Zhao Zhu Shui Xian

Zhao Zhu Shui Xian 2015 No. 509

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: very dark, almost black

This is the second offering that I have reviewed from Zhao Zhu, a company based in Budapest. I enjoyed their Green Dancong and have quite a few selections in my “to do” basket. One thing that really drew me to them was the beautiful amber glass jars that they package their teas in. I love this eco-friendly option and can imagine finding many ways to reuse them.

Shui Xian is an oolong cultivar commonly in the Wuyi region and other areas of Fujian Province. Its name is usually translated as narcissus or water sprite. You might also see it spelled as Shui Hsien. David Duckler from Verdant Tea seems to have captured the many legends about this tea a post on their blog.


The dry leaf was dark, mostly whole, and slightly twisted in shape. This tea is a few years old so the roast has faded significantly. There was a warm, woody and slightly floral aroma was apparent as soon as I added the leaves to my preheated gaiwan. Zhao Zhu’s brewing recommendations are a bit light for this type of tea so my infusion time is a bit longer.


The first infusion was fairly light bodied and surprisingly floral. Subsequent brews had a slightly sour lean but were not bitter. This was followed by a sweet, nutty aftertaste and somewhat dry finish. It had all of the flinty minerality that you would expect from a Wuyi oolong. An aroma lingered behind in my sharing pitcher that could only be described as bread-like.

This tea starts at $0.58 per gram. While definitely not cheap, that puts it in the middle of the pack when it comes to Wuyi oolongs. As much as I love them, I do wish that Zhao Zhu had the option to purchase without the container as that could help lower the cost for a tea I’d like to drink regularly.

What tea have you been drinking lately? Let me know about it in the comments below!

Shui Xian 2015 No. 509 sample provided for review by Zhao Zhu

Zhao Zhu Shui Xian

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.