Wuyi Qilan Oolong
It is hard for a month of Reserve Club to go by without featuring one of Master Bi’s remarkable Wuyi Oolongs. Master Bi was one of our first tea mentors, and one of his Qilans was the first Wuyi we fell in love with. It seemed appropriate to ask him for a Qilan to share.
Master Bi has spent years in Wuyi working primarily with Qingshiyan, a small but devoted and high end workshop in crafting fine Wuyi oolongs for him to share at his very own One Word Tea Club in Qingdao, China.
This Qilan is an excellent expression of Wuyi’s rocky soil. There is a crisp, light mineral texture that makes for very interesting tasting. The roasted qualities of this tea are light but well balanced- just as oak barrels are roasted to cure before being used to age wine, and in the process the lignin wood flavor lightens and vanillin is produced to create a caramel brown sugar vanilla taste, the same process plays out in expert tea roasting.
Of course, the orchid-like florals trademark to Qilan variety oolong are strong and present, balancing the mineral notes perfectly and lingering for minutes on the palate in the aftertaste.