Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby Exempt » Jan 17th, '13, 23:27

I have had good luck with all other wuyis and dancongs I've tried, but for some reason I get a vegetal flavor that overtakes the sweet and fruity notes that come out around the 5th steeping in the Shui Xians I've had. I use a gram of tea per 20ml of water. The water is at 208 degrees Fahrenheit and I do infusions starting at around 10 seconds. Is this vegetal flavor typical for Shui Xians or am I doing something wrong?

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby TIM » Jan 17th, '13, 23:35

Try doubling the amount of tea?

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby Exempt » Jan 18th, '13, 00:08

TIM wrote:Try doubling the amount of tea?

So for a 60ml teapot I should use 6 grams of tea? That sounds like a lot but I'll give it a try next time.

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby Poohblah » Jan 18th, '13, 00:15

It's not "a lot" until the wet leaves push the lid off of the pot ;)

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby Exempt » Jan 18th, '13, 00:16

Poohblah wrote:It's not "a lot" until the wet leaves push the lid off of the pot ;)

Alright next time I'll pack in as much tea as I can, haha :D

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby wyardley » Jan 18th, '13, 01:12

What kind of shui xian is it? Wuyi shuixian? High fire or low fire? Old bush or standard?

I haven't noticed a vegetal flavor exactly in most shuixian that I've tried, but shuixian is not always the most durable tea. It's possible that the tea just isn't that durable. While there are some shuixian that can go quite a while, I do think the initial taste can fade fast with many (especially non-old-bush shuixian). While I understand the urge to push a tea for as many rounds as it can go, I do think there are times where it's better to stop while you're ahead (i.e., when the tea is at its peak). This is very common in orthodox Chaozhou gongfucha. You can still brew the tea in a larger pot later for casual drinking if you don't want to waste leaf.

See this recent post for a bit more about that.
viewtopic.php?p=234916#p234916

Some other random thoughts:

1) The tea may just not be that great,
or
2) You may simply prefer other teas
or
3) You may just need to appreciate the way the tea changes, rather than expect it to keep the same taste you get in the first few infusions.

Last edited by wyardley on Jan 18th, '13, 01:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby Exempt » Jan 18th, '13, 01:27

wyardley wrote:What kind of shui xian is it? Wuyi shuixian? High fire or low fire? Old bush or standard?

It's a standard Wuyi Shui Xian. I'd say its pretty in the middle when it comes it comes to firing, it has a roasty flavor without getting into the smokey range. It's not a particularly special tea, just something to tide me off until my jing order arrives. I figured I'd see if my brewing had anything to do with the flavor or if it was the tea. I'll tray jamming a bunch of tea in the pot tomorrow and see how it goes :)

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby wyardley » Jan 18th, '13, 01:41

Yeah, sometimes more tea will be better. I would try like 3/4 or a bit more by volume.

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby the_economist » Jan 23rd, '13, 11:56

i hate it when the vegetal flavour kicks in...more leaf sometimes helps, but much of it is a matter of the tea base.

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby chado.my.teaway » Jan 23rd, '13, 12:27

I think, the problem is not in quantity but in quality. Maybe you have Fenghuang SX. Thats old SX or young? And U dont know where it from? But if you dont feel the fruity knows i think that is old SX. with earthy notes.

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby jayinhk » Feb 19th, '13, 00:37

For the record I don't drink any SX past infusion four or so, and I drink a lot of SX!

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby Teaism » Feb 19th, '13, 10:31

jayinhk wrote:For the record I don't drink any SX past infusion four or so, and I drink a lot of SX!


I am quite close, I squeeze the best out in 3 and run on 4.

:D

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby gasninja » Feb 19th, '13, 10:56

Poohblah wrote:It's not "a lot" until the wet leaves push the lid off of the pot ;)

I think you meant to say its not Enough until the wet leaves push the lid off the pot :wink:

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby TIM » Feb 19th, '13, 20:03

jayinhk wrote:For the record I don't drink any SX past infusion four or so, and I drink a lot of SX!


Please don't drink DHP or Old Bush SX, the tea fairy will kick you in the head in your dream. :lol:

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Re: Am I brewing Shui Xian wrong?

Postby JakubT » Feb 20th, '13, 10:49

Exempt wrote:
wyardley wrote:What kind of shui xian is it? Wuyi shuixian? High fire or low fire? Old bush or standard?

It's a standard Wuyi Shui Xian. I'd say its pretty in the middle when it comes it comes to firing, it has a roasty flavor without getting into the smokey range. It's not a particularly special tea, just something to tide me off until my jing order arrives. I figured I'd see if my brewing had anything to do with the flavor or if it was the tea. I'll tray jamming a bunch of tea in the pot tomorrow and see how it goes :)


I guess that ordinary Shui Xian has problems more often than not. I can not remember a "middle" Shui Xian which would be too good for more than 3-4 steepings (well, mostly not even that).

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