Thuong Son Water Genie is a wonderfully complex dark sheng style tea crafted from leaves of wild assamica trees growing around Thượng Sơn Commune of Vị Xuyên District, Hà Giang Province, Vietnam. The simple traditional processing results in a balanced tea with rounded flavours that develop with each brew. This lot is from September 2019 harvest and has been sourced by us via a specialist Vietnamese wholesaler.
This Thuong Son Water Genie tea is harvested from wild Camellia sinensis var. Assamica trees growing on a mountainous terrain at an altitude of around 1,250m. It is gathered by members of the Red Dao minority, part of the larger Dao (Yao) ethnic minority. The Dao minority people originated in Hunan in China some 2,000 years ago and are presently mostly in Vietnam and China, with significant numbers in Yunnan Province of China. Following old traditional tea processing methods, the leaves of this dark tea are processed in a sheng style by simple pan frying, rolling and sun drying. All processing is carried out at a small family workshop in the village.
The majority of tea found growing wild in the mountainous regions of northern Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar is picked and sold as maocha (毛茶) to China, specifically to producers in Yunnan Province. This tea is processed in China and largely miss-sold as being real Yunnan pu-erh. This means that finding a good traditional tea from this region is quite rare but also quite exciting as it gives an opportunity to try something a bit different and quite authentic to the terroir!
Thuong Son Water Genie dark tea has neat, tippy leaves that display a good standard of picking. The liquor has a golden colour with a light vegetal aroma. The profile is predominantly herbaceous with lightly fruity and woody notes. The vegetal notes that can be found are those of dried tomatoes and root vegetables such as parsnips and celery root. This tea has a good base that is both sweet and rich in complex tannins. The aftertaste has a warm feel with some dry floral notes. All in all this is a complex yet quite balanced tea. It can be enjoyed now but no doubt some age will further improve the flavours.
We suggest brewing at 90-95°C for 3 minutes according to your taste. For best results, brew gong fu style, multiple times.