Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Fruity, Honey, Peach, Wood, Apricot, Burnt Sugar, Dark Bittersweet, Honeysuckle, Marshmallow, Grapefruit, Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Floral, Roasted, Fruit Tree Flowers
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Edit tea info Last updated by Bonnie
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 oz / 205 ml

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120 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve been drinking a lot of Verdant teas lately lol, sorry for not much variety in the way of companies :P anyways, I decided it’s time to have a yixing session again..it’s been much too long. I...” Read full tasting note
  • “yep..still don’t like this one. Oh well, not a problem since there are plenty out there that i do. there’s just something about the taste to this one that makes me like this a lot less than other...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is the 2nd tea from the April TOMC. The dry aroma is a light incense, the warm aroma is of red grapefruit & sandalwood. It’s very addictive. I sat breathing it in, & I love it. The...” Read full tasting note
  • “I redid this one using my new yixing I dedicated it to (not the bad one I just got and found out was a fake). I know it’s still absorbing a lot of the flavor but I wanted to see how much different...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

A heady, intoxicating oolong that evokes sandalwood incense, honeydew melon, and dark, rich spice . . .

Mi Lan Xiang, literally “Honey Orchid Fragrance” is a real understatement for this tea. The aroma is absolutely heady and enveloping, like walking into a temple burning sandalwood incense with lotus flowers strewn about, and a faint whiff of pine sap and honeydew melon.

The taste does not disappoint after such a commanding fragrance. There is the dark gentle spice of clove, a building floral taste like a blooming lotus, and the bursting juicy sweetness of biting into a piece of homemade honey candy.

In the second steeping, citrus qualities begin to develop, dominated by a ruby red grapefruit flavor. There is a profound warming sensation to the brew, complimented by dark maple syrup.

Later steepings see the darker elements integrate seamlessly with a growing spice profile, and even hint at the honeydew melon taste through a continuing burting juicy sweetness. The aftertaste on this tea is a lingering comforting warmth, with all the dark floral elements at the back of the throat.

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120 Tasting Notes

300 tasting notes

Reading others reviews makes me even more sad that I apparently cannot appreciate this variety of Dancong. I had a Mi Lan Xiang from Chicago Tea Garden and got the same grey clay taste with a slight astringency, even though I am doing very short steeps. No honey or orchid to speak of, maybe a tad bit of grapefruit (based soley on the fact that I don’t like grapefruit) and I didn’t even get much aroma from it. I’m not sick, my water is nicely filtered and my teaware was properly cleaned and rinsed with boiling water prior to use so no residue or oders. It is a little better after the third steep, but gets weak by the sixth. This and CTG’s both to have a nice sweetness that lingers on the tongue once swallowed but its getting to that point that’s the issue. I have not completely given up hope, I have a pitcher of this cold brewing in the fridge after reading Verdant’s newest newsletter. Here’s hoping I find more to appreciate.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I’m not sure that dan congs are for me either, but darn it I’m going to keep trying for a while yet! I like them more than most straight blacks… which is something, at least!


yeah I’ve been having dan cong “issues” as well…

Autumn Hearth

See I like Verdant’s other two dancongs better, especially the Huang Xhi Xiang. The cold brew is very interesting. Lots of honey, like woah and more floral but unfortunately there’s this really wierd astringency that brings up the unfortunate association of Cold Eezze and the horrible drying thing it does to the mouth. Grrr.


Not sure if it will help or if you have tried, but you may wanna back your water temp down to around 190°F and steep a tad longer (non-gongfu). I’ll usually give it about 2min30sec on first steeping, after washing the leaves. This might help noticeable astringency problems. It’s certainly worth working through such issues!

Autumn Hearth

Thank you I will certainly give it a try!

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676 tasting notes

First Review

I am thankful to be able to review this new tea for the first time. Thank you Verdant Tea!

When I opened the packet of Oolong tea…I chuckled, it was beautiful but so long and stringy that I had to pinch my best guess at what I thought 4 grams would be (or for many of us about a teaspoon). This was by far the most cheese straw looking tea I’ve ever seen. Amazingly, there were no unbroken pieces.

I decided to use my PIAO glass pot again because I want to watch the free flowing leaves steep, and the short steeping time (35 seconds each round) were easier to control with this pot.

