Shui Xian Water Sprite Oolong (水仙烏龍茶) is a an expertly roasted take on a classic Wu Yi Shan Shui Xian Oolong. Utilising a local Taiwanese cultivar this ‘Water Sprite’ or ‘Narcissus’ oolong undergoes light oxidation and medium baking to carefully showcase a balance of floral and roasted notes in a nod to the Chinese classic Shui Xian tea. Sourced by us from the Tea Master who carries out the roasting process, this tea was harvested and baked in April 2021.
This tea is named after the famous Shui Xian Oolong from Wuyi Shan that is renowned for an orchid aroma and a floral, roasted character. This name actually refers to the specific Shui Xian cultivar that is used in producing these teas. Our tea shop features a Lao Cong Shui Xian as well as versions from other regions, such as Dan Cong Shui Xian and the highly unusual Zhang Ping Shui Xian that comes pressed into square cakes. Unlike these teas from China that all utilise the Shui Xian cultivar, this Taiwanese version is made using a local ‘Four Seasons’ Si Ji Chun cultivar. Si Ji Chun (四季春), which translates as Four Seasons Spring in full, first appeared in Taiwan in the 1980’s. It favours low altitude conditions and provides farmers with a consistent crop throughout the whole year. The leaves that are plucked from Si Ji Chun plants have a fresh and light flowery aroma year round, perfect for producing expressive teas.
Shui Xian Water Sprite Oolong utilises the leaves of the Four Seasons cultivar that are lightly oxidised (15-20%) and are then expertly roasted. Consequently the underlying aromatic floral notes of this cultivar are perfectly balanced with the roasted profile. This interplay of flavours achieves a character that is highly reminiscent of Shui Xian oolong teas from China. This tea is a great showcase of the skills of the Tea Master as she was able to achieve an imitation tea that, in our opinion, outshines many versions of the original – especially considering the price!
This oolong has dark twisted leaves with a roasted aroma. It produces a golden liquor with a floral and roasted aroma. The smooth and tangy taste has a similar floral, roasted profile. The complex processing also brings out some lovely notes of honey, wheat and fruits. It has a refreshingly smooth character with a lasting tangy fruity aftertaste. Roasted mineral top notes at the very finish complete the rounded, complex taste.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste and can be brewed multiple times.
This tea was first featured in our March 2019 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.