Good quality Yancha


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

Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby tingjunkie » Dec 19th, '11, 02:14

You can compare tea to wine, beer, coffee, liquors, cigars, chocolate, or even cheese, olive oil, or soy sauce. Why not? Aren't they all just luxuries we consume in order to delight our senses? Products other people produce for passion, profit, or a blend of both? Things we can choose to be aficionados about, just buy the basic cheap stuff, or even survive without (God forbid)?

Hell, anyone with half a brain can compare a hawk to a handsaw... if the wind is southerly. :wink:
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby Tead Off » Dec 19th, '11, 02:42

tingjunkie wrote:You can compare tea to wine, beer, coffee, liquors, cigars, chocolate, or even cheese, olive oil, or soy sauce. Why not? Aren't they all just luxuries we consume in order to delight our senses? Products other people produce for passion, profit, or a blend of both? Things we can choose to be aficionados about, just buy the basic cheap stuff, or even survive without (God forbid)?

Hell, anyone with half a brain can compare a hawk to a handsaw... if the wind is southerly. :wink:

Of course, you're right. But how does tea relate to wine? Why not marijuana? I know it's illegal in most places and both wine and pot get you high. Isn't tea more related to coffee as a drink and as something you can use in similar circumstances for the same reason? Personally, I don't drink wine for the same reason I drink tea.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby the_economist » Dec 19th, '11, 03:59

I drink for the taste, the high, and the sheer pretentiousness. Guess which? :)

In my opinion, coffee and tea are similar in only the most plebeian ways: 'pick me ups/cheer me ups (generic warm drink)', 'light snack', 'short cafe meetup', 'work drink', 'break drink', 'something to drink in general', 'nice taste - like PB and J' etc. This most definitely has its place but...

...Long soirees with friends, thoughtfulness and ease, not really being utilized for any purpose but possessing a quality that demands the right setting for luxuriating in it, that's how I see tea. In this regard, I think it comes much closer to wine.

As for good yancha, its all relative. It would be useful to know what yanchas Oni has had and what he thought of them to know what he expects from 'good' yancha.The only way to be sure you got what you paid for is to try it, trustworthy vendor or no.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby Tead Off » Dec 19th, '11, 08:41

Certainly, tea is a social drink. But, so is coffee. And, if you were taught through culture and media, to have a different view of coffee apart from the quick pick me up, break drink, and, immersed in the finer grades of beans from different parts of the world, different complexities of tastes, styles, etc., there might not be much of a difference. Amongst tea drinkers, there are those who drink it much the same as coffee drinkers drink coffee, the pick me up, the break drink, etc. But you clearly think of coffee as some lower form, or less meaningful form of socialization than tea. Perhaps for the less intelligent, thoughtful folks, those not disposed towards higher consciousness and god realization? :D
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby the_economist » Dec 19th, '11, 12:13

No this isn't about complexity or taste or grades of beans or being 'better' in any way at all, and I'm really sorry if you thought of it that way.

Maybe it offends you that the social settings of coffee are generally commonplace, and indeed much the same for tea. We ALL drink tea in this commonplace way (regardless of how far down the rabbit hole we may be). I and all other tea drinkers take their daily doses, weekly doses, pickmeups, officework tea etc etc.

But there is another characteristic of tea which is much akin to wine that I described previously. Again, that characteristic doesn't really depend on the 'complexity, taste, grade, blah blah blah'. Of course, people tend to reserve their best for these things, but someone in a difficult financial situation might serve close friends a tea that others may consider 'cheap' to great effect.

I like good coffee, and coffee is a great thing, but I don't know of any tradition, not even among the Italians, that consumes coffee (no matter how high grade) in the kind of social contexts I think tea is ideally enjoyed in. As I said, in this regard, I think wine comes closer. Coffee just does not lend itself to being sipped over hours at a stretch. A proper espresso is taken as a shot, and sipping at it would ruin it. To put it as simply as I possibly can, "let's have coffee" means to me something much different than "let's have tea"/"let's have some wine", no matter how highly graded the coffee is going to be.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby FlyedPiper » Dec 19th, '11, 13:29

I agree with the "affordable luxury" slant on good tea. If you think about it, many people here in the US spend as much in a week at Starbucks as it costs to get a bag of some good yancha or gyokuro that will last much longer and provide a lot more enjoyment. Yes, good tea is expensive, but I can spend more on a night out at the bar than I would spend on enough tea to last me a month... Granted I can't afford the top shelf stuff all the time, but it's nice to try something "really good" once in a while to treat yourself.

I'm loving this thread BTW. I'm looking to get into yancha a little this winter myself. Similar to the OP, I'm looking for some good tea at a decent price. I'm treating it like gyokuro season... drinking above average tea through the "season", then finishing it off with a bang with a really good one. I think I know which one that will be- but the recs on decent tea at a decent price are helpful too. Seems like the world of yancha is sort of a minefield I don't really want to step too far into though... like finding new teas is a career rather than an enjoyable experience.

Makes me glad I prefer Japanese teas :mrgreen:
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby wyardley » Dec 19th, '11, 15:49

Whether tea vs. wine is similar / comparable in terms of how we taste it is kind of irrelevant to this particular question. I think it's clear that, however you do the math, small amounts of the very highest levels of tea on the market (vs. those that aren't available for sale at any price) are still within reach of many middle-class people, whereas the same can not really be said for wine, where a single bottle can cost > $2k+. In other words, regardless of whether the amount consumed in one "experience" is comparable, the barrier to entry to trying the most expensive products available is lower with tea.

