Verdant Tea

Tasting Master Huang Ruiguang’s Dancong Craft

Tasting Master Huang Ruiguang’s Dancong Craft

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This bundle includes five 25g bags of Dancong tea for 125g total (25 sessions).

Huang Ruiguang is respected across China as one of the fathers of modern Dancong, written about in every text on the region, recognized as a cultural treasure by the local government, and awarded top medals for every tea he produces. Having spent his life improving Dancong craft across Wudongshan, he has now turned the workshop over to his sons. He works with us because of his retirement goal to share true Wudongshan Dancong beyond China, and build worldwide respect not just for his family but for the whole region he helped put on the map.

This tasting kit represents the intense aromatics and wild powerful textural experience that is Dancong. Every tea in the collection is juicy, voluptuously aromatic and focused with a sweet lingering aftertaste. The perfect aromatics that Huang Ruiguang is famous for come from his meticulous hand turning and fluffing process that lasts up to 18 hours to coax out everything the leaf has to offer.

 Taste Master Huang Ruiguang’s Dancong craft: 

Mi Lan Xiang Dancong (25g)

Huang Ruiguang's family Mi Lan Dancong is picked only once a year from single trees that are not pruned back to encourage deeper roots & more robust flavor, year after year. His mountain plot and decades of work in improving agriculture techniques for the region have earned Huang Ruiguang's Milan awards such as the recent 2015 Gold Medal at the Sixth Guangdong Tea Expo. Mi Lan varietal is set apart with its distinctive golden green leaf color in early spring & its luscious deep aromatics.

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Ya Shi Dancong (25g)

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 (25g)

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.

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Ba Xian Dancong (25g)

八仙 or Ba Xian references the eight Taoist immortals, a truly evocative name for a truly unique tea. Huang Ruiguang says that originally, there were eight trees growing next to each other, each with a different flavor and appearance, like the Taoist Immortals. Today, five of the eight original trees still remain. Huang Ruiguang’s tree has one of the most perfectly situated east-facing high elevation slopes on Wudongshan, earned for a lifetime of contribution to Fenghuang as an agricultural pioneer and master taster. His Ba Xian Dancong is lush and juicy, full of tropical flower and fruit flavors, coaxed out over 24 hours of intense hand processing.

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Old Tree Wulong Dancong (25g)

This Old Tree Dancong is picked from tree stock over one hundred years old. These trees are allowed to grow wild on the mountainside, and are only picked once a year in small quantities to allow the trees to continue growing. The deeper roots take up more minerals and the long history of the tree means that as a fighter, the plant has produced more polyphenols to fend off threats than cultivated plants, giving it a richer more complex flavor as a result. Master Huang leans on over fifty years of nationally-recognized and awarded work in tea to direct his sons in hand-finishing this limited harvest tea.

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"Wudongshan is a special place.

The rocky soil, the mountain mist - even the angle of the sunlight all comes together as a gift:
the finest growing region for single-tree dancong oolongs in the world.

I have spent my life honoring that gift. I pioneered commune tea farming in the 70’s, and in the 80’s
my tea made history with an unprecedented tasting score of 99.8 at the Changsha National Tea Conference,
putting Wudongshan on the map.

I have spent my life teaching three generations of tea farmers in Wudongshan the meticulous craft of oolong finishing
so that every harvest honors the gift of this place. I invite you to taste the work I started and that my sons now continue -
the rich minerality, the dance between intensity of texture, and voluptuousness of aroma that have defines a whole genre."

 

- Huang Ruiguang // 黄瑞光

Our Home: Wudongshan

our Mi Lan Xiang Dancong in the spring
our tea grows as single, individual trees

 

  • cool weather, wind and frigid mountain nights keep insects at bay naturally

  • single tree plantings establish deep root systems for complex tea and healthy ecosystems compared to traditional tea hedges

  • our family picks once a year and does not trim, water, spray or fertilize for zero-impact farming

  • our slope of Wudongshan gets the perfect angle of sunlight to prevent too much morning sun yielding a sweeter, slower-growing plant

  • our 30 mu plot is the finest land for Dancong in China, awarded to Huang Ruiguang for a lifetime of contributions to the community pioneering new oolong techniques

Our Family

 

Huang Ruiguang is one of the most important figures in modern Dancong history.

He is cited in most published histories and overviews of the region for his agricultural innovation and for his famously impeccable taste. In 1982, he brought his Dancong to the national tea conference and competition in Changsha and received a 99.8 – the highest score ever awarded to any tea in China at the time.

In 2012, Huang Ruiguang was declared a cultural treasure, and as a result of his work to raise up the region, he was awarded with 30 mu of the most perfectly situated land on Wudongshan.

Huang Ruiguang’s two sons continue his work as the active master craftsmen in the workshop and the fields, both Wei Ming and Zhen Ming already winning national tasting awards for their work.

 

Huang Ruiguang demonstrates his technique
Huang Ruiguang teaches and evaluates Dancong // file photo, courtesy of 中国凤凰茶:茶史茶事茶人

Our Teas and Craft

Ming Wei demonstrates the techniques he learned from his father, Huang Ruiguang
Ming Zhen works with fresh leaves to make black tea

 

If you listen, every tea tells its story.

You can taste the place, the weather, and the craft. When nature gifts us the perfection that we have here in Wudongshan, it is only right that we offer ourselves fully in gratitude for that gift. My sons and I live for tea. We work through the night using traditional oolong techniques, fluffing and working each leaf on bamboo trays by hand, not by machine.

Every batch has slightly different requirements, different motions needed to coax out the moisture from the leaf stems. Perfectly-finished tea is barely touched, but rather flipped and turned without exposing the leaf to pressure and heat. This takes a lifetime to master, but the reward is aromatic complexity that makes our Dancong famous.

We share our passion not just for our family, but for the whole region - to be leaders and pioneers, to be teachers, mentors and neighbors with the hope that all of Wudongshan continues our traditions for generations to come.

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