A quest for Phoenix Oolong


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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby gingkoseto » Dec 12th, '10, 00:14

entropyembrace wrote:There is a fairly sure way to tell which varietals originated where...and that´s by genetic analysis of the varietals in question.

It can provide more evidence for situations with natural dispersal or occasional human introduction. If the introduction of varietal happens between areas back and forth or for more than a few times, then the genetic data may all get mixed up.

But yeah there are fewer genetic studies on tea than there should be. I guess large tea companies are more interested in sponsoring "health benefit" studies than theoretical science research.

Tead Off wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:But, in terms of selling product, information is how most people buy things. It's a form of seduction and used very effectively in societies.

That's why large companies would like to spend money on health claims like anti-oxidant green tea or slimming puerh. :mrgreen: Seriously I think most small vendors do not spread information for the purpose of selling, because the history/culture information doesn't sell as efficiently as a lot of other means.
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Tead Off » Dec 12th, '10, 05:24

Tead Off wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:But, in terms of selling product, information is how most people buy things. It's a form of seduction and used very effectively in societies.

That's why large companies would like to spend money on health claims like anti-oxidant green tea or slimming puerh. :mrgreen: Seriously I think most small vendors do not spread information for the purpose of selling, because the history/culture information doesn't sell as efficiently as a lot of other means.[/quote]

All companies big and small use marketing techniques. Sometimes very subtle ones like a logo that makes them seem serious. It's human nature to try and sell the things you have in some fashion. It's very fashionable to knock the big guys right now. Yes, most of them probably deserve it. :D
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby bagua7 » Dec 21st, '10, 20:44

Well I can gauarantee you that the green tea has a strong affinity with the liver, hence health benefits are there. Also puerh tea removed damp from the spleen and cools off fire of the stomach after a meal facilitating digestion. So health benefits are there but probably not as stated by Chinese tea vendors.

Tead Off, doesn't History repeat itself? :wink:
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Leafbox Pete » Jan 2nd, '11, 23:12

the green tea has a strong affinity with the liver, hence health benefits are there.


Not to be controversial, but what kind of comment is that? My whiskey has a strong affinity with my liver too, but no one claims health benefits for that.

Anyhow, I wanted to chime in to this thread on account of this:
http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/feng-hua ... g-tea.html

Rishi tea carries a Phoenix Oolong. Theirs may very well be from the same source as the one Samovar carries, but it is less expensive.

Link to Samovar's page: http://shop.samovarlife.com/Golden-Phoe ... 01phoo.htm
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Chip » Jan 3rd, '11, 00:25

Leafbox Pete wrote:
the green tea has a strong affinity with the liver, hence health benefits are there.


Not to be controversial, but what kind of comment is that? My whiskey has a strong affinity with my liver too, but no one claims health benefits for that.

Pretty snarky, wouldn't you say, whether you agree with the poster or not.

Also a pretty poor analogy, whiskey which is certainly documented to destroy the liver, and beyond. Perhaps the poster could have chosen a better word than affinity.

Unlike some other tea forums, we are generally a pretty friendly forum.
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Bryan_drinks_te... » Jan 3rd, '11, 14:39

Hojo seems overpriced to me. I am, however, always willing to learn and be proved otherwise. :D
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby David R. » Jan 3rd, '11, 18:58

bryan_drinks_tea wrote:Hojo seems overpriced to me. I am, however, always willing to learn and be proved otherwise. :D


I have just had Hojo's Mi Lan Xiang today : it may look expansive but for me it is well worth its price. A very classy dan cong I'd recommend it to any amateur. Indeed, that's what I am doing. :mrgreen:
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby tenuki » Jan 3rd, '11, 21:36

Tead Off wrote:Some people need to fill their heads with all kinds of information. This has little to do with actually drinking tea.


:mrgreen: Oh, such a beautiful thing to say.
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby edkrueger » Jan 5th, '11, 18:18

Chip wrote:Unlike some other tea forums, we are generally a pretty friendly forum.

