Duck Shit Tea: Exploring the Aroma and Origins

Duck Shit Tea: Exploring the Aroma and Origins

Tea enthusiasts are always on the lookout for unique and intriguing flavors to tantalize their taste buds. One such tea that has gained attention in recent years is Duck Shit Tea, also known as Ya Shi Xiang. Despite its unconventional name, this oolong tea from the Phoenix Mountain in the Guangdong Province of China has captured the interest of tea connoisseurs worldwide . In this article, we will delve into the characteristics, origins, and stories behind this intriguing tea.

Characteristics of Duck Shit Tea

The name “Duck Shit Tea” may raise eyebrows and curiosity, but it is important to note that the translation is not literal. The Chinese term “Ya Shi Xiang” actually refers to the aroma of the tea, which is reminiscent of a certain type of orchid . The tea leaves are carefully harvested from bushes that have been cultivated from a mother tree over 80 years old, growing at an elevation of 900 meters above sea level on Wudong Mountain in Chaozhou City, Guangdong Province . These bushes have since spread across the Fenghuang Mountain area, contributing to the production of this unique tea .

The plucking process involves picking one bud and two to three leaves, ensuring that only the highest quality leaves are used . The leaves are then processed using traditional methods, including withering, rolling, oxidation, and roasting. This meticulous process results in a distinctive flavor profile that sets Duck Shit Tea apart from other oolong teas.

The Origins and Legends

Duck Shit Tea belongs to the family of teas known as Golden Phoenix, which are grown in the Phoenix Mountains. The most famous varieties of these teas are classified according to their aroma type, and Duck Shit Tea falls under the Dan Cong Oolong category . The name “Dan Cong” translates to “single bush,” indicating that each variety of tea comes from a specific plant with unique characteristics.

There are several legends surrounding the origin of the name “Duck Shit Tea.” One story suggests that a tea farmer discovered the exceptional aroma of this tea while walking through his fields and noticed ducks defecating nearby. He attributed the tea’s unique fragrance to the ducks’ diet, leading to the unconventional name . Another tale tells of a tea farmer who wanted to keep the exceptional quality of his tea a secret. He named it “Duck Shit Tea” to discourage others from stealing his prized leaves . Regardless of the origin, the name has become a conversation starter and adds an element of intrigue to this already fascinating tea.

Appreciating Duck Shit Tea

When brewed, Duck Shit Tea offers a complex and aromatic experience. The liquor has a golden hue and releases a floral fragrance that is both sweet and captivating. The taste is smooth and velvety, with notes of honey, orchid, and ripe fruits. The lingering aftertaste leaves a pleasant sweetness on the palate, making it a delightful choice for tea enthusiasts seeking a unique flavor profile.

To fully appreciate the nuances of Duck Shit Tea, it is recommended to use a gaiwan or a small teapot for brewing. The leaves can be steeped multiple times, with each infusion revealing different layers of flavor. Experimenting with different steeping times and water temperatures can further enhance the tasting experience .


Duck Shit Tea, despite its unconventional name, has gained recognition and popularity among tea lovers worldwide. Its unique aroma, derived from carefully cultivated leaves on Fenghuang Mountain, sets it apart from other oolong teas. The legends surrounding its name add an element of intrigue to this already captivating tea. Whether you are a seasoned tea connoisseur or an adventurous beginner, Duck Shit Tea offers a delightful and aromatic experience that is worth exploring.

Sonia Awan

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