Zhen Tea’s Shui Xian | Tea Review

by Tea in Spoons

I realized it has been a little while since I had a Chinese oolong so, I gravitated toward this sweet and floral sounding one!

Description: “The flavor had a solid granite base with overtones of sweet floral, slight tartness on the sides of the mouth, and a caramel spiciness that began to emerge in later infusions.”

Instructions: 100°C | 5g | 125ml | 45g 5g/125ml at 100°C for 30 sec, add 10s for successive infusions. Over 10 infusions. *

*While the packaging said 45 seconds, I used what Zhen Tea noted on the website and started at 30 seconds

Review: The dark charcoal brown twisted dry leaves reminded me of small tree branches. The leaves had a barley and fruit jam smell. After adding the dry leaves to the warmed gaiwan, the leaves released a sweet date and roasted smell. I did not rinse the leaves.

Infusion 1 (30 seconds): After the short infusion, the liquor was a dark reddish brown colour. It had a strong-ish charcoal smell, like a campfire, along with some nut and sweetness. Despite the more robust aroma, the taste was on the delicate side; it woody, charcoal, and brown sugar with a note akin to some pu’er teas. The liquor was drying at the back of the throat and was warm and comforting.

Infusion 2 (40 seconds): During this infusion, I was able to experience the more mineral quality of the tea. It reminded me of eating with a metal utensil. The taste was mineral, woody, and roasted with an underlying sweetness like stone fruits. The minerality of the tea lingered in the mouth.

Infusion 3 (50 seconds): As the infusions progressed, the roasted taste was less apparent with a more dominant mineral and woody notes. The liquor was browner than red in colour and the leaves had all unfurled. The drying sensation was more in the cheek/jaw than in the back of the mouth.

Infusion 4 (1 minute): The taste was mostly mineral with the woody note coming at the tail end of the sip and the taste lingered in the mouth.

Infusion 5 (1 minute and 10 seconds): The liquor was a noticeable lighter colour and no longer had a distinctive smell. It had a mineral start and ended with some stone fruit. The flavour was starting to wane.

Infusion 6 (1 minute and 20 seconds): The colour was lighter reddish colour and the liquor faintly tasted woody and nutty with caused a drying sensation. I stopped after this infusion as the taste had become weak. The wet leaves had completely and were long and dark brown. It had a smokey, woody, and sweet berries smell.

I liked the gambet of flavours in this tea from charcoal, mineral, and fruity. Most tea sessions lasted 4 to 6 sessions before I found the taste had become too watery. Many of the teas I have tried, do not have a minerality quality, so it was nice to explore this taste profile! While I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first read the tasting notes on Zhen Tea’s website, I am glad I tried it and will be looking for other teas like it! This would be nice for anyone who enjoys oolongs that are toasted, nutty, sweet, and of course mineral (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: China, Wuyi Mountains, Fujian Province
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Oolong tea
  • Company: Zhen Tea

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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!