Shui Xian is a tea shrouded in myth – 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. We can think of nobody better suited to pick this tea than the Li family outside of Xing Village of Wuyishan. Li Xiangxi’s family has been hand picking and processing tea for generations. They are lucky to have a mountain plot along the Longchuan Gorge protected from the elements. Their tea is fed from a mountain spring, with plants between ten and one hundred years old, all grown traditionally without fertilizers or pesticides and picked by hand by the family.
The aroma of the wet leaf is warm, smooth and rich, like the buttery satisfying smell of boiling hand-rolled semolina pasta. Quiet but seductive lychee aromatics hint at the flavor to come.
The first steepings are full of fruity grape flavors. This grape combines with oaky undertones and Wuyi mineral notes to evoke the experience of sipping a fine Italian white wine.
As the tea opens up, it reveals a darker roast with deep cacao notes and chicory. The sweetness is thick and savory like molasses with spicy ginger undertones. As the deep roast and spice subside, there is a beautiful lingering floral vanilla notes and warm creamy texture.
Date of Picking:Autumn 2014
Location of Picking:14 miles outside of Xing Village, near Wuyi Mountains, Fujian
What Was Picked:High-elevation old tree Shui Xian varietal big leaf
Quantity Acquired:This is a 14 pound edition
Sourcing Agent(s):Crafted with care by Li Xiangxi
Verdant Tea Founder, David Duckler, Brewing Shui Xian Wuyi Oolong
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 a darker brew, use 6-7g in 5oz of water, and try to keep your steepings are short as possible for the first five to ten brews. For a lighter, creamier cup, use the quantities recommended above.
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.
What is the Story of Shui Xian
"For days he walked, picking roots to eat along the way, sleeping by the water, and singing to himself. Deep in the mountains, where the mist was clinging to the rocky peaks, he heard another voice...Big Red Robe
"As soon as the tea touched her lips, she awoke and began to regain strength. The rugged and humble flavor of the leaves reminded her of home and restored her spirits...One Word Tea Club Brewing
"The amount of leaves, and the synergy of having two great yixing pots makes for a potent and stunning brew that keeps going and going...