I too give Imen more credibility, but it's because of what she does and the research she's done, and know some of the things she's written in the past. More than just going to Feng Huang Shan and watching it being made, or calling her tea master (which I've learned only seems to result in "...and heard a line of BS"), she's gone and talked extensively, grew up in the area, and does a lot of research - don't forget that she's even translating a book on Dancong.
I don't think she handled the situation very well, but if you strip away the argumentation, she makes some pretty solid points. I think that without the argumentation, the conversation would have gone like this:Roy
: "Dancong really refers to bushes with a single trunk. Each tree only produces a few kg of leaves, not enough for a harvest."Imen
: "There are many different strains used for Dancong, many that don't have a single trunk - here's some pictures. It's true that a single bush only yields a few kg, which is definitely not enough for a commercial harvest, but those very small single-bush harvests are done. Those 3kg batches come from famous trees such as the x, y, and z trees. Those batches are very rare and expensive, and many don't leave Chaozhou. These trees are also propagated naturally, rather than being cloned, which makes each batch unique."Roy
: "I called Mr. A and Mr. B and they said there's no way a single tree could produce enough for a commercially viable harvest."Imen
: "Of course not, but we're not talking about a commercially viable harvest. There are different grades of DC, with single bush at the top down to Shui Xian. For commercial purposes the bushes are cultivated asexually and harvested the same way most other teas are harvested. Just like other teas, however, the best grades are something very different and special.
Just like the famous DHP trees, there are [less] famous DC trees that produce very small harvests, usually done as a small family operation for the love of tea rather than for the money. Most of the time you cannot find these teas available commercially. Travelling the countryside I've talked to people such as [name], [name], [name] who produce small batches from trees such as the x, y, and z bush; in fact I am drinking some from the x bush right now, which was on the... [...] see these posts I wrote a while back on my experiences in Feng Huang, the differences between trees, and so on [a bunch of links]"
The bottom line is that Imen specializes in DC, where Roy is a generalist. There's a lot of misinformation out there, but Imen has really done a lot to get to the bottom of things. If you look back through her blog, and even through her online store, she knows exactly what bush her trees come from - even if it's a bush that's 3 generations down from some famous bush. The pictures she posted were pretty strong evidence in and of themselves, but I think that if she had a cooler head then she would have been able to present a lot more proof. I don't fault Imen, though - we all lose our cool from time to time