Wuyi Rock Oolongs are renowned worldwide amongst tea lovers. They are synonymous with deep roasted, rich, and complex flavours with a predominance of bass and rock minerality.
I adore Wuyi Rock tea (Yancha) and I tend to associate them with colder weather. That deep and warming taste is the perfect foil to the London winter.
But what about a Wuyi tea to drink in the summer? The warm weather calls for lighter teas with more high end top notes that can satisfy and refresh the senses. For Wuyi Oolongs I am a great fan of this Qi Dan cultivar.
Unlike the famous Wuyi cultivars (Tie Luo Han, Qi Dan, Bei Dou, Shui Jin Gui, Bai Ji Guan), this Qi Dan cultivar is less well known which is a shame because it is delicious. Yes, it is a bit thinner in texture than these heavyweights but this is more than balanced by its fruity, floral fragrance and light refreshing satisfaction.
I think of Qi Dan as a meeting between the floral, fruity and creamy Dan Cong Oolongs (from Guangdong) and the bassy, woodsy depths of a Wuyi Yancha. If you find a batch that gets this balance spot on then you have a winning tea which is versatile and delicious. This is one of those batches.
So, don't ignore this uniquely light Yancha - it is full of gorgeous summer aromatics like meadow flowers and mangosteens which is perfect for the summer sunshine.