Verdant Tea

Tasting Master Huang Ruiguang’s Dancong Craft

Tasting Master Huang Ruiguang’s Dancong Craft

Regular Price $83.20 CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK
CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK

This bundle includes three 25g bags of Dancong tea for 75g total (15 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 best starting points to understand 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: 

High Elevation Mi Lan Xiang Dancong (25g)

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. Huang Ruiguang's expertise and leadership in agriculture across Fenghuang have won him dozens of awards, such as the recent gold medal for Mi Lan at the Guangdong Tea Expo 2015. Mi Lan varieties is naturally one of the most luscious, juicy and floral teas out there. The perfect microclimate of Wudongshan and Huang Ruiguang’s masterful craftsmanship during the meticulous 16 hour yaoqing process bring out unprecedented complexity in this reserve offering.

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NOTE: this tea is pre-packed in 5g single session packets

High Elevation Huang Zhi Xiang Dancong (25g)

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. Huang Zhi Xiang is an incredibly rich spiced varietal with natural cooling notes that come through with striking intensity with the perfect microclimate, careful hand-picking, and 24+ hour continuous hand processing and finishing. Only a few kilos are harvested every year, and we are excited for the privilege to share. Master Huang's work in Dancong tasting and agriculture has won him countless awards and recognition, a biography in a 2015 published book on the history of Dancong, and leadership in every convention and tasting event in Guangdong. Though he is mostly retired, he still works with his sons to produce limited quantities of fine teas like this one.

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High Elevation Jin Lan Xiang Dancong (25g)

Huang Ruiguang's family Jin Lan Xiang comes from the extremely sought after high-elevation Wudongshan older tree stock picked from his favorite plot with a cool microclimate & east-facing slope for early morning light. Jin Lan (金兰) roughly translates to sworn brotherhood, and indeed, this tea takes the dedication of a “sworn brotherhood” to finish, requiring over 24 hours of meticulous and exhausting hand processing to bring out the deep aromatics of this striking and rare varietal. Each sip is almost like drinking candy. Master Huang's fifty years of celebrated work in agricultural innovation has changed the world of Dancong for the better.

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Ji Long Kan Dancong (25g)

Huang Ruiguang’s Ji Long Kan Dancong is an incredibly unique high elevation tea. The Ji Long Kan tea tree gets its name from its similarity to a "chicken pen" in appearance. Huang Rui Guang and his sons hand picked and hand processed over 24 hours of continuous intensive labor to bring out all the nuanced fruit and florals. The biodiversity of the region and unique microclimate lends a cooling ‘yun’ sensation to this tea for a persistent and commanding taste experience. Master Huang's work in Dancong tasting and agriculture has won him countless awards and recognition, a biography in a 2015 published book on the history of Dancong, and leadership in every convention and tasting event in Guangdong. This tea represents his personal selection to represent the absolute best of what his family produces, and only a few kilograms are available each year. We are excited for the chance to share this incredibly rare tea.

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King of Thieves Dancong (25g)

贼王 or “King of Thieves" got its name from the famous story of a thief stealing this valuable tea tree in the middle of the night over 200 years ago, but leaving some of the roots and trunk in their haste to cut it down. King of Thieves growing today is said to have regrown from that little remaining root stock. This tea was hand picked and hand processed over 24 hours of intense labor to bring out its rich nuanced dessert-like flavor and spiced tropical undertones. The biodiversity of the high elevation Wudongshan plot give this tea deep cooling yun notes. Since only several kilos are picked each year, Huang Ruiguang personally oversees the 24 hour yaoqing finishing process, all without machinery, helping his two sons hone in on the striking one of a kind aromatics and texture that this tea has to offer.

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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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