This tea came to me after being contacted on Instagram by this grower. She offered to send me some samples, but I decided to take a chance and toss in a couple orders too. This is one I have a full order of.
Dry leaf smells like plum and smoke. It’s not how I’d normally brew a phoenix mountain oolong, but I decided to take the seller’s advice on this first brew, doing the rinse and first steep at boiling, the second at 95C and the rest at 90C. I started at 5 seconds and graduated 3-5 seconds per steep.
After a rinse the leaves smell like cannabis and seaweed. The leaves are so large and whole that I don’t need to use a filter or cha hai. The liqour smells like cream and honey. I decided to drink the rinse and I was glad I did. It was sweet and creamy with notes of toffee and honey.
The first real steep brings out the true aroma of this tea and it is incredible. Notes of honey, fresh melon, and an arresting floral smell that I assume is the orchid part of the “honey orchid” namesake. The flavor is still mostly dominated by honey, but there’s notes of fruit creeping in. The liquor is quite astringent, I suspect due to the high temperature of the early steeps.
As the session continues fruit starts to take the forefront of the taste, with hits of tangerine, grapefruit, and honeydew melon. It’s always backed by a honey sweetness. The astringency fades as I turn the temperature down to 90C and the liqour has a succulence like biting into a peach. Some sips are less fruity and have a minerality and sweet cream character.
This is only the second Mi Lan Xiang I’ve had, but it’s definitely the best of the two. The aroma was absolutely stunning, and the flavor that goes with it is nothing to scoff at. It’s a bit light to be something I’d use as a daily drinker, but it’s great to have in the cabinet when I’m looking for something more refreshing or aromatic.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grapefruit, Honey, Melon, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Sweet, Toffee