A full cake of a really old pu'er can, of course, be prohibitively expensive, as could a jin of high-grade competition oolong. But I think with the wine analogy, you have to compare a bottle to "an amount of a tea that you'd consume within a 1-2 day period"; let's say 5-15g. Spirits might be a more apt comparison, since you often have to buy a large bottle, but you can consume it over a longer period of time.

Of course, you don't have to drink the very most expensive teas to enjoy tea, and everyone has their own philosophy about what teas to buy.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby tenuki » Dec 19th, '11, 18:19

Oni wrote: I have seen dragon teahouse selling high priced yancha, but I cannot afford that price range nor the prices at essence of tea, and I do not want to buy classic DHP from teaspring or jingteashop, or yunnansourcing, I want higher than basic quality, and from a trustworthy vendor.


Well, I see you've ruled out the usual suspects.... I buy a lot of my daily yentcha from grandtea.com and my higher end stuff from a couple of vancouver B&M tea shops that don't have online presence.

DHP is tricky to get, I prefer drinking it before buying, there is a lot of mediocrity on the market in that area as well as in SX. I've found some of the less popular varietals to be much easier to find at good quality/price ratio in the US - my current favs are golden turtle or white cockscomb.

Another thing - good yentcha can be as finicky as DC to brew, a lot of people don't realize this. Try extremes with whatever yentcha you have and you'll see what I mean. Some of them taste the same no matter what you do, but the more interesting ones get really variant. Once I realized this I've gotten some very good sessions out of teas I had already written off brewing some 'standard yentcha method'.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby ABx » Dec 19th, '11, 19:22

tenuki wrote:Try extremes with whatever yentcha you have and you'll see what I mean [as opposed to] ...'standard yentcha method'

Such as...?
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby Poohblah » Dec 19th, '11, 22:35

wyardley wrote:Whether tea vs. wine is similar / comparable in terms of how we taste it is kind of irrelevant to this particular question. I think it's clear that, however you do the math, small amounts of the very highest levels of tea on the market (vs. those that aren't available for sale at any price) are still within reach of many middle-class people, whereas the same can not really be said for wine, where a single bottle can cost > $2k+. In other words, regardless of whether the amount consumed in one "experience" is comparable, the barrier to entry to trying the most expensive products available is lower with tea.

A full cake of a really old pu'er can, of course, be prohibitively expensive, as could a jin of high-grade competition oolong. But I think with the wine analogy, you have to compare a bottle to "an amount of a tea that you'd consume within a 1-2 day period"; let's say 5-15g. Spirits might be a more apt comparison, since you often have to buy a large bottle, but you can consume it over a longer period of time.

Of course, you don't have to drink the very most expensive teas to enjoy tea, and everyone has their own philosophy about what teas to buy.


This is a good point. Following my comment, there seems to have emerged a debate about what other things tea can be compared to, and of course, there are all sorts of illuminating comparisons one can draw between tea and other consumables. But I was really just concerned that one comment about price wasn't an accurate mode of comparison. Your comments, wyardley, bring up a good point and I think I agree now that tea has a lower barrier to entry than wine.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby tenuki » Dec 20th, '11, 01:20

ABx wrote:
tenuki wrote:Try extremes with whatever yentcha you have and you'll see what I mean [as opposed to] ...'standard yentcha method'

Such as...?


Whatever you usually do with it.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Dec 20th, '11, 18:19

tenuki wrote: I've found some of the less popular varietals to be much easier to find at good quality/price ratio in the US - my current favs are golden turtle or white cockscomb.


links please...the less popular, 'ancient' cultivars, including but not limited to the two you listed; being sold by DTH, are nearly (in one case more) as expensive as the premium DHP they sell.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby tenuki » Dec 20th, '11, 18:26

wh&yel-apprentice wrote:
tenuki wrote: I've found some of the less popular varietals to be much easier to find at good quality/price ratio in the US - my current favs are golden turtle or white cockscomb.


links please...the less popular, 'ancient' cultivars, including but not limited to the two you listed; being sold by DTH, are nearly (in one case more) as expensive as the premium DHP they sell.


what I am saying is that they are more likely to be worth the money you pay for them as they are not as popular. I'm talking about a good quality/price ratio, not cheaper.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Dec 20th, '11, 18:35

FlyedPiper wrote:I agree with the "affordable luxury" slant on good tea. If you think about it, many people here in the US spend as much in a week at Starbucks as it costs to get a bag of some good yancha or gyokuro that will last much longer and provide a lot more enjoyment. Yes, good tea is expensive, but I can spend more on a night out at the bar than I would spend on enough tea to last me a month... Granted I can't afford the top shelf stuff all the time, but it's nice to try something "really good" once in a while to treat yourself.


Going to the bar and hookin up, priceless...for everything else>MasterCard™ :p ...meebe better analogy is if you go to Bobateashops, you spend just as much if not more on plonk drink (imho), and be hangin out with teenagers/young college students and be kinda creepy/perve, no? lol
I'm treating it like gyokuro season... drinking above average tea through the "season", then finishing it off with a bang with a really good one. I think I know which one that will be- but the recs on decent tea at a decent price are helpful too. Seems like the world of yancha is sort of a minefield I don't really want to step too far into though... like finding new teas is a career rather than an enjoyable experience.

Makes me glad I prefer Japanese teas :mrgreen:


The 'minefield' for Japanese teas might be somewhat smaller, but if you're not experienced in those, it's just as intimidating/frustrating, imo.

as with all teas, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...who can say what your definition of really "good" or "great', or 'decent' is...and those standards tend to change over time for some/many.
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Re: Good quality Yancha

Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Dec 20th, '11, 18:36

tenuki wrote:
what I am saying is that they are more likely to be worth the money you pay for them as they are not as popular. I'm talking about a good quality/price ratio, not cheaper.


eye of the beholder...still>>> links plz, TIA :D
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