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When asked for an explanation of the name of this tea, some villagers in Fuding told us an interesting story
Here's a story one of the white tea farmers in Fujian told us during our sourcing trip.
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.