Old Tree Shuixian

Regular price $72.00

Notes of caramel, spice, and dried orange peel.

Oolong tea from Fujian, China・May 2012・老叢水仙・EU standard conventional

Crafted from a century old grove within Wuyishan’s Scenic Reserve, Old Tree Shuixian is a true yancha oolong with all the complexity, sweetness, and minerality that only its provenance can produce. The source trees boast massive root systems, robust trunks, and towering stature at nearly 10 feet tall.

From harvest to finishing roast, each step of processing was done by hand. Leaves were picked in Spring 2012, then carried in bamboo shoulder baskets down a narrow path only wide enough for one person. At the bottom of the mountain, they were briefly spread in the sun before they were moved indoors for a long period of shade withering.

Meticulous hand-crafting followed. On woven bamboo pans, leaves were bruised by hand-rolling before they were left to oxidize to at least 50%. The oxidized leaves were then pan-roasted in a large charcoal fired wok, sorted, then bake-dried over charcoal. This tea was medium roasted over charcoal several more times over the course of several months, each session adding layers of complexity, richness, and depth.

The Shuixian cultivar is an ancestral cultivar for Wuyi oolongs. Sadly, this means the cultivar is widely grown for low-grade oolong production. None of these mass produced plants can come close to the flavor of our Old Tree Shuixian, which is unbelievably good. Dry leaves smell of cocoa and espresso. Brewing reveals notes of caramel, spice, and dried orange peel. The mouth feel is full and balanced, with neither astringency nor bitterness. The finish is balanced, with a pronounced and persistent mineral note.

Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・212° F・2 min

Few Dragonwells have the same round texture as this early harvest. Our brew guidelines, followed strictly, will produce a tea that best expresses this tea's texture and mouth feel. We suggest pre-warming the tea brewing vessel, but avoid rinsing the leaves themselves. Instead, slowly pour water onto the leaves to ensure that each leaf is properly pre-moistened.