Zhilanxiang, or orchid fragrance, is a large varietal of Dancong with many other varietals falling under its heading, including the famous milanxiang.
The leaves are a mix of dark and light green, and although they have been wood baked and dried, they have not been charcoal roasted. The aroma from the first infusion is a complex mix of fresh wet earth, spring leaves, and trees sap. The liquor is a bright gold, and the mouthfeel is pleasantly thick while still providing a lot of sweetness on the tongue.
We had a wonderful opportunity to see the picking and processing of this tea during our time in the Phoenix mountains. We saw all the stages, tasted the maocha in its various stages, and even had the chance to compare the taste of a morning pick versus that of an afternoon pick. This tea is particularly dear to us, you can read up on our time with this tea, the pickers, and the producer on our blog.