Saturday, May 4, 2013

An Old Tin of Shui Hsien

I was gifted with a tin full of old shui hsien.  One of my tea friends had gone to Taiwan for holidays and had bought some tea there and this tin was given to me.

Looking at this 6 inches (15cm) high tin, I observed that this is a lao chong shui hsien tea produced in Fujian, China, namely Wuyishan General Tea Factory.  I have no idea on the age of this tea but it should be old - telephone number on the tin is 5 digits while its 7 digits in china now (less the area code).  I would put the tea to be at least 12-15 yrs old....minimum.  

Taking a whiff inside the tin, I could detect this tea was a high roasted....meaning it should have kept well.   I had opened a green TGY last month which I had kept for 2 years and the brewed tea tasted yucky. But I believe that high roasted oolongs are able to store well.  

This shui hsien aroma was slightly woody, nice shui hsien floral scent with a sweet finish.  It is a very nice tea.  My limited experience with Shui Hsien seems to indicate that older Shui Hsien tasted more mellow, in that the sharp finish is not present but instead a wood and herb aroma is more pronounced in the tea.   My opinion is reinforced with a sample of  an old shui hsien  given to me by Su, a famous tea collector in Malaysia.  This tea was even more aromatic.....strong intense woody aroma and sweet aftertaste.  The difference in taste was so great compared to a new tea that it was initially hard to tell that it was Shui Hsien.  

However, I would like to point out to my readers that buying old oolongs like this is very tricky.  Prices for such teas has no guide price.  It is best you get to sample the tea before a purchase.  Don't buy too much.....there is always another tea out there.  

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