Tea type
Oolong Tea
Floral, Jasmine, Lavender, Mineral, Peppercorn, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Sweet, Wet Rocks, White Grapes
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 oz / 147 ml

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From Hugo Tea Company

notes — stone | lavender | springy

PANLAN QI LAN is a yancha (“rock tea”) from the outer Wuyi mountain range of Fujian province, China. This lot is a qi lan, or “rare orchid” production. Typically, qi lan cultivar material is more gently processed with a middling oxidation and lighter roast to preserve its natural expression of overripe fruits and sugary perfume. Running against the wind as usual, our yancha producer Shan Zhong applies a generous old world roast, adding significant body and yan yun (“rock sensation”) to a yancha process that, for all its elegance, can lack texture. This is a zhoucha (“island tea”) yancha, meaning the tea was grown and produced well outside Wuyi national park—Panlan tea garden, our partner farm in this undervalued producing region, sits at roughly 1,000 meters elevation, while Wuyi park gardens top out around 800 meters. The alpine microclimate of Panlan breeds high stress tea trees that grow slowly and produce concentrated compounds responsible for qi lan’s signature sweetness (a common theme in high elevation teas), compounding the cultivar’s already bright and saccharine qualities. This is a very tasty and approachable yancha, ideal as an introduction to the genre.

This lot was hand-produced from beginning to end. Shan’s qi lan trees were plucked in October, sun-withered, manually bruised, pan-fried over a wood fire to fix, rolled to shape in cloth sacks, and charcoal roasted at low temperature in 3 rounds before being rested in bamboo baskets. When Shan felt the tea was ready, he put it to a gentle re-roasting in late December to liven up the material before shipping to us. Yancha almost always benefits from a decent resting, as the charcoal roast settles into the tea and harsher aromas slowly taper. This lot is fresh with roasty minerality, but all the sugars and dainty florals of qi lan sing. Every indication is this tea will improve with age, though the limited size of this lot suggests it won’t be around that long.

Deeply undervalued due to the Chinese penchant for tea with pedigree, Panlan’s zhoucha represents an incredible value for tea that outpaces its fancier cousins. Good qi lan is a luxury; as with all of Shan’s yancha, we’re privileged to bring an affordable version to you that only tastes expensive. Steep in medium-hot water in short bursts to work through roast and minerals before accessing softer layers of lavender and plum.


(use freshly boiled spring water)

modern, large format
[300 ml+ vessel — BOLI, large teapot]

5 grams — 195°F (90°C) — 1 minute, 30 seconds

traditional, small format
[150 ml- vessel — gaiwan, small teapot]

6 grams — 195°F (90°C) — 10 seconds
(no rinse)
+10-15 seconds each additional steep

About Hugo Tea Company View company

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1 Tasting Note

1698 tasting notes

I’ve had this one before, though a previous harvest. I was not precise with it, and instead brewed it based on color and aroma each time, making adjustments as I went. I’d guestimate a 30 second threshold with 15, 30, and so on additional seconds using 5 oz of water at 195.

This oolong stands out for its sugar mineral and lavender notes. Every once in a while, it will get nutty or lean in a more oxidized jasmine direction. Unlike the one I had, this had a bit more roast. I will be honest-I actually liked the previous one I had more than this one since I think the roast overpowers some of the more nuanced aspects of the tea. I got more of a gingery note last time, whereas today, it was more white pepper and charcoal under the woody tea profile. Luckily, there’s a green grape quality I got from steep 3 that I usually don’t get from Wuyi teas after I kept the timing between 3—45 seconds. It’s still greener than other Yanchas, and if you like more floral ones, this is a safe bet. I am glad that it’s being sold now, anyway.

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Lavender, Mineral, Peppercorn, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Sweet, Wet Rocks, White Grapes

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

The first Qilan I had – Qilan Trees from White2Tea – gave me a fond tasting memory of champagne grapes :)

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