Old Grove Honey Orchid

Regular price $46.00

Notes of peach, sweeten condensed milk, and almonds.

Oolong tea from Guangdong, China・April 2015・老叢蜜蘭香・EU standard conventional

This complex Phoenix mountain oolong was picked from a grove of 60–80 year old tea trees on Wudong Shan, Chaozhou, China.

In China, Phoenix mountain oolongs are called “Dan Cong” - meaning single grove, or single origin. This term refers to a generations-old cultivation method that isolates and propagates distinct aromatic characteristics from a mother tea plant. Once a particular profile is isolate and propagated, it is given a descriptive name that usually corresponds to that aromatic profile. Today, over 100 distinct aromatic profiles exists. It’s important to keep in mind that Dan Cong types do not represent distinct tea varieties, per se. Rather, each type is a unique expression of the genetic make-up of a particular tree.

Our Honey Orchid Dan Cong comes from a 1100m grove of tea trees. The grove itself is over a century old, and the tea was picked in late March from tea trees that range from 60 to 80 years old. This particular Honey Orchid is special because of the tea trees’ age, and the elevation of the source garden. Older trees have deep root structures that allow the plant to absorb a more complex set of nutrients, while higher elevation climate slows the rate of leaf development. Both factors contribute to this tea’s smooth texture and mouthfeel, sweetness, and complexity.

Once picked these leaves were first withered outdoors, then gently oxidized for over ten hours to develop distinct fruit and honey notes. The finished tea was given three rounds of post-production charcoal roasting to deepen and intensify its flavor.

The result is extraordinary. Delivery is smooth and viscous without up-front astringency. The tea brews with both aromatic and flavor clarity, with notes of peach, sweeten condensed milk, and almond.

Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・205° F・1.5 min

Phoenix dancong oolongs offer a lot of range. Traditionally, this type of tea is brewed to the brink of bitterness - it’s not unusual to see 7 grams used in a 80ml brewing vessel. We suggest a gentler approach that extracts aroma, sweetness, with a lighter finish. Once comfortable with the safer approach, add a few more grams of tea.