Yeah, but some things are just so silly they deserve snaky comments. Though, I wonder if you were thinking of when you wrote "generally".
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Chip » Jan 5th, '11, 22:54

edkrueger wrote:
Chip wrote:Unlike some other tea forums, we are generally a pretty friendly forum.

Yeah, but some things are just so silly they deserve snaky comments. Though, I wonder if you were thinking of when you wrote "generally".

GotCha Mr. Ed Snark! :lol: :wink: :mrgreen:
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby bagua7 » Jan 6th, '11, 01:40

Leafbox Pete wrote:
the green tea has a strong affinity with the liver, hence health benefits are there.
Not to be controversial, but what kind of comment is that?...


Well a comment made by someone versed in TCM. So, not snaky and shaky at all. ;)

Yes, agree, keep it friendly...we don't want to know about Chip's dark side. :lol:
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Proinsias » Jan 6th, '11, 17:09

mayayo wrote:Yes, agree, keep it friendly...we don't want to know about Chip's dark side. :lol:


I used to think Chip didn't have a dark side, but then I thought about what might happen if Japan stopped producing tea and figured he probably does have a dark side in there somewhere.
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Chip » Jan 6th, '11, 17:19

The dark side is for black tea lovers ... however I can get green with envy at some of the teaware aquisitions I see on TC. :mrgreen:
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby bagua7 » May 26th, '11, 05:09

An excellent article about this particular oolong:

Fenghuang Dancong (fèng-huáng dān-cōng), aka Phoenix oolongs. There are two distinct groups within this sub-category of oolongs. We shall look at the first group in this article — the classic style, that is also called the ripened style, or the traditional style. (Click here if you want to look at the other group) As mentioned in the category orientation, this grouping is much abridged for popularization.

Sweet Ripen Fruits and Honey

This group of varieties is characterized with a pleasant aroma of honey, sweet ripen fruits or baked sweet potato, and a deep, woody yet floral undertone. No other teas can be similar to it. The liquor is a long bitter sweet with tinkling of tints of astringency and accents of other flavours, such as roasted cocoa, orange peel, almond or honey, etc, or a combination of some, depending on the variety.

This is my personal staple drink. I have yet to find another drink with the kind of taste complexity and aromatic comfort that can both sooth and tickle my senses every time I have it every single day for over a decade.

tree cultivars

The ultimate cultivar used in the classic style is Huangzhi Xiang, but the demand for it is so high that the price for all finer qualities has gone quite unreachable in the past 8 years. Some has turned to make it into bouquet style for even higher prices. A more accessible one is Milan Xiang, a variety made from either cultivars of the same name or from Baiye (baí-yè, i.e. white leaf). Cultivars of Guihua Xiang (aka Cun’ti Dancong), Xinren Xiang, Jianghua Xiang and a few others produce varieties of the corresponding names. <read more about production>

Selection tips

The classic style is different from the bouquet style by a longer fermentation and more baking. A good baker and an average one makes a lot of difference. Over-baking, mostly through higher than needed temperature, causes an undesirable burnt taste. A current year production is often a lighter baked one, which freshness is lively and lovely, while an older stock is often rebaked for maturing. A rebaked tea should be consumed no less than 3 months after the rebake. It can be stored for peak quality between year 3 and 5 or longer, very much dependent on the original quality and the baking done onto it. A fine selection matured under the right condition is mellow, deep and woody, with individualistic tones of sweetness and bouquet.

Productions from all cultivars specialised in the bouquet style can also be browned to make into the classic style. As mentioned, Huangzhi Xiang, the ultimate Phoenix, is a popular example. However, since the bouquets in various varieties are so pleasant and popular that it is a practice for dealers to sell the tea as bouquet in the first year, and rebake the inventory to make classic styles the next year. However, the aroma and taste would be relatively coarser than those made into the classic style from the beginning.

Classic style Phoenix is perhaps the most delicate tea to infuse in the gongfu approach. You’d rather use a lower than higher temperature or it can taste too sharp or too bitter. Using the conventional approach particularly with the top drop method, however, is almost always successful for beginners.

