Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs


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

Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Chip » Sep 1st, '11, 18:10

NOESIS wrote:What an interesting discussion. Thanks to you all for sharing your knowledge on the subject.

TIM wrote:
The higher the grade the greener the DC is, just like TGY from Anxi. These are both high aroma tea, and roasting will take away those delicate favor. Roasting and oxidation is only for long storage intension. High grade DC and TGY might have under 10% of oxidation and no roasting at all.


TIM, is this a fairly recent trend for DC (as with TGY), because of the trend for "greener" teas in general?

This is very interesting indeed. I would not have known this for DC.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby TIM » Sep 1st, '11, 22:04

Chip wrote:
NOESIS wrote:What an interesting discussion. Thanks to you all for sharing your knowledge on the subject.

TIM wrote:
The higher the grade the greener the DC is, just like TGY from Anxi. These are both high aroma tea, and roasting will take away those delicate favor. Roasting and oxidation is only for long storage intension. High grade DC and TGY might have under 10% of oxidation and no roasting at all.


TIM, is this a fairly recent trend for DC (as with TGY), because of the trend for "greener" teas in general?

This is very interesting indeed. I would not have known this for DC.


It's not a trend or any recent invention at all, locals drink them green for hundreds of years.

When I first visited WuDong mt. and Anxi Xiping 6 years ago, I was carring the same foreign ideas of looking for good fired DC or TGY. Until a couple of old tea masters from those regions confronted me to drop the search. They both had the same answer: "Why do you need to roast or oxidize a great tea if you could have them fresh? Only out-of-towners look for those badly fired tea because they are far away from the source, and too used to left over stock from mediocre merchants..."

Roasting and oxidation level changes the pristine nature of a high grade DC and TGY. Those stabilization are for exporting or over stocking purposes. Same as how English tea are/were.

Only a handful of true, wealthy DC and TGY connoisseurs will look for those small custom batches which uses high grade maocha plus refine firing method to produced. These tea are ment for real Kung Fu brewing.

Unfortunately, there is hardly any vendor in the West who knows enough to understand this level of tea enjoyment. Except Imen, whom she is a leader on the DC front.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 1st, '11, 23:07

Tim,

Using the term 'green' may be a bit misleading as all oolong teas are semi-oxidized, some very little, some more heavily. And, all, as far as I know, are roasted to finish the process, or, maybe heat dried. Even many green teas are roasted or fried to finish them off.

So, I'm wondering if what you mean by 'green' is just very low oxidation and minimal roasting? Or, do you mean that sometimes there is no oxidation and roasting and the tea is actually a green tea and not an oolong? I think you mean the former. Is this correct?
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby NOESIS » Sep 1st, '11, 23:44

Tead Off wrote:Tim,

Using the term 'green' may be a bit misleading as all oolong teas are semi-oxidized, some very little, some more heavily. And, all, as far as I know, are roasted to finish the process, or, maybe heat dried. Even many green teas are roasted or fried to finish them off.

So, I'm wondering if what you mean by 'green' is just very low oxidation and minimal roasting? Or, do you mean that sometimes there is no oxidation and roasting and the tea is actually a green tea and not an oolong? I think you mean the former. Is this correct?


TO,

that's what I was wondering as well. Low levels of oxidation and little/no roast makes sense if you are interested in the "essence" of the varietal, but it is counter to what I had thought was the tradition for DC. I was under the impression that the "older way" was more oxidation and low-to-medium roasting (but not nearly to the extent on Yan Cha). I love learning something new. :wink:
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby TIM » Sep 2nd, '11, 00:00

Tead Off wrote:Tim,

Using the term 'green' may be a bit misleading as all oolong teas are semi-oxidized, some very little, some more heavily. And, all, as far as I know, are roasted to finish the process, or, maybe heat dried. Even many green teas are roasted or fried to finish them off.

So, I'm wondering if what you mean by 'green' is just very low oxidation and minimal roasting? Or, do you mean that sometimes there is no oxidation and roasting and the tea is actually a green tea and not an oolong? I think you mean the former. Is this correct?


Tead Off - Im not sure misleading is the right word? 'Green' in this case means the 'Color', 'Qin' or 'Light' in Chinese term. As you should know being a teachatter yourself for awhile, we are in the oolong thread.

I am curious... since you mentioned. From your knowledge is there a green vartiel tea which make into a oolong tea? Or a oolong vartiel that process as a green in these two area?
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 2nd, '11, 00:23

TIM wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Tim,

Using the term 'green' may be a bit misleading as all oolong teas are semi-oxidized, some very little, some more heavily. And, all, as far as I know, are roasted to finish the process, or, maybe heat dried. Even many green teas are roasted or fried to finish them off.

So, I'm wondering if what you mean by 'green' is just very low oxidation and minimal roasting? Or, do you mean that sometimes there is no oxidation and roasting and the tea is actually a green tea and not an oolong? I think you mean the former. Is this correct?


Tead Off - Im not sure misleading is the right word? 'Green' in this case means the 'Color', 'Qin' or 'Light' in Chinese term. As you should know being a teachatter yourself for awhile, we are in the oolong thread.

I am curious... since you mentioned. From your knowledge is there a green vartiel tea which make into a oolong tea? Or a oolong vartiel that process as a green in these two area?

In Korea, they use green tea (nokcha) to make Balhyocha. What is Balhyocha? Is it an oolong or a black tea? Some masters oxidize it fully, some don't. Some ferment afterwards, some don't.

