Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Honey Preserved Dan Cong Oolong Tea

Home remedy is widely used and relied on by many villagers of the remote mountain, even today's modern medicine is readily available. Phoenix mountain residents keep aged teas for minor colds, coughs, fevers, stomachaches of the like. Aside of the dried method of aging tea, honey preserved tea is also a popular regional treasure. Honey from local hives and Dan Cong tea combined together is not only a tasty drink, but also medicinal.

High grade raw honey, glass jar preferred, and good Dan Cong teas, simple as fill the jar with dry tea leaves, then add honey to top, seal and let it sit for a week before consuming. However the longer it is put away, the better the medicinal effect it has, years, 10, 20, 30 years. One word of advise, if you plan on keeping it for a long period, good tea and good honey is a must. After all, the time you invest in is more worthy of the ingredients. I don't think you want to wait 10 years for something mediocre.

Raw honey is relative hard to find in the states because FDA require honey sold in the states must contain less than a certain percentage of moisture. Hence, most available commercial honey are heat treated to reduce moisture, therefore losing many nutritious contents such as enzymes and vitamins. Also runny but not watery honey is necessary, crystallized honey contains impurity as well which is less desirable. Spring honey and Winter honey also have different benefits. Drink Spring honey in Spring, Winter honey in Winter to counter seasonal sickness is suggested by Chinese medicine. For example, Spring honey has detoxing benefit due to bacteria/virus spread in Spring, Winter honey has lung nourishing benefit due to dryness in Winter .

Tea selection needless to say the better the tea, the better the result. Good tea does not necessary have to be tasty tea. Good tea is naturally rich with substance which can be visible and detected in texture. A rich tea is round, thick, creamy, smooth or buttery, while all these are present does not necessary make this tea tasty automatically, but in most case it is. Tasty or not in flavor is also subjective by each drinker.

My first choice of tea to be preserved is Hong Yin, since I will invest a LONG period of time, I choose 1978 Wild Hong Yin. In 20 years I'll have a jar of 53 years old honey tea. :D Hong Yin is also very rich in texture compared to other Dan Congs, there isn't much aroma, hence would not be overwhelmed by the floral aroma of raw honey. The other choice was a tea from a 220 years old Dan Cong tree. It also has a rich texture that is savory in taste, but aroma is less appeal than other floral Dan Cong teas. Will try the second one in a week, then a few months, a year and so on to see the difference in evolution.


Stacey said...

In the US, you can find raw honey at any farmer's market. I get my raw honey from a guy who sells it door to door. Fantastic quality.

Marlena said...

I was just going to say the same thing. We have wonderful local honies. I want to try this, but I will have to not wait as long, as I am considerably older than you.

Thank you for telling us about this fascinating way to use and preserve tea.

Imen said...


I used to buy honey at the FM also, orange flower is the one I love. But after visiting many FMs, all the honey vendors seems to carry the exact same thing. So I did some poking around, many of them are not individual bee keepers.


Local honey sounds yummy! Also better suited for local seasonal sickness or discomfort cause by local environment change. :)