Old Tree Shui Xian (2016)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Camphor, Caramel, Char, Cherry, Cherry Wood, Cinnamon, Flowers, Grass, Lemon Zest, Marshmallow, Orange Blossom, Peanut, petrichor, Round , Smoke, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wet Rocks, Wood, Almond, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cannabis, Cedar, Cream, Honey, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Orchid, Pine, Roasted
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 oz / 106 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This was a mellow and smooth, yet complex and round rock oolong such that I had a difficult time pulling out distinct flavor notes. General impression was a brew composed of well cured...” Read full tasting note
    95
  • “This was one of my most recent sipdowns as I finished what I had of this tea on Saturday night. Prior to this, my experiences with Lao Cong Shui Xian had been hit or miss. I recall trying one from...” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “Mellow, smooth. leaves are nicely roasted, not big but uniform. Imparts that calming sensation and lasting sweetness. Steeped six times then dumped leaves out of the gaiwan and into a pot to simmer...” Read full tasting note

From Old Ways Tea

Known for its deep mineral characteristics, Old Tree Shui Xian is simply that; Shui Xian made from the leaves of old tea trees. This tea is from trees that are said to be about 60 years old. Many factors contribute to the differences between the Shui Xian from young trees and old trees. Besides the age of the tree, the tending is usually different as well. Older trees may be tended in a wild style allowing more moss to accumulate in the deeper branches. Additionally the older trees have deeper roots that are known to be able to reach a different mineral profile than younger trees.

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3 Tasting Notes

95
639 tasting notes

This was a mellow and smooth, yet complex and round rock oolong such that I had a difficult time pulling out distinct flavor notes. General impression was a brew composed of well cured cherrywood-scented tobacco with touches of charred vanilla marshmallow and peanut caramels later flowing into rock sugar, orange blossom and grass but always maintaining a cherry/wood-tobacco and cinnamon undertone. The minerality of this tea was more along the lines of petrichor and river rocks than something deep and dark. Highly fragrant, thick and active in the mouth with light astringency, moderate salivation, a looong sweet and lightly floral finish and a quick returning sweetness. Warming and relaxing in the body yet cooling in the mouth and chest. Also some nice lemon zest tingling later in the session. I’d love some more of this.

Flavors: Camphor, Caramel, Char, Cherry, Cherry Wood, Cinnamon, Flowers, Grass, Lemon Zest, Marshmallow, Orange Blossom, Peanut, petrichor, Round , Smoke, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wet Rocks, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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92
897 tasting notes

This was one of my most recent sipdowns as I finished what I had of this tea on Saturday night. Prior to this, my experiences with Lao Cong Shui Xian had been hit or miss. I recall trying one from Yunnan Sourcing earlier in the year that was just plain not very good. Fortunately, this one was excellent. It provided me with further proof that some of the Banyan teas can provide drinking experiences that rival or exceed some of the more revered Zhengyan teas.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of char, pine, cedar, blackberry, cinnamon, and black cherry. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of smoke, roasted almond, and mushroom. The first infusion introduced blueberry and rock sugar scents. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of roasted almond, mushroom, blackberry, cinnamon, smoke, black cherry, and char that were chased by notes of blueberry, cream, and rock sugar as well as some subtle, indistinct vegetal hints. The subsequent infusions introduced roasted peanut, citrus, orchid, grass, and cannabis aromas. Stronger rock sugar and cream notes came out in the mouth along with new impressions of minerals, cannabis, caramel, grass, orange zest, lemon zest, and roasted peanut. There were even some very subtle hints of wildflower honey here and there. These infusions also introduced a smooth, cooling herbal impression that lingered in the mouth after each swallow; it reminded me of tobacco. The final few infusions emphasized lingering mineral, cream, pine, mushroom, and roasted nut notes. Fleeting hints of rock sugar, honey, black cherry, grass, and cannabis were just present enough to provide some satisfying depth and complexity.

I know I have most likely said it several times in the past, but I am a huge fan of Wuyi Shui Xian. I often find it to be a very approachable, soothing, and comforting tea, and fortunately for me, its widespread cultivation and popularity make it easy and relatively cheap to obtain. It is also a very versatile and resilient tea, working equally well on its own or in blends. In the past, I have heard it described as a gateway or doorkeeper yancha, and I have finally come to understand why that is. Since it is so readily available, it makes both a reliable daily drinker and a perfect introduction to Wuyi oolongs. A good Wuyi Shui Xian will let you know immediately if yancha is going to be for you, and it will also be a tea you can come back to repeatedly over time. For me, this tea was a near perfect Shui Xian at an acceptable price. It reminded me why I not only love the Shui Xian cultivar, but also Wuyi yancha, so much. If I had bought a larger quantity to begin with, I would return to this tea time and time again.

Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cannabis, Caramel, Cedar, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Grass, Honey, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peanut, Pine, Roasted, Smoke, Sugar, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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7 tasting notes

Mellow, smooth. leaves are nicely roasted, not big but uniform. Imparts that calming sensation and lasting sweetness. Steeped six times then dumped leaves out of the gaiwan and into a pot to simmer for fifteen minutes. The liquor turned dark and sweetened further with an added depth of flavor. I might boil a bit longer next time to see how far I can push it.

Flavors: Mineral, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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