The small single trunk growing region is in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, near Fujian. (Tea trees are in the middle right area of first photograph above.) When weather permits, there is outdoor withering (1-2 hours), followed by indoor withering. The leaves on the basket trays are shaken to initiate oxidation caused by bruising. This is done by hand, alternating with resting periods, and the cycle is repeated. Then there is more of this done in the bamboo tumbler before rolling and drying. Dancong processing also provides a good lesson about a processing facility where shaking the leaves by hand (using the basket trays to toss them up), the resting, and the determination by senses -- visual/olfactory/touch -- as to when the shaking resumes and so on, exemplifies craftsmanship at work, and not industrial manufacturing.
Raising a cooled cup brings prominent floral notes, without being perfume-like as this dan cong
tea is not scented. The vintage spring 2016 oolong is full-flavored but offers pure whiffs of plumeria, which is more familiar to many than "persimmon blossom." These floral notes follow through nicely on the palate, making for a graceful but vibrant cup. (The tree is a tea tree, not a persimmon tree.) As is true of dan cong
teas, this tea evolves nicely over a few infusions, and if you have the time to brew it in a small pot or bowl, the dynamic bloom of the tea is memorable. It is very drinkable when cool (not iced; this is a good test for premium green teas, which rely so much on hot water temps, since the flavor seems to dissipate as the tea cools, but really good green teas will hold up their flavor when cooled.) It offers a tasty lesson in how tea tree varietals can be wonderfully distinct and how two processing methods applied to the same varietal produce a recognizable continuity in an oolong and in a black tea. Use 1 teaspoon dry leaf per 6 ounces of nearly boiling fresh spring water, infusing for 4 minutes. The leaves can handle multiple infusions by increasing the brewing time until the flavor beings to fade.