Shunxi Dafang Tea

Shunxi Dafang tea is a type of pan-fired green tea that belongs to the flat-leaf tea category, similar in shape to Longjing tea. Due to a flattening step during its drying process, it is also referred to as “Kao Fang.” Shunxi Dafang tea is produced in Shunxi, Lin’an County, and is as renowned as Dafang tea from Lao Zhuling in Zhupu Township, She County, Anhui Province, and Tang Village in Chun’an.


According to Qing Dynasty scholar Lu Yanzan’s “Continued Tea Classics,” citing the “Old Five Dynasties History”: “In the fifth year of Qianhua, December, two Zhe regions presented twenty thousand catties of Dafang tea.” This indicates that Zhejiang has been producing Dafang tea for over a thousand years. Our county’s Changhua Shunxi, adjacent to Lao Zhuling in Zhupu Township, She County, Anhui Province, and Tang Village in Chun’an, shares the same reputation as “Shunxi Dafang” and “Chun’an Dafang,” with quality comparable to “Hui Zhou Dafang” (also called “Lao Zhu Dafang”).

Dafang tea has a flat and straight shape, resembling bamboo leaves with sharp tips and multiple edges, and its color is dark green and glossy, thus earning the name “Iron Leaf Dafang.” It has a strong aroma with a “roasted chestnut fragrance,” a rich and mellow taste, yellow-green clear liquor, and even, bright yellow leaf bottoms. The harvesting period for Dafang tea is around Grain Rain, with different picking standards for each grade, ranging from one bud with two to three leaves to one bud with three to four leaves. The top-grade Dafang tea uses finer one bud and two leaves. Its production process includes three main steps: pan-frying, rolling, and drying, with the drying process uniquely divided into making blanks, shaping, and final drying, using a combination of rolling, flattening, and shaking, and occasionally applying food oil to increase glossiness. Shunxi Dafang tea is mainly sold in North China, Northeast China, and the Jiaodong Peninsula in Shandong. It is especially popular when scented with jasmine or magnolia flowers, known as “flower Dafang,” particularly favored in large cities like Beijing and Tianjin. Production was halted after liberation but resumed in 1979, with an annual output of around four hundred dan, awaiting further recovery and development.

Appearance and Color

Shunxi Dafang tea is a renowned green tea with a distinctive appearance. The tea leaves are long, flat, and straight, resembling falling bamboo leaves, delicate and elegant. Each leaf is finely crafted with sharp tips and clear edges, reflecting the ingenuity of nature. The dark green glossy color, akin to iron leaves, has earned it the affectionate nickname “Iron Leaf Dafang.” This moniker not only vividly describes the tea’s appearance but also praises its quality. Each leaf appears as a meticulously sculpted artwork, exuding a sense of calm and nobility. Whether observing its dance in water during brewing or holding a leaf to inspect closely, one can appreciate the visual and spiritual pleasure brought by Shunxi Dafang tea. This unique shape and color are why tea enthusiasts favor Shunxi Dafang tea, making it a standout in Chinese tea culture.

Aroma and Taste

Shunxi Dafang tea is famous not only for its unique shape and color but also for its captivating aroma and taste. The tea emits a strong fragrance, reminiscent of a forest, fresh and natural, with a special “roasted chestnut aroma” that is warm and inviting. Every brewing releases this distinctive aroma, providing a refreshing and delightful experience.

In terms of taste, Shunxi Dafang tea stands out with its rich, mellow, and refreshing flavor. Each sip feels like tasting the essence of nature, leaving a lasting impression. This thick yet refreshing taste is the ultimate enjoyment tea lovers seek. Whether enjoying it leisurely alone or sharing it with friends, Shunxi Dafang tea offers an unparalleled taste experience. Each brew is an intimate encounter with nature and a cleansing of the soul.

Liquor and Leaf Bottom

When brewed, Shunxi Dafang tea produces a liquor resembling the tender leaves of spring, presenting a beautiful yellow-green color. This hue is both fresh and bright, like a gift from nature, bringing joy to the heart. More impressively, the tea liquor is crystal clear, like mountain spring water, with perfect transparency. A sip feels like inhaling the refreshing breath of a mountain forest, soothing the mind.

Observing the brewed leaves reveals another charm. The leaves unfold in water, displaying an even, bright yellow appearance. Each leaf seems carefully selected and processed, ensuring high quality without any impurities. This uniformity and brightness not only highlight the superior quality of Shunxi Dafang tea but also showcase its exquisite craftsmanship. Both the clear liquor and the bright leaves demonstrate the unique charm of Shunxi Dafang tea, captivating enthusiasts and leaving a lasting impression.

Harvesting and Production

The harvesting period for Dafang tea falls around the Grain Rain season, the optimal time for tea quality. The picking standards vary according to the grade of the tea. Generally, one bud with two to three leaves or one bud with three to four leaves are common standards, ensuring the tea is both fresh and flavorful. For top-grade Dafang, stricter standards are applied, selecting only the finest one bud and two leaves to ensure superior quality.

The production process of Dafang tea is equally meticulous, involving three core steps: pan-frying, rolling, and drying. Particularly during the drying process, tea masters use a combination of rolling, flattening, and shaking techniques, carefully adjusting the tea’s shape and taste. Additionally, they apply food oil at the right time to enhance the tea’s glossiness, making it more fragrant and smoother. This series of sophisticated tea-making techniques not only preserves the original flavor of the tea leaves but also elevates Dafang tea to a cherished delicacy among tea lovers.

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