2019 Pesticide-Free Water Immortal White ~ Shuixian Bai

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Spicy and complex, with a lingering yun sweetness that is reminiscent of the wulong from which these leaves are more commonly made.  

This tea has a rich, savory, spicy, warming aroma that brings to mind hearty vegetables and deep shades of brown, orange, and green. It is subtly sweet, tart, and a bit hoppy, with a flavor that is primarily on the front and sides of the tongue. It has a candycap sweetness and a fruity body, and leaves a ringing sweetness on the upper palate. While this tea can be brewed to have a stronger body, its flavor, in my opinion, is well-suited for a more subtle brew.

Pesticide-free and naturally grown in Jianyang, south of the Wuyi Mountains, by teamasters Wu Hua and Hu Ailan.  This tea is a mixture of fuzz-covered inner bud leaves and outer leaves, making it a type of Bai Mudan (White Peony). What makes it particularly unique is the bushes from which it is made. Shuixian, or Water Immortal in English, is sometimes translated as narcissus tea due to the fact that Shuixian (Water Immortal) is the Chinese name of this flower. The story of the name that I was taught is that the original Shuixian bushes grew outside of a cave where locals paid respect to the local water spirit. Shuixian is a large-leaf semi-arboral varietal, meaning that, given time, its bushes will grow into small trees which can reach an age of several hundred years old. Most people know of Shuixian as an wulong, one of the cliff/rock teas of the Wuyi Mountains, so named for the scarcity of soil in the region. Tea here is generally grown on terraces built up with rocks on the hillsides. Farmers will use a pick to break up dirt to fill these terraces. The rocky landscape of the Wuyi Mountains gives the teas that grow there a robust character.

This teas is ready to drink now, and is also perfectly suited for aging. Given the low density of the tea, I would recommend filling the gaiwan for a full flavor, or use less leaf if desiring a more delicate and subtle one. Once this teas has been brewed seemingly to exhaustion, it can be placed in boiling water for further infusions, giving this tea an extremely long lifespan. This tea does not feel particularly warming or cooling in its effect, making it suitable for any type of weather.

Price is per 50 grams/1.76 ounces

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