Lao Cong Shui Xian

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老欉水仙 (Lao Cong Shui Xian)


Wufeng, Wuyi, Fujian, China

What’s in a name? In this case, it tells a whole story. Shui Xian or water sprite is a rock tea cultivar originally transplanted from a ‘sprite’s cave’ in nearby Jianyang County and became one of Wuyi Mountain’s no. 1 (albeit adopted) sons. Folklore tells that when the cutting was incidentally found then brought back to Wuyi, it seeded and germinated quickly after one night of heavy rain, hence its name.

Lao Cong on the other hand means old trunk, in this case approx. 200 years old. Of all the Wuyi rock tea heritage trees, this Shui Xian lot are the only ones currently permissible for limited harvest. So yes, a name can mean a lot.

What it doesn’t tell you though is how juicy, floral and refreshing it is. Of the few Wuyi varietals, the Shui Xian is renowned for its mild yet lasting nectar-like qualities - this may not be in the name but that’s not necessary when the reputation precedes it.

Dry leaves: brown, dark green, mid length 
Liquor: amber
Taste: lychees, rosebuds, orchids, wet river stone, slight hint of cinnamon bark
Process: withered, rolled, 80% oxidised, shaped, dried, slow and light ember finished


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