Shui Xian (2017)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Blackberry, Butter, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Earth, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Strawberry, Sugar, Tar, Tobacco, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Wood, Herbs, Oak wood, Orange, Orange Blossom, Raspberry, Roasted
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 oz / 94 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’m moving on to a more recent sipdown with this review. I’m pretty sure this was either the last tea I finished in July or the first one I finished in August. Those of you who are familiar with my...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “The hills have already begun their browning out for the dry season yet a rogue rainstorm has come through, ensuring that I have several days off of work and both the time and the mood to drink up...” Read full tasting note
    76
  • “Recently ordered a bunch of samples from Old Ways Tea – excited to start trying them. I haven’t had enough yancha lately. This leaf smelled delightfully roasty and sweet – it was also visually...” Read full tasting note

From Old Ways Tea

Shui Xian is a tea characterized by a gentle balance between a floral scent and a base woody fragrance. A slight astringency and clean charcoal roast are well balanced by the returning sweetness of this tea.

The 2017 Shui Xian was charcoal roast at the start of August, 2017. As of writing (September-October 2017) the roast is still fresh, but not overpowering. I consider this tea ready to enjoy now.

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3 Tasting Notes

80
880 tasting notes

I’m moving on to a more recent sipdown with this review. I’m pretty sure this was either the last tea I finished in July or the first one I finished in August. Those of you who are familiar with my reviews of Wuyi oolongs will realize that I am more than a bit of a Shui Xian nut as I purchase and try tons of different Shui Xian oolongs. Normally, I find it to be a tea that is hard to screw up, though it is certainly possible to get hold of a bad one (there was a Zheng Yan Shui Xian from Yunnan Sourcing a couple years back that still makes me cringe when I think about it). Fortunately, this was not a bad Shui Xian. Old Ways Tea generally does Shui Xian really well, and though this was not the best Shui Xian I have tried from them, it was a very good, solid one.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 208 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of charcoal, smoke, pine, pomegranate, cinnamon, raisin, cranberry, and dried blueberry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of tobacco, black cherry, and strawberry. The first infusion introduced aromas of dark chocolate, orange zest, and black cherry. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, charcoal, smoke, rock sugar, cinnamon, raisin, cranberry, pomegranate, and black cherry that were chased by hints of malt, pine, dried blueberry, blackberry, grass, and orange zest. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of grass, rock sugar, roasted peanut, and tar as well as subtler scents of malt, mushroom, and earth. Hints of strawberry, tobacco, and dark chocolate appeared in the mouth alongside stronger notes of grass, orange zest, pine, malt, and blackberry. I also picked up hints of tar, mushroom, and honey as well as stronger impressions of minerals, earth, and roasted peanut. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, earth, cream, charcoal, pine, orange zest, and grass that were underscored by hints of roasted peanut, tar, raisin, rock sugar, butter, pomegranate, mushroom, black cherry, blackberry, and tobacco.

This was a very pleasant Shui Xian that was something of a grower in the sense that I found myself growing fonder of it the more time I spent with it. I was extremely impressed by how balanced its flavors were as well as the pleasant body and texture it displayed. It did fade a little quickly, however, and there were a few moments where I thought it got just a little muddy in the mouth, but aside from those relatively minor gripes, I did not find there to be much wrong with this one. It was definitely a worthwhile Shui Xian overall.

Flavors: Blackberry, Butter, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Earth, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Strawberry, Sugar, Tar, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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76
566 tasting notes

The hills have already begun their browning out for the dry season yet a rogue rainstorm has come through, ensuring that I have several days off of work and both the time and the mood to drink up some of my Wuyi rock oolong.

This is a pleasant, short-lived Shui Xian that makes it appropriate as an everyday drinker. I suggest drinking the rinse because it had already presented a blast of aroma and flavor. Otherwise it will seem like the tea quickly falls off the cliff, which it does, but why not delay the inevitable?

Aromas and flavors of dark milk chocolate, dark chocolate, oak wood, faint roast, dark brown sugar, indistinct florals, red and black raspberries, orange and faint herbs. Mostly dark woody, mineral and chocolatey with a bright fruity backing that keeps it from being too heavy of a tea. Light bite in the back of the throat in first steep after the rinse quickly transformed into returning sweetness. As the session progressed, the darker flavors dropped away quickly and the florality and minerality of the Shui Xian cultivar came forward. I understand Shui Xian is meant to have a narcissus fragrance, but I picked up on something more akin to orange blossom. The session finished somewhat bright and creamy but so very close to drinking hot water.

Price is an accurate reflection of its performance. It also performed well as a one-steeper western style with 2 grams per 8oz, 5+ minutes. Dominant characteristics were a roast not overplayed, woodiness, florality and minerals with an undercurrent of dark chocolate.

[6g, 100mL clay gaiwan, 205-212F, rinse (drank) followed by 8 short steeps starting at 7s]

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Herbs, Mineral, Oak wood, Orange, Orange Blossom, Raspberry, Roasted

Preparation
6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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486 tasting notes

Recently ordered a bunch of samples from Old Ways Tea – excited to start trying them. I haven’t had enough yancha lately. This leaf smelled delightfully roasty and sweet – it was also visually striking. Long, twisted leaves with a deep black/purple hue from the roast.

Flavor was mainly roasty at front of the sip, with some steeps yielding a lightly sour note that kind of reminds me of really dark chocolate. The lingering finish was the highlight for me. Returning stone fruit sweetness, which is washed away a few seconds later by a smooth mineral sweetness. This tea also steeped out a little bit longer than a lot of the yancha I’ve had.

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