1. The leaves were dark green when wet, long and strongly rock sugar scented. The liquor was a medium light, champagne yellow green. My first sip was milder than the scent and juicy. There was a spice that acted like a door stop at the tip of my tongue! I pushed past that and discovered sweet bees in the honeysuckle bushes. Nectar! Hot Summer evenings with cream vanilla pie scented Jasmine breezes. That little door stop of spice was tickling my mind. What was that spice? I knew it wasn’t clove. I went to the spice cupboard and rummaged a few things down to sniff at. I settled on Coriander. It was the only soft gloved spice in the bunch that had both the scent of incense and flowers that I was picking up from this steeping. I noted a buttery finish lingering on the tongue. A good round.

2. The leaves had become a little lighter green, still straight and unfurled. You could see what care was taken to pick these leaves. The scent was still rock sugar delight and the liquor golden.
My cup was spicier! Wow! Much tingling! I have to grant that clove had arrived and was the spice winner! Clove was hand in hand with dry parchment for a split second and then POOF! Gone. Quickly, honey followed still juicy and floral. There was unchilled honeydew melon, left out on the kitchen table, buttery melon ready for a spoon and dripping with juice. No acid, no tannin to be found.
I walked away and came back. I put my nose to the cup. If I could just float on my back, on a current of this silky, honey scented liquor…well…it would be heavenly. Goosebumps!

The third steeping is where I usually lose it. I may do or say anything that comes to mind.

3. The leaves were medium green with a bit of yellow and had become more unfurled and vegital scented but sweet. The liquor was lighter yellow green.
This infusion was sweet, floral and had sugar but was much milder and not dry or spiced. It was clean, juicy and the melon more apparent. I did taste coriander again gentle and lovely and warming.

I’d like to say here, that when Verdant noted that there is Lotus flavor…well, I don’t have Lotus around and have no idea what that tastes like and I didn’t taste any grapefruit either. I am me. It will be so interesting to find out what other people find in this Oolong!

Here’s my crazy:
I added 1/2 tsp sugar to the final 4oz of tea. What happened was this: The tea woke up!
The butteriness increased, the floral quality increased. It was like a booster rocket or rewind button on my tasting….all the nectar from tasting round 1. and the honey returned. If you are a doubter, try this. But, use just a little bit!

Beautiful tea! Thank you for such a lovely memory and I hope you will share my gratitude with the people who provide such special tea.

Here’s some beautiful music to drink it with…http://youtu.be/geDoGI-ve3s


Really good review-someday I’ll get to Verdant teas.


Your opinion means a lot Scott! Want some tea?


Sure-PM for swap. Thanks!


nice review bonnie as usually you do…
verdant rocks!


mm yum! Can’t wait to experiment with some sugar myself.


Ah, yes, the beautiful Emporor Concerto! I love it!


Chadao wins Name That Tune! (glad you listened!) My mum sang opera, I grew up listening to mucho classical music!

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250 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I had this tea, so I figured that I could do a quick not about it. Today is actually a day for work, since I have several midterms this coming week, and I need to manage my remaining time this weekend carefully.

Anyway, the first cup was prepared with boiled water (I read an interesting guide on how to make tea the Russian way recently, and they made a great distinction between water that had at some point been boiled and “raw” water. It was really interesting, see link at the bottom.), and was let to steep for 15 seconds. The result was very pleasant, with that amazing juicy quality that I love so much. I don’t really “taste” sandalwood, but it’s certainly an importnat part of the aroma of the tea and one of its unique characterisics. Also, I just love how naturally sweet the tea is! I didn’t realize how much I missed this tea until I tried it, so I’ll probably try to drink it more often.

Right, I got really busy with the studying (there was a lot of material to review for Abstract Algebra…), so I didn’t actually take nots on the other steeps, other than I messed up a lot and oversteeped every single one of them. I’m actually impressed, that is extremely unusual for me. Regardless, it was very delicious, and remained sweet the entire time, and I actually remember tasting the snadlewood after one of the steeps. Sure, I’ve never licked sandalwood, but that was the best description of the taste that was present. All in all, it was a sucessful session, alveit high;y unusual.

Music of the DayRhapsody in Blue by Gershwin, conducted by Bernstein while playing the piano!

