Black Zhang Ping Shui Xian (漳平水仙) is an unusual and rare black tea that comes pressed into square-shaped cakes. The usual version of Zhang Ping Shui Xian is an oolong, however this tea is allowed to fully oxidise to produce a tea that is full bodied and complex and is very much in the black tea category.
We carry three Zhang Ping Shui Xian teas for you to choose from. This Black Zhang Ping Shui Xian is a black version that has been allowed to oxidise completely, producing a liquor that is complex and wholly different to the usual oolong style that this type of tea is famous for. Our Floral Zhang Ping Shui Xian oolong is, as the name suggests, the most floral out of the three, with a lighter but highly aromatic liquor. And finally our Roasted Zhang Ping Shui Xian oolong is a roasted oolong variety, yielding a liqour that is less floral but more full bodied, with a creamy and nutty flavour.
Zhang Ping is a city in the southern part of Fujian Province and it is around this city that this tea is grown. Shui Xian (sometimes Shui Hsien) is typically a type of oolong tea that comes from Fujian Province. Shui Xian translates as ‘narcissus’ or ‘water sprite’ in English and is famous for the honey aroma and flavour. While Shui Xian is definitely more famous for being an oolong, the tea master in this case has created a unique black tea using the leaves and techniques normally reserved for producing a completely different sort of tea. However when compared to the oolong version of this Shui Xian, you can clearly see some similarities as both teas have similar sort of floral notes.
This Zhang Ping Shui Xian Black tea was plucked in late summer 2016, after which it has undergone careful hand processing. The large leaves are pressed into square cakes, each cake being 6-8 grams in weight. This tea is fully oxidised, producing a a smooth and mild tea with a pleasant profile of cocoa and malt.
To make this tea, unwrap the cake from the paper, and break off an amount of tea required. If using the whole cake, it can be agitated once it is in water, so the leaves start coming apart in order to brew properly. The dark leaves produce a liquor with a satisfying aroma of cocoa and malt. This Zhang Ping Shui Xian Black tea has a smooth complex flavour that is smooth and balanced in character with some floral hints. The wonderful sweet buttery notes of cocoa and malted rye complete the profile.
We suggest brewing parameters of 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste, brewing 3 or more times. You can increase the temperature to 95°C and up the brewing time for subsequent steepings. The weight on our tea packets for this tea is only indicative due to varying weight of the cakes, which average around 7 grams: our 10g sample packs of this tea contain two cakes for you to try while the full sized 50g pouches have around 7-8 cakes.
This Zhang Ping Shui Xian Black tea was first featured in our January 2017 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.