Rare, very limited quantity pressed wulong tea now available! Each piece is approximately 9 grams each. Click here to buy!
Immortal Diamond is a uniquely geometric tea with a soft texture and clean, cooling, mineral character. The floral aroma is symphonic in its performance and worth the price of admission alone.
Produced on June 3, 2021, by Zeng Puyu from Middle Pacific Village, Long Yan City, Fujian. The Chinese name for the tea is Zhang Ping Shui Xian. Zhang Ping is where the tea originally came from and Shui Xian (translation: Water Immortal) is the cultivar used. Ms. Zeng’s garden is named “Huoshao Liao” (translation: Burning Hut) where she only uses organic practices.
How is Immortal Diamond Produced?
Zhang Ping Shui Xian is the only deliberately pressed wulong and was invented in 1920 (approximately) by Liu Yong Fa. Because the Shui Xian cultivar is traditionally used in making rock wulong, this tea is a unique combination of Wuyi rock tea (heavy withering/light shaking) and Anxi wulong (light withering/heavy shaking).
The Shui Xian cultivar ferments easily and the steeped leaf reveals its pretty red edges, but the character retains its overall fresh green character. A single cube is the serving size.
It’s produced as such:
Starting with mao cha leaves: (think of “mao cha” as a finished tea in its raw material form):
- Lay down white paper wrap
- Prepare square mold and hammer (approximately 16cm high and 5cm wide)
- Place approximately nine grams of loose mao cha into the mold
- Hammer the mold with a mallet
- Remove mold and wrap tea with white paper
- Final low roast of the paper wrapped tea
The “Burning Hut” Tea Garden
In 2010, Ms. Zeng became the first woman in her village to build a tea factory and plant a tea garden. The local government had a plan to promote tea production, but few people were interested. Ms. Zeng used the opportunity to secure land and a loan to get started (not as easy as it sounds). The fields are managed solely by her and her neighbor Mr. Wang. She alone manages the tea production. This limits the amount of tea that can be produced. The fields are exclusively Shui Xian cultivar with the exception of 1.6 acres of new Rou Gui plants that will not be ready for production until at least next year.
The name of the garden comes from the legend that these fields were burned down several hundred years ago by a jealous god who was resentful of the happy lives being lived there. A god of love restored them by transforming into a bird to come down and deliver some tea seeds to sow and prosper.
What is the “Shui Xian” Cultivar?
水 = shuǐ = water/liquid/potion
仙 = xiān = transcendent/immortal
Jian Yang city (a neighbor of Wuyi city) is the home of the shui xian cultivar. It was discovered in 1861 and it’s primarily used for making Wuyi rock tea (see: Water Sprite). The name comes from a cave there named “Zhu Xian”, which is the local pronunciation for “shui xian.” The cultivar is often associated with having a more gentle, softer character than other plants in the region. Shui Xian is also used to make white tea in Jian Yang.
Shui Xian holds more moisture than most plants, so for making Zhang Ping Shui Xian it needs more withering than typical Anxi cultivars like Tieguanyin or Huang Jin Gui to remove excess water (otherwise an undesirable vegetal smell will set in and degrade the quality). But because it also ferments/oxidizes quite easily, timing is important and only light shaking is applied to preserve the intended fresh, green Anxi style character.
How to steep Immortal Diamond
Traditional Steeping: Unwrap and place one whole cube (approximately 9 grams) into a 150ml gaiwan, use boiling water and steep as follows:
- Rinse - 10 seconds (discard this steep)
- 1st Steep – 1 minute (it takes time to open the leaves up)
- 2nd Steep – 15 seconds
- 3rd Steep – 20 seconds
- 4th Steep – 25 seconds
- 5th Steep – 45 seconds
- 6th Steep – 90 seconds
- (Or steep it however you want)
Western Steeping Instructions: Not recommended, but if you wish, break off a 3 gram chunk, place it in your steeping device and steep using boiling water for 5 minutes.