Phoenix Shui Xian (鳳凰水仙, Fèng Huáng Shuǐ Xiān, "Phoenix Water Immortal") - One of the oldest varietals of tea plants used for oolong, Shuǐ Xiān 水仙 (“Water Immortal”) is found in all 4 oolong producing regions: Wuyi Mt., Anxi, Taiwan, and the Phoenix Mountains. Genetic drift and localized breeding have given the regional breeds of Shuǐ Xiān very distinct characters over the intervening centuries. Our Phoenix Shuǐ Xiān is heavily oxidized and roasted by tea master A Long of Chaozhou. It has a deep, robust mineral taste with a restrained abundance of fruit and flower notes hidden beneath the roasted surface flavor. Unlike most Phoenix oolongs, Shuǐ Xiān ages well. This is the 2017 vintage and its years of age and repeated roasts have given it a rich flavor and exceptionally strong, heady Qi. It yields a deep red gold liquor. An excellent tea for oolong aficionados.
Rich, thick, beautifully balanced. Reminds me more of a WuYi Yancha without the minerality than of any previous Phoenix oolongs I've sampled. Fragrant, but not overpoweringly floral. Complex, not really sweet or bitter, hard to describe. A bit of buttery/creaminess but mixed in with a lot of other flavors. Returning sweetness on the finish. Certainly one of the best oolongs I've ever sampled, I'd describe it as a benchmark oolong in terms of understanding oolongs in general and how they differ from other classes of teas.