Ingredients From: China
Region(s): Guangdong Province
Shipping Port(s): Shenzhen
Grade(s): Dan Chong Xiang Xue
Growing Altitudes: 1000 – 2500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Semi-fermented, Traditional process, Small batch crafted and formed, Hand sorted.
Cup Characteristics: Probably one of the best Oolongs in the world. Bright orchid-like flavor bursts from each sip. Do not add milk.
Infusion: Tending light amber with golden highlights
Luxury Ingredients: Oolong tea
Information: While most people associate Imperial China with its long succession of Emperors, the Queen, although she was known as Empress Dowager, also played a large role in the Forbidden City, the ancient seat of rule. In fact, it was such a woman that signed the abdication giving up the Imperial rule in China on the 12th of February 1912. Empress Xiao Ding Jing, better known at the time as Empress Dowager Longyu, lived from 1868 to 1913 and signed the “Act of Abdication of the Emperor of the Great Qing” on behalf of the child emperor Puyi, an infant at the time. A few short months later, Longyu died at age 44 and was heralded by China’s new Vice President as the “most excellent among women.” Now, as you may have guessed, the reason we bring up Empress Dowager Longyu in this tea profile is for the fact that her favorite tea was known to be a Dan Chong grade Oolong, the variety we are offering here. The Dowager prized Dan Cong, grown and manufactured exclusively in Guangdong Province, for its purported ability to naturally imitate the fragrances and flavors of the various fruits and flowers that grow near the tea gardens. As such, many Dan Cong varieties are noted for their various characters – orange blossom, almond, ginger, etc. Longyu’s favorite was very similar to Queen’s China Oolong. This remarkable tea boasts clean, delicate notes of orchid – befitting the refined tastes of royalty – balanced astringency and a long clean finish. (Like all Oolong teas, Queen’s Oolong is semi-fermented, meaning it falls somewhere between green and black teas in terms of color, strength, and flavor.) From the first sip, it becomes abundantly clear why this tea was a royal favorite.