Dan Cong Shui Xian Oolong (单枞水仙) is a highly oxidised and roasted oolong grown on the famous Wu Dong Mountain in Guangdong Province. It features a pleasant roasted and floral honey aroma with a smooth and complex flavour. This particular batch is from April 2018 harvest.
Dan Cong (单枞) is the general term that is used to refer to oolongs that come from Guangdong and specifically from Phoenix Mountains. Dan Cong literally means ‘single bush’ as traditionally these oolongs were all plucked only from single semi-wild trees. It has now become the generic term to cover all Phoenix Mountains (Fenghuang Shan 凤凰山) and sometimes other Guangdong Oolongs. This particular Shui Xian comes from Wu Dong Mountain (Wu Dong Shan 乌岽山), which is one of the tallest and perhaps the most famous of all of the Phoenix Mountains.
Traditionally, Shui Xian (水仙), sometimes also Shui Hsien, is a type of oolong that originates from Fujian Province and refers to the cultivar used to make this tea. Shui Xian translates as ‘narcissus’, ‘water sprite’ or ‘water lily’ in English and is known for distinctive flowery honey aroma and flavour. However some Shui Xian oolong teas are also produced in Guangdong Province. While there are may references to Shui Xian originating in Wu Yi Shan in Fujian Province, there are a few others who think that this plant was brought over to Fujian from Guangdong a long time ago. There doesn’t seem to be a particular consensus on the exact origin of Shui Xian cultivar and on whether the two cultivars grown in Fujian and Guangdong Provinces are actually the same plant. However, there is definitely a certain degree of similarity between Shui Xian oolong teas from both of these tea regions.
Dan Cong Shui Xian Oolong is particularly known for having a floral and honey aspect while also being one of the most oxidised and roasted of Guangdong oolong teas. The dark twisted leaves produce a deep amber liquor with a roasted floral aroma. It has a mineral profile with a roasted floral flavour that is a little sweet and fruity. There are light woody, stony, roasted and floral notes with a lovely clean tangy finish that has minimal astringency. Overall a deeply satisfying and comforting tea that adds another dimension to the typical Dan Cong flavours.
It is best brewed at 90°C for about 3 minutes according to your taste. As expected, it will stand multiple infusions well.