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Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 9:57 pm
by ShuShu
Bok wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 8:06 pm
ShuShu wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 5:23 pm
Sometime ago I wrote to a vendor in China asking about his tea. I told him I thinking about some Zhengyan RouGui tea he had there ($1.5/g). He told me that the cheaper RouGui he carries from a different area ($0.6/g) is actually made by the same tea master in the same way, and unless I use high quality water the difference would be rather mild.
I ordered both and realized he was right and learned that processing may be more significant than location though the premium paid for location is considerably higher comparing to its significance...
As always, the hype is not necessarily justified, same goes for Taiwan, the most expensive teas are not always that much better in proportion to their price. Upper medium quality is usually good enough and a better deal.
Of course. But my point was that, at least with yancha, sometimes the premium you pay for location (which is not a hype--there are certainly advantages to those special locations) doesn't justify the price difference comparing to tea from a less prestigious location though very well processed. I'm not sure that this is the case with gaoshan, for example. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I'm not sure that well-processed leaves from Alishan can compare to those from DYL.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 10:15 pm
by Bok
ShuShu wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:57 pm
I'm not sure that this is the case with gaoshan, for example. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I'm not sure that well-processed leaves from Alishan can compare to those from DYL.
Alishan is still a well marketed area, but there are loads of other mountains that you will rarely see mentioned, although their tea is equal or better. For DYL which is now increasingly closed down, you have areas just next to it which have the same quality tea (and now often sold as DYL).

Apart from Alishan, Lishan and Shanlinxi not many other areas are actively promoted, mostly they just use one of the three famous names and gaoshan only for the lower quality teas. At least in Taiwan retail.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 10:17 pm
by Bok
Personally I rarely like Alishan, Lishan can sometimes reach the same quality as the higher DYL which is still on Lishan

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 12:22 pm
by Shine Magical
I decided to break this tea out so I could contribute to this thread :P
edit: 2016 Lao Shou Xin - Qing Shi Yan
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1D20B277-0CBF-45F5-82B8-49A6F1766776.jpeg (230.63 KiB) Viewed 1091 times
This tea is more green than other yanchas I’ve had. The taste is nice and somewhat floral/dark honey. I think the tie luo han I linked earlier was more special in my opinion though more traditional and more expensive. Overall though I prefer gaoshan and it’s also cheaper which is weird.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 9:53 pm
by Bok
Shine Magical wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:22 pm
Overall though I prefer gaoshan and it’s also cheaper which is weird.
Not weird at all.

Demand for Wuyi teas is far higher than for high mountain teas. So many Chinese people (adding a few foreigners) want to drink their own prestige teas. Taiwans population is barely one Shanghai and not a lot drink premium teas, more than Westerners but still, compared to China very little.

Tastes differ as well, so mainland China demand for gaoshan is very little, they just prefer other teas.

Thirdly, the 1% richest and the increasingly affluent middle class all have more interest in tea and are willing to spend a lot on this kind of luxury items. That all drives the prices up, much more so than for the premium Taiwan teas.

As said before if I wanted to go all the way up to the most expensive teas in Taiwan, I would still only be able to buy a lower medium Yancha…

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 1:25 am
by treetime
Enjoying this thread.

Bok, which was the IG post discussing yancha prices?

I've tried the three teas discussed here. I'm fond of the 2016 Laocong Shui Xian - Liu Guan Zhai.

Customarily I make it with high quality water collected from a mountain spring in a pot friendly to Oolong.

Currently I'm traveling in an area where the water is hard and my host's kettle has limescale. It's like the leaves were sick when I made it. (The leaves may still be adjusting to a long plane flight too.)

It makes me consider the traditional perspective that 'water is the Mother of tea'.

Given that Wuyi teas - at least quality Zhengyan ones, which I consider this half handmade tea from Master Huang to be - are grown in such a pristine and energetically active ecosystem, I wonder if they are more sensitive to the quality of water.

That ties into the area of distinguishing these teas in terms of their energetic qualities. My tea teacher describes tea as vibrational medicine. In my experience quality Zhengyan has a different energetic profile than gaoshan. That's part of why I'd be willing to spend extra on Wuyi teas, as it's a characteristic that is not available in other teas.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:01 am
by Bok
Look for the user Kenny Leung, he posted it.

As for water, in my experience the better the quality of the tea, the more forgiving it is in regards to the other parameters like water, brewing time etc. Of course only to a point.

In terms of bodily reaction to tea I have found high mountain tea much more so than Wuyi. I frequently have vivid dreams and sleepless nights from Gaoshan, never had that from Yancha so far.

For me the Shuiliandong is the one I enjoy the most of the three so far. Your favourite I have found a bit too light for my taste.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 10:02 am
by ShuShu
treetime wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 1:25 am
Enjoying this thread.

Bok, which was the IG post discussing yancha prices?

...

Customarily I make it with high quality water collected from a mountain spring in a pot friendly to Oolong.

Currently I'm traveling in an area where the water is hard and my host's kettle has limescale. It's like the leaves were sick when I made it. (The leaves may still be adjusting to a long plane flight too.)

It makes me consider the traditional perspective that 'water is the Mother of tea'.

