Lu Yan Xiang from Wudong Tea (or Chaozhou Tea Grower) is a Dan Cong oolong tea that is also referred to as magnolia flower fragrance. Brewing this tea implies that I got to use my Chaozhou shui ping teapot again because I only use it to brew Dan Cong oolongs. This tea is one of the four samples I ordered on their website a while ago. I actually forgot about this one but while rearrangering my tea cabinet, I saw I still had it and decided to brew it.
Do you want to know more about another Dan Cong oolong tea? You can read my tasting notes of the Da Wu Ye oolong tea.
Dan Cong Oolong
In the introduction, I mentioned that today’s tea is a Dan Cong oolong tea… But what does this mean? Well, ‘Dan Cong’ (单枞) is the generic term to describe oolong teas from the Phoenix Mountains in Guangdong Province, China. Literally, the term means ‘single plant/bush’, which is a reminder that these teas have a very long tradition as they were propagated by seeds over 700 years ago. Each plant produced tea with different flavours and the plants were named after the aroma and flavours they had. The original bushes have been asexually cloned to increase harvest for commercial production. The new tea plants share the same characteristics as they are artificially cloned. Dan Cong teas are characterised by flavours of exotic fruits and floral flavours, as is the case with the Lu Yan Xiang tea.
The red dot on the map shows the location of Fenghuang Mountain in Guangdong Province. This is where Lu Yan Xiang comes from.
The dry leaves are large, long and twisted. It’s mostly khaki greens and some darker tints as well. The aroma is buttery magnolia with subtle notes of hay.
The wet leaves are still a bit twisted but once you take one and open it, the true size becomes visible. The colour is a bit brighter khaki green and the aroma is magnolia and a more intense butteriness.
- Water 90 °C
- 5g of tea leaves for a 100ml Chaozhou teapot
- 1 rinse
- 6 steeps
1st infusion (15 sec): it’s a light yellow colour and not as buttery as the smell suggested. I’m also getting some subtle magnolia flowers. The flavours are subtle but you feel that they are deep; not in intensity but in depth.
2nd infusion (20 sec): the colour is a bit darker now. Light butteriness with full-bodied magnolia flowers. This infusion is really easy to drink; it just rolls down your throat.
3rd infusion (25 sec): now the butteriness from the aroma starts coming through with some magnolias as well. The flavour is almost exactly like the smell: delicious!
4th infusion (30 sec): butteriness has diminished (but still noticeable) so it’s mostly magnolias with some light astringency in the aftertaste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter as well.
5th infusion (35 sec): magnolia flowers with butteriness coming through in the middle. Unfortunately, it quickly disappears.
6th infusion (40 sec): light butteriness with subtle magnolias.
In general, this tea spreads an amazing aroma while brewing it. It almost moves you to a botanical garden full of flowers and tropical fruits.
Want to know more about one of the most famous Dan Cong teas? Read about my experiences with a Duck Sh*t Oolong (also known as Ya Shi Xiang) here.
In short, these were six amazing steeps even though the early infusions were not completely what the smell suggested. Things started to change during the third infusion; buttery magnolia flowers showed themselves. Throughout the session, the flavours did not change dramatically, but that wasn’t necessary. When I closed my eyes, it was as if I was in the middle of a garden full of beautiful flowers and exotic fruits. This is the perfect tea to escape from reality for an hour as you will explore faraway gardens that smell too good to be real.
This tea is available at Wudong Tea’s website.