Originated in the south, Qi Lan cultivars attain new characters growing in the more rugged landscape of Wuyi. Since late last century, traders have taken advantage of its distinctive and pleasing aroma to mislabel it as the much demanded, but hugely misrepresented Red Cloak, Iron Buddha, or other famous Wuyi oolongs. Some blend it in other varieties for the same disguise purpose. Tea Hong’s Qi Lan is a premium single batch production that is optimally fermented and baked to allow the full, glorious taste profile of the tea. Some say if one has not experienced Qi Lan, one will never know what Wuyi teas really are. We’d say this eccentric lily has its unique place in the great family of oolongs.
Tones of lily blossoms, nectarine, and spices mingle to one smooth aroma on a creamy undertone, accented with touches of nectar in a warm, woodsy sensation. Velvety texture. Deep, dry body with slight bites of cinnamon and other wood spices. Light tingle of orange peel holds together the floral, spicy and buttery characters. Mouth watering after taste. Sweetness at the throat comes much later.
Unlike most other Wuyi oolongs, Lily Eccentric is relatively easy to infuse. It is also more tolerant of longer infusion. As a matter of fact, steeping it longer will render a more intense and impressive taste profile. Our preference is to use a normal leaf to water ratio but brew for 15% more time. Veteran drinkers may want an even higher leaf to water ratio and even more time. Minimum water temperature 95°C if you want more of the aroma.
A little note about the translation of Qi Lan as Lily Eccentric
There are many different translations of the original name that romanises as Qi Lan. We have picked “eccentric” for the word “qi”, but one can argue that “fantastic”, “unique”, “amazing” etc are equally suitable.
However, those who understand the traditional literary context of the making of such and other poetic names may appreciate that the long tradition of the use of the word qi in referring to something or someone that is admirably different from others.
In the long history of Old China, eccentricity has been a virtue especially in dark times, when power and money corrupt to the core of the soul of a society. When all that we build our believes on are dying, such as now, a little eccentricity — a bit of holding on to the old virtues and not falling with the flock — helps to keep us sane.
Deep in the mountains away from the tourist infested Sun Moon Lake, small tea bushes tidily populate small patches of rectangles between wild forrest and various orchards. A cross between Burma and a native wild tea, this Hong Yu cultivar, born right here in 1999, shines with a vibrant young green. It dominates the ambience with a smell that is both fresh and spicy. Farmers here still process black tea in small batches in the old fashioned way, though with the aid of a few new technologies for monitoring. Red Jade — the Fragrance of Taiwan — has to be so processed to that distinctive floral yet spicy aroma, minty and complex taste on a smooth body to be worthy of name.Net weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
The fine mastery that produces Tea Hong’s Honey Orchid has to be coupled with select first flush harvests from high grown tea bushes in order to deliver the kind of quality only a restricted circle of tea aficionados have known and kept to their secret. The overall production volume for such quality in the whole Phoenix region is only a few thousand kilos after all. Most will go to local elites, and the rest to the few hardcore Phoenix oolong fans that are also tea merchants, like us.Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
Produced using a Phoenix native cultivar Da Baiye ( i.e. Big White Leaf ), and has certain taste similarity as the rarer Song Cultivar Huangzhi Xiang, this tea is popular amongst traders for use as a substitute for the pricier label. Tea Hong’s top quality selection, Big White is certainly a good demonstration of how this tea can fool the lesser experienced connoisseurs. That said, however, the trained tongue can certainly tell it is a fine tea on its own for the uniqueness in its floral aroma, silky texture and soft, smooth body.Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
No this is not the beer but 100% pure oolong. Wuyi classic oolongs in general distinguish themselves from other oolongs with a stout, rather immediate and powerful impact. Tea Hong’s Cream Stout differs from the crowd with a soft creamy finish and a light tone of cream that is developed naturally in the tealeaves themselves. This is possible only with a new pedigree of tea cultivar, Aijiao Wulong. We believe you’ll like the oolong much better than the beer, as we do.Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack