I will never really understand the Chinese tea-naming mind. I mean, I think this tea is supposed somehow to look like a water tortoise, but I keep thinking it tastes like a water tortoise. Shui Jin Gui is normally one of if not the greenest of the great Yanchas. But this one brews an amazing dark orange. The first impression is cashews and balsam. The roast is present and important but very subtle. There is a clarity and a complexity that rewards slurping and making your tongue go flat so that some gets to the sides of your inner cheeks. I am willing to bet that a golden water tortoise has cheeks. The other thing striking about this tea is the compulsion to brew two pots and pour them both into a larger cup rather than using a little cup. It just goes with the slurping propensity. But please don’t miss this: at the end, after the cup is empty, the sweet evergreen aroma lingers and is really worth paying attention to.
shui jin gui 2012
As with the other Wu Yi cultivars, cuttings from the original Shui Jin Gui plants (of which 3 are still alive but not harvested) were taken and grafted onto existing rootstock, creating exact copies/clones of the original plants that could be grown and harvested in more accessible parts of the the Wuyishan area.