Shui Xian (Water Sprite) from 100+Year-Old Tea Bushes

$13.00$180.00

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Oolong Tea
yan cha

 

Shui Xian Old Tea Bushes
from 100+ Year-Old Tea Bushes

 

Appearance: open twist leaf style, long, thick individual leaves, leaf color: lovely tawney brown
Style/Shape: long, strip-style leaf
Plucking Style: hand-plucked
Cultivar: Shui xian
Oxidation: 35-45% oxidation
Roasting: medium-light charcoal roasting
Flavor: the flavor of the tea is precise, clean, scotch-like and peat-y. We tasted suggestions of bitter almond, cherry pip, and apricot kernel (amaretto).
Aroma: rich, caramel, light aroma of charcoal roasting, raisins and almond
Liquor: deep red-amber liquor tinged with copper color

 

 

Wu Yi Shan

Fujian Province, China

2016 Spring Pluck
(late April, early May)

Note on Steeping Oolong:

 

Oolongs are traditionally ‘rinsed’ before being steeped.
This is done with a quick application of hot water that is poured over the tea in the gaiwan or teapot and then immediately discarded.
The rinse water is not drunk – its purpose is to help the leaves begin to open during steeping.
Use additional appropriately-heated water for the 1st steeping and subsequent re-steepings.

Oolongs exemplify the concept that some teas can be re-steeped multiple times and yield an incredible volume of drinkable tea. This practice works best when the leaf is steeped in a small vessel, but it also works reasonably well in a large teapot.
Please refer to our steeping instructions for details.

 

Western-style steeping in a medium-large sized teapot 20-32 oz:

 

Use 1.75 Tablespoons (2-3 grams) of tea per each 6 oz water
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Re-steep 2-3 infusions at 2-3 minutes each
Water temperature should be 195°F-205°F

 

Asian-style steeping in a small teapot under 10 oz or in a gaiwan:

 

Use 3.5 Tablespoons (4-6 grams) of tea per each 6 oz water
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Re-steep 6-8 infusions (or more!) at 10 seconds to 1 minute each
Water temperature should be 195°F-205°F

 

Shui Xian is a leafy, dark, charcoal-roasted, highly-oxidized strip-style rock-oolong (yan cha) from the Wu Yi Shan area of northwestern Fujian Province, China. As with all true rock oolongs, this tea is named for the specific tea bush cultivar from which the fresh leaves are plucked. Shui Xian is grown widely throughout the Wu Yi Shan and other regions of Fujian Province. It is one of the most classic varietals grown for yan cha and has been popular among Chinese oolong enthusiasts for a very long time.

Shui Xian is also known as Water Sprite Oolong. This particular manufacture, from a small village in the original producing area of the Wu Yi Shan, has large, broad, thick-ish, un-twisted but open-folded leaves and has been finish-fired over charcoal. Shui Xian has many fans among our oolong-enthusiast customers, partly because it is one of the classic Wu Yi yan cha and also because there are so many places that grow and manufacture this varietal that there are many versions of it to taste.

Our newest, village-made Shui Xian is currently made from the fresh leaf of old tea bushes (lao cong). In this particular tea garden the tea bushes are approximately 100-150 years old.

This tea was processed by hand with repeated steps of roasting and resting in between. The color of this tea is a lighter brown than the leaf of the 2016 Spring Shui Xian Mi Xiang ‘Honey Aroma’. The charcoal roasting is lighter, too, than that which was given to our 2016 Spring Shui Xian Mi Xiang ‘Honey Aroma’ which is appropriate for tea made from old tea bushes. These old tea bushes produce leaf with excellent flavor and complexity but they do not have the vim and vigor of younger tea plants. So the roasting needs to be done with a careful hand so to not overwhelm the core flavor of the tea.

This is a delicious and very special tea. The leaf is quite large and needs to be measured carefully to have enough in the cup. The flavor of the tea is precise, clean, scotch-like and peat-y. We noted elusive flavors of members of the drupes family of fruit: bitter almond, cherry pip, and apricot kernel (amaretto). There is just a slight charcoal roast flavor from the charcoal firing that is a pleasant but not overwhelming note on the palate. The sweetness in the cup has a honey or brown sugar/caramel taste and the smooth mouth-filling body of this tea is nicely balanced with the underlying elegant taste of the tea leaf.

It is a very full-bodied tea and has slightly higher amino acids than some other yan cha, which provide long-lasting after-taste and an overall soft, rich mouth-feel.

We have found it to be true that the higher the amino acid level in yan cha the more relaxation the tea induces; and if drunk in the evening, the better the quality of sleep that night

This very special Shui Xian is for those who love to drink a smooth, satisfying and delicious dark oolong.

 

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