Master Xu’s 100 Years Old Shui Xian 水仙 2018


A roasted oolong from the inner Zhengyan area of the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian made by Master Xu, the maker and one of the guardians of the Da Hong Pao mother trees. This tea is processed from just four trees, all over 100 years old, growing in Shui Lian Dong (Water Curtain Cave) one of the many locations within the Zhengyan area famous for growing tea. The trees are all from the Shui Xian (Water Sprite/Narcissus) cultivar, the oldest and most widespread within Wuyi. From these four trees, Master Xu makes around 15kg of roasted rock oolong tea every year and processes the leaves entirely by hand – from the picking and sorting, through to the kill-green stage  and rolling. The roasting is done carefully at a low temperature (around 75 degrees Celsius) over hours, and often re-roasted over the course of many months until Master Xu is satisfied.

This year’s Lao Cong (Old Tree) Shui Xian has had a lighter roast in comparison to Master Xu’s general preference for heavy roasting, with very large, mainly intact leaves. This has resulted in a lighter body, but still has the depth, minerality and old tree taste we usually love about this tea. The dry and wet leaf aroma is immediately evocative of roast coffee, burnt caramel and dates, while the taste is rich and deep with a smooth mouthfeel. As the tea is young the roast taste is still strong, but it already has a lovely, floral sweetness that will become more pronounced if aged in good conditions.

Master Xu, Shui Lian Dong, Wuyishan, China

2 acres

Four 100 year old trees. Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Shui Xian cultivar. Medium charcoal roasting. Harvested early Summer 2018.

90-95°C, 6g per 150ml. 5+ infusions.

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