This tea brought me back to the memory when I entered a tea shop in Beijing and was offered to try a few teas. I ended up buying a few of them. I always remembered that oolong I bought. The more I drank, the more I realised how impressively rich it was. I finished it in a short time and did not keep any package. Thus, I only knew it was a highly oxidised oolong until I took a sip from this Shui Xian Yancha.
It felt so satisfying to rediscover the tea that opened the door for me to the world of fantastic Chinese teas. I steeped it many times and I had a lot of different aromas and flavours. The minerality of this tea is beyond this
world. It also has a great smokiness, some floral notes and even some date flavours. However, what struck me was the lotus flower seed flavour I tasted. This may sound too obscure, but I indeed have a lotus flower seed tea that I bought in South Korea (one of the richest tisane cultures I’ve ever come across).
This Shui Xian is not only great because it is a Yancha (rock tea from Wuyi Mountain). But also, this tea comes from old bushes (Lao cong) that are 50-60 years old. However, these days most of the production is based on young bushes which have a much higher yield compared to the old ones. It would be good to compare a Shui Xian from old and young bush simultaneously, but I do not have an opportunity now. It is said that Shui Xian from an old bush gives a similar sensation that a high-end pu-erh made from ancient trees would give. That I agree, this tea does have a lingering taste like a good pu-erh.
Overall, it was a great tea which came to me with a bit of unexpected nostalgia!
Origin: Lian Hua Feng, Wuyi, Fujian province
Harvest time: Spring 2019
Leave colour: Dark brown with reddish red
Liquor colour: Dark cupper
Tea aroma: Smoky and woody
Tea taste: Rich with mineral dominant flavour with fruity and honey undernotes
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 90-100°C water temperature (yes don’t be afraid) and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 24 months or more if stored appropriately.