Tan Yang Gong Fu

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This is a stimulating tea to add to a rotation of elegant Black teas. I touched on TanYang last year when I wrote about Bai Lin Black. Together with Zheng He Congou, this trio comprises the most famous congou teas from Fujian. TanYang is a place near Fuan in central Fujian province. According to one account, the first tea from this cultivar, TanYang Cai Cha, was a Green tea. (You may also see the name as PanYang in some usages.)

In the 1850s, as trade of fully oxidized teas to Europe grew, TanYang Congou was developed, quickly gaining acclaim abroad. At the Panama World Expo in 1915, the tea was recognized with an award, the first of many. The prosperity that this Black tea brought to TanYang between 1870 and 1930 declined dramatically due to civil unrest and wars. Where once Fuan county accounted for about 20% of Fujian's tea output, production of Congou teas in the mid-20th century nearly came to a halt. I have mentioned before that on one visit in the late 1980s, I found factories with outdated equipment and mostly empty of any activity.

The recent resurgence of interest in Black teas in China means re-discovering TanYang Congou's natural burnt sugar and caramel notes. The sensory immersion is immediate and surprising. That we may once again enjoy a tea that almost faded into obsolescence is testament to enduring tradition, and how it has been passed down and melded with improved production methods.

In answer to the often (understandably) asked question about why a tea tastes the way it does, the answer once again is rooted in its geographic origin. An elucidating nod to a storied past

Use 1 generous tsp. dried leaf (3-4g) per 6-ounce cup of spring water. Pour boiling water over leaves and steep 4 minutes.
  • Model: B-TYGF-1

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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 28 May, 2021.