This Dancong tea is from the 2020 spring harvest, which began in March down in the Phoenix Mountains. The Springtime Dancong pick is overall the highest esteemed and most highly valued pick of Dancong's five annual picking seasons. Dawuye is a more modest varietal, which is widely cultivated by low mountain producers such as the Lin Family. When we asked the Lin's for the most fragrant-forward raw tea they made, this was top of the list. This tea, although raw (unsorted) is a beautiful daily drinker, with the liquor gold, and the fragrance of fresh-cut hay, this tea feels like a breezy summer day.
We offer this tea as a maocha (or raw tea) as it is unsorted. During Dancong processing, the picked tea is processed, but not sorted by machine like many green teas are. Instead, after the first round of roasting, the tea is then sorted, and all the stems and larger leaves are taken out by hand. We acquired this tea before the sorting process, to not only save the farmer hours of meticulous work, but also to provide the opportunity to taste a raw tea, with stems, ugly leaves and all. We find maocha to be a refreshing change to the homogenized ‘finished’ teas, as it retains some funky flavors, mainly the woody tastes from the thick stems and unshaped leaves.
Unsorted maochas, with their larger leaves and stems, often appear too homely to many merchants. On top of that, since maochas have not been charcoal roasted, their flavor isn’t fixed and will change over time. This can also be a big turn-off for Chinese and Western vendors alike. We, however, still love the flavor and scent of this very affordable tea and want to share it with you in spite of its so-called deficiencies.
Interested buyers should purchase and drink it quickly to enjoy the rich fragrance while it lasts!