Honey Orchid Supreme, classic Phoenix dancong oolong
Old Bush Milan Xiang:
For real aficionados who would not be satisfied until they have discovered a deeper depth, a rounder fullness and a more lingering sweetness, we’d go overboard to offer the extreme. Rarest small batches of leaves from special bushes individually processed only by top masters. Such as this supreme quality Milan Xiang Dancong. For those who demand more potential from the leaves for fulfilling their infusion skills. For thirsty souls seeking a moment of tranquility in the depth of the tinkling after-sweetness of Honey Orchid Supreme.
Net weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) in Kraft-alu pack
Buttery soft, sweetly floral aroma in an undulating earthy undertone of sweet wood and flourishing tints of ripen peach, baked sweet potato as well as sun-dried longan and lychee. Round, smooth and sweet body with great depth. Sweetness of nectar and apple well balanced with cooked grains and accented with tinkling notes of citrus peel, peach and jujube. All carried in an immersive woodsy complexity of silky tactility. Long, lingering after sweetness and light citrus tings.
Contrary to common practices and concepts in Mainland China, very short infusion with a lot of leaves is NOT going to render the full profile of any finer Phoenix oolongs. Particularly for a tea as fine as this Honey Orchid Supreme. Alway refer to the international tasting standard of 2g per 100ml water for 5 minutes and adjust leaf to water ratio if you prefer to shorten the infusion time.
The amazing character of this dancong reveals itself with even longer infusion time. Reduce the leaf to water ratio when you want to try that.
If you are using a smaller and/or thinner infusion ware, use higher water temperature to sustain enough heat throughout the infusion time. This tea is good to put up with as much as 99°C.
The manner with which water comes into contact with the leaves, or how the latter with water, does make a difference in the infusion result.
It is also absolutely alright if you do not blanch the leaves for the first infusion. However, if you have matured the tea till the next half year after its production year or longer, a very quick blanch helps to bring out the full favour a little more easily.
In normal shorter infusions or when a larger or thicker infusion vessel is used, or when the ambient temperature is warm, do not go over 95°C.
When you still do not get the best of this tea, begin with 90°C.
We have let this tea settled for almost 6 months before rebaking it at low fire for enough depth. As long as you keep the package airtight, the tea will mature well providing standard tea storage conditions. Any further processing will destroy its integrity. The tea is good as of anytime you get the package, but if you want to mature it, it will attain a deeper and more intense character though less floral and fresh. 3 years after production is a good time to open the packet.
|Dimensions||18 × 9 × 5 cm|
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This tea is a mountain range of flavors, with distinct peaks all seamlessly integrated into a harmonious and nuanced experience that carries all of the depth you would expect of authentic old tree Mi Lan. The aroma coming off the dry leaf is vibrant and complex, hinting at the marvelous experience that awaits the drinker. I knew this was going to be an incredible experience before I even turned my kettle on.
This one opens up with bright and sweet notes of sun-dried fruits, and a tropical dankness that is reminiscent of mango, guava, peaches, lychee, passionfruit, with a kind of electrical zing to it that reminds me of fresh-cut pineapples. These bright and tangy notes electrify the roof of the mouth and nostrils as they work their way up from the back of the throat.
In every sip, this is a juicy and fruit-forward Mi Lan that is perfectly overlaid on top of a powerful and textured body, which has a woodsy quality to it that reminds me of walking through an old-growth forest on a hot, sunny day.
You can’t miss the cong wei – it’s apparent and focused across the full session; even the washed-up leaves retain that woodsy-spicy-sweet fragrance that is just so attractive because of how well it sits in contrast against the insanely sweet and pungent notes of tropical fruits.
The mouthfeel and texture are incredible – for having such powerful and distinct peaks of flavor, the body is very deep, the edges are very soft, and the individual notes integrate very well with each other, creating a very complex experience in every facet of the tea. The initial sip, the evolution of flavors on the palate, the lingering sweetness, all tell a cohesive story and that story is the life of healthy, old Mi Lan Xiang trees.
The finish is elegant and the sweet aftertaste lingers for a long time, but what I appreciate most about this tea is how deep it sinks into every cell of my body, and how graceful the qi is. This is a tea that stays with me all day.
What a phenomenal experience.
The fullness, complexity, and vibrancy of this particular dancong are what made me really fall in love with tea. Before it I was just very fond of tea. It really was Milan Xiang, particularly of this quality that totally hooked me to tea. That very night in the mountains in Phoenix, amongst the noise of the local Fenghuang dialect and clinking tableware in a local restaurant with the farmers and producers, I began to question myself, if I could help multinational corporations communicate their brands and products, why couldn’t I make such quality better understood? Why would coffee and wine have their social-economic role so widely accepted above and beyond this no less amazing product? Ironically, one of the projects on hand was helping the International Coffee Organisation to promote coffee in China. That was perhaps the point when tea was elevated in my plan from a side business to my full career. It was when we were still using the Nokia phone and film camera, when information was still passed on through the printed pages and I had to use html to create a webpage. That was 25 years ago. After all these years of learning and trading tea from many regions, Milan Xiang still has its very special place in my heart. It is still my dearest tea. And I still have a lot to do in promoting tea.
Lively, vibrant and mellow at the same time.