Link – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0DD4766829A4B9A8

This is actually a playlist, since the piece was broken up into two videos. Regardless, Bernstein does a great job, and the piece really comes alive under his expert guidance.

Russian Teahttp://home.fazekas.hu/~nagydani/rth/Russian-tea-HOWTO-v2.html

An interesting guide to tea made in the traditinoal Russian manner. I’m going to have to experiment with this at some point…


I had a sample of this as well and it just so happened that being a tea nerd, I brought my gaiwan and this sample with me on my 119 mile bike ride from Columbus to Cincinnati (on the “Blazeman Express” the last ride on the Iron Horse Challenge, a supportive event for the Central and Southern Ohio Chapter’s Walk to Defeat ALS). I was sitting down to one of my favorite stops on the trail, an old house converted into a English teahouse, ice cream shop, and bike livery..called the Corwin Peddler…anyway…I cupped this out and my first impression was sea salt, apricot, and cedar….It might have been due to the ride but I can see your sandalwood…..

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172 tasting notes

I’m still inexperienced with oolongs so I was happy to see this included as a sample with my order. I read over the tasting notes on Verdan’ts site and they really hit the nail on the head. INTENSE, intoxicating scent of sandalwood incense in the steeping leaves, I never imagined such a thing in tea but with each new experience my eyes are being opened up to the many different dimensions of tea. I also smelled a jammy scent, apricot maybe? And along with that Ican definitely sense honey like the site mentioned, along with the typical roasty oolong smell. At this point, I’m excited. This is right up my alley.

I followed the brewing instructions word for word because I’m confident the people at Verdant know their stuff. As for the taste, I’m really liking it. Late nights are great for drinking tea, and this one just feels like a night time tea. It’s dark. It’s mysterious. And most of all, it’s roasty. I really can’t fully describe the taste, the only word I can think of is roasty. But it’s much more complex than that, it’s just outside of my tasting vocabulary. As for the texture, it’s smooth like silk or “buttery” as I normally call it, and that’s one of my favorite things in a tea. I will be sure to do at least three more infusions and see what happens.

Infusion number 2:
As always, I smelled the tea as it was brewing and I got so lost in the scent alone that I zoned out and oversteeped it by about fifteen seconds. The sandalwood aroma is more intense than before, as well as the aroma of honey.

As I sip the warm tea I am sure to inhale a breath of the vapor with each sip. I am stoll lost in the aroma. But it’s more than the aroma, as the scent enters my nose and the fluid enters my mouth, the smell melds with the velvety smooth texture of the tea in perfect synergy. This is an experience.

More to come tomorrow.


I love this part of your review: “Late nights are great for drinking tea, and this one just feels like a night time tea. It’s dark. It’s mysterious.” I hope the other infusions have some, … intriguing surprises for you!


I can’t explain it, the late nights are when I feel at peace. I feel like my mind is in a more open, relaxed and perceptive state and so it’s the best time for tea! :)


Lovely review! Go get that oolong!


Really well put! : )


great review on a favorite of mine, nicely done!


Thanks guys.


Love this note, especially the mysterious night time tea aspect. I feel like i know exactly what you mean.

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4847 tasting notes

Oh. My. God! This is really, amazingly good. I should not be surprised, though, as Verdant Tea never fails to elicit a positive response from me. David manages to select the very finest teas and I’m never less than impressed.

The aroma of the dry leaf is breathtaking. Delicious! It smells like fresh melon and flowers and indeed, it does smell like burning incense, just as the description suggests. I also detect the scent of fresh baked goods … my mouth is watering from the fragrance alone.

The flavor is also stunning, with notes of spice, wood, and an undertone of honey-esque sweetness. It isn’t as SWEET as some of the Oolong teas out there, instead, this has more of a savory tone to it, with notes of sweetness to offer contrast, rather than the other way around. The finish is dry with notes of mineral. And that’s just the first two infusions.

Looking forward to the next two infusions … but for now, I’ll post this note and offer another when I’ve gotten to the next cup.


For my second and third cup, I noticed the fruit tones emerge strongly. The second cup gave me a grapefruit-like flavor, very citrus-y and the sweetness came more from the fruit tones and less from the honey-like flavors. The third cup was a very smooth cup, with notes of wood, earth, strong flavors of fruit, and hints of floral tones which were especially prominent toward the finish and in the aftertaste.

