I was told that this is Ya Shi Xiang, a type of tea which is native to the Phoenix Mountain region of China.
Ya Shi Xiang, which translates to “duck **** aroma”, is a name that may not inspire confidence in those unfamiliar with the tea. However, the name is actually a playful nod to the tea’s origins, and like many other Chinese teas, Ya Shi Xiang tea has a story to tell.
According to legend, a tea farmer in the Phoenix Mountains stumbled upon a patch of tea bushes growing in yellow soil, that exuded a remarkable fragrance. When asked about the origin of this alluring scent, the farmer was reluctant to divulge his discovery to others, in fear that they may harvest the plants. So, he lied, and told the local villagers that the source of the aroma was from the ducks that freely roamed the area and fertilized the soil with their droppings.
It’s said that the mother tree of the Ya Shi Xiang lineage still exists and is located in Xiaping Kengtou Village, Fengxi District, Chaozhou, China.
The tea has since been renamed to “Yin Hua Xiang”, meaning “honeysuckle aroma”, but the original name is still more commonly used.
Tea: Phoenix Dancong Oolong Tea
Source: Umi Tea Sets
Origin: Phoenix Town, Chao Zhou, Guang Dong Province
Amount of Tea: 4 Grams
Brewing Vessel: Small Glass Pitcher
Type of Water: Spring Water
Rinse Time: 5 Seconds
Steep Time: 30 seconds / 40 seconds / 50 seconds
A predominantly floral tasting tea, with notes of gardenia flowers and a light nuttiness, somewhat akin to sweet almond. There are also slight undertones of cream, a mild apricot note, along with a noticeable minerality, and a bit of an herbaceous tang on the end of the palette.
The floral notes linger for a little while, and it has a mild drying sensation.
Flavor notes: Gardenia flowers, sweet almond, cream, apricot, and herbs.