Favorite Yancha?


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Favorite Yancha?

Postby toastedtoads » Nov 8th, '08, 20:53

I just tried Adagio's Wuyi Ensemble and love it! I was wondering what your favorite Wuyi (Rock Tea) are, and from which vendor. I'm not going to spend tons of money, but I just want an idea of where to start.
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Postby edkrueger » Nov 8th, '08, 20:57

I can't stand the adagio wuyi. Here is my source: http://www.sevencups.com/

Particularly, I like: http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/produ ... 287&page=1
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Postby Salsero » Nov 8th, '08, 21:01

edkrueger wrote: Particularly, I like: http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/produ ... 287&page=1
Mmm, that's a pretty good price for a premo Rou Gui! Thanks for the reference.
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Postby tenuki » Nov 8th, '08, 21:53

I generally get mine locally at New Century Tea Gallery. I generally also have liked Red Blossom Tea's Golden Buddah, but the last batch I got from them was substandard. I'm planning on refresh roasting it, we'll see.

I've had some really outstanding samples this year, but they were all from various private sources. Wu Yi is some good stuff when it's done right!
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Postby Wesli » Nov 8th, '08, 22:13

Houde has some good value ones I enjoy.

2005 Spring Wuyi Yen Cha "Shui Xian", 2oz

2007 Spring Zhen-Yen Handcrafted "Shui Xian"

Red Blossom's are good. My favorite is the Tie Luo Han. But if you like more floral/greener tasting yancha, Red Blossom is full of those.
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Postby Victoria » Nov 8th, '08, 23:02

edkrueger wrote:I can't stand the adagio wuyi. Here is my source: http://www.sevencups.com/

Particularly, I like: http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/produ ... 287&page=1


You do understand that Adagio is our host, right?

Their letting your comment stand shows a lot more
graciousness than you do.
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Postby edkrueger » Nov 9th, '08, 00:25

I'm sorry to see honesty so disliked. I do like Adagio teas, just not that one. I can give you a list of Adagio teas I do like, but that would have nothing to do with the thread.

About that tea, Adagio's Wuyi is more expensive and not as good as the one I linked. I'm also sorry that I gave what I feel to be a better tea for less to someone who asked. I must have been confused about had always made me look at Adagio first when purchasing new tea: I always thought Adagio stood for helping people get good tea, not just their tea. If their goal is the best tea for the price, then if someone –in this case me– thinks they don't have it then maybe they should look into other teas.

Ack! Sorry about implying Adagio was at all blameworthy. I thought Victoria was a mod.
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Postby wyardley » Nov 9th, '08, 02:01

Victoria wrote:
edkrueger wrote:I can't stand the adagio wuyi. Here is my source: http://www.sevencups.com/

Particularly, I like: http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/produ ... 287&page=1


You do understand that Adagio is our host, right?

Their letting your comment stand shows a lot more
graciousness than you do.


Well they have a pretty long record of hosting the forum in a pretty hands-off way, and I think if they did otherwise, a lot of folks here would probably post elsewhere. That said, this is one problem I have with having discussions on a tea site that's connected to a particular vendor. Even if they don't mind everyone saying "adagio's tea is awful" now, they could change their mind at some point down the road, when everyone is already used to coming here. Disclaimer: I'm certainly somewhat biased in this regard, since I run a competing, vendor-neutral tea forum.

BTW, seems that their 'Wuyi Ensemble' is a Shui Xian:
viewtopic.php?t=102

I have never tried that tea (and not sure I've ever tried any of Adagio's teas for that matter), so I don't have any opinion about whether it's good or not. But I would imagine that the teas from vendors who specialize in high quality Chinese teas, tell people the actual name of the tea they're buying, and have a wider selection in this genre of tea would be better.
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Postby toastedtoads » Nov 9th, '08, 16:48

So I know now I've had a Shui Xian, and I've had Da Hong Pao...there are others right? The Four Famous Wuyi...Rou Gui and such. Are they all darker and roasted? Or are any of them lighter like a Ti Guan Yin? And any recommendations for the other types?

