The Shui Xian trees that provided our tea leaves grow in a garden named hui yuan keng in what is called Zheng Yan, the highly protected inner gardens of the Wuyi Heritage site. They sit surrounded by huge rock formations in mineral-rich loose soil. The plants that produced this tea have moss growing on their branches. This is a point often noted by tea growers. It doesn’t necessarily affect the tea, but it shows simply that the plant is quite old. These ones are in their eighties.
The tea was picked from the small trees and sorted by hand. The leaves are thus left intact. The roasting was low heat for a long time, to bring out a deep soup—super smooth with a pleasant aroma and wonderful trademark lingering charm.
I find this Shui Xian beautifully sweet, a touch floral, and notably woody. Most prominently it tastes like volcanic rocks. The woody quality makes Shui Xian distinct among other yancha (rock teas). I think it’s a taste that is quite homey.
This Shuixian has strong energy. Tea drinkers call this chaqi, the tea’s qi. It’s a fine example of that term—and in fact that chaqi is the primary reason I selected this tea. The effect is undeniable, though in some ways it is hard to pinpoint. The energy seems to come from everywhere equally, or nowhere in particular.