Home > China-EU Cooperation > China-EU GI Agreement
Introduction to GIs under the China-EU Agreement on Geographical Indicators (44): Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea
2023-02-22 18:56

The China-EU Agreement on Geographical Indications officially entered into force on March 1, 2021. It is China's first bilateral comprehensive and high-level agreement on the protection of geographical indications (GIs), and an important and practical outcome in the development of China-EU economic and trade relations in recent years.

We will continue to introduce to you the first batch of 100 Chinese GIs and 100 European GIs under the Agreement, to better protect and market them to meet the needs of consumers on both sides for a better life.

GI Episode 44: Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea

Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea is a specialty of Chao’an District, Chaozhou City, Guangdong Province. Produced in the Fenghuang (“Phoenix”) Mountains of Chaozhou (east Guangdong Province), the tea is processed from the leaves of a single bush and then sold, hence the name Fenghuang Single Cluster. This semi-fermented oolong tea has over 80 varieties and ranks first among China’s specialty tea in terms of fragrance types. Featuring a natural flower aroma and the flavor of the specific bush, the brewing water of Fenghuang Single Cluster is known as “a perfume among tea.”

The history of Chaozhou tea dates back over 900 years to the Song Dynasty, when the She ethnics first started its cultivation. The growing environment is key to tea quality. The major producing area of Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea is the Fenghuang Mountains of Chaozhou City. It is home to numerous rivers and peaks wreathed in thin clouds, among which the highest peak—Fengniao Ji (“Phoenix-style Bun”)—is 1,497.8 meters above the sea level. With the Tropical of Cancer running through, it has a temperate, moist subtropical monsoon climate, enjoying rich rainfall and moderate temperature. The favorable natural conditions, plus the granite abundant in minerals, trace elements and chemical compounds in the region, yield the famous Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea.

Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea is known for its straight, fat and shiny leaves, verdant color, fresh and elegant flower aroma, and mellow and sweet taste. After brewery, the tea leaves remain verdant, with green stems and reddish edges, and can be re-steeped. The brewing water is in clear, bright orange. All these exemplify the color, fragrance and taste that distinguish it with others. Meanwhile, the enabling ecosystem, fine tea plant varieties, and delicate techniques for tea picking and making endow Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea with a “mountain flavor” that is hard to describe. This “mountain flavor” ensures the tea’s quality and separate it from the single cluster tea produced in other areas.

Chaozhou serves as the cradle of the kung fu tea ceremony and the kung fu tea culture. By integrating the characteristics of single cluster tea with tea brewing skills inherited from the Central Plains region, Chaozhou residents created the 21-step kung fu tea ceremony, which is still practiced today. It has witnessed the growth of tea ceremony in ancient China and is a fine example of Chinese tea culture.

Last year, with the return of the crew of China’s spacecraft Shenzhou-13, a variety of Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea seeds finished their first-ever space breeding journey and went back to Chaozhou for plantation. This pioneering breakthrough opened a new chapter for Fenghuang Single Cluster Tea in developing new superior varieties and expanding the germplasm pool.

Suggest to a friend: