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 debunix » Sep 4th, '11, 23:16

One of the ones I ordered and enjoyed recently was called "Ya Shi" which, if I recall correctly, meant "duck excrement". So they're not all named for flowers!
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Poohblah » Sep 5th, '11, 02:12

debunix wrote:One of the ones I ordered and enjoyed recently was called "Ya Shi" which, if I recall correctly, meant "duck excrement". So they're not all named for flowers!

Pleasant. That's a possible translation. "Ya" could mean duck if it's written as 鴨. "Shi" could be written hundreds of ways, and I'm not really sure which one means excrement...

I would be surprised if it were called "ya shi xiang," which just sounds disgusting. It seems more likely that it's simply named "ya shi," referring to the appearance of the leaves or possibly to a story related to the origin of that varietal. I dunno. I'm not versed in the origins of names of modern teas.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby wyardley » Sep 5th, '11, 03:34

Poohblah wrote:I would be surprised if it were called "ya shi xiang," which just sounds disgusting. It seems more likely that it's simply named "ya shi," referring to the appearance of the leaves or possibly to a story related to the origin of that varietal.


It looks like it's '鸭屎香' (yā shǐ xiāng); duck s**t fragrance.
Lots of search results if you search for 'dancong' and 'ya', all pointing to this name. Also mentioned on Imen's web log:
http://tea-obsession.blogspot.com/2009/ ... sting.html

Along the same lines, I also remember fondly '贼屎' zéi shǐ (thief s**t)
http://tea-obsession.blogspot.com/2010/ ... rived.html
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 5th, '11, 06:27

Reminds me of the description many people have of Durian fruit being like rotten eggs, sweaty feet. The taste is nothing like the smell, though. It is almost like some ambrosial nectar, so sexy!
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 5th, '11, 08:09

So many different varieties indeed... And to complicate things a little, one has to remember that when talking about single bush dan cong, the picking is done from only one tree, and specialists say that taste will differ from one tree to another even if there are from the same variety and not far from one another... Imen's blog is definitively a great source of knowledge for this.

Theoretically, the list of varieties should not be growing, at least concerning single bush trees, but maybe there is a recent popularity which helps bringing out varieties unknown to us before... I don't try to keep track of all the names that are out there, I just trust my vendors selections.

About Ya Shi, it is a funny story in fact, Akira told it to me : once upon a time, a farmer found a very special flavor from one of his tea tree. Since it was so good, he got worried that people may steal his tea. So, he chose on purpose this terrible name to discourage thieves. :wink:
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Poohblah » Sep 5th, '11, 10:28

David R. wrote:About Ya Shi, it is a funny story in fact, Akira told it to me : once upon a time, a farmer found a very special flavor from one of his tea tree. Since it was so good, he got worried that people may steal his tea. So, he chose on purpose this terrible name to discourage thieves. :wink:

Haha! I enjoy these stories about the origins of names. I think they give some character to the tea.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby debunix » Sep 5th, '11, 13:20

I admit to drinking the entire package of Ya Shi without ever once translating the name when I was sharing it with others at work.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 8th, '11, 03:44

Tead Off wrote:
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.


Regarding the Mi Lan Xiang, it seems to be a decent tea but not something I would order again. There is just not enough in it for my taste but I can tell it is better than many commercial Mi Lan Xiang's. I haven't gotten to the other dancongs yet. I've been preoccupied with Japanese teas.

I also ordered both the Dong Ding deep fermented and DD deep fired teas. I prefer the deep fermented (actually oxidized is more correct) more as its finish and sweetness represent a good DD. But, I must say, none of these teas are best in class. I like Hojo but I am not convinced that his teas are top tier. I have tried only 3, but I have had better in all departments and for less $$. Of course, others may have a different experience and I still respect him a lot.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 8th, '11, 06:41

Tead Off wrote:I also ordered both the Dong Ding deep fermented and DD deep fired teas. I prefer the deep fermented (actually oxidized is more correct)...


Actually, the deep fermented DD is kept vacuum sealed in a no-air environment for a period of several months, so that the tea is enabled to be fermented. It explains its name. No oxygen = no oxidation.

I kind of gathered info on the subject after we diuscussed dan cong oxidation. See an interesting article in The Leaf Mag.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 8th, '11, 08:33

David R. wrote:
Tead Off wrote:I also ordered both the Dong Ding deep fermented and DD deep fired teas. I prefer the deep fermented (actually oxidized is more correct)...


Actually, the deep fermented DD is kept vacuum sealed in a no-air environment for a period of several months, so that the tea is enabled to be fermented. It explains its name. No oxygen = no oxidation.

I kind of gathered info on the subject after we diuscussed dan cong oxidation. See an interesting article in The Leaf Mag.

David, maybe I don't understand what you are saying but I'm not sure that you understand the difference between oxidation and fermentation if you say that under a vacuum seal, this tea undergoes fermentation. Fermentation occurs in humid environments with the introduction of bacteria that become very active due to the humid environment. Dong Ding is not a fermented tea. It can be oxidized more heavily than 'greener' gaoshan oolongs. But fermentation requires a supply of oxygen and a certain amount of heat to stimulate the bacterial production. No oxygen doesn't mean fermentation. Some people are still equating oxidation with fermentation. Hojo may be one of the guilty ones. :D
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby David R. » Sep 8th, '11, 10:37

Yeah, I admit I am wrong here. After reading back Hojo's page on his deep fermented dong ding, he is clearly referring to oxidation.

But I believe there is also fermentation taking place for teas other than puerh, involving anaerobic environment. Bacteria responsible for fermentation already exist within the tea leaves. It is a very slow process, way slower than oxidation but it exists, even if it is optimal with high temperature. It does change tea in a way oxidation doesn't. I am in the process of making experiments on the matter in fact. I have vacuum-sealed different types of teas, adding a deoxidizer, making sure there is no oxidation taking place, but only fermentation. I am afraid we'll have to wait a bit before seeing the results. :lol:

Chemestry behind this is not simple, and confusion is easy. Granted fermentation is very often used to mean oxidation in the tea world (ex : semi fermented oolong) but reality is not simple, cause fermentation is a kind of anaerobic oxidation... Well, I think it is... :roll:

See a good article on the subject here.

Anyway, I find this very interesting ! :)
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby wyardley » Sep 8th, '11, 13:50

David R. wrote:
Tead Off wrote:I also ordered both the Dong Ding deep fermented and DD deep fired teas. I prefer the deep fermented (actually oxidized is more correct)...


Actually, the deep fermented DD is kept vacuum sealed in a no-air environment for a period of several months, so that the tea is enabled to be fermented. It explains its name. No oxygen = no oxidation.

One other point about this. As mentioned above, the oxidation step in oolong processing is one of the first steps -- it happens before kill-green and before the tea is dried and / or roasted. When we talk about oxidation in tea processing, we're not talking as much about any slight oxidation which might occur over a period of years as the intentional partial oxidation, which is one of the primary things which makes an oolong an oolong and not some other kind of tea.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 9th, '11, 10:54

Tead Off wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
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.

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.


I have been drinking Hojo's Song Zhong Dancong for the better part of today. This is a superb tea that warrants praise. It is exactly as described on his website both in aroma, flavor, and, longevity. It just doesn't quit. This is an easy tea to brew but many will find it expensive. But, this might be a tea to shell out the xtra money for. The last Song Zhong I had was from Jing Tea Shop in 2009. Hojo's is far beyond that one. Cannot go wrong with this tea.
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby bagua7 » Sep 9th, '11, 22:47

Hey guys,

What's your experience with brewing dancongs using zhuni pots?
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Re: Impressions of a few Dan Cong/Feng Huangs

Postby Tead Off » Sep 9th, '11, 23:32

bagua7 wrote:Hey guys,

What's your experience with brewing dancongs using zhuni pots?

If you are assuming that all zhu ni pots are the same, this is a big mistake. Once you have found a real zhu ni(you also must define what a real zhu ni is), shape, thickness, purity of clay and how it was prepared/fired will all play a part. You need to test out each pot to determine which one will suit a particular tea. In the meantime, consider using porcelain gaiwan.
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