Like the roots of a family tree, this tea is the namesake of a cultivar group that has diversified into many varietals in the Fenghuangshan region. But unlike elsewhere, where it may signify the use of a single cultivar, 'Shui Xian' refers there rather to oolong made with quickly finished or blended material from any member of the larger family. Having been only lightly processed, it retains the greener characteristic of dried kelp on the nose, though a couple of infusions in, one may detect stone fruit, a base minerality, and a slight insistence of salted caramel wafting in the savory brew, assuring any connoisseur of its shared ancestry with the more refined Dancong oolongs. Perhaps it is the more casual preparation that lends this tea an unformidable nature, making it an easy one to approach from all angles.
- ORIGIN: Fenghuang, Chao'an, Chaozhou, Guangdong, China
- MEANING: Water narcissus (shui xian)
- CULTIVAR: Unknown
- HARVEST TIME: Spring 2021
- TASTE: Stone fruit, cloves, salted caramel