Mi Lan Xiang (Honey Orchid)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Honey, Metallic, Nutty, Passion Fruit, Rice, Roasted, Toasty, Wet Rocks, Sweet, Floral, Mineral, Stonefruit, Blueberry, Fruity, Creamy, Smooth
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Erik Dabel
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 18 oz / 544 ml

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From Red Blossom Tea Company

Mi Lan Xiang is our most popular Phoenix Oolong. We usually see raised eyebrows from those trying this tea for the first time, followed with that inevitable question, is this tea flavored? It’s not, but the tea alone is remarkably flavorful. It is also a very serious tea, descended from a long line of Phoenix Shui Xian tea trees all bearing the unique honeyed aroma and flavor.

In English, Mi Lan Xiang means “Honey Orchid Fragrance.” This tea was gathered in April 2012 from an old grove sitting 950+ meters above sea level on Wudong Mountain in the Phoenix Mountain Range.

Mi Lan Xiang is crafted in the “Nong Xiang” style, where the leaves are oxidized to at least 30% then given repeat roasts until the honey-like aroma and flavor is brought forth. The resulting tea is sweet, with a subtle floral character not unlike lavender or orange blossom honey.

About Red Blossom Tea Company View company

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8 Tasting Notes

15 tasting notes

This tea review is inspired by Bonnie and her unique style!

I have some big decisions to make soon and my mind has been racing all of yesterday and today. I needed something to clear my head. A hike? Some tea? Why not both! I packed up my Jetboil camp stove, my most durable yixing pot, a cup, a tiny vase, and some Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong from Red Blossom. I found a spot near the bank of the Cache La Poudre river and created a tea space with rocks and logs and a cloth I brought with me. In the vase, I placed the first signs of spring—some willow branches close to bud-burst. The first steeping was intense, probably brewed a little too long, but full of flavor! Sweet plumy flavors and floral aromas were balanced by a slight astringency. Subsequent infusions lead to less complexity, but a more harmonious flavor. The slight astringency was replaced by a smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel and the floral aromas mellowed into a more honey-like taste. At the same time, my mind slowed along with the tea. Disparate and racing thoughts disappeared and were replaced by a calmness. I was finally able to be solidly in the present for the first time in a long while.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

This has made me happier than you can imagine my friend.

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417 tasting notes

This tea was sent to me as a sample. Very nice!

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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1996 tasting notes

So it turns out that I had another of the Red Blossom Phoenix oolongs in my collection. Cool.

In the packet it has a sharp, dark oolong smell that has some roasty-toasty elements but also a metallic/rock one.

Gaiwan. Rinse. 195F, 15 seconds plus five for each subsequent steep.

It’s an apricot color and clear, and definitely has honey notes in the aroma and flavor. I also get something that’s a little like rice? On the first couple of steeps I don’t get anything particularly floral, but there is something fruity. When I first saw someone else’s note about passion fruit I was skeptical, but it actually could be that!

Also, there are hints of something nutty in the later steeps.

It’s a very interesting and complex little tea. I can imagine it being the sort of thing you can taste differences in depending upon when you drink it, whether you’ve had other teas or food earlier in the day, and other factors.

Rating it the same as the almond version. It is different — more subtle, more complex — but I like them about the same.

Flavors: Honey, Metallic, Nutty, Passion Fruit, Rice, Roasted, Toasty, Wet Rocks

195 °F / 90 °C

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39 tasting notes

The scent and flavor are unmistakably that of passion fruit. Delicious. There’s also a subtle sweetness, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s clearly honey-like.

Flavors: Passion Fruit, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.

It would be difficult to find a more aromatic tea. Mi Lan Xiang (or Honey Orchid) indeed possesses notes of honey. However, this is only one aspect of a flavor profile that includes floral notes, winter fruit, and the dry, mineral or metallic flavor distinct to Phoenix oolong tea.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Metallic, Mineral, Stonefruit

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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240 tasting notes

I thought we had lost this one, but we found it on a random shelf hidden amongst a pile of Jell-O. You read that correct.

Anyway, it had been a while, so last night I brewed some of this sweet little number up for two. My oh my it is a good one!

The Red Blossom website gives you two different methods to brew this, one for a light, sweet taste, and a more traditional method for a bigger, bolder taste. I voted for the bigger and bolder. The girlfriend voted for light and sweet. The vote was 1 to 1. I lost.

So, the light and sweet version is simply not too long on the steeping timer and not quite as much leaves. I used about 2 tablespoons of leaves in her 2 cup infuser and steeped for about 1 minute. (3+ tablespoons and 2 minutes of steeping time for the bigger and bolder version)

The color was lighter than I remember, and lighter than I am used to for an Oolong, but then again it is a Phoenix Oolong, so, maybe there you go. or not. I’m not really a master on the Phoenix Oolong. It was a nice reddish brown, rather clear color.

The smell was beautiful. Nice and light, sweet, with a hint of honey and almost an orange feel. It really is full of flavor.

I’m really curious as to what the more traditional brew is like. Next time I hope I win the vote!


Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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