Old Grove Honey Orchid
Notes of peach, sweetened condensed milk, and almonds.
Oolong tea from Guangdong, China・April 2018・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.
This tea’s unique aromatic character is an expression of a particular mother, or “original” tree. Once that character and expression is identified by the tea maker, the plant is cloned to ensure that the genetic make-up of the plant does not change. It is then propagated through grafting onto existing trunks. In China, these oolongs are called “Dan Cong,” meaning single grove or single origin, a term that refers to this method of cultivar isolation and propagation. Today, over 100 aromatic profiles exists.
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 early April 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. Initial delivery is clean, smooth, and thick without up-front bitterness or astringency. The tea brews with both aromatic and flavor clarity, with notes of peach, sweetened 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.
More familiar with our old quantities? Here’s the conversion:
|Metric quantities||Ounce equivalent||Servings|
|30 grams (new size!)||1.05 oz.||5-8|
|60 grams||2.10 oz.||10-15|
|120 grams||4.20 oz.||20-30|
|240 grams||8.46 oz.||40-60|