Lao Cong Shui Xian (老枞水仙) is a fantastic oolong from Wu Yi Shan in Fujian Province of China that is renowned for producing some of the best and most characterful oolongs. This ‘half rock’ Banyan (半岩) tea is made from leaves plucked from old trees (Lao Cong) that are more than 70 years old grown in the Banyan tea production area of the Wu Yi Mountains. It has undergone medium roasting, resulting in an attractive complex flavour. This particular lot was produced in May 2021.
Shui Xian (sometimes Shui Hsien) is a type of oolong that originally comes from Fujian Province and refers to the cultivar used to make this tea. Shui Xian translates as ‘narcissus’, ‘water sprite’ or ‘water lily’ in English and is known for distinctive flowery honey aroma and flavour.
Lao Cong Shui Xian is a highly aromatic Wu Yi Rock oolong (Yancha), which can also often be referred to by the English name ‘Bohea’. As historically the term Bohea used to apply to lower grades of tea, the preferred term for teas coming out of this terroir is Wu Yi tea or Wu Yi Rock tea. Wu Yi teas are grown on rocky mountainsides where the soil is high in mineral content and the growth of the tea trees is much slower. This terroir results in a distinctive ‘rock’ taste that is prized amongst tea lovers for the characteristic profile that is stony and mineral in taste but featuring a long lasting sweet and floral aftertaste.
The leaves of this Lao Cong Shui Xian are rather large and produce an amber infusion with a heady floral aroma. The medium roast level results in sophisticated but very well balanced flavours. The liquor has a mouth-watering quality to it, with long lasting clean floral notes. There are dry and stony flavours that signify this is a Wu Yi Rock oolong. The slightly spicy finish combines with overall roasted and floral honey flavours to create a very pleasing yet complex aftertaste.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 2-4 minutes according to your taste. It should be brewed 3 or more times depending on your taste preferences as each infusion brings out slightly different aspects of this tea.