On day 108 of this challenge, I reviewed an old bush Shui Xian Yancha, and I remember that it was such a special tea and made me go back in memories when I first tasted yancha. This yancha is also classified as Shui Xian (narcissus). However, it is different from my previous experience with this type of yancha, and this is even though both teas claim to come from tea trees with age over 60 years old.
Shui Xian can be classified into three based on its age:
Ordinary type (tea plants under age 30)
Gao Cong Shui Xian (tea plants between 30 to 60 years old)
Lao Cong Shui Xian (tea plants over 60 years)
The last category is the rarest as there are only a few plants left which were planted in 1950ies. However, both teas claim that they are lao cong Shui. Given how different their tastes are, I think that it is likely for this tea (inferior in my opinion) to belong to category 2.
My experience with this tea was not very good. Actually, it could have been the most unpleasant yancha experience I had so far, although I had an excellent Shui xian yancha experience earlier.
I think one of the biggest challenges of the tea industry is the uncertainty about the origin of a tea. We just need accurate info to be able to make meaningful comparisons. As I did not enjoy this tea, I am questioning its authenticity. But maybe I’m wrong, who knows.
Type: Oolong tea
Origin: Wuyishan, Fujian Harvest time: Spring 2020
Leaf colour: Dark brown/black Liquor colour: Dark orange/light brown (slightly cloudy)
Tea Aroma: Toasty and woody
Tea taste: Strong and slightly astringent with charcoal and clove flavours
Steeping: Place 6 g of tea leaves in a teapot. Add 100 ml water at around 95 C. Steep for 5 seconds and rinse. Steep for 10 seconds and drink. To each consecutive steeping add 10 seconds. You can re-steep this tea around 7 or 8 times.
Shelf life: Can be aged (apparently, it get better with some age)