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A Decade Apart: Shuixian Red, Aged Shuixian


When it comes to teas we love, we really wear our hearts on our sleeves. And longtime readers of this newsletter know we are utterly smitten with aged teas.

Perhaps we appreciate aged teas for their singular uniqueness: sugars that are deep and concentrated, texture that is round and mellow, and tasting notes that take on an almost leathery cast, with the sweetness of dried stone fruit. Or perhaps we are intrigued by them because they are deliciously enigmatic - each sip raising questions about its origin, and what transformations it underwent to arrive at its current state.

With this release of the new 2022 harvest of Shuixian Red, and it's counterpart, Aged Shuixian, we are able to connect past and present. Grown in the same garden plot ringed by pine trees, and overlooking the slopes of Lishan, these teas are identical, save for harvests a decade apart. 


Shuixian Red is produced from a traditional, though rare, Taiwanese oolong cultivar that’s pushed to full, red oxidation during the production phase. Additional withering pulls back the floral qualities inherent to its oolong state, pushing instead darker, more malted notes of cocoa and stone fruit to the front of the palate.

A decade of quiet aging takes Aged Shuixian Red to new depths, lending texture, and flavors of black licorice, root beer, and schisandra berry to the liqueur. These notes unfurl more slowly than in the newer leaves, the flavors more subtle and grounded, yet they linger upon the palate.


The small size of the garden plot, along with the scant cache set aside for aging means we have a mere 200 portions of the 2012 vintage. In this light, we're offering it as part of our Si Fang Cha, or Private Room Tea Collection. This series features teas recommended for special occasions, to be brought out in celebration, or to mark a moment in time. The Si Fang Cha collection is undergoing a slight transformation. We've updated the packaging to make the canisters easier to reuse (no more troublesome stickers!). The design is simpler, sleeker, and speaks to the quality of the teas inside. 

We'll be adding to the Si Fang Cha collection in the coming weeks, but for now, you can find our well-loved Mr. and Mrs. Chen's Sequel here, alongside the Aged Shuixian, ca. 2012.

Any opportunity to compare and contrast tea in two styles is a wonderful chance to broaden your palate and intuition. We hope you enjoy these Red Shuixian offerings. We certainly do!

your friends at Song Tea

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