I found this article online and dumbfounded! Especially coming from a reputable tea shop.
Let's get to the point here.
Quote: Actually, while dan cong (单丛) literally means "single bush," it doesn't refer to how the tea was picked. It's a botanical term relating to the morphology of the tea bush. While most tea bushes emerge from the ground in a cluster of branches, the uncommon dan cong variety emerges as a single trunk that branches off higher up the stem.
From what I am reading here, the writer said Dan Cong is a single trunk tree that branches off higher up the stem, therefore Dan Cong is named as Single (trunk) tree/bush which has nothing to do with how it's processed. But most of the tea bushes (excluding DC) emerge from the ground in a cluster of branches, therefore not called single (trunk) tree/bush.
Some one found this online about Phoenix DC in Chinese:
Translation: Phoenix Dan Cong is catagorized as Oolong tea, development began in Ming Dynasty, produced in Chao An County, Phoenix Town, Wu Dong Mountain, gained its name Dan Cong (single bush) based on harvested and processed single bush/tree/plant indivdually.
Development of Dan Cong teas in modern days: http://tea-obsession.blogspot.com/2007/09/phoenix-dan-cong-is-oolong-tea-has-long.html
Let's see some pictures here:
Zhi Lan Xiang - local name is Ji Long Han - Chicken Cage, 7 branches from the ground up (click on picture for larger image). 4.87 meters tall, tree crown is 5x2.1 meters, produced 4.65 kilo of tea (finished product) in 2007 Spring, 5.5 kilos in 2008.
Mi Lan Xiang - Honey orchid, 8 branches from ground up.
Rou Gui Xiang - Cinnamon Aroma, 1 main trunk, 2 split branches at 0.56 meters above ground, annual production is 5 kilos tea (finished product).
In fact, majority of the Dan Cong tea trees/bushes are branched off from the ground up, rarely a single trunk as the Rou Gui Xiang tree in above picture.
Quote: Unfortunately, tea sellers who have never visited tea farms and don't know tea all the way from the farm to the cup have misinterpreted the literal meaning of the Chinese characters and spread misinformation about dan cong tea. These inaccuracies have quickly propagated via the internet. If you've ever been to a tea farm or seen tea bushes out in the wild, you know that with a typical ratio of 8-10 kilos of fresh tea leaves required to make a kilo of tea, there's no way a single bush could generate a marketable quantity of tea, even if you killed it by stripping off virtually every leaf!
Let's say the writer has visited the farms in Phoenix Mountain. Does that mean commercial products are all there is to this tea region? If so the writer had visited region and had not seen the old bushes and tasted the teas processed single tree at a time, mostly grown amongst homes and not in a FARM, that just means he hadn't seem much of the hills. If this is all the writer learn about this tea at the mountain of Phoenix, he is the one should spend more time learning the truth before spreading inaccuracies which might quickly propagate via the internet.
A tree at height of 5.8 meters, covering 6.5x6.8 meters area produces barely 9 kilos of tea does require 35 kilos of fresh leaves. My suggestion is for the writer to find a tree (any tree) of similar size as mentioned, strip the damn tree naked and see how many kilos of fresh leaves (dried leaves on the ground does not count) can be collected. I am so darn curious to find out the out come.
Speaking of Dan Cong oolong only here: average production per single tree is 1.5 kilos, with the ratio of 35 to 9, each tree produces 6 kilos of collectible fresh leaves suitable for tea making per year, excluding older leaves. Growing up in the midwest, I had done some yard work of raking fallen leaves. I guess that will never happen to someone lives in San Francisco. Let me tell you, even fallen dried leaves of a tree in size of the above mentioned tree, that's a hell lot of work and bags of them each fall.
Marketable quantity is what? Mass production is what's available on the market, accessible to the mass population. Small 1 lb quantity is not mass production that's available in a niche market (at one store only). If large quantity is your game, that also speaks the quality of the business run by such mentality and that's find with me. The mass population have no problem with it, nor do I.
I hope the lesson we learn here, including myself, when we post something online, we are responsible for what we say, not just the self believing "truth" when it comes to the principles of facts. Especially when someone out there believe what you say. It's funny to tell a joke or stretch the truth. However when it comes to claiming the authority of the truth, please be well informed with proof then say so. Selling tea for many years makes one a businessman with some knowledge, brewing knowledge at best, definitely not the authority in production and cultivation! Learning the back ground and history of a tea is fairly important, get that straight before "My words are golden because I said so".