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Shui Xian Wuyi Oolong

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Oolong Tea
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Flowers, Honey
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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65 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

Shui Xian is a tea shrouded in mystery -its name is either a reference to a Taoist immortal, a spirit of the water, or the narcissus flower. This triple-meaning is fitting for the immense complexity and richness that the tea offers.

The aroma of the leaf as boiling water is poured over it is that of steamed whole milk simmering with vanilla pods, slowly caramelizing. The first sip is a textural sensation. We imagine crystals of honey flavor suspended and frozen in the liquor that burst open as they melt with thick, juicy sweetness. There is also a particularly heady plumeria flower aroma that plays on the palate with notes of perfectly ripe mangos.

As the tea steeps out, there is a light tingling sensation left on the tongue, accompanied by the buttery sweet flavor of a fresh made waffle cone, or a merengue laced with amaretto. Late steeping see the vanilla cream aroma come in to play again with an incredible taste of vanilla gelato with sliced banana and sprinkles of fresh ground cinnamon.

About Verdant Tea View company

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65 Tasting Notes

2498 tasting notes

Sipdown #4 (I think I’m on 4).
This is a sad sipdown, as this really is a tasty tea!
This is one of the first Wuyi’s I fell in love with, & although it may not be as fancy & complex as some of the other Wuyi’s I’ve drank since then, it is delicious & wonderful. The main thing that comes to mind with this one is the banana pudding my mom used to make, with the vanilla wafers. Yeah, I bet your mom made it too!


i’m jealous of your sipdowns..

Terri HarpLady

yeah, but didn’t you get a bunch in over the weekend? :)


uh… yeah but net total for the weekend is an increase in cupboard size lol AND my orders came in today…sooo yeah i’m anticipating being at 220 ish when i get home…

and i need to get through a few more teas from the box so that i can mail it out this week

Terri HarpLady

Counting today’s Sipdowns so far, I think I’m at 278, with a Mandala arriving today, which will basically cancel out today’s sipdowns. Still, it feels good to let go of small quantities & if I can ever get myself to stay on Hiatus for awhile, I’d really like to get down to 200 or less.


i received 13 teas today… plus kittenna has said i can sample her teas…so that’s another 20 to sample before i can get back to my own teas…in addition to the travelling tea box at my house right now…with a swap from kaylee and dexter in bound sometime this month. oh and did i mention MY verdant order in coming..and the BBB box… eep!

Terri HarpLady

I’m only laughing because I was in your shoes last for the last 2 weeks! I had both boxes, verdant orders, etc. I was so busy sampling everyone else’s teas that I couldn’t drink my own!
My Mandala order arrived today!


i really want to place another mandala order….and shanti tea has a few things i want… sigh


Awww. There’s just no winning eh?
Once Kittenna finally rescues her teas, and you ship that traveling box back out you’ll be back to drinking your own tea and your numbers will drop. If not, just stick ‘em in an envelope and I’ll make them disappear. :P


Haha cavo…you are welcome to come shop at my house anytime…there are very few teas you wouldn’t be able to take several cups of

Ali Bee's Bake Shop

will have to try this

Terri HarpLady

This one is nice, but admittedly, I love Master B’s Jin Guanyin & Shui Jin Gui Wuyi better!

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767 tasting notes

Quick rinse

I am really starting to love my little gongfu mini teapot and tiny double walled cups.

2-4 seconds
Steepings 1-4: Roasted honey notes with a thick mouthfeel. The aftertaste is woodsy.

5 seconds
Steepings 5-8: Now I am getting the waffle cone notes. It is sweet and smooth, but not too strong. Some vanilla is peeking through as well. This group of steepings is my favourite.

8 seconds
Steepings 9-12: These steepings are not as sweet as the previous ones. The vanilla is still present. I am getting a slight cinnamon hint, but no banana like the website suggests.

The first steepings of this tea are almost a little bit too strong for my taste. The later steepings shine though!


Waffle cone! Yum!


I can’t wait to try this one. I have it but have yet to set aside the right time. You did well. Sometimes it takes a steep or two before my senses can adjust to thinking about what I’m tasting. I get overwhelmed at first. Then, everything just clears like a vapor has cleared. It makes the adventure interesting.


I am still a little bit overwhelmed by the gongfu way of steeping, but I think I am getting the hang of it!


I ordered some of this, I know I will love it, shui xians are one of my favorites…

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1258 tasting notes

Holy Heaven!!! LOVE THIS!
It’s like drinking honey wrapped around honey comb and laced with more honey. Only on the first steep now.
Underneath the honey, I can taste a faint green Oolong note which I suspect will come up more as my infusions grow in number. That mineral aspect is there as well but given that I haven’t got much experience describing it, I’ll have to wait til I am more familiar.
I love that this is such a complex tea. Mineral and honey and green oolong, mixed with that rich base that combined makes me think of sitting on a porch with a view of the snowcapped mountains and a green meadow beside me.
Now I just need to find a way to mainline this…
Rating: TBD but as it stands now, 98


I think I’m in danger of placing another verdant order…..was looking last night and I can pick up almost all of the teas I want to try with the coupon for not much at all haha and I still haven’t even finished trying all the ones I first bought


You can have a sample of mine! that way you can spend your monies on other samples ;P


Were there any in my cupboard from verdant you haven’t tried/ordered?


Don’t be afraid to express your notes here, even if they’re not backed by experience. It will only make your later tasting notes that much better :)


I love how you wrote about the mountain and meadow.


Alex Allen: thanks for the vote of confidence, I’ll keep that in mind :)
Bonnie, thanks! I so want a mountainview!!


Come over here…nothing but mountain views.


ahhh, I am so tempted to hop on a plane! hah


I need to try this, shui xians are one of my favorite oolongs!


I don’t blame you… mine to, apparenlty! lol :P

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449 tasting notes

Happy New Year (or New Year’s Eve, depending)!

Man, this is good! Today I finally worked up the courage to try the five second steep, gongfu method, in my measuring glass. When I made it yesterday using my wonky method it felt like the oolong was jumping from one flavour profile to the next in a chaotic array. This allowed me to taste all of the transitional stages, slowly, step by step. This is simply magical.

I let my mother smell the wet leaves and her reaction was in the negative but then I pleaded her to take a sip of the first steep, and also the fourth one, I think (when the finish became delicious). She told me it was smooth and like drinking a fine eighteen year old scotch. A positive reaction.

I haven’t kept track of how many times I’ve steeped this; I’m just enjoying the transformation of the flavours. It started out malty smooth, had a stage that tasted and smelled like fruit jam, and is now on a buttery, creamy, honey stage. I’m not getting anywhere near as much of that “roasted rice/genmaicha” flavour as I did yesterday. Where did it go?

I don’t have a gaiwan or a device to measure grams but I can do this! Yummy oolong, although I think I still prefer the greener ones.

180 °F / 82 °C

Fun to experiment isn’t it.


Yes!!! And today I was rewarded for it :)


Man, I’m so tempted to get a gaiwan! They’re cheaper than I thought.


I want a gaiwan.


I have 3 gaiwans, a fat white one 5 oz. that is easy to handle and cost $10, a purple clay that I use for shu pu-erh also 5 oz. and has a handle and built in strainer $17, and a stone looking pottery gaiwan with that’s speckled and has a spout 5 oz. also $16 that I mostly use for sheng pu-erh. All three have been great investments because I use them often.
Yunnan Sourcing U.S. (make sure it’s U.S.) is inexpensive if you don’t have a walk-in shop close to you.


That sounds super reasonable! Do you have to dedicate it to one specific tea, or can you just have an oolong gaiwan, green gaiwan etc?

I’ll check out the website too. I’m in Vancouver so I thought I’d try Chinatown, but I wasn’t sure how I’d know if it’s authentic.


Ah. I’m mixing up gaiwan and yixing pots, both of which I want. :p


I’m on the lookout for a nice gaiwan too. Thanks for the tip Bonnie! Those don’t look too expensive. :)
Cavocorax, if you find a good place to buy either a yixing pot or gaiwan in Metro Vancouver let me know!


Will do!


I have lists of teaware sites for handmade pieces too if anyone is interested.


I’m interested!


Me too! I don’t want to buy unless I know it’s ‘the one’. :P I don’t have enough room to buy extra teawares.

CrowKettle – I noticed that ZenTea has a few gaiwan’s for under $10, but idk about the patterns: http://zentealife.com/index.php/teaware/teawares-region/china/gaiwan-mugs-cups.html

They have a yixing pot I like too (with a squirrel on the lid) but it’s almost $40. :|


I want to check out Zen Tea so badly. That yixing pot is cute and reasonable prices for a gaiwan. I think I’m merely being picky about patterns now.