Tasting note

I always love a fine single batch of fresh classic Phoenix oolong, unless I haven't finished large enough batch and let it endure a 3-year maturity, when it turns intensely sweet and rounder. Either way this is a particularly powerful digestive so it’s good when you want to be prepared for a great meal, but not very good when you are going on diet. This is a great tea to be enjoyed pure, or coupled with desserts, pastry or seafood. If you want to add milk and sugar, a medium or even a good lower grade will suffice as a taste winner.

buying tips

The cost for this tea can vary extremely dramatically. The mecca of Phoenix production is Wudong where end-users who are nova riches or the powerful send their subordinates here every year to get those harvests from reputable Single Bushes of hundreds of years of age. This brings up the price ridiculously. A catty (500 g) of pre-finished tea (maocha) can be charged at a few hundred thousand RMB (check exchange rate), directly by the farmer. The demand is so high that some local farmers would buy plucks from outside of Wudong to process there in place of real local leaves. There are other tricks that yet some producers and farmers performs to the ends of imitating a Wudong production for higher prices. The fact is, although genuine Wudong fine productions are really supreme, some others within and even outside the greater Phoenix area can be very fine too. Even though their prices have gone up a couple of times since the last decade, they are still within reasonable limits, for their quality.

A fine classic style from high altitude, whether from Wudong or neighbouring apexes, has a distinct and slightly different “yan’yun” (i.e. note of the large rock, translate: character of high altitude grown; a special note of certain herbal/mineral character that is difficult to imitate because it harmonizes with the rest of the taste and aroma character; and it happens both in the mouth and as an aftertaste/aroma). That is more distinct than that of a fine Wuyi oolong or a fine Shengcha Pu’er. Although I only occasionally pay for what I drink daily, I sometimes would if I come upon a really outstanding one, regardless of its origin.

I buy directly from the producers or farmers whether for personal use or for trading. When you shop for one at the dealers or retailers, you should give much less weigh to claims of origin and pay emphasis on the taste. The fact is, every so often I find products not matching the claim (and the price) even at wholesalers. Whether they know what they are doing is a mystery, but I hate it when the endusers are not getting what they pay for.

Health note

This is a great tea to keep staying calm and awake especially for those who cannot use green tea which is TCM cold, or black tea which causes dampness (TCM term). Classic style Phoenix is relatively neutral, and therefore a great daily tea for most. <read: Health aspect of Phoenix oolongs>

However, it can be a strong tea to some people so if you have not much strong tea experience, increase your intake strength and quantity gradually and do not drink on an empty stomach. If you forget about this and over drink, you may experience dizziness or upset of the stomach. Have a bite of something to raise blood sugar and refrain from drinking that day. <read more about tea drunk>

If your tea experience is only beginning, a safe way to start experiencing this tea is to have one cup at just adequate strength for a half day, with a cookie or any little bit standing by.

On the other hand, if you are a veteran, this really is a worthwhile tea to spend time and efforts to explore and understand. Once you find a really fine selection, maybe you would begin to experience the kind of health change I had and keep it as one of your daily drinks.


And a lot more info regarding bouquet style dancong that can be found in the following link:

http://teaguardian.com/Tea_Varieties/oolong_phx_classic.html

Cheers.
Last edited by bagua7 on May 27th, '11, 07:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A quest for Phoenix Oolong

Postby Herb_Master » May 26th, '11, 20:19

An interesting website, when I first got hooked on Oolong 5 years ago - I browsed the web for info and discovered a book by Leo Kwan was THE Book to get, it was sold out due to high demand and I had to pay big bucks to get a copy from a specialist book reseller

:(

It was a tiny pamphlet with no more info in it than the meagre knowledge that I had already accrued

:( :( :(

This website seems to have the sort of info that I thought I may be getting when I purchased his book :lol:

waiting for some detailed reviews of teas to appear :shock: :P

wonder if the facebook fans page will come up with some good posts :roll:
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