A lot of teas on the market are blends. The buyers go to tea auctions, buy up huge lots of leaves, and mix them together. Then, they get sold as “black tea” or “green tea” or “oolong tea,” etc. It’s anybody’s guess what you’re actually getting. Some vendors, though, deal more directly and so know what they’re getting, label the teas accordingly, and make sure thereby that you know what you’re getting. This is one such tea, sourced directly from tea farmers.
The tea name tells you this is Huang Zhi Xiang (Gardenia) Dancong made from the tea bush from the Song Dynasty, around 800 years old, and belongs to the gardenia aroma category. But it is not added, the way that jasmine aroma is added to jasmine teas. The natural, strong gardenia aroma apparent when you smell and drink the tea, is produced during the processing of the leaves, but only the ones from this gardenia tea bush. The gardenia aroma and some honey sweetness persist through several infusions.
Unlike those no-name teas, this tea comes directly from the Li Zai Ping village, the highest altitude village in Mt Wudong. It is a rare tea that is limited in amount.
Take a look at the leaves. They are whole for the most part, which takes carefully handling during processing by a true tea master, and are highly roasted. This is a tea you can store at normal temperature for a long time and is reported to have better medicinal qualities than a lot of other teas.
Here are the leaves after several steepings, and fit for several more: