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!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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