Wuyi Rock Tea & Yixing Teapots [edit]


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Wuyi Rock Tea & Yixing Teapots [edit]

Postby Proinsias » Mar 20th, '06, 16:13

Hi all,

A quick question about high mountain tea. I've been drinking quite a lot of oolong tea recently. I prepare this gong fu style in a pot of about 4/5 oz capacity. When I went to my local Tea Shopto take home some high mountain tea I was told I would need a smaller pot, around 2oz, to brew the high mountain tea. Just wondering if it is common knowledge and also how much difference it would make to brew it in the larger pot.

I am not completely convinced that the larger pot can make a great deal of difference, however the owner of the shop is very experienced in tea preparation and insists on using the smaller pot, she seems wary of selling me the tea when she knows I do not have the correct pot.

Does anyone have much experience of high mountain tea.

P.S

For those going pale at the prices listed on the site the prices are for 40g and not per 25g as shown, still not cheap but very nice tea.
Last edited by Proinsias on Sep 25th, '06, 19:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Warden Andy » Mar 20th, '06, 18:14

Smaller is definately better than a bigger one. Wulong teas come out the best when brewed with a lot of leaves, and very short infusions. So you'll end up getting a LOT of infusions out of the tea. If you have a yixing teapot any bigger than about 4 ounces, you'll be drinking tea all day, and maybe going into the next day.

You can get a larger teapot and make it with a smaller amount of leaves and a longer infusion time, but you'll give up a good amount of flavor.
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Postby MarshalN » Mar 20th, '06, 20:17

High Mountain tea? Is it from Taiwan? Mainland? That's an awfully generic name for an oolong.

If you are going to drink a lot of this stuff, I'd say a smaller pot is the way to go because it will be worth your investment. If you only drink it sparingly/occasionally, then who cares. Assuming it's some form of qingxiang oolong (i.e. light taste, yellow liquor, vegetal, green leaves) then you should probably fill about 1/4 of the teapot in dry leaves. A 4 oz pot will give you a LOT of tea this way, and if you drink by yourself, 2oz will do.

However, if you are brewing for more than one person, then 4oz is not ridiculous either.
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Postby Proinsias » Mar 20th, '06, 21:13

The high mountain oolongs are named on the link to the site, down the bottom of the page.

Of the two that I've tried, Shui Xian & Jin Bian Lan, in the shop they are very dark almost, but not quite, nearing red tea. The first infusions seem slightly overdone or bitter to my taste, however they go on for a good 20 infusions and are fantastic after the first few infusions. The leaves, from what I can remember, were not rolled and looked a little like this

Image

I have no idea where the teas are from, hopefully the names will help.

I usually drink myself or with one friend (who is on his way home to peruse this forum over a cup of oolong)
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Postby MarshalN » Mar 22nd, '06, 21:14

This, normally, is not what you'd necessarily call "High Mountain Oolong", but rather, "Rock Tea" or Wuyi oolong. A lot of times "High Mountain Oolong" refers to the rolled, greener oolong you find from Taiwan.

A first grade Da Hong Pao is fantastic, and also fantastically expensive (as these guys seem to sell it at a nice price). I have some at home right now that I haven't opened but cost me about $1.20 a gram, which I bought in Hong Kong.

The way you brew it.... at least the way I've been taught to brew it, is to put in about 75-80% tea leaves of the container you have. You can vary it depending on taste, and more often than not I put in about 60% tea leaves, but that's still a lot, and if you use a 4oz pot, that's a lot of leaves. You can save on the tea by using a smaller pot. That'll be my primary motivation for moving down in size, not necessarily because it tastes better.
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Postby Proinsias » Mar 23rd, '06, 09:51

Cheers Marshal.

I think I'll start saving my pennies, by not drinking Da Hong Pao for a while, and buy a smaller pot soon.
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Postby runrabbit » Sep 25th, '06, 13:44

Why not brew smaller pots? Like fill it half full of water?
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Postby Proinsias » Sep 25th, '06, 19:46

Why not brew smaller pots? Like fill it half full of water?


I thought that would partially defeat the purpose of brewing gongfu style with a yixing pot? Do any other posters do this?

On another note I now own a rather beautifully made, nicely proportioned for one, pot I've reserved for da hong pao. Also a nicley decorated, around 2oz, pot I'm using for raw pu-erh. I got them for a very good price along with a good selection of heavily discounted tea from the shop linked above. The tear inducing side of this is that my tea shop has closed down, with the possibility of returning in a year or two, and left me with the internet coupled with my tastebuds as my guide to the daunting world of tea. I feel a steep learning curve coming on.

Possibly not for this thread but here goes. I've got very little experience of pu-erh aside from drinking the beautiful 15yr old 5gram cakes* that my tea shop sold. I was planing on using my new yixing pot for mainly older raw pu-erh I presume I should stick to either old or young, my question is when does young become old? and: Should the quality of the tea affect my deciding whether or not I put it into my much admired pot?

* is cake the right word if it's that small?
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Postby tenuki » Oct 31st, '06, 18:37

I have maybe the worst tea palate in history but I'm new to tea so I've been experimenting like crazy and I can actually tell the difference between the same oolong brewed in my Yixing Cha Hai with a half water vs one filled to just running over (suposedly the proper way to do it). I'm a big disbeliever in authority, so have to test every 'right' way myself. lol. I suggest you do the same. ;)
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rock tea and yixing teapot size

Postby hop_goblin » Dec 18th, '06, 17:27

I have recently contacted a tea merchant an yixing teapot seller and when I was looking for a teapot for Da hong pao. This is what Jing emailed back to me. " I have pasted the email verbatem below. Hope this helps. If your curious, I went with a 120ml zhu ni, It works great! Dahongpoa taste is not affected, (I had it made both ways with 80ml and 120ml) - 7 infusions and enough to make 2 small gongfu cups each time.. enough for me or enough to share .. Greart size for dahongpao


Jing's advice via email --

"What I meant with the volume is that you should choose one that fits your consumption. If you are alone a 100ml to 150ml will be nice (if you practice gong fu tea, after a couple of brew the leaves will expand and you will get less liquor). If you often make tea for 2 or more people then a slightly bigger will be more appropriate. Lately, there has been a trend in the west stating that gong fu tea and the best tea are made in under 100ml teapot. That is not true. The bigger the teapot, the more leaves, the more cups. The smaller the teapot, the less leaves, the less cups."
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Postby MarshalN » Dec 19th, '06, 10:18

I think the reason that "in the west" people have been using smaller and smaller pots is simple -- most of us drink tea by ourselves, and so pots that are too big just wastes leaves.
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Postby Chip » Dec 19th, '06, 11:47

MarshalN wrote:I think the reason that "in the west" people have been using smaller and smaller pots is simple -- most of us drink tea by ourselves, and so pots that are too big just wastes leaves.


...Precisely...this is very true for me anyway.
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Postby EvenOdd » Dec 29th, '06, 01:25

Like MarshalN and others have been saying, it's not the size of the vessel, it's the proporation of leaves put in the vessel (along with time,temp,etc.). Right now I like my 100mL and 150mL gaiwans depending on my thirst (I drink alone :[ ) For expensive teas, and doings -lots- of infusions, perhaps a small one is in order.
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