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Phoenix Oolong Tea

phoenix oolong teas taste like honey and citrus, with floral and mineral notes


What Is Phoenix Oolong Tea?

At China's southwestern tip, in Guangdong Province, lies the city of Chaozhou. It sits at the foot of a remote mountainous region named for it's most prominent peak - the Phoenix Mountains. This area is ideal for cultivating tea, but it's rough terrain, and the area is isolated. As a result, they have created a style of tea distinct from any other in China.


phoenix oolongs are grown in guangdong, China


Oolongs from the Phoenix Mountains are sometimes called dan cong. This name translates as "single grove", and references the method of cultivation used. Here, tea trees have been selectively bred over centuries to mimic distinct flavors. The trees are then grafted, rather than replanted from seed. Thus, growers can preserve the genetic qualities of the mother plant. Each variety in this area therefore evokes a specific fruit or flower fragrance.


wet phoenix oolong leaves show partial oxidation


How Is Phoenix Oolong Tea Made?

The range of inherent flavor in the tea plants grown in this area is huge. Tea makers use a wide range of techniques to emphasize the unique qualities of their varieties. Lighter levels of oxidation can bring forth a leaf's floral and citrus aromas. Further bruising and browning the leaves can add richness and complexity to the tea.

These teas are also distinctive due to the age of the trees they are harvested from. Tea farmers in most parts of the world will replant every 10-20 years to maintain the largest yield. But tea trees on Phoenix Mountain are allowed to grow into old age, with the oldest reaching 100 years or more. As the plant ages into a small tree, it produces fewer leaves. Instead, more nutrients and flavor compounds develop in each leaf. This creates complex flavors on the palate that often astound new drinkers.


phoenix oolong leaves are long and twisted, and mid-way browned


Signs Of Quality

Some Phoenix oolongs are renowned for their lineage. After centuries of selective breeding, teas from older lines have more complex flavors. Others are coveted for the age of the trees on which they're grown. Older trees can also create complexity in the flavor and the brew. Finally, elevation plays a part here, as in other oolongs. Higher elevations encourage slow growth, and allows these plants to develop more flavor.


mature tea leaves grow on old tea trees


Many of these qualities can be difficult to gauge when purchasing teas. Even among Phoenix oolongs of high quality, flavor profiles can vary dramatically. Often, astringency and bitterness can even be desirable qualities. Generally, younger trees produce more floral and fruity aromas. The leaves of older plants are more robust and nuanced in their flavor profiles.


Phoenix Oolong Teas To Try

  • Our most popular Phoenix Oolong, this tea is naturally fruity and sweet, with notes of lychee and honey that will last through 5 or 6 infusions. We love to share this tea as an example of incredible natural flavor.

    Mi Lan Xiang (Honey Orchid)
    Quick shop

    漢字 蜜蘭香鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft qing xiang

    flavor notes honey, lychee

    漢字 蜜蘭香鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft qing xiang

    flavor notes honey, lychee

    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...


  • Oxidized to nearly 30%, this tea boasts bold natural citrus notes. While a light hand can produce a delicately sweet flavor, we like the sharp, dry mouth feel and persistent citrus finish of a stronger brew.

    Huang Zhi Xiang (Orange Blossom)
    Quick shop

    漢字 黃枝香鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft nong xiang

    flavor notes citrus, honey

    漢字 黃枝香鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft nong xiang

    flavor notes citrus, honey

    Huang Zhi Xiang is one of our most elegant Phoenix Oolong teas. Its name loosely translates to "Orange Blossom Fragrance" because of the hint of citrus oil in the tea's natural aroma. Grown at over 900 meters above sea level on Wudong Mountain, Phoenix Range, our Huang Zhi Xiang was...


  • Descended from tea trees planted on Phoenix Mountain during the Song dynasty, this tea produces a complex array of subtle flavors, with notes of peach, honey, and Eiswein in the aroma and the finish.

    Song Zhong
    Quick shop

    Song Zhong

    $54.00

    漢字 宋種鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft nong xiang

    flavor notes peach, honey

    漢字 宋種鳳凰單丛

    origin Wudong Shan, Guangdong

    craft nong xiang

    flavor notes peach, honey

    Song Zhong traces its origins back to the waning days of the Southern Song Dynasty. Locals on Phoenix Mountain tell of the last Song Emperor's flight from the invading Mongols. Tired and thirsty, the emperor was restored with tea brewed from the leaves of a Phoenix Mountain oolong. Today, Song...