Health benefits of Dancong tea
Dancong tea is rich in tea polyphenols, alkaloids, amino acids, vitamins, trace elements, etc, which have good pharmacological effects.
Here are the main benefits of Dancong tea:
- Weight loss
- Promoting digestion
- Anti-inflammatory and sterilization
- Reducing blood sugar and cholesterol