Shui Xian tea (水仙茶, Shuǐ Xiān Chá) also known as Shui Hsien tea, is a kind of Chinese oolong tea. Shui Xian tea is named after varieties of tea trees.
In China, there are three main types of Shui Xian tea: Wuyi Shui Xian tea, Zhangping Shui Xian tea, and Fenghuang Shui Xian tea.
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Wuyi Shui Xian Tea
Wuyi Shui Xian tea is native to the Wuyi Mountain of Fujian Province. It is also a kind of Wuyi rock tea.
Wuyi Mountain is in the north of Fujian Province, so Wuyi Shui Xian tea is also called Min Bei Shui Xian. Min is a shortened form of Fujian Province and Bei means “north”.
Wuyi Mountain is a national 5A scenic spot of China, which makes Wuyi Shui Xian tea more excellent in quality because of its unique natural environment.
Wuyi Shui Xian tea started in 1821. Up to now, it is one of the most widely planted tea trees in Wuyi Mountain. Wuyi Shui Xian tea can grow to 3-5m high and it is one of the few arbor tea trees in Wuyi Mountain.
Wuyi Shui Xian tea is valued for the age of its tea tree. The tea tree over 30 years old is called Gao Cong Shui Xian and over 60 years old is called Lao Cong Shui Xian, which is more expensive and higher-quality than ordinary Shui Xian tea. Gao Cong means “high tree” and Lao Cong means “old tree”.
The obvious characteristic of Shui Xian tea is its mellow taste. There is a saying that “The mellow tea is Wuyi Shui Xian tea and the fragrant tea is Wuyi Rock tea”.
The shape of Wuyi Shui Xian tea is thick and tight. Its color is black-brown. After brewing, the tea liquid is red-brown, with flower fragrance and mellow taste.
Zhangping Shui Xian Tea
Zhangping Shui Xian tea is native to the Zhangping City of Fujian Province. Zhangping City is in the south of Fujian Province, so Zhangping Shui Xian tea is also called Min Nan Shui Xian. Nan means “south”. It is a specialty of Zhangping City and is China’s geographical indication product.
Zhangping City has a long history of profound tea culture. In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Zhangping City began to plant tea trees. Its tea industry reached a considerable scale in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1636-1912).
In 1914, the local tea farmer used unique technology to invented Zhangping Shui Xian tea. It is the unique compressed oolong tea cake in the world. Generally, the compressed tea mainly refers to dark tea such as Pu-erh tea, Fu Zhuan tea, and so on.
In the early 20th century, Zhangping Shui Xian tea began to be exported to Southeast Asia.
The shape of Zhangping Shui Xian tea is a tight square. Its color is green with light yellow. After brewing, the tea liquid is orange-yellow and tastes fresh and sweet aftertaste. The fragrances of Zhangping Shui Xian tea are usually like that of the orchid or osmanthus.
Fenghuang Shui Xian Tea
Fenghuang Shui Xian tea is also called Phoenix Shui Xian tea. It is native to the Fenghuang Town of Guangdong Province. The Dancong is also native to the Fenghuang Town.
Fenghuang Shui Xian tea has a long history of nearly 900 years. It has been planted since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).
Fenghuang Town is surrounded by many mountains, with an altitude of more than 1,100 meters. The climate is warm and the rainfall is abundant. The soil is mostly yellow loamy soil with a deep soil layer and rich organic matter, which is suitable for the growth of the tea tree.
The shape of Fenghuang Shui Xian tea is long and thin. Its color is black-gray. After brewing, the color of the tea leaves is yellow-green. The tea liquid is bright and orange-yellow. It smells flower fragrance and tastes mellow and strong.