This Lao Cong Shui Xian is made from 80-year-old bushes growing in the Wuyi Mountains. Great raw material needs skilful processing and that is present in abundance with this tea. Its remarkable quality is apparent from the first smell of the dry leaf and throughout the whole experience. Never brash or booming, the aromas of this tea are full and balanced. The dry leaf exhibits a meatiness and once some humidity is applied gentle tartness reminiscent of dark chocolate but absent of the cocoa aroma becomes present. The liquor is bright clear copper in colour and the aroma is extremely reserved, having the scent of fresh moving spring water. The smell you might expect just before you took a sip from a fast-moving mountain forest stream. The first two infusions are balanced, clean and refreshing. Hints of tartness and the subtle tinge of something akin to tobacco teases the palate. Subsequent infusions, all 9 of them, are incredibly consistent. Full flavoured Lao Cong Shui Xian greatness, powerful yet gentle. The tea seems to purposely defy description, preferring to assert its own flavour as the new norm. Something like tobacco notes with hints of dark chocolate, but that doesn’t quite go far enough. Its the aroma element of tobacco with the tart, crisp element of dark chocolate. There is nothing close to bitterness in this tea. There are floral notes as well, gently lingering just under the rockiness. The gaiwan lid sings the song of the floral notes and the empty cup gave off an earthy warmth. The tea finishes ever so gracefully as the flavours uniformly retreat somewhere around the 10th or 11th infusion.
Lao Cong Shui Xian
Dry Leaf: meaty, deep & rich
Wet Leaf: floral, dark chocolate
Liquor Colour: copper
Liquor Aroma: fresh water
Liquor Flavors: “cong”, hint of tobacco, light floral
Mouth Feel: full, refreshing, thick and ultra clean
Gaiwan Lid: creamy floral, sweet potato
Bottom Cup: earthy, with sweetness presenting later
Wugongli, Wuyi Mountains, Fujian Province.
Late spring, 2018.
Sealed well in a cool, dry, dark location.