Shui Xian is a popular cultivar group; famous for yielding bold, round Wuyi Yan Cha.
Our Shui Xian was baked twice; two hours the first time and, after one month of rest, an additional fifteen hours.
The long baking gives Shui Xian a strong roasted flavor. The mineral base, common to all Yan Cha, is clearly present.
This Shui Xian reveals all the strength of the Wuyi Rock Tea.
Shui Xian cultivars are native to the Phoenix Mountains in the southern Chinese province Guangdong. There they are used in the production of Phoenix tea, a famous highly oxidized oolong. Centuries ago some Shui Xian plants were moved to the Wuyi region to reveal their potential in the production of another dark oolong, the Wuyi Yan Cha.
Wuyi Yan Cha – the tea from the rocks
Wuyi Yan Cha, aka Wuyi Rock Tea or, more properly, Cliff Tea, is an ancient oolong tea (one of the six tea categories, halfway between green and black teas). Rock tea is produced in the northern Fujian province.
Wuyi Yan Cha are complex teas. The typical mineral savor shares the field with the strength from roasting and the delicate floral and fruity hints.
- ORIGIN: Shui Lian Dong, Wuyishan, Fujian, China
- MEANING: Water sprite (shui xian)
- CULTIVAR: Shui Xian
- HARVEST TIME: Spring 2013
- TASTE: Mineral, roasted
Authentic Wuyi Yan Cha is produced in the Wuyi Mount region, a UNESCO natural heritage site. The dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River are surrounded by a largely intact subtropical forest and smooth cliffs of black-brownish rocks. The tea plants grow in narrow valleys, next to the cliffs, in a mineral-rich soil.
Today Wuyi Yan Cha is one of the most valued teas in China. Because it has become a status symbol, many wealthy Chinese are willing to pay a fortune for it without even knowing how a proper Wuyi Yan Cha should taste. The result has been prices inflating to unjustified level and quality often sacrificed for quantity.
Unique to the Wuyi Yan Cha is a mineral savor coming from the soil and the surrounding cliffs. Being the oolong with the highest fire finish, fresh Yan Cha may as a result be strong and pungent. Sharpness and too-prominent astringency subside upon ageing. Premium high-fire Yan Cha tastes better after a few years of storage. Use a Yixing teapot to soften the tea, should it be too astringent for your palate.
The overall tasting profile is rich, complex, and deep. Depending on cultivar and environment, the mineral-roasted flavor is refined by floral, fruity, nutty or woody accents.