2019 from Wuyi Origin?

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Bok
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Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:06 pm

TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:00 pm
It's not that our source had dried up. We felt the quality of the tea from the Huang family (RuiQuan) was getting worse as time went on & began looking for new farmers to work with. We didn't feel comfortable with the price & quality any more.

The processing has also been a big part of our search for new farmers. It's the trend in Wuyi in recent years to oxidise less and less and lightly roast. This allows the tea to be sold straight away. The downside is that several years later, the greenness starts to return and the tea becomes a bit 'gummy' in the mouth. A properly oxidised and roasted yancha won't have this.

We've been exploring yancha from quite a few different farmers within the park and are working to expand our selection again... but only when we find teas that are really worth selling.
Good to hear! Thanks for the update. Also probably difficult to find a Yancha of good enough quality at a price that will make it still acceptable for the Western market. Most of the good stuff is already so expensive that I doubt many Westerners would spring the money for it. I find the price acceptance for premium tea to be a lot lower in the West than it is in the East.
TheEssenceofTea
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Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:28 pm

Bok wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:06 pm
I find the price acceptance for premium tea to be a lot lower in the West than it is in the East.
I agree. There's a fine balancing line as a vendor. Trying to offer some of the better teas at the relevant market price often leads people to assume you're just trying to make too much money, especially if they haven't tried the tea or don't have the experience to be able to appreciate why they cost what they do.

On the other hand, I think there's value in making these teas available for western tea drinkers & the people who can appreciate them then have the opportunity to taste them. It's not just a western vs chinese market thing either.... most of the yancha in China is terrible.

The skill I think is weeding out the teas that are really worth the price & finding less expensive teas that are good value for money.

For me I think Yancha is really one of the most difficult teas to fully understand and appreciate. As each year goes by I feel that I've progressed a lot but also feel I'm just scratching the surface.
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Tor
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:19 am

TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:00 pm
.. We felt the quality of the tea from the Huang family (RuiQuan) was getting worse as time went on...
Do you mean the quality of the raw materials or the processing?
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Bok
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:20 am

TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:28 pm
For me I think Yancha is really one of the most difficult teas to fully understand and appreciate. As each year goes by I feel that I've progressed a lot but also feel I'm just scratching the surface.
Agreed, I would add "most difficult to source in good quality at a palatable price"
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Bok
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:23 am

Just recently, I had a Baijiguan which just hoovered away anything I thought I knew what Yancha is like in one tea session. The florals, the aromas, the longevity, all that and more which I can not even describe. If I had not been told, I wouldn't have known what I was drinking.
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Tor
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:25 am

TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:28 pm
For me I think Yancha is really one of the most difficult teas to fully understand and appreciate. As each year goes by I feel that I've progressed a lot but also feel I'm just scratching the surface.
I totally agree. Yancha is so complex. How we brew it also affect the end result immensely.
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Bok
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:51 am

Tor wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:25 am
I totally agree. Yancha is so complex. How we brew it also affect the end result immensely.
I'd say yes and no. The better the quality of the yancha, the less it matters how we treat it.
Usually, the low and medium end is more tricky to brew.
TheEssenceofTea
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:02 am

Tor wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:19 am
TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:00 pm
.. We felt the quality of the tea from the Huang family (RuiQuan) was getting worse as time went on...
Do you mean the quality of the raw materials or the processing?
both
carogust
Posts: 48
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Location: Finland

Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:11 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:23 am
Just recently, I had a Baijiguan which just hoovered away anything I thought I knew what Yancha is like in one tea session. The florals, the aromas, the longevity, all that and more which I can not even describe. If I had not been told, I wouldn't have known what I was drinking.
Yancha and tea in general can be very finicky. The taste can be great, but sometimes the stars just seem to align and the experience is in my words, "inspirational" or "transcendental". Nothing else really comes to mind.
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Bok
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:25 am

@carogust well said!

