Charcoal Roasted Shuixian & Green Pomelo 2015
We are releasing a very special tea for the Lunar New Year volume of our Hidden Dragons subscription this month: Shuixian & Green Pomelo 2015 宝柚平安茶. The Chinese name has a deeper meaning: the first character means “treasure”, combined with the word for pomelo, it has the same pronunciation as the phrase for “blessings of peace and safety”. It is highly regarded as a therapeutic tea, and has a quality of peace that accompanies it.
This extraordinary tea is handcrafted in traditional methods by Mr. Sheng, whose family have been generational tea farmers in Pheonix Mountain in Chaozhou. We acquired this rare tea in 2016, and have been intentionally aging it for the past 6 years. The traditional saying for aged pomelo tea is “three years a treasure, five years a medicine.”
Opening the rind of dried green pomelo reveals Shuixian oolong that looks like slowly formed subterranean layers of earth. Compressed by time and heat, the tea in this darkened peel appears like another world.
To craft this tea, local green pomelo is hollowed out and the flesh removed, leaving the citrus rind whole and intact. Aged, charcoal roasted Shuixian Oolong from the Phoenix Mountain is then stuffed inside the pomelo peel and they are tightly bound together. With the tea inside, the whole pomelo is then roasted over charcoal for at least 10 days, until the pomelo has dried completely and turned a golden brown color, and the tea has blackened and condensed.
After aging for six years, the taste of the Shuixian has been structured by an astringency it has inherited from the green pomelo. This citrus mesh clarifies the oolong’s more viscous consistency, and the time and heat have given the tea deeply sweet and woody qualities. It is a very smooth and hydrating tea; it does not leave us feeling lessened or without. Its lingering medicinal taste is qualified, as it is believed to help relieve cough and restore moisture to the lungs, clear congestion from the respiratory system, clear away excess heat in the body, and aid digestion.
The full name of this tea suggests safety and peace. That this tea is contained, or held, by its rind adds an image to the reason it is considered therapeutic. This tea is known as a treasure; an indication of how high we value a sense of safety, and the quality of peace that accompanies it.
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The key to brewing this tea is to use boiling water, and fast infusions, starting at 10 seconds. This tea is extremely long lasting - I would go for 15 or more infusions. From the 10th infusion, the steep time should be increased to 1+ minute.
|Steep time||10 sec - 5 min
|No. of infusions||15+