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Wudong Shan Dancong Huang Rui Guang seal-09-09 from Huang Rui Guang

Huang Ruiguang is an award-winning nationally-recognized master & published author. He is well respected for his work expanding and modernizing tea agriculture in Fenghuang. He is affectionately called a ‘modern tea sage’ by many because of his lifetime of cultivation in the skills of planting, processing and tasting tea. We are honored to call him our teacher, and for the opportunity to share his family’s work.

This tasting kit includes a broad range of teas from Huang Rui Guang, including several high elevation and reserve pickings from the family’s Wudong Shan Dancong. These teas are excellent to taste together, for Dancong lovers and newcomers alike.

 

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Taste Huang Rui Guang’s Dancong Teas

This invitation to explore the hand crafted Dancong teas from Huang Rui Guang and his family include a variety of Dancong oolong, including several reserve and high elevation harvests.

This tasting kit includes Ya Shi Dancong, Da Wu Ye, and Ye Lai Xiang alongside the high elevation pickings of Huang Zhi Xiang and Mi Lan Xiang Dancong.

There is enough tea included to brew each selection about three-five times times (depending on your preferred brewing method) giving you a chance to explore different brewing styles and pairings while getting to know what these teas are all about.

Five 25g bags of loose leaf tea are included for a total of 4.41 ounces (125g.) of tea or 20-25 brewing sessions.

 

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YA SHI DANCONG

Ya Shi is infamous for its name– which translates to “Duck Droppings.” The story is that this varietal was so delicious and so scarce that the locals wanted to think of a name that would stop anyone from trying the tea to keep the secret for themselves. Naming aside, Huang Ruiguang’s family Ya Shi Dancong is picked once a year from well-situated mature stock in the famous Wudong Shan region, and brews with a startlingly consistent ginseng-dominant focus and intense sweetness.

 

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DA WU YE DANCONG

Da Wu Ye is a truly unique varietal in its intense savory and spicy notes. While most Dancong is all about perfumed floral aromatics, this tea is about texture and flavor. Da Wu Ye varietal takes its name from the unusually large deep green leaves. This harvest comes from mid-elevation Wudongshan stock, picked once a year and processed over 24 hours to bring out the deep savory undertones, creating a tea with notes of barley and rye, plantain and raspberry, tiramisu and a hint of peppercorn.

 

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YE LAI XIANG DANCONG

Ye Lai Xiang is named after the night-blooming tuberose flower. This flower’s heavy scent is used in perfumes and is the inspiration for the varietal name. This Ye Lai Xiang is picked from Huang Ruiguang’s favorite high mountain plot in Wudongshan from older tree stock and meticulously hand finished by Master Huang’s sons over 24 hours to bring out the deep aromatics. This intensly floral tea is complimented by notes of fruity pineapple, spicy aloeswood, and a touch of coconut

 

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HIGH ELEVATION HUANG ZHI XIANG

This Huang Zhi Xiang Dancong is picked from Huang Ruiguang’s favorite high-elevation plot in Wudongshan from older tree stock and meticulously hand finished by Master Huang’s sons over 24 hours to bring out the deep, almost electrifying aromatics. The steeped tea is bright and fruity with notes of osmanthus and orange blossom, lychee and plantain, and a finish of cedar, sandalwood, and honey.

 

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HIGH ELEVATION MI LAN XIANG

This high elevation Mi Lan Dancong comes from older trees on Master Huang’s favorite plot of land high up the mountain in Wudongshan. He describes the orientation to the rising sun and the microclimate as the best suited for rich, powerful Dancong. This powerfully aromatic dancong is intoxicating with notes of lotus, orchid, and clover honey. Fruity lychee is completmented wih a hint of savory yam and and undercurrent of incense spice.

 

Tasting Recommendations

 

The principle behind Guangdong-style brewing is to push the tea as far as it will go, brewing a deeply bitter cup. The intensity of this style is meant to reveal any shortcomings in the tea. Bitterness is accepted by professional tasters, but dry astringency is not.

Each sip is tremendously powerful with bitterness coming in as a prelude to intense Dancong mineral and wood texture. After the sip, the sweet aftertaste comes as a beautiful, soothing contrast. The bitter primer prepares the palette for deep lingering floral aromatics, and the all-encompassing sensation of “yun” the almost electrifying textural experience of fine tea.

To follow Huang Ruiguang’s Guangdong-style brewing, prepare a four to six ounce standard-sized gaiwan, a glass pitcher and small half ounce cups for tasting. Boil mineral-rich spring water and pour into the gaiwan. Pour the water through the gaiwan into the pitcher and cups to warm them.

Fill the gaiwan with leaf until there is about 1.5 times the leaf volume in the gaiwan as the total bowl volume. The lid should not be able to cover the dry leaves. This requires about ten to fifteen grams of dry leaf. Pour boiling water over the dry leaves and fill the gaiwan. The leaves should now be pliable enough to bend and allow the lid to be placed over the bowl. Immediately pour this wash into the pitcher and pour over all cups to keep them extremely hot.

Pour boiling 100 degree Celsius water over the leaves in the gaiwan to the very top of the bowl. Replace the lid. Allow the tea to steep for at least thirty seconds, and up to a minute. Start with thirty seconds on your first try and keep pushing the brew time to the very edge of your tolerance for bitterness.

Sip the intense brew in tiny cups, preferably with a group of friends to discuss the flavor. Finish your tiny cup in three sips, aerating as you sip. Pay attention to the mouthfeel on each initial sip and the way that the tea transitions from bitter to sweet. Enjoy the lingering aromatics and feel the ‘yun’ as you exhale.

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