Panyang Congou also known as Tan Yang Congou, is one congou type black tea (a tea made with highest mastery or careful skill to produce thin, light strips without breaking the leaves) from Tanyang, Fujian in southeast China. Panyang is an old spelling of the city of Tanyang. It is considered to be one of the most famous congou teas of the province, since it won gold at the Panama – Pacific International Exposition of 1915, so the name persists in honor of that legacy.
A bit of history…
During the Qing Dynasty, at the foot of the White Cloud Mountain in the village of Tanyang, Hu Fusi, developed a new black tea which he exported to Western Europe. A success with tea drinkers abroad, its popularity attracted more and more attention. As a result of this triumph, tea producers in surrounding areas shifted to making black tea and shipped roughly processed tea to the city for further refinement processing. These finished teas were all branded Panyang Congou and exported worldwide. Basically, between the years of 1870 to 1930, the production and exportation of the tea flourished. However, due to the following – consecutive wars and Chinese political turbulence, further exportation of the tea was blocked, and tea industry suffered tremendously. People gradually forgot Panyang Congou along with its fading prosperity.
When the Republic of China was formed in 1949, the production of Panyang Congou gradually began to recover, owing to the revitalization of traditional production methods. The quality of the tea improved, and its output fell short of overseas demand. In the 1960s, the seeds of the cultivar were presented to the African countries of Mali and Kenya. Following successful trial planting, the cultivar was then largely promoted in these countries and has been successful. With the continued deteriorating relations between China and Russia, the export of Panyang Congou declined, and area reverted to baked green tea production and only kept a small scale of Panyang Congou production. Until recent years ,the tea didn’t appear to regain its footing, now it is exported to more than ten countries, with an annual output of more than one thousand tons.
Next… Panyang Congou in my cup