In the world of premium Phoenix Mountain dancongs, spring teas are generally preferred over their winter counterparts. Spring teas are richer, with an intensity of flavor and aroma that the gentler winter teas do not have. When we received our Xue Hua Xiang “Snowflake Fragrance” oolong, we mistakenly assumed it was a spring crop, because we had never encountered a winter dancong with such an intense character.
Our Snowflake oolong was, in fact, a winter tea. Picked at 800 meters above sea level from a garden located on Wudong Shan in the Phoenix Mountain Range, the tea is a new cultivar developed specifically to withstand colder temperatures. The result is a tea that delivers the florals for which winter teas are known, and the body and finish of a spring tea.
Once picked, Xue Hua Xiang was given a mild 20% oxidation by first rolling and twisting the leaf, then allowing it to rest before firing. The lighter oxidation highlights the tea’s aromatics. With notes ranging from cedar and eucalyptus to sweet yellow roses and orchids, this is the most aromatic Phoenix oolong we’ve tasted.
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