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Wu long (oolong) tea

Ya Shi Xiang (Duck Shit) 鴨屎香

Tangerine and jasmine with buttery mouthfeel. Pot-still Irish whiskey, yolky finish.

Regular price $28.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $28.00 USD
Size
Vintage

Vintages: 

Ping Keng Tou, Spring 2021: Deeply floral with velvety tannins and a long texturized finish.

Dong Jiao, Spring 2021: Notes of fresh lily with a buttery mouthfeel

About This Tea

Does a name make the tea or does the tea make the name? Ya Shi Xiang translates to Duck Shit. There are numerous stories of how the name came to be with the most known being a farmer in fear that somebody would steal his tea trees, decided to name his tea duck shit to make it less attractive. Unlike its name, Ya Shi Xiang is an elegant and aromatic varietal of Dan Cong. It has notes of tangerine and jasmine with a buttery mouthfeel.

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  • Origin

    Ping Keng Tou & Dong Jiao, Feng Huang Shan (Phoenix Mountain), Chao Zhou, Guang Dong Province, China (~800-900m elevation)

  • History and Significance

    With its increased popularity there is a lot of fake (non-Ya Shi Xiang varietal) or poorly made Ya Shi Xiang that are greener with an overall grassy note. Ya Shi Xiang leaves are large, dark, and meaty which means they demand a more mature fermentation and can take on higher roasts.

  • Category

    Category: Wu long (oolong) tea

    Sub-Category: Chao Zhou Wu Long (Dan Cong, Phoenix Wu Long)

  • Processing

    Dan Cong from very big trees are processed into Dan Zhu (single tree), which means that the entire batch comes from a single tree, and they are never blended; other teas, either old big trees or young trees, are picked and blended together before processing, which gives us single varietals, but not Dan Cong. Out of all Wu Long (Oolong) categories, Dan Cong picks the youngest leaves when the bud has just fully opened up or become frontal, called Xiao Kai Mian (small opening). The freshly picked leaves need to be sun wilted first. Once the leaves are silky and soft, they are moved inside to continue to wilt under shade and gently flipped occasionally. The shaking step is the signature step to making Wu Long (Oolong), where the tea maker really shows their skill by regulating how the water travels from the stems to the leaves and out. It is traditionally done by shaking the leaves on a bamboo tray, but now commonly done with a tumbling machine. This step varies by tea and by the weather; it takes a thoroughly experienced tea maker to decide how soon and often to shake the tea. This usually takes tea makers all night to complete. After the tea has rested for a few hours to ferment, the leaves are then transferred to a firing wok or machine to have all the residual enzymes killed early in the morning. The hot teas are then transferred to a rolling machine to be rolled into string shapes and then spread out evenly onto baking trays to be baked dry. After the tea season, the refining process of tea making starts with the tedious step of picking out old stems and leaves, usually taking months to finish. Then the “cleaned” teas are charcoal roasted over very dim ash fire for 6-10 hours. Many teas need to repeat this step, with at least three weeks' resting time in between each roasting.

  • Tasting Notes

    Ya Shi Xiang is an aromatic varietal with prominent grassy floral notes such as jasmine. What makes Ya Shi Xiang a prized varietal is its smooth body and buttery mouthfeel. A well-made Ya Shi Xiang should have a reasonable level of fruitiness among the floweriness and the liquor has a yellow color.

  • Brewing Instructions

    Please see above for the category specific brewing specs for Gong Fu brewing. For brewing in a teapot, mug, or single cup visit this article here.

  • Learn How To Gong Fu Brew

    This foundational course is a great resource to help you understand the methods and motions of Gong Fu Brewing.