As a person continues to discover tea, sometimes finding one with subtle and yet complex fineness seems a lot more exciting than one with strong impressions. That is how we feel when we got hold of this. The locals aptly name it “Cao-lan” (Cymbidium goeringii), the rare orchid which ancient Chinese literati had revered for millenniums for its understated beauty and fragrance*. The long, sweet yet subtle taste and aftertaste of this tea echos the sentiments for the civilized persistence for humanity virtues of the classic eras. If you enjoy our Eight Immortals, Orchid Literati will take you to another level.
This 2017 batch excels with its soft floral bouquet that is buttery and sweet. Tones of honey, ripen fruits and fresh leafy veggies in the aroma accented with notes of high altitude moss and the freshness sensation of forest after the rain. Elegantly sweet, smooth and silky full bodied infusion with soft citrus bites. Long, floral, quenching, refreshing, sweet aftertaste and after aroma with tinkles of citrus.
For an elegant and superbly fine tea like this, your personal preference matters as to how you prepare it. On the basis of 90°C, use a slightly higher temperature for more emphasis in the bouquet; a slightly lower temperature for an even smoother infusion. Best expressed in smaller vessels, such as a 180 ml gaiwan, using shorter infusion time and more leaves, or in the gongfu approach.
* The label Cao-lan is also perhaps an effort by the locals to give the tea a more civilised aura to balance off the vulgarity of the original cultivar and tea name, Ya-shi Xiang, known to some as Duck Poo Tea. Genuine quality Ya-shi Xiang has always been a much demanded, rare and high price tea even in the local community. We have tried to find out why such a funny name is given to it but no one seems to know.
For people who like classic style Phoenix but desire something more mellow than Honey Orchid, Orchid Gratus offers a taste that is as full-bodied. It is balanced with as subtle a warm and slightly sweet aroma. Not only is this a great choice for the veteran tea connoisseur who seeks peace in the cup, but is also a bridge between softer oolongs and the more vibrant world of taste in Fenghuang Dancong.
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.
The first ever modern white tea, Silver Needle that came about in late 18th century withstands time as still the highest quality in the category. Produced in the origin of Fuding with the original pedigree cultivar Fuding Daibai, Tea Hong’s Silver Needle Supreme is a high altitude first flush that distinguishes itself with a subtle yet the most joyful aroma and flavors amongst its peers. The finest and purest of this variety.
If classic Phoenix oolongs are too sweet, and bouquet ones too florally aromatic for you, Tea Hong’s Black Leaf Special maybe your cup of tea. It is produced from a new cultivar developed for maltiness and complexity in taste. A very different oolong from the rest. Our special selection is harvested from higher altitudes near the oolong mecca that is Wudong.