Ya Shi Xiang is a kind of Chinese oolong tea, produced Phoenix Town of Guangdong Province. It is one of the 80 varieties of Phoenix Dancong (Feng Huang Dancong). Ya Shi means “duck shit” and Xiang means “fragrance”.
Ya Shi Xiang is a very famous variety among all the Phoenix Dancong teas due to its high quality and mellow taste. But its name is not as elegant as other Dancong teas, therefore, it is not only the tea itself, but also its name that people enjoy talking about.
1. Origin of the name of Ya Shi Xiang
The varieties of Phoenix Dancong are usually classified according to the fragrance of the tea, such as honey fragrance, apricot fragrance, orchid fragrance, jasmine fragrance, etc. These kinds of teas really have the flower fragrance.
Many people who first heard the name of “Ya Shi Xiang” may think whether the tea has a fragrance of duck shit.
The origin of the name of Ya Shi Xiang has two explanations. One is because the tea trees grow on the local yellow soil, commonly known as “duck shit soil”; the other is because the tea farmers are afraid that others may steal their tea trees and deliberately uglify the tea name.
2. New name of Ya Shi Xiang
With the growing popularity of Ya Shi Xiang, the tea farmers and tea experts think its name is not very formal. They think it should be given a better name.
After many evaluations, the tea experts think its fragrance is similar to that of honeysuckle. So in 2014, they decided to officially change the original “Ya Shi Xiang” to “Honeysuckle fragrance”.
However, the renamed “Honeysuckle fragrance” is rarely known at present. So its new name mainly provides a basis for the relevant documents, books and tea art. Many people still call it Ya Shi Xiang.
3. Characteristics of Ya Shi Xiang
There is a hundred-year-old tea tree in the hometown of Ya Shi Xiang, which is the ancestor of it. The old tea tree was transplanted by a local tea farmer from a mountain at an altitude of 1,000 meters.
After transplanting, the tea tree was very adaptable to the local yellow soil and grew very quickly. After its fresh tea leaves were made into tea, its quality was very good, causing a great sensation in the local area.
Later, people used the branches of the old tea tree to cultivate new ones. Nowadays, the annual output of Ya Shi Xiang is very high.
The shape of Ya Shi Xiang is thick and tight; its color is jet-black with light yellow or light green. After brewing, its tea soup is bright and orange-yellow and has a honeysuckle fragrance. It tastes mellow and has a sweet aftertaste.
Ya Shi Xiang belongs to oolong tea. The water temperature for brewing must be 100°C. Enough high temperature can make the fragrance and taste of the tea soak out well.