Tasting Pot: Mi Lan Xiang (Phoenix Honey Orchid) Oolong

by Chris Parker-Loftus February 23, 2018

Tasting Pot: Mi Lan Xiang (Phoenix Honey Orchid) Oolong

Mi Lan Xiang, often referred to in the west as Phoenix Honey Orchid because of its floral fragrance and sweet taste, is one of the best known of all the Dancong Oolongs, grown in the high mountains near Chazhou city, Guandong province, Southern China.

Our Mi Lan Xiang was grown on Fenghuang Mountain approximately 400m above sea level, and was harvested in spring 2017.

Mi Lan Xiang oolong Fenghuang Mountain

  The top two to three leaves are picked, withered (a process which helps remove moisture and start the oxidisation process), the leaves are then rolled into the characteristic bar shape of this type of tea. The tea is given a deep charcoal roasting which is expertly supervise by tea master Mr Lin, which helps to bring out it's characteristic floral aroma and sweet honeyed taste.

Brewing methods:

As with all teas there is no right and wrong, it's all a question of personal taste.  But there are some guidelines that will serve you well as a starting point.

Most of the cafe's and tea houses that we sell our tea to across Manchester (and beyond) tend to favour the western style brewing method which really is very simple.

  • Heat water to 90-95°
  • measure 3g per 250ml cup
  • Pour on water 
  • infuse for 3 minutes

Make sure that you pour all of the water off from the leaves, as you will certainly be able to brew a second, and probably a third infusion form the tea.  If you wanted to batch brew this tea for easy service in a cafe then I find that it keeps well in a thermos for up to two hours.

Because we have a bit more time here at Bohea Teas HQ, in Chorlton, Manchester, we like to  brew gong fu style, and today we've decided to use our kyusu teapot from the new range of Kinto 'Leaves to Tea' teawares with matching tea bowl and saucer.

Step 1

Get yourself set up, with your kettle, teapot, scales, spoons, etc whatever your favourite things are for gong fu brewing.

Set up Mi Lan Xiang

Step 2

Heat up your water (we went for 90° today), warm your teapot, and measure out your tea (we are using 6g for 100ml of water).

6g Mi Lan Xiang water Mi Lan Xiang

 Step 3

Get brewing!

  • Put the leaves into the teapot and pour over enough hot water to cover, then wait a couple of seconds and pour off the water immediately.  This is known as washing the tea.
  • Now pour over 100ml of hot water and wait for approximately 15 seconds
  • After 15 seconds pour the oolong tea into a warmed bowl or cup and enjoy

Brewed this way Mi Lan Xiang will deliver between 5-8 infusions, with the flavours developing and changing with each cup.  The first two infusions will both be around 15 seconds each, then add 10 seconds for each subsequent infusions.

Enjoy!

Bohea Teas is a specialist tea company based in Manchester, UK.  We specialise in sourcing exceptional loose leaf tea and tisanes (herbal tea). You can order our teas or visit us in person by appointment.




Chris Parker-Loftus
Chris Parker-Loftus

Author