Despite its intimidating-looking name, Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong is actually quite a lovely tea. Brewing it is a lot easier than pronouncing its name. But what do all those words mean, and what kind of tea is it?
Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong is a type of oolong tea from Guangdong province in China. Translated in English as “Honey Orchid Aroma,” this type of Dan Cong oolong is known for its sweet and floral aroma and taste.
There’s still a lot of information about Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong that needs unpacking, so let’s dive right in so we can all enjoy a cup later.
Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong comes from the mountains of Guangdong province in China. One of these mountains is the Wudong Mountains (not to be confused with Wudang Mountain, which is in a completely different province), where the tea trees and bushes grow near the middle.
Guangdong province itself is known for their Dan Cong oolongs. Mi Lan Xiang is only one of the multiple styles of Dan Congs out there, but it’s also the most accessible to beginners due to its taste.
Oolongs sit somewhere in between green and black tea when it comes to taste. Typically, the length of roasting determines which side of the spectrum it falls under. In Mi Lan Xiang’s case, it’s closer to black tea than green, though the leaves still show some green on their surface.
Mi Lan Xiang lives by its name, producing a honey-sweet, floral-tasting infusion with a hint of fruits when brewed properly. You shouldn’t need to add anything to this tea; however, in case of oversteeping or using too hot water, you can use some sugar to cover the astringency.
You can also try using fewer leaves or steeping it for less than you usually do. Adjusting those parameters might help improve a strong brew’s taste.
Brewing oolong is similar to black tea but is not as forgiving. Use a gram of loose tea for every two ounces of water you use. Do not use teaspoons as a unit of measure or it will be inaccurate.
To start, heat the water up to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. While it heats, weigh about 4-5 grams of loose-leaf Mi Lan Xiang and place it into your brewing basket or teapot.
Once the water is ready, splash the tea leaves with hot water and let it sit for 10 seconds. This “wakes up” the tea and removes any miscellaneous dust on its surface. You can throw the tea “wash” if you’d like, or catch a whiff as you toss it down the drain.
Now you’re ready to brew Mi Lan Xiang. Pour 12 ounces of water into your teapot or mug, and let the tea brew for three minutes. Try not to let it brew too long, or your cup will be bitter.
Too weak? Steep the leaves for longer. Too strong? Use fewer leaves or use more water. You can also shorten the steep time to reduce any potential astringency.
According to the Garfield Medical Center, an 8-ounce cup of brewed oolong contains about 37-55 milligrams of caffeine. If you’re drinking from a 12-ounce mug, then you’re likely ingesting about 55 milligrams of caffeine from Mi Lan Xiang.
That means those with caffeine sensitivities or anxiety problems should not try drinking an entire cup of this tea. Fifty-five milligrams may not sound like a lot, but that’s usually enough to send a caffeine addict back to the jitter zone.
On its own, Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong does not contain any carbs because it doesn’t have any starch. However, the carb count will increase if you add other things to the tea, such as sugar or honey.
Because Mi Lan Xiang is just a bunch of rolled and roasted leaves that are eventually submerged in hot water, the tea doesn’t have any calories. The only time Mi Lan Xiang will have calories is if you add other ingredients to your cup to suit your preferences.
Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong can last for over a year when stored correctly in airtight containers and dark, dry areas. Oolongs such as any type of Dan Cong age well, developing a mellow yet more concentrated flavor as it ages. Even a sealed bag of Mi Lan Xiang will mature into a better-tasting tea once it’s opened.
However, if your tea is constantly exposed to the light with a loose container lid, your Dan Cong won’t last that long. They will start turning stale after a while, dulling the delicate honey, flower, and fruit flavors from Mi Lan Xiang.
Pronouncing this tea’s name is not as hard as you think. If you want to stick to its Chinese name, you’ll pronounce it as “Mee Lan Shaang Dan Cong.” But if you’re going to take it easy on yourself, stick to the English name of Honey Orchid Aroma.
Drinking a fresh cup of Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong can be a treat. The brew itself is smooth, with a sweet and floral aroma and taste. Mi Lan Xiang is a good option if you want to introduce a non-tea drinker to the expansive world of tea.
Just make sure you’re pronouncing the name correctly, or stick to what’s easier to say: Honey Orchid Aroma. You can’t go wrong with what you know.