Shui Xian (Water Sprite)

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Oolong Tea
yan cha

 

Shui Xian

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: nuanced sweet flavor of pumpkin and winter squash
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

2014 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. It’s appealing flavor is gaining new fans from the west, too, every year.

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.

This is a delicious, earthy tea with an intense, spicy brew that still maintains some floral sweetness. The fragrance is rich, with a suggestion of caramel, raisins and almonds. The flavor is pleasing and is reminiscent of pumpkin or winter squash. The tea is underscored with the charcoal roasting but the essence of the tea is not overshadowed by it.

Shui Xian tea bushes grow in several areas of the Wu Yi Shan, and in each area tea bushes can be young ( less than 10-years), mid-aged ( over 50-years); or 100-years or older (lao cong.) This Shui Xian is made from tea bushes that are approximately 5-years old and full of vigor.

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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