A very enjoyable Oolong.

Charles Thomas Draper

I just got a sample of this. It sounds awesome

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294 tasting notes

When I read Verdants description of this I had to try it. Heady and intoxicating is right up my alley. The first few seconds after the water touched the leaves I knew this would be an experience. The aroma of dark fruits and spices had me anxious to try some. I steeped it for perhaps 3 minutes and upon the first sip I thought to myself that this is another must-have from Verdant. After a minute or so I noticed how warming this tea is. And as the description says, heady and intoxicating. My only problem with this tea is I think it would be better suited for cooler weather. It is very warming. Actually maybe it’s purifying. Overall this is a very fine tea.


Yes warming! This was awesome to review shaking in my heels (not boots)! I’d drink it in the evening because it’s such a comfort tea in the same way you would have a great port.

Charles Thomas Draper

Yes. And I should have mentioned its in my opinion an evening tea.

Charles Thomas Draper

And Bonnie, this was better suited to shorter steep times. Live and learn.


Yep! Some are!


I am finding that about dancongs also…


Hey Charles! Glad you’re enjoying this one. We tried it iced last week, and found it to be outstanding that way. Something to try with this tea during the warm months. Haven’t tried a cold-press mason jar brew on this one yet. We did a hot concentrated gongfu brew of it and flash chilled in a martini shaker loaded with ice, then poured off to prevent too much dilution from the ice melt. It worked wonderfully. I plan on conducting further experiments soon, and a cold-press attempt. If you make any independent discoveries of note, please let me know. Cheers!

Charles Thomas Draper

I will Geoffrey….

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20 tasting notes

My wife is headed back East in a few days with our daughter to visit the family, and as a result our work schedules are ridiculous over both the last few and the next several days. I work days and she works nights, so the few hours of togetherness over the weekend were fleeting and gone. And so it was with a heavy heart that I turned to this month’s order from Verdant and specifically the Mi Lan Xiang – hoping to find a spark of inspiration in a sullen night.

I am truly blown away by this tea. Please don’t stop reading the review as I will go into more detail shortly, but my overall impression begs to be stated ahead of how I got there. So much of the experience this tea delivers is in the range of ethereal and doesn’t translate well in terms of trying to describe its flavor profile. Sure, those elements are there, and it is a lusciously juicy and intricate tea in its own right. To say that it is positivity in a cup would sound over the top and nonsensical if you are reading this but haven’t tried it yourself. Please do so.

I measured 5g of Mi Lan Xiang into my little 120ml gaiwan and then put my new Secura thermo-controlled boiler to the task of making my tea life easier and more fulfilled. (After watching David’s video sessions using a Zojirushi, I opted for the cheaper but more practical-for-my-wallet Secura.) Two successive flash rinses warmed the wares and it was time to see if the outlook for my night was going to improve.

Boy did it ever.

The thing that struck me first was the weight of the tea in my mouth. It has an almost simple syrupy consistency and reminds me of the way that a wake will lap at the sides of a boathouse in the cove after slowly rolling in from the thoroughfare. At first the bright taste of an undefined melon is there, and the combination of the scent and the flavor is intoxicating.

As the number of steeps move into the high single digits, a prevailing numbness and dissipating of any negativity builds and washes through my psyche. The flavor arc dances like a dervish, humming and swaying between nectar and spice never-ending.

This is the first tea that I have actually journeyed deeper into the teens with. I have tried with only one other and lost interest not in the taste but in the lack of change between steeps. To date, this is the most singularly enthralling tea that I have had the fortune to experience. Why is it after midnight and where can I put this moxie to best use?! This is one transcendent tea!

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Brilliant! I thought I was the only night owl! I wish that I could capture the essence of the experience as well as you have just described it…and the texture. Transcendent!


Glad we agree on this one! Now I’m off to do the dishes and try not to wake the downstairs neighbors ; )


You make me want to buy this tea, and I don’t even like dark oolongs that much! Awesome awesome review. I can picture the entire experience. Hope work calms down so you can spend more time with your wife.


@CHAroma, such a nice compliment and thanks for the well wishes!

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863 tasting notes

Note #500!!