And and almost related queston:
So according to wikiCHA, there's a Shui Xian from Wuyi (Fujian) but I've also seen a Feng Huan Shui Xian in reference to a grade of Dan Cong (can't remember where) which I guess is from Guangdong. So, what's the difference?

edit: So I found what I read, although from a difference source http://dobrycaj.sk/CatalogItem.aspx?id=104&at=2

"Feng Huang Oolong is divided into three quality categories. Feng Huang Shui Xian is the most common of these, one quality class higher is Feng Huang Lang Cai and the highest class of this tea is Feng Huang Dan Cong.."

So I guess what I'm asking is what does the Shui Xian refer to? And when all you see is Shui Xian without the Wuyi or Feng Huang which is it?
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Postby wyardley » Nov 9th, '08, 17:23

toastedtoads wrote:So I know now I've had a Shui Xian, and I've had Da Hong Pao...there are others right? The Four Famous Wuyi...Rou Gui and such. Are they all darker and roasted? Or are any of them lighter like a Ti Guan Yin? And any recommendations for the other types?


Here's the post with the 4 famous ones (Rou Gui isn't one of the 4 famous bushes, though it's fairly popular now as well)
viewtopic.php?p=72462#72462

Most of these teas are traditionally made with some oxidation, and medium to heavy charcoal roasting. However, as I mentioned in the other thread linked to above, pretty much all of these teas can be produced with either lighter or heavier fire and higher or lower oxidation. These days, the style in mainland China is mostly for lighter fired, and less oxidized teas, so a lot of the tea you will find, especially the higher grade ones, tends to be lower fired.

Some of the teas may look dark when the leaf is dry, but you'll see when they're brewed that they're actually fairly light. So the best way to find out how a particular tea is (besides trying it) is to look at a picture of the brewed leaves and / or ask the vendor (or someone else who's tried the tea). I wouldn't draw any hard conclusions about how the tea is processed just based on the name given by the vendor.

toastedtoads wrote:And and almost related queston:
So according to wikiCHA, there's a Shui Xian from Wuyi (Fujian) but I've also seen a Feng Huan Shui Xian in reference to a grade of Dan Cong (can't remember where) which I guess is from Guangdong. So, what's the difference?

edit: So I found what I read, although from a difference source http://dobrycaj.sk/CatalogItem.aspx?id=104&at=2

"Feng Huang Oolong is divided into three quality categories. Feng Huang Shui Xian is the most common of these, one quality class higher is Feng Huang Lang Cai and the highest class of this tea is Feng Huang Dan Cong.."

So I guess what I'm asking is what does the Shui Xian refer to? And when all you see is Shui Xian without the Wuyi or Feng Huang which is it?


Shui Xian literally means "water sprite" or "water fairy" or something along those lines - I don't think there's a great translation. There is quite a bit of debate about which one came from where and if the two are related.

Here's Imen's take on it... I believe there are some who would say that one did in fact come from the other, but which came from which is often a subject of debate.
http://tea-obsession.blogspot.com/2008/ ... -wuyi.html

Usually, if someone doesn't specifically say "feng huang (phoenix) shui xian", it will probably be the other. Keep in mind that, possibly even more than with the other yan cha, a lot of Wuyi Shui Xian sold is not actually from the scenic area, or (in many cases) close to it. A lot of it is plantation grown, which may be part of why a lot of people don't like Shui Xian or think of it as a cheaper tea. A good Shui Xian (especially lao cong, or old bush, Shui Xian) can be excellent, though.
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Postby gingkoseto » Nov 9th, '08, 17:24

toastedtoads wrote:So I know now I've had a Shui Xian, and I've had Da Hong Pao...there are others right? The Four Famous Wuyi...Rou Gui and such. Are they all darker and roasted? Or are any of them lighter like a Ti Guan Yin? And any recommendations for the other types?

And and almost related queston:
So according to wikiCHA, there's a Shui Xian from Wuyi (Fujian) but I've also seen a Feng Huan Shui Xian in reference to a grade of Dan Cong (can't remember where) which I guess is from Guangdong. So, what's the difference?

edit: So I found what I read, although from a difference source http://dobrycaj.sk/CatalogItem.aspx?id=104&at=2

"Feng Huang Oolong is divided into three quality categories. Feng Huang Shui Xian is the most common of these, one quality class higher is Feng Huang Lang Cai and the highest class of this tea is Feng Huang Dan Cong.."

So I guess what I'm asking is what does the Shui Xian refer to? And when all you see is Shui Xian without the Wuyi or Feng Huang which is it?


The names are quite confusing. Shui Xian, when used alone, means just Shui Xian, an oolong variety found in Fu Jian province and Guang Dong province. Feng Huang is name of production region (in Guang Dong province), so is Wu Yi (in Fu Jian province). What I have seen is, most of the time, if a tea is labeled just Shui Xian, it is from Fu Jian. However, Feng Huang in Guang Dong is actually very close to Fu Jian (less than 30 miles, I estimate).
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Postby Salsero » Nov 9th, '08, 18:12

gingko wrote: However, Feng Huang in Guang Dong is actually very close to Fu Jian (less than 30 miles, I estimate).
Wow, this simple fact explains a lot of the issues. They are almost the same place!

Good maps of the Chinese tea producing areas (mostly in the south) would be wonderful. It seems like any maps I find are either way too detailed or not detailed enough. And of course almost no maps are designed with the tea industry in mind. I'll bet great French wine maps are available.
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Postby gingkoseto » Nov 9th, '08, 20:23

Salsero wrote:
gingko wrote: However, Feng Huang in Guang Dong is actually very close to Fu Jian (less than 30 miles, I estimate).
Wow, this simple fact explains a lot of the issues. They are almost the same place!

Good maps of the Chinese tea producing areas (mostly in the south) would be wonderful. It seems like any maps I find are either way too detailed or not detailed enough. And of course almost no maps are designed with the tea industry in mind. I'll bet great French wine maps are available.


Hey that's a really good idea - the detailed map! So far I haven't seen one and it seems book writers didn't think much of it. I once talked with a Chinese tea book writer who got photos of about 180 teas in his book including a simple map of every tea's location in its home province (nothing more detailed than the province). I suggested him to include more geographic information such as elevation and annual precipitation which could be really easily done. Sadly he doesn't know when he can publish the next edition of the book. The book was published with academic funding. Even though people who read the book love it, not many copies were sold and there was no profit to support the next edition.

Feng Huang, Guang Dong is still some distance (probably a few hundred miles) away from Wu Yi, which is in north Fu Jian. But Feng Huang is very close to the southern center of Fu Jian Shui Xian.
Last edited by gingkoseto on Nov 10th, '08, 00:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby stanthegoomba » Nov 9th, '08, 21:17

wyardley wrote:A good Shui Xian (especially lao cong, or old bush, Shui Xian) can be excellent, though.



Teacuppa's is absolutely delicious. It's too bad Shui Xian has a reputation of just being restaurant tea.
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Postby ABx » Nov 10th, '08, 13:22

wyardley wrote:Here's the post with the 4 famous ones (Rou Gui isn't one of the 4 famous bushes, though it's fairly popular now as well)
viewtopic.php?p=72462#72462
My understanding is that the 4 famous bushes was expanded recently to 5, with the fifth being Rou Gui. So it's not on the original list, but is on the new :)

As to the OP, a couple places to check out are TeaCuppa.com and JingTeaShop.com. TeaCuppa's Lao Cong Shui Xian and 2005 Rou Gui are an excellent starting point for seeing what good yancha has to offer.
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