Origin: Wudong, China
Flavor Profile: Perhaps our most fragrant tea, Honey Orchid Phoenix Oolong has persistent aromas of honey, ripe peaches, apricots and nectarines that evolve with each successive infusion. The infusion is buttery and rich, with caramel and floral notes and a distinctively fruity, woodsy character.
A mildly gauzy body gives way to the gentle aftertaste of roasted barley and lingering aromas of ripe pitted fruits. Honey Orchid Phoenix Oolong thrives under multiple infusions – we suggest awakening the leaves with a quick rinse of hot water, then exploring the aromas, flavors and aftertastes of ten to fifteen infusions.
Tea Story: The origins of our Phoenix Oolong date back to over 900 years ago, when its ancestor’s leaves were offered as an imperial tribute to the Song Dynasty. In the centuries that followed, generations of tea plants were pollinated and selectively bred for specific qualities, such as intense and decadent aromas and persistent, enduring aftertastes.
Today, there are a multitude of varieties of Golden Phoenix Oolong, each with its own unique fruity, floral character. Just like a single-origin, heirloom, old vine wine, the terroir, varietal and age of the plant contribute to the quality of the final product.
Our Phoenix Oolong was hand-harvested from a single garden of tall “Mi Lan” (or “Honey Orchid”) tea trees that are 30 to 40 years old each, and then processed in extremely limited qualities. We were able to acquire 12 kilograms of this rare, artisanal tea in spring of 2008, shortly after its first-flush harvest.
Since then, it has mellowed and matured, making it an ideal connoisseur’s tea – complex, rich, developed and ever changing
Samovarian Poetry: Originally reserved just for Chinese Emperors, Feng Huang Dancong (Pheonix Mountain Dancong) is harvested from old, tall trees where the pickers must climb dangerously high to hand harvest each leaf. Buttery and rich with the sweet persistent aroma of ripe apricots, a mildly gauzy body, and a lingering taste of roasted barley.
Many Feng Huang Dancong varietals are poetically named after the rare and beautiful fragrances they possess. The ten most renowned “Xiang” (aromas) of Phoenix Oolong are:
“Mi Lan” (Honey Orchid – the sharply sweet peach aroma of our Phoenix Oolong)
“Zhi Lan” (Purple Orchid)
“Yu Lan” (Jade or Magnolia Orchid)
“Gui Hua” (Osmanthus Flower)
“Mo Li” (Jasmine Flower)
“Jiang Hua” (Ginger Flower)
“You Hua” (Pomelo Flower)
“Rou Gui” (Cinnamon)
“Xing Ren” (Almond)
“Huang Zhi” (Orange Blossom)
Food Pairing: Pair Phoenix Oolong as you would a fruity, dry wine – with ginger quinoa waffles, bacon and potato quiche, or a salmon and brown rice egg bowl.