This tea is packed with fruity notes which hit my sense even on smelling the dry leaves just before the brew and continues to amaze me to the very end of the session. The flavors went on like a giant ball of fruits and nectar to roll down to my throat and soothes my deeper breath, so soothing that it’s “Yun” can revoke my pleasant experience with good ripe fruits.
It’s force is like dumping myself in warm and sweet memories just like sweet nectar.
Your review is like a poem! Thank you for sharing your experience with us and so very, very happy that you like one of my personal most favourites. This is the very tea that totally converted me from my previous profession into advocacy for fine tea.
Exquisitely Delicate! Delicately Exquisite!
This is a great tea and I just have to re-order. Having gained experience from brewing gongfu style and enjoying various teas from Tea Hong, my wife and I appreciate the bright notes and subtle nuances of this truly delightfully tea. We brewed gongfu style in a ruyao teapot to retain all the flavours.
Yes! A Ruyao ware would be very appropriate for this tea. Smart choice. BTW, this is one of the most popular teas in our team and the first one that I have fallen in love with. 😉
A True Delight to Taste & Smell Senses!
There are a few teas that truly delight the senses. This is one of them! The tasting notes are varied, blending on top of one another, subtle and yet distinctive.
Indeed, Honey Orchid Supreme is the best loved tea even within the company!
I am not able to make such good writing to describe this wonderful oolong, but I have to share this : this tea is even more wonderful when brew for a long time! 4 friends came for dinner yesterday but I was out of tea. I have only a tablespoonful of this tea in the bag. I knew I cannot make kung fu style because there were total 7 people too many small for serving like that. So I put all the tealeaves in a big teapot and brew for 8 minutes! I hoped it will be strong enough to taste because so few leaves. It was the most wonderful cup of tea I ever have. All people said same thing. I am so happy to discover this
With this tea, I got other people into tea 🙂
This tea is delicious. It’s fruity, peach-y, floral, complex, interesting, and has a great mouth feel. The color of the liquor…just wow. It’s like peach juice, or plum juice, or something like that. It’s perhaps the most attractive looking liquor of any tea I have had yet. This is a tea that I would consistently keep in my personal stash at home.
I actually have a fun story about this tea! So, here in the United States, especially where I am from (Ohio), there are not a lot of people who drink tea (let alone good quality loose leaf). I am always trying to get new people into tea when I have the opportunity. Recently, an opportunity came for me to do so – I made and served tea gongfu style at a Chinese New Year event at my university’s medical center that my school’s Confucius Institute held. The event included several different tables set up to show off different aspects of Chinese culture. At my table, I had my gongfu setup and brewed tea for the medical students walking through the lobby. I had a sample of the Honey Orchid Supreme that I brought with me, and I pulled it out when I started to get a lot of people around my table. I brewed it up in front of everyone, showing off the beautiful color of this tea in my glass cha hai. I only had around 3g or so left from the sample, and I was worried that it would be too light. However I adjusted the timing, and when I poured some tea into my cup and tasted it, I experienced a wonderfully fruity, aromatic, and interesting flavor, very smooth. I quickly poured out some cups for others to try. The people that first tried it told me that they were amazed that tea could taste like that, and that they had no idea tea could be so naturally fruity and delicious! These people had most likely only ever had tea bags before, so this tea really amazed them. Some people that I handed the tea to stood by the table and talked with me for more than an hour, asking me about the tea and about how they could do this at home. I was able to introduce several people to the work of good quality tea this way, and I made sure to let them know where I got the tea – Tea Hong. I hope these people got inspired to go home and start exploring the world of tea and gongfu brewing, and perhaps they will order some tea from Tea Hong and be wowed some more 😉
Anyway that’s my story, I hope it wasn’t too boring 😉 I was able to share the experience of tasting great quality tea with these medical students who had likely never had such tea before. I hope I can inspire more people to get into gongfu brewing like this. Great teas like this one have the ability to change people’s opinions about tea in general, and inspire others to start exploring the world of tea!
This tea sings
There is not much I can add to the official description of this rare and fine tea. It is all the things described — mellow, floral tones, undulating earth tones. I have a bowl of Honey Orchid Supreme going at work today. The first two infusions delivered exactly what was promised. I poured water for my third infusion but got sidetracked into a meeting, so let it steep too long. Surprisingly, this “over-steeped” infusion was strong, yes, but never crossed the line into unpleasant bitterness. As described, it fully revealed itself with longer steeping. This tea is complex and a pleasure to drink. It will give you what you ask of it — a soft and mellow experience or a quizzical moment as you try to define its complexity with a stronger-brewed cup. Either way, it is sure to ping your happy place. Every tea from Tea Hong has delighted. I now mourn all the years I wasted drinking “shadow-of-tea-powder” that comes in a typical western tea bag. I can never go back to that now.
Your wonderful writing
@Karen, I have to tell you how amused I am reading all these nicely written reviews you so kindly shared on this site. “I now mourn all the years I wasted drinking ‘shadow-of-tea-powder’ that comes in a typical western tea bag” What wonderful art of the word!
Oh yes, indeed, this Honey Orchid Supreme is a tea that many of my tea importer clients want “samples” for their own enjoyment, but quite rarely dare to sell by themselves!