Nothing wrong with that! I’m feeling the same way!

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300 tasting notes

Holy teaeuphoria! The aroma of this tea! It is so autumnal: dark fruit and cinnamon and wood and everything that is good on this earth! And the taste? Wow! Just… I’m speechless and down right giddy!

I get the vanilla and cinnamon and wait… the description is insinuating this tastes like a banana split sans syrup with the addition of a waffle cone and I while I actually agree, there is something much more familiar here. Something in the stoney nature of Wuyi oolongs that is more than just the sweet mineral note. I can’t describe it but I know it, yet I never have I tasted it this intense. Mind blown, lovvve!

I’m going to have to spend the day with this and report back with more detailed notes. I’m starting out with quite a bit of leaf, water at 208 and steeped for 3 secs. And yay for tea arriving at the doorstep just as I’m putting the kettle on, glad I grabbed this one!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

You don’t get any lemon and seafood at all? Maybe it’s just me having a weird tongue. It can’t be that different from the one I’ve got from Peony Teas S…

Or perhaps it’s just not suitable for western style at all. (Shame that…)

Autumn Hearth

Yay Azzrian! Angrboda, none to speak of but I’ll listen for it in the later infusions, I’m on six and it just picked up a buttery note :)


I think you would be past it by now if it was there. I got it at the very beginning of the cup when brewed western style and then it went away as it cooled. I can only think that there must be something off in my brewings. The small pot was definitely better than the large, so it may have to do with how much leaf I use. I can’t try short steeps until I get a new small pot.

Autumn Hearth

Gotcha! Yes, this one was particularly recommended in small quantities and short steeps: 4oz of water, less than 10 secs. I have another Wuyi from Adagio to brew, I don’t think it will really compare to Verdant’s but I’m planning on using the same parameters (which may actually use all the leaf in the tiny tin). I tried it in the shop western style and there might have been a lemony note, so we’ll see.


I’m jealous, I’m still waiting for mine :D oh well maybe it will come this week :D

Autumn Hearth

So comparing this to a couple other Wuyi’s (Adagio’s Fujian Rain which is also a Shui Xian and their Da Hong Pao:Big Red Robe) this takes the cake and is actually cheaper ($1.25 cheaper than Fujian and whopping $22 cheaper than the Da Hong Pao). And I just noticed Verdant is offering their teas in 7g quantities now!


Wow 7g that is interesting – how long have they done this? COOL!


That’s great. Now I’ll be able to try a lot more teas from them.


The 7g samples must have just started, because I didn’t notice them yesterday morning… fun!


Also: I agree, this is a killer Shui Xian- very exited that we get to stock up on this.


I just got my order and I am just waiting for it to cool down. It said to rinse first and steep time of max 10 seconds :D

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4044 tasting notes

Another backlog from last night. I REALLY enjoyed this one cold last night. Without sugar, it was a dark roasty oolong that had a slight hint of vanilla. With a little sweetener the vanilla notes popped out more. Either way it was a tasty cold cup of tea last night!

Iced 8 min or more

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672 tasting notes

A tasting note, wrapped in a story, wrapped in an event.
This may be my most difficult review to date. It will be off the cuff, unbridled and from my heart. If this is not to the liking of everyone, there are other reviews and no need to read mine. I’m not preaching my religion either, but it is who I am and I’m not ashamed.

How do I write a review when there has been another tragic death on a day when we are still mourning the losses of 9-11?
In my own lifetime the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Vietnam and Desert Storm, bombings and kidnappings of U.S. Citizens. I’ve learned that you can’t ever let the bad things that happen in life win by turning you into a hateful, bitter person.
Life goes on. There’s always good in the World even though good news doesn’t get much time in the Press.

This Tea and My Story

The Oolong tea leaves were so large (and almost black) that I held them in my hand, juggling an amount that was almost 1.5TB. That was just enough for the Finum tea basket and mug method of brewing.

The steepings are so short, 3-5 seconds and increasing 1 second each steep, making sure to control the timing.

I brought my electric kettle filled with spring water to the boil, rinsed the leaves once and began the first steep.
The aroma of the wet leaves were like roasted short ribs with caramelization on them and everything! (Now of course I wanted some ribs…they smelled so good!)

