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Everyday Hong Kong High Roast Shuixian (100g)

Everyday Hong Kong High Roast Shuixian (100g)

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This tea was a surprise find from a family that specialize in Hong Kong dry storage and traditional storage pu erh. I only just realized they carried shuixian as well, and it was priced low enough that I almost didn't try it, as I didn't expect it to be as good as it is!

This tea is surprisingly good value and I already know it is going to be very popular. This tea is nice and roasty, as is traditional with shuixian around the world. Shuixian has been dark roasted for centuries! This isn't as high roast as the Three Stamp Shuixian I offer here at TeaLife, however.

A lighter roast style is now popular in China since the Mainland producers are trying to appeal to drinkers across China, rather than the core Southern Chinese (predominantly Fujianese) base that traditionally consume this tea. High roast shuixian is still produced on the Mainland, but I have yet to try any shuixian there that can compare to the shuixian I get down here at the same price points. It seems Hong Kong dealers are very good at getting the best Wuyicha! This shuixian is classic gongfu-cha-style high roast tea, but at a price point where you can brew it any way you like and not have to worry about breaking the bank. At around 15 cents (US) a gram, you can throw a few grams in a mug at the office and forget about it without worrying too much! I'd definitely much rather drink this than Sea Dyke's laocong shuixian, which is what many people purchase as a daily drinker! This tea is surprisingly complex and flavorful, and shares many characteristics of much more expensive shuixian.

It's rare that I get excited about a more economical shuixian, but this is it. This is the daily drinker shuixian I've been hoping to find! 

I knew from the first whiff of this tea in the large caddy that it was stored in that it was going to be worth trying. The tea smells clean, and like a good shuixian should, without any unpleasantness. In the cup, the first infusion is quite roasty and charcoal-like, along with raisin, date, almond, dark chocolate and even black tea notes. In the second and third infusions, I even get a note that reminds me of Cuban cigar tobacco!

I don't know if this tea is charcoal or electric-roasted, but I will try and get specifics from the family when i see them next. I found myself wondering how this tea would age, as there is lots of great character that balances well with the roast here, and the tea seems to have been roasted quite recently. The roast should subside over the next few years and the character of the leaves themselves will become more prominent, but there is more character here than with much more expensive shuixian offerings I have tried, so this particular shuixian really hits above its weight class!

The almond note is more prominent in the third and fourth infusions. This tea is surprisingly dynamic from infusion to infusion. While not as refined or delicate as the more expensive shuixian I offer, the value this tea offers is astounding. I usually only detect these almond notes in higher grade shuixian, so this was a very welcome surprise. I usually only want four or five infusions from high roast shuixian at full boil, but if pushed, I think this tea could go for six infusions or more!

This is definitely a shuixian worth trying if you're looking for a daily drinker!

Brewing suggestion: 100 Celsius. Either a gaiwan or teapot would suit this tea, and I suggest using vessels in the 60-140ml range. With Wuyicha, I fill the vessel to 50% with dry leaf. This works out to around 6.5 grams for a 100ml pot. I would preheat the vessel with boiling water before adding the tea. Flash rinse the tea once, then flash infuse, before lengthening each infusion by 5-10 seconds or so. If you notice the flavor drop off in an infusion, add more time to the next infusion. Use water of low hardness (15-35 mg/L, with 1-3 mg/L of magnesium). 

Alternatively, Wuyicha can be brewed at full boil in a large teapot or mug, and it will still be great to drink!

Wholesale pricing is available on this tea. Feel free to contact me for more information!

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