Shui Xian is a very popular variety of Oolong tea and one the common favorites among Gong Fu tea drinkers.
Shui Xian oolong tea is believed to have been discovered more than 1,000 years ago during the Song dynasty.
Not much is known about how the tea came to be planted by the local tea farmers, but there is a legend surrounding the origin of the name “Shui Xian,” which means "Water Fairy.”
A young boy was collecting firewood on a hot summer day. In the sweltering heat, he felt terribly tired and thirsty. While resting in a cave, he smelled the sweet fragrance of a tree with beautiful white flowers and green leaves.Seeing that the leaves were especially large and thick, he picked some and put them in his mouth.Surprisingly, in just a few seconds the leaves cooled him down and filled his body with energy. Thinking he had found amagical plant, he took a branch from the tree home.
That night, a heavy rainstorm came and knocked down a wall of his house. The next morning, he found a small plant sprouting up from where he kept the branch. So he decided to make tea from the leaves of the plant, and drank it every day. By doing this, he grew up to be an especially strong and handsome man who almost never fell ill.
Hearing his story, people from near and far came to ask him about his secret. He told them he found the tea near a cave called “Zhu Xian.” But because of his dialect, what people heard was “Shui Xian,” or “Water Fairy.” Thinking that an actual Water Fairy gave the boy this marvelous tea, later people named this tea after her.
In the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco, Shui Xian oolong tea was one of China’s award-winning items.Let this almost magical tea help you cope with the stress of life and nurture your body and mind. Make a cup, and feel relaxed every time you smell the delicate fragrance of “Shui Xian” tea.The Shui Xian oolong tea industry began to flourish just 300 years ago, when people began to grow this tea in southern Fujian province using improved techniques.
Wu Yi Shui Xian, Shui Hsien, Water Fairy, Water Sprite, Narcissus
Wu Yi Shan(Mt.Wuyi), Fujian Province
For hundreds of years, this process was kept secret by tea makers in China, and even getting a glimpse into the intricate inner workings was virtually impossible for outsiders.Therefor the art of making oolong tea is little known outside China.
Nowadays, even though most of the steps are public knowledge, aspiring imitators still find it hard to master the all of the skills needed to make truly great oolong tea.
Oolong tea can be machine or handmade. Premium grade oolong teas, such as the high grade Wuyi Rock tea and Anxi Tieguanyin, are always handmade.
Generally speaking, there are 7 major steps in processing Wu Yi oolong tea.
Grade & Inspection
Dry leaves appearance:
Tender and strong leaves are very well processed into even curly stripes. Dark color leaves thin white frosted coat on the surface.
The distinctive feature of Shui Xian tea leaves are their size, which is huge in comparison to other Oolong teas.
Strong and full-bodied Oolong with a refreshing floral aftertaste. Aged Shui Xian have a smoother mouth feel.