In addition to the stars, good friends needed to align as well to share such treasures... as with almost all my best Yancha experiences, I can’t afford transcendence :mrgreen:
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OCTO
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:08 am

TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:28 pm
Bok wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:06 pm
I find the price acceptance for premium tea to be a lot lower in the West than it is in the East.
I agree. There's a fine balancing line as a vendor. Trying to offer some of the better teas at the relevant market price often leads people to assume you're just trying to make too much money, especially if they haven't tried the tea or don't have the experience to be able to appreciate why they cost what they do.

On the other hand, I think there's value in making these teas available for western tea drinkers & the people who can appreciate them then have the opportunity to taste them. It's not just a western vs chinese market thing either.... most of the yancha in China is terrible.

The skill I think is weeding out the teas that are really worth the price & finding less expensive teas that are good value for money.

For me I think Yancha is really one of the most difficult teas to fully understand and appreciate. As each year goes by I feel that I've progressed a lot but also feel I'm just scratching the surface.
+100!!! Absolutely agree!!
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Victoria
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Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:32 pm

OCTO wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:08 am
TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:28 pm

I agree. There's a fine balancing line as a vendor. Trying to offer some of the better teas at the relevant market price often leads people to assume you're just trying to make too much money, especially if they haven't tried the tea or don't have the experience to be able to appreciate why they cost what they do.

On the other hand, I think there's value in making these teas available for western tea drinkers & the people who can appreciate them then have the opportunity to taste them. It's not just a western vs chinese market thing either.... most of the yancha in China is terrible.

The skill I think is weeding out the teas that are really worth the price & finding less expensive teas that are good value for money.

For me I think Yancha is really one of the most difficult teas to fully understand and appreciate. As each year goes by I feel that I've progressed a lot but also feel I'm just scratching the surface.
+100!!! Absolutely agree!!
The sincerity you share with us is heartening to read @TheEssenceofTea. Made my morning a little bit brighter. @pedant shared with me a few years ago your 2014 Half Handmade Rou Gui, it was so good it became my gateway into loving RG. The high quality of both your teaware and tea is a testament in itself, yet you share openly your struggles and hesitations. Priceless 🍃

Would love to see an introduction from you, and you might consider becoming a vendor here so you can share updates with us.
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tjkdubya
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Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:56 pm

TheEssenceofTea wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:00 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:28 am
Seems to me their Yancha sources have dried up, they used to have a much larger selection...
It's not that our source had dried up. We felt the quality of the tea from the Huang family (RuiQuan) was getting worse as time went on & began looking for new farmers to work with. We didn't feel comfortable with the price & quality any more.

The processing has also been a big part of our search for new farmers. It's the trend in Wuyi in recent years to oxidise less and less and lightly roast. This allows the tea to be sold straight away. The downside is that several years later, the greenness starts to return and the tea becomes a bit 'gummy' in the mouth. A properly oxidised and roasted yancha won't have this.

We've been exploring yancha from quite a few different farmers within the park and are working to expand our selection again... but only when we find teas that are really worth selling.
Hello there. Doesn't sound too surprising about RuiQuan, a famous name master producer, higher profile business, moving with the lighter roast trend, perhaps even helping to set the trend. I was speculating that trend-following/leading producers are doing so in order to compete for the growing domestic market for higher level commercial yancha, where the lighter style plays better to that market segment. But at the same time, small volume artisan producers are holding more steadfast to a more traditional (or sometimes neo-traditional) processing, in large part because their audience is set. Are you seeing similar things in your survey of Wuyishan?

I'm curious, when did you start noticing the Huangs shifting their processing? Or has it been a gradual creep over the years?
carogust
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Location: Finland

Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:09 am

As far as more traditional, higher roasted and possibly higher oxidation (it seems to me that high roast + low-mid oxidation is very different from high roast AND high oxidation?) teas have been popping up with vendors like tealifehk and EoT. I can't really comment more as I am not connected to the Chinese market.

One thing that I am very confused about (and deserves a thread of its own) is "traditional" processing. Most of the time it is said to be higher roasted, but on occasion I've seen mention a more medium roast being "traditional". The conflicting claims about what is traditional has lead me to believe that no single traditional processing exists and styles between different producers has always existed.
What makes me very curious is what @tjkdubya calls "neo-traditional" processing. Could you comment more on that?
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