Wu Yi Shan "Lao Cong Shui Xian" Old Bush Oolong Tea * Spring 2016

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Black Pepper, Cannabis, Caramel, Cedar, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Ginger, Grass, Green Beans, Hibiscus, Malt, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange, Peanut, Smoke, Sugar, Tobacco
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have delayed posting this review for so long now. I finally decided to get it over with simply because I knew I had to get it out of the way at some point and wanted to be done with it. I dreaded...” Read full tasting note
    44
  • “So, right now I am drinking a Wu Yi tea, but it’s not this one. Here’s why: I wasn’t terribly impressed with this tea, and I got worried that maybe my palate had changed and I just wasn’t...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is the first Shui Xian Wuyi I’ve had. I thought I would do this right by grabbing a sample that is claimed to be sourced from Jiulongke, a small patch of tea gardens within the Zheng Yan...” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

“Lao Cong” (or old bush) Shui Xian is grown in the Jiulongke area of Wu Yi. Jiulongke is included in the “Zheng Yan” (lit. “Proper Rock”, meaning strictly the original area of Wu Yi Mountain) area of Wu Yi Mountain. This Lao Cong is grown and picked from 100-150 year old bushes. Shui Xian is the oldest varietal of Rock Oolong and has been grown in Wu Yi for several hundred years.

Our Lao Cong Shui Xian has been tirelessly processed by hand with several stages of roasting and resting. The result is a velvety thick Shui Xian, with that special blend of complex umami, mushroom and roasted cannabis smell and taste. Difficult to describe. This is a tea that is perfect for long or shorter term aging. The roasting has prepared it for the long haul and I’d expect within a few months when the roasting taste has settled this tea will really start start to shine like the superstar that it is!

May 2016 harvest
Area: Jiu Long Ke (Wu Yi Shan, Fujian)

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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3 Tasting Notes

44
943 tasting notes

I have delayed posting this review for so long now. I finally decided to get it over with simply because I knew I had to get it out of the way at some point and wanted to be done with it. I dreaded posting this one so much mostly because I found this to be a really unexceptional tea. Normally, I like the Wuyi oolongs offered by Yunnan Sourcing, but this one did not do it for me in the least. For a Zhengyan tea, this was bland and poorly balanced with an unappealing texture in the mouth.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 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, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cinnamon, char, pine smoke, and cedar. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted peanut, cannabis, and mushroom. The first infusion did not seem to offer anything new on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cinnamon, char, and roasted peanut backed by a subtle creaminess. Subsequent infusions saw aromas of black cherry, black pepper, rock sugar, ginger, and hibiscus emerge. Flavors of mushroom, cannabis, and pine smoke belatedly appeared in the mouth accompanied by stronger cream notes and faint hints of cedar. New impressions of malt, black cherry, rock sugar, ginger, black pepper, hibiscus, caramel, and minerals emerged along with some subtle candied orange peel notes. As I worked my way deeper into the session, I also noted some faint grass, roasted green bean, and tobacco notes that came out toward the finish on several infusions. The last few infusions mostly offered notes of minerals, cream, malt, roasted peanut, and mushroom backed by very faint rock sugar, tobacco, and candied orange peel notes.

Generally, Wuyi Shui Xian is strong on the nose and on the palate, but this one was oddly timid in a number of places. The mouthfeel was much thinner and slicker than expected, and several of the aroma and flavor components did not always work well together. This was an awkward and often somewhat unappealing tea overall; indeed, it was definitely one of the least likable teas of this type I have tried. If you are looking for a quality Zhengyan Shui Xian, I’ll be honest and just tell you that this one is likely not going to be the tea for which you are looking. There are much better teas of this type out there.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Cannabis, Caramel, Cedar, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Ginger, Grass, Green Beans, Hibiscus, Malt, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange, Peanut, Smoke, Sugar, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
apefuzz

Yep, I had the same experience. Tasted like someone had already infused it eight times, dried the leaves out, then gave it to me to steep.

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167 tasting notes

So, right now I am drinking a Wu Yi tea, but it’s not this one. Here’s why: I wasn’t terribly impressed with this tea, and I got worried that maybe my palate had changed and I just wasn’t appreciating Wu Yi teas right now for some reason. So, just to see what was going on, I grabbed some of my favorite Wu Yi tea (YS Golden Guan Yin DHP). Still love the Golden Guan Yin – great minerality, wonderful spice notes, strong fruity aftertaste – so I guess the Lao Cong Shui Xian just wasn’t for me. Let me dive in:

To sum up my experience in one word – flat. It just doesn’t have much in terms of flavor in-mouth or in the aftertaste. Very subdued. On the palate, I didn’t find the liquor to change much in terms of flavor from one infusion to the next. I even heavily leafed my gaiwan (literally stuffed full of leaves), and still – nothing. Just a very monotone delivery.

There is nothing here that tastes bad; it just isn’t very dynamic or memorable. It sort of tastes like the 6th or 7th infusion of some other Wu Yi. And it just stays like that.

Don’t take my word for it – others certainly have had very positive experiences with this tea. However, in terms of flavor and value for money, I would say there are other Wu Yi oolongs that surpass this one.
*
Dry leaf – peanut shell, hazelnut, hints of dark chocolate and cinnamon. Hints of tartness like tart raspberry or red currant

Smell – wood, peanut shell, charcoal roast, dry baking spice

Taste – peanut shell, English breakfast tea, charcoal roast, some minerality. Hints of cinnamon and baking spice, cocoa powder. Aftertaste of lemongrass, mild and subdued peach and raspberry. Lemongrass lingers.

jagswim

I purchased 12 different (mostly Oolong) teas to sample from Yunnan. The most distinctive so far has been Single Bush “Ya Shi Xang” Dan Cong Oolong, Spring 2016. At the other end of the spectrum was the tea you review here “Lao Cong Shui Xian.” I had the exact same experience of this tea as you did. Kind of forgot what I ordered, so have just been blindly working my way thru tastings, and then going back and re-reading the descriptions. I too thought I might have missed something. But I don’t find any complexity. It’s okay, but as you mentioned, flat. And not an inexpensive tea to boot! Loved your review!

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143 tasting notes

This is the first Shui Xian Wuyi I’ve had. I thought I would do this right by grabbing a sample that is claimed to be sourced from Jiulongke, a small patch of tea gardens within the Zheng Yan scenic area. I’m still learning about Wuyi teas, but I have had true cliff Wuyi oolong before and this one seems to share some their characteristics.

These are large black, intact leaves that are highly floral after the rinse. I can’t recall any Wuyi with such a strong floral aroma. The first few infusions are thiiiiiiiiiick, smooth, and powerful. Very nice qi and strong mouthfeel that forces me to recline as I slowly sip. All the typical Shui Xian notes of prominent umami-like florals, cannabis, roasted barley, and sweet minerals (reminiscent of MSG) that cover the entire mouth almost like toothpaste. This sweet mineral note and strong mouthfeel linger for a some time after drinking.

This one goes strong until steep 8 or so. While it’s already enjoyable now, waiting at least a year or more for the flavors and textures to develop would pay this tea the respect it deserves and heighten the drinking experience. I could see this resulting in a richer tea liquid with some sweeter fruit notes.

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