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Premium High Roast Shuixian (50g)

Premium High Roast Shuixian (50g)

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September 11th, 2020

I retested this tea a few days ago in one of the small modern hong qingshuini wendan pots I sell on the siteAt high ratio (around 70% fill with dry leaf), I was able to elicit balanced up front bitterness in the first infusion that then dissipated as I worked my way through the contents of the gongdaobei. The mineral aftertaste was very upfront and complex at that ratio and in that clay, and contrasted beautifully with the longlasting sweet floral character in this tea. There is also some aged taste starting to develop in this tea.

This shuixian is supplied by a family I source much of my traditional storage pu erh from. I've done business with the family for years, and am only just now getting around to trying their shuixian. This is the highest grade of shuixian they carry, and I must say, it vastly exceeded my expectations. At present, this is my favorite of all the shuixian I offer, with the exception of the much more expensive old bush shuixian!

While I have tried rolled oolongs from this family (and they have also been outstanding value for the quality), this shuixian really makes my day every time I drink it. The material used for this tea is excellent, and there are no flaws to this tea whatsoever. Not a hint of unpleasantness, harshness or excessive roast with this one. There are lots of mineral notes to the finish here, which is what some Wuyicha aficionados believe is a sure sign of zhengyan material. While I don't think mineral notes signify origin at all, it is a sign of well-cultivated Wuyicha, and that is definitely what we have here! The processing and roasting of the material were also excellent, and this tea is truly great for the money. I don't know if this tea was roasted over charcoal or in an electric oven (and neither does the vendor: I'll have to ask her father-in-law for the details), but the roast was very well done indeed. This tea was processed in Fujian instead of Hong Kong, but was roasted to a traditional level to meet Hong Kong-market demand.

The dry leaf smells of milk chocolate with clean shuixian character. This tea isn't as highly roasted as the Three Stamp Shuixian or the 2000s Hong Kong High Roast Shuixian offered here at TeaLife. When I first tried this tea in 1980s zini, the minerality and roast notes combined to taste almost marine to me. I did not detect this marine note when I tried this tea again: I did, however, taste caramel and spices (much like a Christmas pudding, for example). 

There is absolutely no astringency or bitterness here. The flavor is clean and pure shuixian with a lovely almond finish that I associate with the best Wuyicha. I feel this tea is the best quality shuixian I've ever had at this price point, and I think many regular shuixian drinkers will feel the same way. While I initially felt the roast was slightly too dominant for my tastes, that seems to have dissipated and the tea is now remarkably balanced. The roast definitely tastes a back seat to the natural, clean shuixian flavor this tea offers. 

There are also grain (buckwheat) and fruit flavors here. The fruity notes almost verge on dahongpao territory. This is a truly excellent tea, and if you enjoy my other shuixians, I think you will absolutely love this one!

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