This tea has such a rich history, I could write about it for hours. In fact, FML Teas has a 30-paragraph page on the history of Phoenix Oolong tea alone at their website. Phoenix Oolong Tea is grown on the Phoenix Mountains of Guangdong, China. Specifically it is produced in the Phoenix Town, Chaozhou, Guangdong, Wu Dong camellia area.
Phoenix Oolong tea was traditionally used to be presented to the emperor each year in ancient China. It was said that during South-Song Dynasty (南宋 Nan-Song), the Emperor went to Chao-shan (潮汕) and passed-by the Phoenix Mountain. He felt thirsty, and his servant plucked the leaves from tea tree and prepared the drink to serve. It quenched his thirst at once and he was very happy.
Due to its shape of leaf which is similar to the beak of a bird, it was named “Beak Tea” (鸟嘴茶 Niao-zui Cha). Since then, it was widely planted. It was also named as Song Cultivar (宋种 Song-zhong) because it was planted since Song Dynasty. Up to date, the cultivar has lasted for more than 900 years.
Since Ming Dynasty (明代 Ming-dai), it became the tribute tea to emperors. Phoenix Oolong tea leaves are twisted and dark in color. This style of tea has been practiced and perfected over many years by tea farmers. The region in where the tea is grown has yielded an environment perfect for the tea shrubs to thrive and grow into tea trees, some of which have been around for centuries. The production of this tea is rare and is highly sought after.
Locally known as Fenhong Dancong in the region where it is grown, the woody characteristic has a hint of fruity notes. It produces a creamy, nutty smell, with like, yet citrusy and floral flavors.
This particular Phoenix Oolong Tea from Da Cha Tea has the most ambrosial, incredible fruity peach and apricot notes. The appearance and fragrance of the dried leaves are stunning. Long spear-like, twisted, darkly oxidized leaves are mixed with golden Calendula (Marigold) petals that match the dark golden fragrance of the leaves which is almost indescribable. Highlights of juicy apricot blend with the most delectable Oolong flavor that you’ve tasted.
Da Cha Teas describes this tea as:
Phoenix Oolong is created as a tribute to the legendary Phoenix Mountain Oolong, featuring deep notes of apricot, and punctuated with a subtle hint of white peach. Phoenix Oolong is complex with character and yet very smooth, and aromatic. A truly special treat.
When brewed this presents an intoxicating tea liquor that tastes unlike any other Oolong tea you’ve tasted. With a natural sweetness inherent in the more subtle notes of the tea, you can add sweetener brings out those notes even more, however it is absolutely exquisite without the addition of any sweetener at all, holding a resplendent honeyed peach nectar.
Makes the perfect afternoon or dessert tea. This is not a tea you want to add milk to, milk would mask the multitude of enticing natural layers of flavor this tea holds. With this Chinese Phoenix Oolong, Da Cha Teas shows off the great quality I’ve noted in all of their teas, in a most impressive way. The overall quality is superior to other Oolong teas I’ve tasted, and I would highly recommend this particular blend to all tea enthusiasts. Fit for an Emperor!