Dark Roast Anxi Qilan

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Blackberry, Butter, Char, Floral, Jam, Raisins, Toast, Wood, Cedar, Fig, Fruity, Grain, Mineral, Orchid
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thank you for the free sample! This tea was interesting and better than I expected, but I was not in love. I’ve had Qilans and I prefer them to most yanchas, so having this from Anxi was welcomed...” Read full tasting note
    70
  • “Kind of a roasted fruit jam flavour, and very close to tasting like the morning burnt toast. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be but I still don’t Love this type of tea. At least it isn’t...” Read full tasting note
  • “Mmm this is delicious tea! I love roasted oolong. This one is reaallly roasted so if that’s not what you’re looking for stay away! Besides the toastiness it has a floral aftertaste, and a very rich...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “Oh dear this is incredibly darkly roasted. I’ve not yet enjoyed a once-green oolong that’s anywhere near this darkly roasted Alright it’s not that bad, it’s chocolatey and roasty and uh slightly...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Qilan is a luscious and floral varietal famous in Wuyi as a strip style oolong. This Anxi dark roast Qilan is just as intoxicating as its Wuyi cousin with aromatic sandalwood and orchid similiarities, but also a unique cooling juniper note and complexity that comes from Daping’s biodiverse terroir.

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5 Tasting Notes

70
1099 tasting notes

Thank you for the free sample!

This tea was interesting and better than I expected, but I was not in love. I’ve had Qilans and I prefer them to most yanchas, so having this from Anxi was welcomed new experience. I’m also picky with rolled oolongs that are also roasted.

It was pleasant, floral, and softer than what comes to my mind with “dark roast”. In was more toasty and woodsy, which was the way I like it with pronounced florals like honeysuckle and orchid with something that vaguely like jasmine. It also had the berry notes at the end of some steeps, kind of like raspberry, but they were also very faint. It resembled a Qilan for sure in terms of roast and some florals, but if I were to drink it blind, I would have guessed it was a roasted Tie Guan Yin because of its texture and its buttery orchid florals.

I liked it, but I would not purchase it just out of preference. I only recommend it for those who are a fans of this terroir because it is a good example of what they can do in Anxi. I’m with a lot of the other reviewers in that I’d prefer an actual Qilan, but this roast was better than others I’ve had.

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932 tasting notes

Kind of a roasted fruit jam flavour, and very close to tasting like the morning burnt toast. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be but I still don’t Love this type of tea. At least it isn’t burnt flower offerings this time!

Flavors: Blackberry, Butter, Char, Floral, Jam, Raisins, Toast, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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90
283 tasting notes

Mmm this is delicious tea! I love roasted oolong. This one is reaallly roasted so if that’s not what you’re looking for stay away! Besides the toastiness it has a floral aftertaste, and a very rich caramelized honey undertone. (For the second steep anyway.) I don’t know if that would show up unless you steep using quite a bit of tea like I did. Verdant sent this tea in the cutest little 5g packets, so I used the whole packet and am doing incremental 10 second steepings, starting at 20 sec. Later steepings start to get more mineral and woody.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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141 tasting notes

Oh dear this is incredibly darkly roasted. I’ve not yet enjoyed a once-green oolong that’s anywhere near this darkly roasted
Alright it’s not that bad, it’s chocolatey and roasty and uh slightly reminiscent of dancong actually, a familiar kinda of fruitiness, like lychee, there’s a minty cooling feeling as well, along with some plum, and apricot
Why am I loving this?
This is so weird because like 2 months ago, around the time I made this verdant pre-order, (This was included as the free sample) I was really into green oolong, which I ordered some of, but I only seem to like darker teas now. That was a really sudden change.. I should’ve drank my dayulin more often.
There’s some blueberry notes.. I think. It’s sort of a hard to place berry note, this has such a nice cooling sensation, and some very nice astringency. Oh there’s some lemoniness .. lemony… lemon notes. It sorta weakened like 4 steeps in and I can’t get the strength back, it’s growing more earthy and minty and delicate.

That was suprisingly enjoyable. Who am I?

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41
801 tasting notes

Yet another of the oolong samples Verdant sent to me, this is an Anxi County take on a traditional Wuyi oolong cultivar. The tea maker utilized a dark roast and presented this tea as a rolled rather than strip style oolong. The result is a tea that is radically different from a typical Wuyi Qilan, but I’m not sure that this presentation really produces a tea that favorably compares to these more traditional teas.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. As usual, I used the suggested protocol from the people at Verdant Tea. Following a 10 second rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this infusion with 9 subsequent infusions, increasing the steep time by 2 seconds per infusion. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 14 seconds, 16 seconds, 18 seconds, 20 seconds, 22 seconds, 24 seconds, 26 seconds, and 28 seconds.

Prior to the rinse, I took a whiff of the dry leaves and was greeted by, well, very little. I got hints of ripe fruit and spice, maybe a little woodiness, but not all that much of anything in particular. The rinse allowed more pronounced aromas of dark fruits (elderberry, blackberry, raisin, and fig) to come forward, as well as a pronounced orchid aroma and hints of wood, roasted grain, and cedar. The first infusion produced a similar aroma, while offering notes of ripe blackberry, elderberry, fig, raisin, orchid, minerals, juniper, cedar, roasted grain, char, and wood. I noticed that this Anxi Qilan was significantly smoother and milder than some of the Wuyi Qilans that I have tried in recent months. Subsequent infusions seemed to amp up the fruit, cedar, juniper, orchid, and mineral presences, though by the last three infusions, I was mostly picking up a combination of minerals, grain, wood, and char on the nose and in the mouth.

To be completely honest, this one did not do much for me. I like the more traditional Wuyi Qilans and appreciate that Master Zhang (the producer of this particular tea) was going for something a little different here, but I am really not sure that this tea stands up to some of the more traditional Qilans. If you have ever had a good Wuyi Qilan and then try this tea, you can really appreciate the difference in terroir between the Wuyi Mountains and Daping, Anxi County. This tea lacks the pronounced spiciness of its Wuyi counterparts and the dark roast seems to bring out more touches of dark fruit than I would typically expect. To me, the effect was almost jam-like. Though I like Qilan, what I appreciate so much about the Wuyi style is that the spiciness really balances the pronounced floral and fruity qualities of this particular cultivar. I am just not getting that here.

Flavors: Blackberry, Cedar, Char, Fig, Fruity, Grain, Mineral, Orchid, Raisins, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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