Oolong Tea and Chinese Cuisine: A Guide to Dan Cong Teas

Hi there, tea lovers! I’m so excited to share with you one of my favorite types of tea: Dan Cong oolong. If you’re not familiar with this amazing tea, you’re in for a treat. Dan Cong oolong is a special kind of oolong tea that comes from the Phoenix Mountains in Guangdong province, China.

Tea and Chinese Cuisine

It has a rich history, a complex flavor profile, and a wonderful pairing potential with Chinese cuisine. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Dan Cong oolong and how to enjoy it with some delicious dishes.

What is Dan Cong oolong?

Dan Cong oolong is a type of oolong tea that is made from a single tea bush cultivar. The name Dan Cong means “single bush” or “single trunk” in Chinese, and it refers to the fact that each tea bush produces a unique flavor and aroma. Dan Cong oolong is also known as Phoenix oolong or Feng Huang oolong, because it grows in the Phoenix Mountains (Feng Huang Shan) at an altitude of 1000-1500 meters.

Dan Cong oolong has a long history that dates back to the Song dynasty (960-1279), when it was considered a tribute tea for the imperial court. According to legend, the emperor was so impressed by the fragrance of Dan Cong oolong that he sent his officials to find the source of the tea. They discovered that the tea came from a single tea bush that resembled a phoenix spreading its wings. The emperor named the tea Phoenix Dan Cong and ordered that it be cultivated exclusively for him.

Today, there are over 100 different cultivars of Dan Cong oolong, each with its own distinctive flavor and aroma. Some of the most famous ones are:

  • Honey Orchid (Mi Lan Xiang): This is one of the most popular and widely available Dan Cong oolongs. It has a sweet and floral aroma that resembles orchids and honey, and a smooth and mellow taste.
  • Almond (Xing Ren Xiang): This is another classic Dan Cong oolong that has a nutty and roasted aroma that reminds of almonds. It has a rich and full-bodied taste with a hint of bitterness.
  • Duck Shit (Ya Shi Xiang): Don’t let the name scare you off! This is actually one of the most prized and expensive Dan Cong oolongs. It has a complex and layered aroma that combines floral, fruity, and earthy notes. Some say it smells like duck shit, but others say it smells like roses or mangoes. It has a sweet and smooth taste with a long-lasting aftertaste.
  • Magnolia (Yu Lan Xiang): This is a delicate and elegant Dan Cong oolong that has a fresh and fragrant aroma that resembles magnolia flowers. It has a light and refreshing taste with a slight sourness.
  • Osmanthus (Gui Hua Xiang): This is a fragrant and floral Dan Cong oolong that has a pleasant aroma that resembles osmanthus flowers. It has a sweet and smooth taste with a hint of peach.

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