Results: I loved the balance between savory and sweet – this is what a good oolong is all about. Greeting your palate with honey & roasted nuts, the liquor is thick and syrupy. As it hits the back of your throat there is a burst of woodland flowers that are just heavenly & worthy of 5-stars.
Vendor: Seven Cups Fine Teas
Origin: Chaozhou City, Guangdong Province, China
Tasting: 8grams / 190°/ 175ml / R5-20-25-30-45-55-60-90-120 (seconds)
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Average number of infusions: 6
After teabags, oolongs are probably the most recognized tea here in the States. My family has always looked forward to a pot of the distinct aroma and flavor every time we go out for Chinese food. The variety of oolongs one can find is pretty amazing considering its also the most complicated to make with many more steps than any other type of tea.
This particular offering from Seven Cups Fine Teas, Mi Lan Xiang or Snow Orchid is a Dan Cong Wulong. Often called “single bush”, there is some confusion about this. Some say the phrase is referring to the trunk of the tea plant. Others the bush and some the grove or garden. That said, it’s important to know that getting tea from a single bush is unlikely, not to say they may not be out there, but the truth of the matter would be reflected in a very pricey tea.
Known for their ability to mimic flavors, Snow Orchid is one of the most popular of the 10 different kinds of oolong produced from Dan Cong. A product of Guandong Province Seven Cups has this to say about its origins (note the vendor uses an alternate spelling for oolong – wulong):
Historically, four regions in China were the first to produce wulong tea. These regions were the Wuyi Mountains in north Fujian Province, Anxi City in the center of Fujian Province, Taiwan island across the ocean from Fujian, and in Chaozhou City near the coast between Fujian and Guangdong Provinces. Nowadays there are many tea regions that produce wulong tea, but these four regions were the first. Chaozhou City is famous for producing Dan Cong wulong tea.
I think it important to point out that this is one of those teas where you really have to pay attention to the water temperature. Since I had 50 grams, I did one session grandpa style with boiling water just to see how it would turn out which resulted in a very bitter cup. Brewed properly at 190° this is a remarkable oolong.
I loved the balance between savory and sweet – this is what a good oolong is all about. Greeting your palate with honey and roasted nuts, the liquor is thick and syrupy. As it hits the back of your throat there is a burst of woodland flowers that are just heavenly. A 5-star tea if there ever was one, Seven Cups Mi Lan Xiang (Snow Orchid) should be on everyones must-have list.
Delicate smokey notes with honey & a woodland floral background
Gracefully twisted long deep green leaves
Stong notes of honey in both color and aroma
A glorious balance of roasted nuts, woodland flowers, & honey
Syrupy with a refreshing tingle
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 1 :
A very light infusion as expected from an oolong with nice honey notes.
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 2 – 3:
Third infusion was the best, with roasted almonds and woodland flowers.
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 4 – 5:
While more delicate, still just as delicious.
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 6-8:
After 1-2 minute steeps while light, the cup is still wonderfully refreshing.