Qi Dan Maocha (Unfinished Qi Dan)

Rock Wulong Tea 2022

A rare specimen of unfinished rock wulong, made from the exemplary Qi Dan bush. This is what rock wulong is like before its final roasting and sorting. Buttery and more light-bodied than finished rock wulong, with room-filling floral and incense aromatics. The strong mineral character typical of Wuyi yancha expresses itself brightly up-front on the tongue, rather than in the aftertaste in the throat.


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Tea Origin
Wuyishan City, Fujian Province, China

Tea Bush
Qi Dan (Rare Crimson)

Tea Maker
Zhou Yousheng and Huang Shiying

Harvest Time
Early May

Plucking Standard
Zhong kai mian

Making rock wulong tea from fresh-plucked tea leaves typically involves several steps: withering, oxidation, frying, kneading, drying, sorting, and finishing roast(s). Once the tea has gone through the drying phase, it’s considered “crude tea” or maocha, like this Qi Dan Maocha. If this tea were to be completed, it would go on to be sorted to remove twigs, broken leaves, and any leaves that were too large and stiff to twist properly (huang pian) to yield sorted maocha. Then, at the end of the wulong harvest season in late May, the tea maker will taste and judge all the different batches of sorted maocha to assess their quality. Higher grades of wulong tea will often be sent to the more careful and labor-intensive traditional charcoal roasting (often more than once), while lower grades are given a simpler oven roast.

While still a rather dark, oxidized tea, Qi Dan Maocha has a thinner, lighter body and brighter taste than finished, charcoal-roasted Qi Dan. Its unfinished character carries notes of straw and dry grass, with a powerful aroma and a pleasant light aftertaste.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

Qi Dan Maocha (Unfinished Qi Dan) 2022 brewing guidelines

Sort out twigs and any broken leaves to get just the wulong tea leaves.

5 grams (2 Tb) tea

12 oz 100°C (212ºF) water

3 min. first infusion

At least 4 infusions: 3, 3, 5, 8 minutes