Qingxiang (Light Roast) Zhangping Shui Xian

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Floral, Mint, Smoke, Sweet, Toasty, Vegetal
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Edit tea info Last updated by m2193
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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  • “Qing Xiang Zhang Ping Shui Xian Three Bears Tea 1 square, 7.7g (not sure if my scale is undercounting again?), 100mL gaiwan, Brita water, 212f dry leaves have a light oolong smell, slight floral,...” Read full tasting note

From Three Bears Tea

Roast: Light

Source: Zhangping, Fujian province


This is lightly roasted oolong made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis var. sinensis “Shuiji Yin” varietal. This tea was produced in 2020. Each square weighs approximately 8.5 grams, give or take half a gram.

Tea comes packaged in individual servings in (sadly) non-compostable, non-recyclable sealed mylar foil pouches. You may receive either version of the packaging pictured here, red or orange; these are the same teas, only the packaging is different.

For a more medium roast version of this tea, try our Nongxiang Zhangping Shui Xian.

Tasting notes

Floral fragrances, savory grain and mineral flavors, sweet aftertaste, and velvety-textured, with occasionally a cooling effect in the mouth, this tea is gentle but delicious.

Brewing tips

This tea likes longer steeps and is very forgiving, not becoming too bitter even when overbrewed. I use a whole square in a 100-120ml gaiwan without it feeling like too much leaf. This tea also does really well brewed “grandpa style” or “Western style.”


This tea was purchased by us in 2021.

More about this tea

Zhangping Shui Xian tea squares were first produced in 1914 by a man named Deng Guanjin. The source leaves come from a clone of a varietal called Shuiji Yin, originally from Shuiji, Jianyang County, Fujian Province, which were introduced to Zhangping during the early Republic of China period. Tea has been produced in the area since the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), and as Ming and Qing era Yixing clay teapots found in the area suggest, it remained an important tea-producing region from then to the present day.

Leaf bud sets are picked with one bud and up to three leaves. The tea is withered, basket-shaken three to four times to develop oxidation, heated, kneaded, wrapped, pressed into a mold and roasted. The result is a small compressed square brick of tea, sometimes referred to as “three-color” tea because of the green and golden leaves and stems and the red spots of oxidation, especially on the leaf margins. The leaves undergo a longer withering and shaking process, a kind of marriage between the production methods of Northern Fujian Shui Xian oolong and Southern Fujian Tieguanyin oolong.

The tea is known for having the fragrance of orchids, osmanthus blossoms and daffodils; being gentle on the stomach; a clean refreshing flavor; and sweet aftertaste.

About Three Bears Tea View company

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1 Tasting Note

61 tasting notes

Qing Xiang Zhang Ping Shui Xian
Three Bears Tea
1 square, 7.7g (not sure if my scale is undercounting again?), 100mL gaiwan, Brita water, 212f

dry leaves have a light oolong smell, slight floral, something toasty and sweet, so pretty run of the mill oolong.

in a prewarmed gaiwan: more vegetal, like a Taiwanese oolong

1x 3s rinse. I let it sit a couple minutes and then picked apart the leaves since they weren’t compressed too tight to begin with. Wet leaves smell like any Taiwanese oolong with the vegetal, kind of creamy note and very light bare minimum touch of smoke.

5s: nondescript vegetal with floral and sweet undertones. Leaves a sort of sweet fruit on aftertaste for my first sip, but later cups seems to be more minty of vegetal.

10s: slightly stronger flavors + more pronounced minty aftertaste

17s: same as before, slightly sharper upfront.

30s: vegetal upfront, floral finish with minty aftertaste

off to the cold brew bottle. Not to suggest this is a particularly bad tea, by any means. It’s just not interesting enough for me to sit here and continue to take notes about since I can roughly predict how future steepings will turn out.

I bought this for the novelty of trying out a Zhang Ping shui xian since I found it about it a few months ago and it seemed interesting enough and a harmless add-on to my Three Bears order. I’ve figured out by now that I don’t like under roasted oolongs, but I’m glad I tried this because it’s helped me to connect the dots on processing and taste. Every Taiwanese oolong I’ve tried (not that I’ve tried a ton, since I just haven’t liked any very much so far) has fit a standard flavor and brew profile, and I’ve just come to associate every oolong with these characteristics as a Taiwanese oolong. I didn’t realize until trying this that these aren’t the characteristics of Taiwanese oolongs in general, but instead of a light roast processing similar to every Taiwanese oolong I’ve had before. So feeling a bit silly because of that. Anyway, now if I tried this in a blind taste test I wouldn’t automatically assume it’s a Taiwanese oolong (though I probably would still be inclined to think of it as such), but rather just indicative of a light processing.

Tasting notes reflect unedited thoughts during steepings, so keeping the Taiwanese oolong comparisons there.

Flavors: Floral, Mint, Smoke, Sweet, Toasty, Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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