The Shui Xian cultivar is quite a popular camelia varietal on Taiwan though usually is only recognize as an exclusive of the Wuyi mountains in the Chinese region of Fujian. The reason why today you can fin the Shui Xian cultivar (and a related lineage) on the island is linked to the migrations of Chinese farmers from Fujian around 1800. At that time, in fact, they brought with their some camellias from their areas including the ones growing in Wuyi mountains. Thanks to the endurance and adaptability of this specific varietal today it’s still possible to find product like this on the market. Just by looking at this product we can also notice that the processing of this material follow quite strictly the steps used for the Chinese rock oolong from Wuyi in fact the leaves have a dark brown color caused by an high oxidation level and an intense roasting phase on wood charcoal.
The taste of the infuse don’t show too intense smoky feature due to the roasting phase but, instead, reveal on the palate a pleasant floral essence. Only after few seconds it’s possible to notice a slightly dry and sweet effect related to the nuts which is a typical feature give to the tea by its specific process. After many sips it also appears a vegetal feature that reminds some beets and a soft metallic touch due to the minerals in the leaves.
Place of origin
After the harvest the leaves wither under the sunlight for a certain period of time before going on bamboo trays indoor. Here it’s where the oxidation process begin thanks to the tea master who rolled the tea leaves on the trays. When the leaves have the desire oxidation level (here there is an oxidation level around the 70%) the leaves go into an oven heated up by coal where the enzymes related to the oxidation process are deactivated. After this phase the leaves are mechanical rolled in their final form before going into a series of roasting period where the product is dried a bit more and consolidate its flavors.
We invite you to brew this tea in the traditional Chinese style (gong fu cha) in order to extract more from your leaves. Following this preparation you could use 6 grams of leaves (about 4 teaspoons) in a gaiwan of 100 ml so you can obtains more infusions with different flavors. After a brief rinse of the leaves in a 100°C water you can go with a first infusion of 10 seconds and, after that, at the same water temperature, you can do multiple infusion adding 5 seconds every steeping time (10 – 15 – 20 …)
This leaves could be steep about 6 times.
To prepare the tea in the western style we suggest 3 grams of leaves (about 2 teaspoons) in a 150 ml cup with 95°C water for a steeping time of one minute and an half.
The tea could be filtered if you want to avoid some little piece of the leaves during the tasting time and also the steeping time we recommend here could be modify on your personal preferences
We recommend you to store this tea in a dry and cool place avoiding the direct sun light on the leaves.