Employee Selections: Founder’s Favorite

We polled some members of the Octavia Tea family to see what their favorite teas are. Our hard working staff drinks tea all day long, so they’re sure to have some great opinions!

Elizabeth is one of the founders/owners of Octavia Tea

“A few years ago, we received a package in the mail from a small tea garden in China containing about 20 samples of various dancong teas. The first sample I tasted (which happened to be what we now call our Phoenix Mountain Dancong) blew me away! It’s difficult to find and source high quality tea, and it’s even more rare for such an exceptional tea to find us! Also in the package was a sample of an incredibly complex, award-winning tea that tasted like flowers (and was priced at over $1000.00 per pound!) as well as a sample of what is now our fragrant, Eight Immortals tea – with notes of orange-flower-honey and warm cinnamon. We loved them all and it was difficult for us to pick only two. Although organic certification is not currently possible for small gardens in this region, scientific testing confirmed these teas to be pesticide free. They are also grown in a very natural, mountainous environment far from big city pollution.

Dancong teas (pronounced “dan-tsong”) come from hundred-year-old, wild-grown tea trees from the Phoenix mountain region in China’s Guangdong province. The wild and untamed Shui Xian tea trees on the rocky face of the mountain are up to 500 years old.

One of my favorite things about this tea is the texture. In China, many tea tasters are taught to notice texture first, even before flavor, since this is an important aspect of “experiencing” a tea. Because Dancongs come from ancient tea trees that are several hundred years old, the roots spread deep into the volcanic, mineral-rich soil that makes this region so famous. The deep roots of these ancient tea trees soak up more goodness from the mineral-rich soil, and therefore develop more phytonutrients and aromatic compounds, all of which contribute to (and enhance!) the resulting taste. The rich mineral content creates a remarkably smooth, thick, nectar-like texture.

The tea’s “chi,” or “energy,” is also a critical aspect when evaluating a tea, rather than simply focusing on the flavor alone. I love the way our Phoenix Mountain Dancong makes me feel- it imparts a calm, healthy and relaxed energy. I enjoy this tea in the morning or early/mid afternoon for enhanced mental energy. Once you get into drinking tea, you will be surprised at how different infusions can affect your mood.

As for taste, Phoenix Mountain’s high elevation and misty cloud cover cause the leaves to mature slowly and concentrate their flavor. Our Phoenix Mountain Dancong is beautifully complex with volatile, toasty-floral boquet and rich notes of dark honey, spice and exotic fruits followed by a hauntingly opulent finish. This remarkable tea is a treat for any tea connoisseur!”

Our Phoenix Mountain Dancong won 1st place for the Oolong Tea category at the North American Tea Championships. All award-winning teas were invited to the “Winner’s Circle” at the World Tea Expo, where we sampled this tea for hundreds of business owners, sommeliers and tea industry buyers. We are proud to say our Phoenix Mountain Dancong was voted highest, and won the 1st place “Buyer’s Choice Award” as well!

For more information or to purchase our Phoenix Mountain Dancong, please visit our website at

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