Huang Zhi Xiang Is one of the ten ancestral Phoenix Oolong varieties. It is characterized by its bronze color and twisted leaves. It is medium-oxidized, with a tropical fruit flavor and a satisfying deep hui gan 会甘 or returning sweetness. An intensely fragrant tea with a tempestuous character, redolent with the scent of cooked tropical fruit with slight caramel and butterscotch overtones. Steeping notes: This tea, when brewed quickly, carries a bright and easy sweetness. Steeped too long, it can become bitter and astringent. This tea is representative of the Phoenix oolongs in that it is difficult to brew, requiring great precision and skill, but the results, when successful, are outstanding.
Description coming soon...
Of the many varieties- and there are many- of Phoenix oolongs, duck shit or Ya Shi bears the distinction of having the most entertaining name. It’s curious moniker has an equally entertaining story behind it: the process of breeding a new variety of Phoenix oolong is time and labor intensive and requires an exceptional degree of skill and knowledge. The first step is to identify which plants you want to breed together, the seeds produced by this breeding event are planted and raised to an age of two to three years before the young plant develop their individual attributes, at which point the farmer decides which of them has the potential to become a successful breed. The chosen plants are raised to an age of 7 to 10 years before cuttings can be taken from them for the purpose of cloning. Each year only a limited number of clones may be propagated without causing excessive damage to the mother plant. The young clones must be raised for two to five years before they yield a substantial harvest. From the time a farmer decides to breed a new variety to the the time that they have pounds of tea ready for the market 20 years may have passed. The pay-off for all of this effort and patience is fame and fortune: the new variety is the sole property of its creator who is in possession of the mother plant. If the tea is good, its reputation will quickly spread amongst phoenix oolong lovers who are often willing to pay high prices for rare and novel varieties of tea. However it is not uncommon for unscrupulous tea farmers, seeing their neighbors hard at work breeding a new variety to “steal” the new plant by surreptitiously taking their own cuttings of the mother plant and propagating their own clones. When the rightful creator of the new variety does finally hit the market, the thief is able to undercut them by discretely offering the same product at the same price. The farmer who developed the tea now known as Duck Shit originally named his new variety Wu Jiao Zai or “the dark legged one” but, fearing that his neighbors would be tempted to steal the plant, he renamed it with the off-putting epithet, Ya Shi or “duck shit” in the hopes that it would discourage tea thieves. Despite its curious name or perhaps in part because of it, this exceptionally unique and flavorful phoenix oolong has become one of the most popular varieties. Duck Shit is an extremely fragrant varietal with prominent notes of honeysuckle, jasmine and sweet almond. The winter harvest, with its thinner leaves and consequently lower oxidation, has a delicate jade liquor, abundant floral notes, and lightly sweet flavor.
One of the ten original Phoenix oolongs, this tea takes its name from the Osmanthus flower, a species of olive, and one of the most celebrated of Chinese flowers. This lightly-roasted, low-oxidation oolong has an unmistakable sweet floral fragrance, with delicate notes of apple and pear.