Wudong Tea (chaozhouteagrower.com, @wudongtea on Instagram) is a direct-from-farm operation that sells dancong oolong to consumers and wholesale. Their IG account says they are a family operation that has been producing tea for 80 years. I’ve found them to be a great source for value dancong with their teas in the 10-15c per gram range.
While most of Wudong’s offerings are on the cheaper end of dancong, they offer one high-end option, their manlouxiang (house-filling aroma) variety. I’m told this is produced from older tea bushes that are only picked once per year for a final yield of 5kg of tea. I don’t have confirmation but my conversation with the seller suggests this batch was processed in Febraury 2020. I chose this tea to review as I figured it may be more interesting to read about than the value options, which I will discuss below.
I brewed 5g in a porcelain gaiwan and used boiling water that cooled during the session.
- Creamy vanilla character that reminds me of yancha. Nutmeg note. Strong aroma on gaiwan lid first steep, thick, creamy, some roast notes, reminds me a bit of xingrenxiang (almond aroma dancong) but with more going in. Bright fruits mixed with vanilla notes. Empty pitcher has a thick, sweet and savory aroma. Almost some Christmas spice / potpourri notes.
- Thick texture, no bitterness so far. Sweet and gentle taste. Wondering if this tea will be subtle and come in with the body feeling.
- Spice aroma continues, gaiwan lid has a strong savory-sweetness. Thick texture.
- Hint of potpurri taste, slight bitterness, taste a bit flat but thick texture. Nice sweet aftertaste developing.
- Nice, heavy body feeling developing – calm and relaxed. Taste subtle, sweet and creamy.
- Similar to previous, slight bitter aftertaste.
- Body feeling remains, a little ‘out of it’ and distracted. slight spice note in taste returns with a new sugar sweetness.
- Water freshly boiled. Not much more taste pulled out but thicker texture. A bit of bitterness.
This tea left me with a drowsy, calm energy that made me want to take a nap. I wouldn’t say it bowled me over but the effect was noticeable. Overall, I did find that this tea had a strong fragrance that easily spread around the room – I brewed the remainder of my sample western style in a small mug and noticed the fragrance spreading from the table to the couch. The aroma and taste was unique from other dancong I’ve had, but I felt the intensity of the taste was lacking for the price. I received this tea as a ~7g free sample but it’s sold for a whopping $1 per gram. I can’t recommend purchasing this tea since I’ve had more flavorful dancong at much lower price points, but if you can get a sample I think it is an enjoyable drinking experience that does stand apart from your typical dancong varieties.
That said, I definitely do not want to knock Wudong Tea as a vendor. I purchased 50g each of their milanxiang (honey orchid aroma), xingrenxiang (almond aroma), dawuye (big black leaf – a floral variety), yulanxiang (magnolia aroma) and yashixiang (duck shit aroma – not literally, another floral) offerings and have been impressed by all of them in terms of value. Each variety has strong, pleasant fragrance and lasts fairly long when brewing. The flavors in the mouth tend not to be as intense as pricier dancong and the texture is a bit thin, but I think these teas are great for a budget dancong option that doesn’t skimp on aroma. I recommend reaching out to them via Instagram DM where they are very responsive and friendly – it appears that they offer more teas than are currently listed on the website.