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Dan Cong oolong tea: Legend, History & Origin

Dan Cong oolong tea: Legend, History & Origin
December 20, 2015 7 comments

The Dan Cong is a famous oolong tea from the phoenix mountain in China’s Guang Dong province. Like many other famous Chinese teas, there’s a legend to be told about it’s origin.

Emperor Zhao Bing’s Elixir

During the Song dynasty, Zhao Bing fled to the Wu Dong Mountain (乌岽山) during a war. He was extremely thirsty and local farmers led him chew on the leaves from the tea bushes. This didn’t only quenched his thirst, but allowed him to regain his energy. Due to this miracle Dan Cong tea was referred to as the the Tea of Song (宋茶) and later also named the Song cultivar (宋种) raising the potential status of Dan Cong to an imperial level.

The Fall of Song

However, it took hundreds of years before Dan Cong became a tribute tea, because Zhao Bing wasn’t able to survive the war and return the favor to the local farmers. As according to historical records he jumped into the sea and died at an age of 8, consequently resulting in the fall of the Song Dynasty. Luckily his body was found by a Monk of Tin Hau (Queen of Heaven) temple in Shenzhen and eventually got buried there.

The Rise of Dan Cong tea in the Qing Dynasty

It was during the reign of emperor Jia Qing in the Qing Dynasty, when the Dan Cong bushes finally where rewarded for their ultimate quality. The tea region began to develop into a more mature production region, and more trees where planted. With pressure as well as financial support from the emperor, the trees enjoyed exceptional care. As a result they naturally grew into large ancient trees which you can still observe today.

Community: Our Dan Cong oolong growers

Visit our Dan Cong tea page to buy tea online from our community of passionate tea growers.

Mati Joa January 6, 2016 at 1:19 AM
What a rich history! A co-operation between nature and human,
It's great we can nowadays buy good tea worldwide.
Jessica Powell January 6, 2016 at 2:30 AM
Great post - it's so cool that there's such an involved story behind the tea! I've been inspired to go and read up further. It's much more interesting than the history of tea bags. :)
nihad nassar January 6, 2016 at 5:50 AM
Tea with such a great history. I wish i had a history such as this. Does anyone know how many varieties of tea exist in this world.
Phang Hock Lee January 6, 2016 at 1:05 PM
I din't know my favorite tea has such a interesting history
Diana Smith Hill January 6, 2016 at 8:30 PM
An 8 year old was in a war? Zhao Bing was only 8 when he died? The farmers would not feed him food? By today's standards that is barbaric! Interesting story though!
Shenghong Lin January 10, 2016 at 12:30 AM
Zhao Bing did get help from the farmers and that allowed him to stay alive longer. Unfortunately he wasn't able to make it later on.
Christine Topley January 8, 2016 at 5:33 AM
I love tea. I have tried many flavours and blends. I have to admit that I have never heard of Teasenz brand until now (eeeps). I have always loved Oolong tea. I am glad I found your site as it was really interesting to read about the history (another favourite subject of mine.)