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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review: Canton Tea Company’s Traditional Shui Xian Oolong Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.

The Subject:  Traditional Shui Xian
Company:Canton Tea Company. [More info]

Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:188-194° F
Steeping time:3 mins. (we recommend 2, 2½, & 3 mins.)
Tea type:Oolong
Dry leaves:  Dark blue-green, large pieces, earthy/planty aroma

1st Infusion:  
Steeping time —we did 3 mins., but recommend 2 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Rich, planty, faintly fruity
Taste, plain —Toasty, smoky, fruity, smooth
Color, plain —Bright amber
2nd Infusion:
Steeping time —we did 3 mins., but recommend 2½ mins.
Aroma, plain —Same as above
Taste, plain —Milder, no fruity kick, smooth
Color, plain —Bright amber
3rd Infusion:
Steeping time —we did 3 mins., and recommend 3 mins.
Aroma, plain —Weak
Taste, plain —Weak
Color, plain —Light amber

Hubby and I only received two samples from this company and so spread out the reviews. We posted the review of the first tea was a very nice Bai Mu Dan (also called Pai Mu Tan and White Peony). This tea certainly continues their reputation for seeking and finding fine teas among the tea gardens of the world.

The pouch used for this tea was a bit different but still foil and still heat sealed. Gotta love it! Those tea leaves journeyed all the way from Twickenham, UK, to my P.O. box here in the Southeast U.S., so using a package that blocks light, air, and moisture shows true care on the part of the vendor.

Despite a rather limpid 3rd infusion we find this a satisfying tea. We might try some more of it later and steep for shorter times as indicated above. Though the vendor recommends 3 minutes, it seemed to make the first infusion rich and flavorful with each successive being weaker.

Look at those wonderful dark leaf pieces, both before and after steeping:

Our experience with this tea was fairly close to the vendor’s description.


…Dark and heavily roasted it has a bright amber, medium bodied liquor with a natural flowery fragrance that emerges after two or three infusions. Baked over charcoal to give it a deep, rich satisfying flavour with a long sweet aftertaste.


The first infusion was wonderful, with a smoky/toasty and somewhat sweet aroma, a gorgeous amber color to the liquid, and a fruity taste (sort of like mango, papaya, or similar pulpy fruit) coming through strong on the first sip but fading to a planty taste as the liquid cooled.

This is a famous Oolong among tea drinkers and is served in restaurants in China. Try some and see what you think. Never fear, thanks to Jennifer and Edgar using those great pouches, the leaves will be a fresh and tasty as possible.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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