I put my nose down close to the liquor and inhaled.
The scent was like incense in an old Church when the wood has been permeated with candle soot and resinous incense.

Then I took a sip of tea, curious about how this incense scent would taste.
The flavor was sweet deep mango and floral incense (but not bitter), vibrating in my mouth with intensity. I was having a difficult time pinning down the floral notes because the complexity and power of the tea was distracting me. There was great robust flavor and smooth softness at the same time, then a cool camphor-like vapor, arriving after some time of contemplation.
The scent and flavor made me think of the All Night Vigil during Holy Week (Easter). I signed up to read a portion of the Psalms usually at 1 or 2AM.
I entered the Church which was completely dark other than 1 Vigil light on the Altar and 1 light on the Readers Stand. The whole Church was filled (even petals on the floor) with the scent of roses, gardenias, carnations, laurel and flowers from services held every day during Holy Week. And of course INCENSE! (All incense is natural such as the one this tea reminds me of, ancient Ethiopian Frankincense…which is in little light pinkish pellets.)

As I would stand reading the Psalms until the next person arrived, all was quiet and intensely fragrant. My mouth was reading out loud, but my heart was praying. It was tranquil and beautiful.

When I was drinking this tea through several additional steepings, and began to taste a little of the cinnamon flavor (not sweet cinnamon or bitter but the dry kind), fuzzy textured fruit and floral honey, I could not stop remembering standing in the church smelling the incense and flowers.

The Vigil wasn’t mournful. It was hopeful.
With every tragic event that has happened and will continue to happen in the world, the choice we each have is to be angry, seek revenge, be depressed or, be wise and love each other in the face of it all.

I pray that we are wise enough to love each other.

http://flic.kr/p/dadfAs (Here you can see some of the flowers and on the floor)
http://flic.kr/p/cqY2rG (the outside of the Church)
http://youtu.be/iCgIswP7jPY Music also




Thank you Azzrian. I was hoping I didn’t upset anyone.


how can you upset anyone when it is your opinion and your life
i thought it was great


no need to apologize for being YOU Bonnie! I love your stories, this one included.
May all those who passed rest in peace

Terri HarpLady

A beautiful review, thank you Bonnie!


Great story and beautiful church


This Church is St. Peter and Paul in Ben Lomond,CA in the Redwoods.

Terri HarpLady

Bonnie, I’m listening to the Music link while I drink my first cup of the day, a blend I make to support my immune system: 1 Qt of water, bring to simmer with dried astragulus root (from Cheryl’s Herbs) & thinly sliced fresh ginger root. Don’t ask how much of either, a couple TBLS or so. Simmer covered gently for awhile…15 minutes or so? Remove from heat, add a handful of fresh lemon balm (from my herb garden), a few thin strips of lemon peel, & a spoon of local honey to taste (Cheryl’s carries an amazingly awesome local honey). Drink throughout the day. Thanks for the beautiful music, & the photos as well. :)

Autumn Hearth

The tea and your memories of the vigil, the church and those lost are all beautiful! Thank you for sharing that part of who you are, your spirituality is wonderful and that church is gorgeous! Is it Greek Orthodox as well? I grew up Roman Catholic in suburb and everything was dark and dull and somber, none of the beautiful colors and art and culture that I see in both the photos and picture in your words. I know there was occasionally incense at mass though I didn’t care for it as a child, but roses? Engage all the senses! I value all religious/spiritual paths (I also grew up a Unitarian Universalist) and love the diversity here!

Autumn Hearth

:) it did indeed, especially when the people started moving. Jim also gave me a little lesson in Orthodoxy in a PM. The Alaskan Native American Orthodox services sound amazing! Love cultural preservation though the video did remind me a bit of a documentary we watched in my high school Global Studies course where Islamic missionaries went to a remote Northern African tribe and told them the tree spirits they worshiped were the devil, that made me very sad as I also believe that the Divine expresses itself through nature, my husband finds himself much in line with Japanese Shintoism, but that is neither here nor there. Thank you for sharing your tradition!

Jim Marks

Keep in mind that Orthodoxy has been in Northern and Eastern Africa for two millennia! The patriarchate of Alexandria is one of the original five (Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch, Alexandria and then Constantinople). The Coptic and Ethiopian expressions of Orthodoxy are some of the oldest and most carefully preserved in the world.

