Review of Zhang Ping Shui Xian, Traditional Greener Style

9 of 103 of 53 of 577 of 100

This was a fascinating tea for me to try. It was completely unlike any other oolong I've tried. The loosely-packed leaves separate easily and infuse quicker than I'd expect for their tough texture. After steeping I noticed that the larger leaves are mostly whole, but the smaller leaves and buds are mostly broken. If you are used to tightly-rolled greener oolongs from southern Fujian, I advise you to use a briefer steeping time for this one.

Overall character is floral, but with more depth and body than is typical for greener oolongs. Color is a rich amber. Aroma is slightly soapy, but I don't mind this because there is little bitterness. First infusion was my favorite; later ones becomes a bit more sour, but still retain a good amount of flavor and aroma.

As a note, the floral qualities really do strike me as smelling like narcissus. Wuyi and other darker Shui Xian that I've tried did not ever suggest this aroma to me. Usually I see Shui Xian translated as "Water Sprite" or "Water Fairy", but the characters also mean "Narcissus". As someone who loved growing daffodils (narcissus) in our garden as a kid, I recognize the smell of these flowers well, and this tea definitely has this characteristic aroma.

I found this tea very interesting, although I think for this price there are a lot of greener oolongs that I like better. But since it comes conveniently in such nice little packets, I'd recommend throwing one in next time you order from Life in Teacup if you want to try something a bit unusual.

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