Tea type
Oolong Tea
Char, Metallic, Mineral, Peat, Plum, Raisins, Red Fruits, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Salt, Smoke, Sweet
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g

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From Hugo Tea Company

notes — ore | raisin | rocky

PANLAN QUE SHE is a yancha (“rock tea”) from Yong’an county, Fujian province, China. This lot from Panlan garden in lower Wuyi is of que she (“sparrow tongue”) material, a late-budding cultivar with relatively low yield per season. A descendant of da hong pao, one of the 4 mingcong cultivars (cultivars originally from Wuyi), que she produces small, narrow leaves, hence the name. Because que she trees are low output and the smaller leaves require a careful hand in processing, the cultivar is somewhat unpopular among yancha producers; that said, traditionalist masters like Shan Zhong cultivate and produce que she for its exquisite flavors and abundant qi (“energy”), both of which this lot is rich in. As a matter of principal we don’t weigh in on the health effects of tea (making only the occasional reference to cha qi, or “tea energy”, a Chinese term for the physical effect a tea has), but que she is specifically prized for it, and there is something to say for slow-growing tea in a harsh microclimate like Panlan. In all, this is a nuanced tea perfect for the seasoned yancha veteran looking to experience something unique.

As with our qi lan, 105, and da hong pao, this lot was hand-produced from beginning to end. Shan’s que she trees were plucked in October, sun-withered, manually bruised, pan-fried over a wood fire to fix, rolled to shape in cloth sacks, and charcoal roasted at low temperature in 3 rounds before being rested in bamboo baskets. Unlike the qi lan and DHP, Shan is especially ginger with his que she harvests, as there’s very little of it and the leaves can’t be roasted as aggressively as larger cultivars. As such this lot is middle-oxidized with a light—but very much present—roast.

Que she’s finer points are not as obvious as more popular yancha, and at a usually steep price point, this tea rarely makes an appearance in the west. But that’s our thing: work with incredible producers to make unconventional and inaccessible teas available to you. Fans of Panlan teas will know we make noise about Shan’s zhoucha (“island tea”) garden all the time; his teas outpace their fancier (and astronomically more expensive) cousins further to the north. For the yancha connoisseur, this tea is not to be missed. Flash steep in medium-hot water for notes of ______ and ______. You fill in the blanks.
This yancha has to be tasted to be understood.

奇)—"SPARROW" | SHE (
(use freshly boiled spring water)

modern, large format
[300 ml+ vessel — BOLI, large teapot]

5 grams — 195°F (90°C) — 2 minutes

traditional, small format
[150 ml- vessel — gaiwan, small teapot]

6 grams — 195°F (90°C) — 10 seconds
(no rinse)
+10-15 seconds each additional steep

About Hugo Tea Company View company

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1 Tasting Note

1708 tasting notes

Excited about this one as I got my order. Sparrow’s Tongue are harder to find, and based on my reception of their Red Robe and Qilan, I had a feeling I’d like this one too.

I only got about 5 grams in my Manual Teamaker, so I only had one session using roughly 190 F water in 120-150 ml. Mineral and roast are very prominent, but it’s layered as expected. First steep is the most intense and heavy with stone and ore, but some peatiness shows through. Second steep was the most complex, starting off with smoke, earth, peat, plum, sugar, mineral and peat again in the finish. Extremely smooth and well rounded. The later steeps yielded much the same thing with salt and raisin, but got more woodsy and more prominent in floral “water char”.

I was really pleased with it, but wish I got more than 6 brews. The fruit notes are what I want in my rock oolong and actually prefer in conjunction with healthy peatiness, though the Red Robe and Qilans are a little bit more durable. Overall, a good rock oolong that can go toe to toe with more expensive ones in terms of flavor, not necessarily longevity.

Flavors: Char, Metallic, Mineral, Peat, Plum, Raisins, Red Fruits, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Salt, Smoke, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g

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