Mi Lan Xiang Oolong tea is has a lot to say. In fact, she has so much to say that if you don’t have time to listen, don’t start the conversation.
So much of tea’s beauty has to do with subtlety, and specificity. Each country, each region, each sub-region, and each village or city have their own unique taste. Even within the village, the tea masters have their own specific touches that differentiate their product from their neighbors’.
In mainland China, there are three main growing regions for authentic, high-grade oolong production. They are all in eastern China, just across from Taiwan, in Fujian and Guangdong provinces. Within Fujian there are Anxi and Wuyi Mountain. Anxi is where the famous ball-rolled tie guan yin oolongs were developed (in the 1700’s). This production style has become the predominant processing method of most Taiwanese oolong as well. Wuyi Mountain on the other hand, has been at it since the early 1400’s. They are considered one of the birthplaces of oxidized teas. Da Hong Pao, which translates literally to “Big Red Robe,” is Wuyi’s most famous tea.
Phoenix Mountain belongs in the same conversation as Wuyi Mountain. Phoenix Mountain is one of the places where the whole idea of rolling tea leaves before roasting them was born, back in the early 1400’s. In those days, the people of Phoenix Mountain had less meat-heavy diets than their neighbors in Wuyi Mountain. As a result, Phoenix Mountain oolong teas tend to be a little less oxidized than Wuyi Mountain oolongs. They are not as heavily roasted as Wuyi Mountain oolongs either.
Phoenix Mountain calls to mind bright, expressive flavors and aromas of pine, marzipan, carnation, lychee, lime, and coconut. There is an inherent flavor profile to Phoenix Mountain oolongs that is a bright constellation in the backdrop of flavors of the tea leaf. So many centuries of processing have refined this region to produce some of the most unique flavor profiles on the planet. Our Duck Shit Oolong Tea is our most popular Phoenix Mountain Oolong, and it also sings the same Phoenix Mountain song.
We always recommend brewing Phoenix Mountain oolongs in a gaiwan. And that’s a little tricky! Gaiwans van be very difficult to learn to maneuver. It also happens to be that Phoenix Mountain oolongs are the most challenging tea to brew! These long, twisted leaves have so much flavor and aroma packed into them. So, we recommend packing your gaiwan pretty tight with loose tea. Fill the gaiwan a little over 2/3 with loose leaf Mi Lan Xiang oolong. Give it a quick rinse with boiling water. And then, the dance begins. Hit it with quick brews. When the water hits the tea leaves, don’t let more than a few breaths pass before you strain the tea, especially for the first few brews. Anything longer than that will still be enjoyable, but will be overly complex.
At the end of the day, like we said, this tea has a lot to say. It’s high in antioxidants, boosting the health benefits of oolong tea. It has a great balance of caffeine and L-theanine, which will give you calming energy. And, most importantly, it’s delcious.