Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #27 - Fenghuang ShuiXian

First of all, Happy Birthday, America, and Happy July 4th, y'all!

Now, Fenghuang ShuiXian (pronounced "Shooey-Shyan," according to Michael Harney) is not a tea that Harney sells in sample sizes, so I had to order a full tin. With my first cup of this tea, I was delighted to think that I have an entire tin of this one to enjoy. This is one of my most favorite teas I've sampled yet!

Category: Oolong Tea

Purveyor: Harney and Sons

Dry leaf appearance: Thin, wispy tea leaves in mostly dark olive green with some variations of brown bits mixed in.

Wet leaf appearance: Still thin and wispy looking with only a few pieces that resembled a flat, open tea leaf.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 3 minutes.

Scent: A good gift shop! That was the surprise scent that greeted my nose when I first sniffed this tea. I should explain that to me, a *good* gift shop has that pleasant scent of floral and fruity candles and potpourri, so I wasn't expecting this to be such a scent-sational tea!

Color: Deep gold.

Flavor: Yum, yum, yum. This tea has a rich, full "mouth feel," and no astringency, but its chief selling point to me is that it tastes almost like a black tea blend with fruits and flowers. The "floral" note is faint, and the fruity flavor I found was something akin to honeydew melon. What a delightful tea!

Additional notes: Michael Harney says this tea "is a worthwhile oolong to know if only because no other oolong will remind you of a Bellini. Unlike the preceding Osmanthus, which gleans much of its fruit flavors from a flower additive, Fenghuang ShuiXian bubbles with astonishing peach flavors all its own."

Next week's tea: Bai Hao, or Fanciest Formosa Oolong


  1. Great review of the Fenghuang ShuiXian. Sounds like a tea I would enjoy. Interesting how this tea is picked from very tall tea trees, rather than tea bushes (read this in the Harney Book). Nice to know that the floral scent is not too strong. I've never tried a Bellini, but I do like peaches. Thanks for the review.

  2. Angela: Have a great 4th and thank you for all your lovely comments!

  3. Angela, glad that you enjoyed this tea.

    Best Regards,

    Michael Harney


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