Zhilan iris orchid Phoenix Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Butter, Cream, Peach, Pear, Red Wine
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rasseru
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 oz / 354 ml

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  • “The steeped leaves smell of peaches, the aroma of the cup is 100% cream, amazingly so. My nose is learning slowly to distinguish smells, and something about the smell of the oil from this one is...” Read full tasting note

From Imperial Teas of Lincoln

This tea is made from one of the top four ‘Song Dynasty’ mother tea trees in China. These trees are over 600 years old and yield very little but truly delicious tea. Zhi Lan, which translates as ‘Iris Orchid’ is so called because it resembles the fragrance of this rare flower. Two of the mother trees are from this variety of the tea family which number into the hundreds. They grow on Wu Dong mountain. Of course, as with all high quality Phoenix oolongs it has an incredibly complex character that includes all of the nuances found across the full spectrum of tea. Flowers, tropical fruits, vanillin, butteriness and mellow woody notes seem to evaporate from the cup in succession. You are unlikely to come across a better example of Phoenix Oolong and it should be tried by any tea fan. Important factors in producing a great Dancong tea are altitude and soil, which must have a large amount of stones in it. However, the most important of all is the method of production. In examples of the very best tea, such as the one you are trying, this will be carried out by a tea master. A true master will bring out the ‘four spirits’ of beautiful appearance, glossy coloured leaf, rich aroma and sweet taste. Leaf picking time is very important for Phoenix teas. The very small amount of leaves these centuries old trees will yield are skilfully picked at midday, when the leaves will be at their juiciest. It must be a fine afternoon but without strong sunlight, and once picked the leaves will be thinly layered and sun-dried in the late afternoon, around 4:00-5:00pm. The next step is withering and fermentation. This is a complicated and most important procedure of production with specific temperature and humidity requirements. There are 5-6 repeats of drying, withering and oxidation, which begin in the evening and continue through dawn the next day. Following this are the stir-frying, rolling and baking steps, once again controlled by the tea master who will bring out the very best in each small batch. Each of the batches will differ in quality and consequently in value. This brings us the one you are trying, a Song Zhong Wang, which means ‘King of Song Dynasty Kind’. During the Song Dynasty, 900 years ago this type of tea tree was discovered and named. In fact, there is a story for the name. It is said that one emperor of the Song Dynasty, named Zhao Rui, passed by Phoenix Mountain. He felt very, very thirsty, so his attendants picked some tea leaves, beak like in shape and cooked them into a soup. When the emperor drank it, he felt very healthy and no longer thirsty. So this kind of tea became a ‘Tribute’ tea. The most important factor now in its fame is that it is picked from ancient, wild tea trees, over six hundred years old. It has a unique and powerful fragrance with a fruity, refreshing and light flavour.

About Imperial Teas of Lincoln View company

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1 Tasting Note

338 tasting notes

The steeped leaves smell of peaches, the aroma of the cup is 100% cream, amazingly so. My nose is learning slowly to distinguish smells, and something about the smell of the oil from this one is great.

The taste is very forward sweet Oolong, and a very complex taste, hints of wine and trees, and maybe a bit of Da Yu Ling in there, then pear. wow. im in love with this one.

Less balanced than the Xing Ren Almond Phoenix, less savoury, more colourful, and with a creeping astringency that comes in at the side of the tongue.

I like this one

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Peach, Pear, Red Wine

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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