In Darjeeling, the same varietal can be a white, green, or, black tea as far as I know. Even the black teas there will vary in their oxidation.

So, to answer your question, in China, I am not aware of a green varietal made into an oolong or vice versa. You would know much more about this than I.

Thanks for clarifying the 'green' term. I think you've shed a lot of light on the Feng Huang processing that many of us are unaware of. I still have very little understanding of these teas as they are not easy to find in abundance.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 2nd, '11, 08:39

Very very informative indeed. Thanks Tim. I'll just try to sum up to see if I understood it right. Don't be afraid to correct me, the aim is to understand it well !

About oxidation : there is the pre-baking oxidation which is intentional, which will give to tea its character. Post-baking oxidation is the result of aging, contact with air and humidity. It is not intentional unless maybe between roasting for a tea which is aimed for aging.

About roasting : maybe there is a distinction to be made between roasting and baking, the latter being the kill-green step. Roasting enables to stabilize tea (= to prevent oxidation) before shipping for example, to be more resistant to humidity and time. It is also used in order to create aged dan cong.

Grade : highest grade DC are non roasted and only slightly oxidized. They are not easy to be found except because oxidation control (shipping/storing) is important.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby brandon » Sep 2nd, '11, 08:51

David R. wrote:About roasting : maybe there is a distinction to be made between roasting and baking, the latter being the kill-green step. Roasting enables to stabilize tea (= to prevent oxidation) before shipping for example, to be more resistant to humidity and time. It is also used in order to create aged dan cong.


The terms roasting and baking are interchangeable for application of heat after oxidation stage to reduce moisture content and alter the final flavor.

Application of heat to halt oxidation is done in one way or the other in almost all teas, and in Chinese is shaqing - 'killing the green.' Very distinct (and prior to) roasting/baking. In Wuyi oolong, shaqing would be quickly pan fired similar to green tea (or in a big mechanical dryer), and roasting would be done over hot coals (or electric heating element).

In fact, with roasting being a final stage, it is not uncommon for one tea producer to farm and oxidize the tea, and someone else to do the final roasting.

Or I give up, just read this book and you'll be much further ahead!
http://www.amazon.com/Tea-Lovers-Travel ... 488&sr=8-2
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 2nd, '11, 10:04

Thanks for the info Brandon. A correct choice of words is important indeed, though not always easy (tanslation is yet another difficulty).

While using baking, I should have said shaqing to point out the difference with roasting in my little summary.

I'll be sure to look up this book which appears to be full of info, which is precisely what I am looking for.

Cheers.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 3rd, '11, 07:04

I discussed this subject with Akira Hojo as he has just added 10 new dan cong to his selection, with 4 high grade ones. He had told me before that he had improved his logistic method to ship and stock.

Most of these new dan cong are not roasted at all. He went on location to buy them in June, then immediately vacuum-sealed them before shipping. Then, he splits the tea for repacking and keeps it airtight without oxygen (I guess with a deoxidizer). Sounds good to me ! Anyway... I shall see soon enough :wink:

Nice weekend to you all.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 3rd, '11, 10:49

the Mi Lan Xiang I am drinking right now from Hojo doesn't look roasted at all.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 3rd, '11, 17:23

Tead Off wrote:the Mi Lan Xiang I am drinking right now from Hojo doesn't look roasted at all.


If it is the 2010 version, it is "light-fired" to use Akira's word. The Song Zhong is not fired at all and the Ba Xian medium fired.

But the 2011 versions are supposed to be different, and I don't know them.

Akira told me that he had drasticly improved his logistic method since last year, as I explained earlier, so tea should be fresher, especially the non-roasted ones.

How do you fancy the Mi Lan Xiang so far ?
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 3rd, '11, 23:22

David R. wrote:
Tead Off wrote:the Mi Lan Xiang I am drinking right now from Hojo doesn't look roasted at all.


If it is the 2010 version, it is "light-fired" to use Akira's word. The Song Zhong is not fired at all and the Ba Xian medium fired.

But the 2011 versions are supposed to be different, and I don't know them.

Akira told me that he had drasticly improved his logistic method since last year, as I explained earlier, so tea should be fresher, especially the non-roasted ones.

How do you fancy the Mi Lan Xiang so far ?

It is 2011. To be fair, I need more time with it as I've only brewed it once as I just received it. It is a delicate tea that is easy to drink. Hojo classifies it as an entry level tea. This is rather expensive for an entry level tea and I'm not sure it justifies it's price. While it is pleasant, there is nothing really that memorable except for the refreshing finish that stays in the mouth for quite a long time as he says. The fruitiness he describes is subtle, not as pronounced as I've had. I also have the Song Zhong and Xin Ren which I haven't gotten to yet.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 4th, '11, 06:13

For my part, I've ordered the Yu Lan Xiang, Huang Zhi Xiang, Ya Shi Xiang, Tong Tian Xiang and Mi Hua Xiang. Expensive indeed, yet I prefer to drink fewer but higher grade teas.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Poohblah » Sep 4th, '11, 21:24

David R. wrote:For my part, I've ordered the Yu Lan Xiang, Huang Zhi Xiang, Ya Shi Xiang, Tong Tian Xiang and Mi Hua Xiang. Expensive indeed, yet I prefer to drink fewer but higher grade teas.

I know that Dan Congs come in a large variety of fragrances (xiang), but the list of different varieties to keep track of just keeps growing :shock: I assume all of them are flower fragrances?
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