The Song Style Dancong, also known as the Song Zhong and sometimes even called Huangzhixiang or Gardenia Fragrance, is one of the oldest and most respected dancong oolong cultivars. As the name implies, this oolong varietal can trace its lineage back to a few mother bushes that have been growing since the Song dynasty (1100ad). Naturally these leaves are not from a thousand year old tea tree, but they are from Wen Zitong's laocong cuttings of this old cultivar, from a handful of trees that are over a hundred years old.
The leaves are larger and a little more wild, Wen Zitong is always a little more tolerant when sorting out the huangpian and twigs when it comes to his older bushes, as he says its a pity to remove any of this wonderful tea, the twigs and older leaves also add more mineral sweetness to the final brew.
The dry leaves exude a warm smell of fresh baked cinnamon raison bread, with a good deal of sweet cream lingering in the background. Things get much meatier when brewed with hot water, but the sweet dried fruit and cream aroma persists quite nicely. The brew is surprisingly light, which complements these sweeter creamier flavors.
Around the third infusion, the deep minerality of this tea gives way to a bouquet of gardenias and other sweet floral notes most evinced by the aroma left behind in the empty cup. If left to cool slightly, this tea becomes incredibly oily, coating the tongue and the mouth quite nicely. While many Song Style dancongs are overly roasted, Wen Zitong has done a wonderful job putting the more sweet and floral characteristics of this cultivar on display.