Shui Jin Gui
One of the Si Da Ming Cong, or 'four famous bushes', the most renowned of Wuyi Yan Cha cultivars, Shui Jin Gui defies its characteristic roasting with a distinct note of uncooked fruit, like fresh green apples, sugarcane, or juicy plums. Yet neither does it disappoint the lover of Rock Teas: its twisted, charcoal-coloured leaves give off a charcoal taste, evoking grilled zucchini and a subtle scent of caramel and cream in the wet leaves. This tea has been stored in the Nannuoshan warehouse for three years in order to smooth down the roasting for a balanced taste; now it's time to enjoy it!
The perfect tea for demanding connoisseurs that enjoy drinking a balanced Yan Cha while imagining themselves perched atop tall Fujian cliffs.
Wuyi Yan Cha – the tea from the rocks
Wuyi Yan Cha, aka Wuyi Rock Tea or, more properly, Cliff Tea, is an ancient oolong tea (one of the six tea categories, halfway between green and black teas). Rock tea is produced in the northern Fujian province.
Wuyi Yan Cha are complex teas. The typical mineral savour shares the field with the strength from roasting and the delicate floral and fruity hints.
- ORIGIN: Da Wang Feng, Wuyishan, Fujian, China
- MEANING: Golden water turtle (shui jin gui)
- CULTIVAR: Shui Jin Gui
- HARVEST TIME: Spring 2017
- TASTE: Roasted zucchini, green apple, subtly caramelized
- ROASTING: Twice at 120°C
Authentic Wuyi Yan Cha is produced in the Wuyi Mount region, a UNESCO natural heritage site. The dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River are surrounded by a largely intact subtropical forest and smooth cliffs of black-brownish rocks. The tea plants grow in narrow valleys, next to the cliffs, in a mineral-rich soil.
Today Wuyi Yan Cha is one of the most valued teas in China. Because it has become a status symbol, many wealthy Chinese are willing to pay a fortune for it without even knowing how a proper Wuyi Yan Cha should taste. The result has been prices inflating to unjustified level and quality often sacrificed for quantity.
Unique to the Wuyi Yan Cha is a mineral savor coming from the soil and the surrounding cliffs. Being the oolong with the highest fire finish, fresh Yan Cha may as a result be strong and pungent. Sharpness and too-prominent astringency subside upon ageing. Premium high-fire Yan Cha tastes better after a few years of storage. Use a Yixing teapot to soften the tea, should it be too astringent for your palate.
The overall tasting profile is rich, complex, and deep. Depending on cultivar and environment, the mineral-roasted flavor is refined by floral, fruity, nutty or woody accents.