Gao Shan Shui Xian (高山水仙, Gāo Shān Shuǐ Xiān, “High Mountain Water Immortal”) - Shui Xian is one of the classic, ancestral oolong breeds. Originating in the Phoenix Mountains, this cultivar has made its way to most oolong-producing regions, including the Wuyi Mountains. We started acquiring this as a more affordable alternative to our Lǎo Cóng Shuǐ Xiān, which is considered a higher-grade tea specifically because of the advanced age of the plants. Gāo Shān Shuǐ Xiān comes from younger plants and is grown at high altitude. For this reason, the Qi is not as strong as Lǎo Cóng Shuǐ Xiān, but it exhibits a sweeter and more complex fragrance. This tea is distinctive for its long, lingering huí gān 回甘 ("returning sweetness”), which coats the inside of the mouth and extends down the throat with an expanding roasted syrup quality. It has a cheerful, warming character and is an excellent daily drinker, as well as an accessible entry to the world of Wuyi Oolongs. The cup fragrance is rich with notes of brown sugar, buttered toast, and roasted chestnuts.
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I got this tea as part of a curator’s choice set. I’m not sure that I would have ever landed on it just scrolling through on my own, but from the first sip, it became one of my favorites. It smells rich and earthy, and has a deep mineral taste with a hint of menthol at the end. Very satisfying.
It’s no secret that Wuyi oolongs tend to be on the pricier side. This however does a perfect job of encompassing classic, rich wuyi flavors at a very nice price. The chi is mellowing, not super full but it’s there. But the flavors really shine, with a fragrance that smells sweet and toasty and flavors of rich Milk chocolate roasted nuts. A great pick