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.
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.
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.