Commandingly rich and creamy Wuyi oolong with lingering honey, orchid, and citrus caramel flavors. . . .
In opening the first bag of this tea, sealed in Wuyi, we were struck by the rich honey orchid smell of the dry leaves. Commanding and rich even before steeping, we knew we were in for a treat. As we poured boiling water over a pot of the long twisted Shui Jin Gui leaves, the steam carried the nostalgic aroma of tangy simmering orange caramel in a copper pot.
The first sip filled the whole palate in the same satisfying way as a bit of creme brulee complete with creamy custard and burnt caramel qualities. The burnt caramel depth transformed in the aftertaste to a lingering dark elderberry and earthy hazelnut profile.
Later steepings revealed the rocky mineral taste that tea cultivated on the rocky cliffs of Wuyi is known for. The mineral notes gave way to sweet cinnamon and the warmth of ginger without the spiciness. Towards the very end, the aftertaste transformed into an almost vegetal creamy green bean flavor with a lingering honeydew melon sweet orchid finish.
Date of Picking:Autumn 2011
Location of Picking:Wuyi Mountains, Fujian
What Was Picked:High elevation Shui Jin Gui varietal tea leaves, twisted and lightly roasted
Quantity Acquired:We were able to secure 30 lbs of this Shui Jin Gui
Use a small cup and brew basket, a gaiwan, or an yixing clay teapot. This tea performs much better brewed in small quantities and resteeped many times. Start with filtered freshly boiled water and use 3g-4g of tea for 4 ounces of water. Steep for 10 seconds maximum, increasing each steeping by a second or so.
For cold-brewed iced tea, use 2 heaping tsp per cup of room temperature filtered water, refrigerate overnight with leaves and serve super cold. This one is excellent iced.
For more steeping tips, check out our full brewing compendium.