Master Lin’s Zhi Zi Hua 桅子花 (Gardenia Fragrance) 2020


A Phoenix oolong handmade by Master Lin from a tree of the Zhi Zi Hua cultivar grown on Wudongshan – the Phoenix Mountains’ most celebrated peak. We have translated this ‘Gardenia  Fragrance’ although it specifically refers to Gardenia jasminoides, a white flowered gardenia often used as a cooling remedy in Chinese medicine. It was harvested in April 2020 from a single 100 year old tree at around 1000m altitude.

Phoenix oolongs are often called dancong 单丛  and are famous for their outstanding fragrances that mimic aromas often found in nature. Due to the small amounts of tea one tree can produce, most dancong are produced in large quantities by using many trees of the same cultivar. However all our teas made by Master Lin are made solely using the harvests of single, old trees resulting in teas which are completely unique in flavour and aroma.

This is a medium roasted dancong with a white fruit aroma and dense, date-like sweetness that together gives the impression of a toffee apple or stewed pear, before revealing more floral, gardenia notes in later infusions. One of our favourite teas of the 2020 batch.

We have limited quantities of this tea.

Master Lin Wudong Mountain (1150m altitude), Guangdong province, China


Single tree. Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Zhi Zi Hua cultivar. Medium charcoal roast. Harvested April 2020.

95°C, 6g per 150mls. Wash briefly, 10+ infusions.

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Mount Wudong road is like one of those insane mountain roads one sees in the Tour de France, always bending and always upwards to an unseen misty peak. For those that make the pilgrimage, it is a revelation to see some of the oldest tea trees outside of Yunnan. Some are majestic, some windswept, some with the local villagers growing beneath them, and some in groups like small orchards. Master Lin, a self taught tea maker, has made teas from many of the iconic ancient trees although doesn’t own any land himself, preferring to rent single trees and process their leaf by hand.

Master Lin’s family were not tea makers so his success and passion are all the more extraordinary. A tea maker for over 30 years, he made a point of travelling all over the Phoenix mountains to learn both from the terrain and other tea makers. Once he was confident in his own tea making skills, from 2002 he started to compete at tea competitions where his skills both as a tea maker and as a national level tea taster have helped him win many awards including the Top Gold Medal for Dan Cong at the International Tea Expo at Guangzhou in 2007. Master Lin attributes his success in competitions to his preparation and willingness to consult his fellow master tea makers.







Additional information

Weight 0.07 kg


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