This is actually a backlog from yesterday night. I went to the Dogwood Festival in ATL yesterday because the boyfriend was meeting up with friends from work. It was just one of those days where everything is an uphill battle and generally things don’t go as planned. We had a terrible experience in a restaurant, got sunburned in April, and spent an hour trying to find a parking spot. The reward? Huge crowds of people with no concept of personal space.

Yay, my favorite! – she says, sarcastically.

So my nerves were shot by the time we got home and I wanted something to calm me down. When I perused my cupboard and saw I hadn’t even opened this (?!) and it was a Dan Cong it was game on.

Dry leaf: Honeyed and sweet smelling. Dark, slightly malty and heavy, very much like a black tea. No trace of salt/ocean air, which I normally get in the scent of a dry Dan cong leaf. I don’t mind though – the smell is already starting to calm me down and I haven’t even steeped it up yet.

Steep notes: 5 g. in Midori (my 4 oz. gaiwan). Rinsed x2 as directed on the Verdant website.

1st steep: 10 seconds, the taste is honey/nectary with that definitive lingering peach aftertaste. This is astringent mostly when it’s hot – as it cools that seems to fade away and the sweet peachiness remains. The liquor is a pale peach color as well. Even though I did boiling water like Verdant recommends, the leaf now smells a bit burned…I really did love the smell of it dry and am sad it went away.

2nd steep: 15 seconds. This steep was lighter in color but more fruity than honeyed. Whereas in the first step the fruity character remained predominately in the aftertaste, it is apparent throughout the entire sip. I’m getting the saltwater tang in the scent of the liquor now. Makes me wish I was by a beach for sure.

3rd steep: 30 seconds. There’s a bit of pepper in this steep. Still very fruity and the liquor is not as intense in flavor in the previous iteration.

4th steep: 50 seconds. The astringency is stronger with this steep. Still a strong peach quality though it seems a bit more muted this go around.

5th, 6th, 7th steeps (1:30, 3:00, and 7:00 respectively) Each of these steeps tasted pretty samey to me…that is, nothing really stuck out that was different than the preceding steeps. Fruity, roasty goodness.

I’m so glad I found this last night. I’ll have to try this Western style and see how it compares (see if I get the salty/savory note a bit more) but having it gong fu style was just the perfect way to undo all the crazy of my day. Tea for the win, as always!


YAY!! congrats on 500!


We went to picnic day at one of the nearby universities, and I know what you mean about the throngs of people! Although we had fun, I couldn’t wait to get out of there!


Beautiful tea to pick for a 500th note!

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409 tasting notes

Oh wow, as soon as I poured water over these leaves I got a huge waft of juicy fruit – pineapple! Maybe kiwi? A dash of carmelized sugar, or dark honey. The flavor does not disappoint either. I used the first steep to rinse, and have made 3 more so far.

This doesn’t fit neatly into my categories of dark and light roasted oolongs, but I’m pretty ok with having to expand my classifications :P This doesn’t have the heavy, nutty, dry, roasted flavor Iget from Formosa oolongs, but neither is it buttery and vegetal like a green one. It has the floral notes of a Tie Guan Yin, but then shifts to honey, fruit and incense.

It is getting a little toasty in later steeps (10 now), but still lots of sweet incense and dark fruit now, like cherries or blackberry pie. Aftertaste is very much like pineapple! Sweet, but also has that enzymatic tingle.

I have a bad habit of forgetting my gongfu teas through the day, so to make sure I got all 18(!) steeps out of this one, I alternated making a cup to drink, and immediately making another cup that I poured into a jar to chill and drink iced later! So I actually got to taste the later steeps this time :) and I’m glad I did, because it started getting rather like a pasty, with flavors of grain and butter.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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124 tasting notes

Brewed gongfu style. I used around 4 tsp for my 6-8 oz mug. The leaves were long and spindly so difficult to measure, I ended up basically eyeballing it.
The leaves smelled chocolatey with an interesting green flavor underneath it. For some reason the scent makes me think of a front porch around the 4th of July in a little town near a river #synesthesia.
The liquor was great smelling – deep, molasses-y and chocolatey.
The flavor is surprisingly spicy and deep. I get great flavors of molasses and earth. There is a tiny salty coppery aftertaste.
To sum up the first infusion: Dirt and Blood. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

I surely didn’t expect that last comment. You need to drink this on the 31st.


! You made me laugh out loud, that is a great idea :)

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