Given that Wuyi teas - at least quality Zhengyan ones, which I consider this half handmade tea from Master Huang to be - are grown in such a pristine and energetically active ecosystem, I wonder if they are more sensitive to the quality of water.

That ties into the area of distinguishing these teas in terms of their energetic qualities. My tea teacher describes tea as vibrational medicine. In my experience quality Zhengyan has a different energetic profile than gaoshan. That's part of why I'd be willing to spend extra on Wuyi teas, as it's a characteristic that is not available in other teas.
I think in this thread you can find some info on yan cha prices viewtopic.php?t=361
Have you thought about using bamboo charcoal to soften the water?

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:42 pm
by Teachronicles
The mother tree price was 46k/oz 🤪

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:52 am
by Bok
Working my way through the tins, I have come to like the Bu Zhi Chun, some subtle elegance in that tea. The more expensive Qing Shi Yan. Makes me wonder if that tea just passed into the flat period, being from 2016, as opposed to th eother two from 2017? I recall a vendor from China writing about Yancha not always becoming better with age.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:50 pm
by theredbaron
Bok wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:52 am
Working my way through the tins, I have come to like the Bu Zhi Chun, some subtle elegance in that tea. The more expensive Qing Shi Yan. Makes me wonder if that tea just passed into the flat period, being from 2016, as opposed to th eother two from 2017? I recall a vendor from China writing about Yancha not always becoming better with age.
Sorry for the late reply to this thread, but i just read it.

As for aging Yancha - good Yancha ages fabulously. One of my best Yancha's was a then 10 year old Ro Gui from the same source as EoT gets his Yancha, which was given to me by Lim Ping Xiang (Paul Lim). Paul Lim has a increadible collection of aged Yancha, and those are the best teas i have ever drunk - a perfect combination of his skill, his great pots and the tea.
I have read that post that said that Yancha would not age well, and that people would not desire aged Yancha. I have heard this for the first time in now 25 years that have drunk Yancha.

Good Yancha is my favorite tea, but it is a very difficult tea to drink and learn, and takes time.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:26 pm
by Bok
On that topic I can share a recent conversation I had with a friend. He said to me that if you wait long enough a lot of teas turn out into something interesting! That same person had shared a green tea from the 1940ies with me previously. It was indeed delicious and very special against the odds and common knowledge! He advised me to just let a tea that one might not like at present, leave it be. Who knows after 50y something is bound to have changed within...

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:55 am
by theredbaron
Bok wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:26 pm
On that topic I can share a recent conversation I had with a friend. He said to me that if you wait long enough a lot of teas turn out into something interesting! That same person had shared a green tea from the 1940ies with me previously. It was indeed delicious and very special against the odds and common knowledge! He advised me to just let a tea that one might not like at present, leave it be. Who knows after 50y something is bound to have changed within...
Which is somewhat true. However, bad teas usually remain bad teas.
In terms of Yancha, especially heavier roasted Yancha always need at least two years before the charcoal taste goes. I remember that i once i bought a brutally roasted Yancha, which was almost undrinkable. I just put it away, and after ten or so years found it again, tried it, and was amazed. The charcoal taste was gone, and what remained was a heavenly tea.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:29 am
by ShuShu
theredbaron wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:55 am
In terms of Yancha, especially heavier roasted Yancha always need at least two years before the charcoal taste goes. I remember that i once i bought a brutally roasted Yancha, which was almost undrinkable. I just put it away, and after ten or so years found it again, tried it, and was amazed. The charcoal taste was gone, and what remained was a heavenly tea.
To be honest, I don’t quite get the “heavy roast” trend. Best RouGui I had is fresh and traditionally roasted (medium). Has a good mouthfeel and sky high yanyun. 10 year old tea transforms into something interesting but I feel the tea loses too much for my liking. I have been drinking a couple of months old zhengyan teas. Not a trace of roast. At least not something one would find unpleasant. My impression is that a good tea in the hands of a skilled roaster doesn’t need more than a couple of months to be amazing.

Re: Essence of Tea _ Wuyi Yancha

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:13 am
by theredbaron
ShuShu wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:29 am

To be honest, I don’t quite get the “heavy roast” trend. Best RouGui I had is fresh and traditionally roasted (medium). Has a good mouthfeel and sky high yanyun. 10 year old tea transforms into something interesting but I feel the tea loses too much for my liking. I have been drinking a couple of months old zhengyan teas. Not a trace of roast. At least not something one would find unpleasant. My impression is that a good tea in the hands of a skilled roaster doesn’t need more than a couple of months to be amazing.
Absolutely!
Heavy roast was born out of necessity and became tradition. When Yancha were exported to SEA to the Chinese diaspora they were roasted heavily to survive the long journey by sea, and people there got used to the taste profile. Until today in Thailand, for example, heavy roast Yancha dominate the market in Thailand, for example. That is where i bought that tea that transformed.
Initially when the more medium roasted teas were re-introduced to SEA many people rejected them, and it was an uphill struggle to get them established (in Thailand so far not yet successful).
What i do not like either is a light roast trend. Good Yancha should be roasted just right.