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. This Shuixian has very 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. It is actually really strong, but still grounded and embodied—not destabilizing.
The taste is mild and sweet, with a woody flavor and some melony type roundness. The sweetness endures steep and endless steep, and it doesn’t take many leaves to get a full effect. It’s no wonder that tea people love good Shui Xian.