One reason why Orthodox traditions throughout the world manifest so differently from one another is that rather than going to a place and saying “your faith is bad, let us tell you about a good faith”, Orthodox rather go and say “your faith is good, let us tell you about what we know and see where they match up”.

There is a fine line between panentheism (the divine is in everything) and pantheism (the divine is everything). Animism (like Shinto) and other polytheistic systems stray a bit too far to one side to be entirely compatible, but if the understanding can be honed to come to understand that there is one divinity which is able to express and manifest itself in many forms (both through cultures and nature) then common ground can be found even with those who worship tree spirits. It is a subtle business which can take generations to achieve.


It’s Orthodox yes. Here in the U.S. we hear people refer to the church’s as Russian or Greek etc. because we don’t have an American Patriarch as yet (working on that) and immigrants brought their culture and sometimes Priests here from these different places (although Orthodoxy has been here in the U.S. over 200 years through Alaska). All but a few old ethnic Churches are in English and a mix of people just like you and I.

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823 tasting notes

Ahh finally having another Yixing teapot session. I am using my new cups from Verdant as well as my teapot, will try to post a picture later. Although I seasoned my teapot with the Phoenix Dancong oolong, I am going to use it for both that tea and this one to see how the flavors affect each other.

So I began with a rinse, over the cups and over the teapot. I don’t have a little pitcher for pouring so I am improvising with my larger glass teacup. It’s a bit messy, but I am containing it on a plate :)

The first steeping was sooo toasty and roasty, rich and buttery and intense, so warming! This one reminded me a bit of roasted fine coffee actually, but a lot better tasting and zero bitterness!

The second steeping was honey coated, dripping with it, so good. I loved this one. The creaminess was present in this one, not quite as sharp roasted flavored as the first, more rich and thick and mouth-watering.

The third steeping the honey has been muted slightly, and the toast with butter flavor has returned. Also a slightly interesting note has appeared, I can’t really describe it, but it’s definitely different. This one is not quite as rich, and a bit more light.

Oh, and the aroma has been wonderful throughout, vanilla and cream and toast and yummm.

So far the second steep is my favorite. I will continue with this for a while this afternoon. I like both of the oolongs that are going to make their nest in my Yixing teapot, I’m excited to see if the honey flavors of the dancong will meld with the honey flavors of this, and how the richness will develop over time :)

Invader Zim

Beautiful pictures of your teaware! Thank you for sharing!


Thanks! I love Verdant’s teaware, I saw your photos a few weeks ago of the Song Dynasty cups and the one today of your blue one, so delicate and lovely!

Invader Zim

Verdant’s teaware are absolutely beautiful! My favorite I have is the one with the blue flowers on it that I posted a picture of today.


your Yixing is just so cute! Looks like a little piece of art I would say :-)


It’s so tiny! It definitely is a piece of art :)

And I love that cup, Invader Zim, it’s lovely!

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582 tasting notes

I tried this again today and no there was no evil taste to it which proves that I screw up the oolongs most often (sigh) I did a much better job this time around and it came out rather nice.


I drank this before the big red robe :D


smart to try again!


I should also mention that this was from a different bag from my first try and smelled better :D I’ll have to give the first bag another shot :D (I didn’t realize I had two bags of it hehe)

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4231 tasting notes

What a delightful Oolong!

The first two infusions start out so soft, very light… but do not remain light for long. Within a moment the flavor of vanilla blankets the palate like sweet, vanilla bean infused heavy cream. After the flavor of cream subsides a bit, I start to notice a smoky/roasty/toasty kind of flavor in the distance, honey-esque sweetness (somewhere between honey and pollen!) and a fruit flavor. The description from Verdant suggests mango, but, I find it to be more apricot than mango… perhaps a melding of these two fruits.

In the second two infusions, the apricot emerges. The smoky notes become more of a nutty flavor, still quite toasty but less charcoal-y now. The tea has lost the creaminess in texture, it is more mineral-y, but, the vanilla tones remain. A cinnamon note also comes through and I find the combination of the cinnamon taste and the mineral-like texture to be very compelling.

With my third and final cup (fifth and sixth infusions), I find that the flavors have become more unified, softer … but still very complex. The sweet honey-esque tones of the first cup have become more of a caramel tone … perhaps because the flavor of honey and smoke have melded together? It tastes sweet, fruity, and smooth. Less mineral-y now, it is more like a thin brothy texture, very soft and smooth as it glides over the palate.

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