Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
Shui Xian is a tea shrouded in mystery -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.
Learn more about this Oolong here.
This is such a delightful Oolong. The complexity here is intense! So many layers of flavor just waiting to be explored.
The sip starts out soft, but remains soft for only a moment, until my palate starts to recognize the flavor of sweet, creamy vanilla washing over it. After the blanket of vanilla subsides a bit, I begin to notice a pollen-y kind of taste … it is sweet, almost like honey, but, not quite. It tastes like it falls somewhere between the pollen and the freshest honey as it slowly oozes out of the comb. I can still very much taste the flower in this honey-esque note.
Then, I start to perceive notes of smoke in the distance. Not a strong smoky essence, but, instead, imagine charcoal that is still smoldering. Wisps of smoke appear around the surface of the charcoal … it is a tender smoke, very wispy, and offers hints of a toasty, almost charcoal-y flavor.
The tasting notes from Verdant Tea suggest ripe mango, and I do taste a fruit flavor, but I don’t know that it’s really mango that I taste. I’ve had a few mango flavored things today and I don’t know that I’d really compare those flavors to what I taste now, but I do see where Verdant Tea is coming from with that comparison. It is indeed mango-like.
Subsequent infusions reveal more of an apricot flavor, with nutty undertones. I taste hints of cinnamon as well. The tea is not quite as creamy now, although I do taste notes of vanilla … these notes are just not quite as smooth. Instead, I notice an almost mineral-y texture to the cup which really complements the cinnamon notes quite nicely.
Later, I notice that the honey sweetness seems to have united with the smoky tones to offer a caramel-y kind of taste that is sweet and smooth. In these last infusions, the tea has lost the mineral-y texture in favor of a smoother, softer … almost thin broth kind of mouthfeel. The flavors now are very unified, less distinct in their individuality, but no less complex.
Overall, this is a very unique and mysterious tea, true to its description … and another perfect example of what makes Verdant Tea so wonderful. High quality teas that not just taste good, but take you on a journey of complex flavors!