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.
This Phoenix dancong is rare in many ways. It is the best Eight Immortals we have tasted, including award winning ones. Not only is it mild but flavorful like a good Baxian should be, but also gently and yet persistently fragrant. On top of that, it is so softly baked but with enough depth to attain a low acidity for better friendliness to the weaker stomach. Not an easy task for making a bouquet dancong. Master Lin who grows this is a shy and mild person and an old friend. We could not be offering it at such great value otherwise.Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
Through years of researches a fine cultivar carrying the best traits of all the finest Wuyi natural cultivars is now mature and producing. Introducing Tea Hong’s Sacred Lily. Perhaps the most beautiful of all Wuyi oolongs. Grown deep in the steep mountains away from the touristy spots and masterfully processed for subtlety, complexity, and smoothness in taste. A tea that no true oolong connoisseur should miss.
Although the name rougui is the same as that variety from Wuyi, this tea is from a pure breed Fenghuang Dancong Shuixian cultivar. Sexual propagation of tea trees does give happy surprises and this is an example of it. Discovered and isolated in 1970 by a horticulturalist Mr Wei and has maintained a low profile to avoid unneeded trouble during the height of Cultural Revolution, the cultivar Fenghuang Rougui Xiang Dancong is only gradually picking up attention recently. Not all farmers are doing it right. It is a slow growing tea and only one harvest per year. We think every leaf is worth the search.Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
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