Qi Dan (Mystery Red)

Rock Wulong Tea 2020

Qi Dan’s fresh leaves are light red-purple when young, creating an orchid floral aroma with a sweet finish. Descended from one of the oldest mother bushes in Wuyishan, its subtle character will not shock the palate right away, but the more you drink, the more its unique character will develop.

Clear selection

Tea Origin
Wuyishan City, Fujian Province, China

Tea Bush
Qi Dan (Mystery Red)

Tea Master
Zhou Yousheng and Huang Shiying

Harvest Time
Early May

Picking Standard
Zhong kai mian

When you travel to the Wuyi Mountains (Wuyishan), the birthplace of wulong (or oolong) tea, tea enthusiasts always visit Big Red Robe Park. Guides take visitors to the famous six bushes, perched on a cliff face inscribed with the characters for Big Red Robe. These bushes are estimated to be more than 300 years old – much older than is common for a tea bush. They are sustained in their uncommon old age by the spring water and rich soil provided by the weathered rock. Researchers say of these five bushes, there are three distinct varieties. One of them is named Qi Dan. Although these famous bushes are no longer actually harvested, cuttings taken from the bushes and propagated in other fields makes it possible for us to still drink these ancient tea varieties.

In a Qing Dynasty record of Wuyi tea varieties, Lu Ting Chan wrote that there were more than 500 hundred named varieties. In recent years, a survey was conducted to find living examples of these antique varieties. Only 156 examples remain. The high yielding and robust Rougui and Shuixian cultivars, through government promotions in the late 1970’s, replaced these old bushes. Today still these two cultivars dominate and are frequently used in blending.

Qi Dan’s most distinctive attribute is the complex aftertaste that develops slowly in the back of the throat after the infused tea is swallowed. This is the celebrated “yan yun” or “rhyme” of rock wulong tea – the enduring feeling at the back of your throat. Qi Dan is subtle in that it will not shock the palate right away. Rather, the more you drink, the more its unique character will develop.

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 (Mystery Red) 2020 brewing guidelines

5 grams (2 Tb) tea

12 oz 100°C (212ºF) water

3 min. first infusion

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