Oolong Predicates


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Oolong Predicates

Postby Herb_Master » Dec 11th, '08, 23:17

Does everyone get as confused as I do about Oolong Predicates?

Or can any of you shed light!

Are they objective or subjective



Oolong Predicates

1. Tea Varietal Name followed by #1 or No. 1 means
A first generation offspring or cutting (which or both?)

In the case of Wuyi it will be from one of the original 6 (?this number changes everytime it is mentioned 2,3 or ehatever) Da Hong Pao Bushes

In the case of FengHuang it will be the original or one of the original Song Dynasty specimens!

2. Wang (after the varietal name) means King this is presumed to be a superior specimen of the cultivar so the Tea should be that much better?

I thought at first it was a local quality specification used in Anxi

Now the first 20 times I encountered Wang was always with Ti Guan Yin
But lately it is appearing in lots of other contexts like Shui Xian from Wuyi and other varietals. And up pops Song Zhong Wang – is this the same as a Song Zhong #1

3. Quality Predicates
Is there any Objectivity or Official Approved Ranking system other than say the 3 tier ranking system in Guangdong or the locations within Wuyi that can be relied upon

I am seeing, Premium, Fancy, First-Grade, Top-Grade, High-Grade, Special, Super, Superfine, Supreme, Superior, Choice, Choicest, Finest, Imperial, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade





I suspect that either they are varying attempts to translate into English (a) genuinely approved Chinese character(s)
or else they are some inventive marketing ploys.

I half suspect that a 3rd Grade named cultivar such as Da Hong Pao, stating village and season and picking standards might actually be superior to a Finest Oolong with no varietal name or region supplied.

Can anyone shed any light?
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Re: Oolong Predicates

Postby TIM » Dec 12th, '08, 00:01

Herb_Master wrote:Does everyone get as confused as I do about Oolong Predicates?

Or can any of you shed light!

Are they objective or subjective



Oolong Predicates

1. Tea Varietal Name followed by #1 or No. 1 means
A first generation offspring or cutting (which or both?)

In the case of Wuyi it will be from one of the original 6 (?this number changes everytime it is mentioned 2,3 or ehatever) Da Hong Pao Bushes

In the case of FengHuang it will be the original or one of the original Song Dynasty specimens!

2. Wang (after the varietal name) means King this is presumed to be a superior specimen of the cultivar so the Tea should be that much better?

I thought at first it was a local quality specification used in Anxi

Now the first 20 times I encountered Wang was always with Ti Guan Yin
But lately it is appearing in lots of other contexts like Shui Xian from Wuyi and other varietals. And up pops Song Zhong Wang – is this the same as a Song Zhong #1

3. Quality Predicates
Is there any Objectivity or Official Approved Ranking system other than say the 3 tier ranking system in Guangdong or the locations within Wuyi that can be relied upon

I am seeing, Premium, Fancy, First-Grade, Top-Grade, High-Grade, Special, Super, Superfine, Supreme, Superior, Choice, Choicest, Finest, Imperial, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade





I suspect that either they are varying attempts to translate into English (a) genuinely approved Chinese character(s)
or else they are some inventive marketing ploys.

I half suspect that a 3rd Grade named cultivar such as Da Hong Pao, stating village and season and picking standards might actually be superior to a Finest Oolong with no varietal name or region supplied.

Can anyone shed any light?


These are so confusing! And they are all Marketing mojo! Burger King, Hot Dog King, King of Beer, King of Pop....

3 and a half Mother Bush DHP. One Sung Dyasty DC. One Single Bush Anix Mother of all TGY Oolong. 18 Empiral Dragon Well bushes. And they are all around $200+ US per gram, if you can find them...
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Postby ABx » Dec 12th, '08, 04:10

It would be pretty confusing to try to get them all at once. I think the easiest way is just to learn the name types as you get into them and not worry too much about official rules... learning by osmosis, I guess.

This is pure conjecture, but I suspect that it's just regional differences. Each region makes their own type of tea, and I think in the days before fast trasportation the teas were probably made mostly for locals (with other specifics made for export). I know that even today people outside of the cities tend to drink the local tea. So it would make sense that they would each develop their own naming conventions, and places like Wuyishan wouldn't need to specify the mountain (for example) where they would in, say, Taiwan. Again, this is pure speculation, but it makes some kind of sense to me.

As far as grades - that really seems to be relative to the individual store. They find the best one they've ever had and they have to think of some kind of label to put on it. Personally I prefer when they don't and just call the tea by its proper name and specify that it's really good quality (like Hou De does). The only "grade" that I think means anything is the references to the competition, which still aren't really objective and reliable except to say that it's going to be made especially carefully by that farm to try to be the best.
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Postby TIM » Dec 12th, '08, 09:02

If you are a local or really knows what you like, they do ask for the specifics, eg Wuyi Yanchi: The name (Huang GY), The Harvest (mid May), The age of the bushes (200+yrs), The Cliff name (Heaven Heart), The direction (Westview), The roast (refine fired in Oct), The aging (3 yrs), The tea master/Last name of the farmer (The Chans), The grade (3 stars)....etc oops and the $$$ of course.
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Postby Janine » Dec 12th, '08, 09:10

TIM wrote:If you are a local or really knows what you like, they do ask for the specifics, eg Wuyi Yanchi: The name (Huang GY), The Harvest (mid May), The age of the bushes (200+yrs), The Cliff name (Heaven Heart), The direction (Westview), The roast (refine fired in Oct), The aging (3 yrs), The tea master/Last name of the farmer (The Chans), The grade (3 stars)....etc oops and the $$$ of course.


Or even the percentage ratio of mix of different harvests? :wink:
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Postby TIM » Dec 12th, '08, 09:15

Janine wrote:
TIM wrote:If you are a local or really knows what you like, they do ask for the specifics, eg Wuyi Yanchi: The name (Huang GY), The Harvest (mid May), The age of the bushes (200+yrs), The Cliff name (Heaven Heart), The direction (Westview), The roast (refine fired in Oct), The aging (3 yrs), The tea master/Last name of the farmer (The Chans), The grade (3 stars)....etc oops and the $$$ of course.


Or even the percentage ratio of mix of different harvests? :wink:


That will be for Anxi TGY only J : )
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Postby Janine » Dec 12th, '08, 09:16

TIM wrote:That will be for Anxi TGY only J : )



Ah, see? From a good teacher one can learn something new every day :-)
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Postby gingkoseto » Dec 12th, '08, 09:22

Some of the "kings" are champions of local tea contests. The trend is from Taiwan, calling a tea contest champion tea a king. It's fair if some tea called "king" has in its package the name and location of the contest. Otherwise, like TIM said, just commercial mojo.

The quality grading is a problem in many kinds of teas. There are some "official" grading standards published by certain agencies, but can hardly be used by everyone because there is no guideline for every single kind - different varieties are not comparable and same variety from different production locations are not comparable. So I can't think of a good way to figure out quality grades of the tea either by title or by grade level. Therefore, finding trustworthy suppliers and vendors of the tea is almost the best we can do.
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