Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings


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Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby needaTEAcher » Nov 9th, '11, 05:37

I just ordered a Dan Kong and a Wuyi Rock tea. Not top of the line stuff, but mid-teens for 100grams, so not bags either.

How have you found that you enjoy brewing it? I will be playing with a gaiwan of course, but what about iron? Yixing zini, hongni, or duanni? :D
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby brandon » Nov 9th, '11, 13:15

Gaiwan is best 9 out of 10 times. The perfect wuyi pot is hard to come by.
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby sherubtse » Nov 9th, '11, 15:35

Here is the link to a documentary from CCTV about Wuyi yan cha, and the related tea culture:

http://english.cctv.com/program/e_docum ... 1135.shtml

Thanks to Kevin at Camellia-Sinensis for passing this on.

Best wishes,
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby fracol » Nov 9th, '11, 16:37

Wow, that was a really fantastic and informative video. Thank you very much for sharing.

Regarding the yixing teapot, I have heard wuyi works best in a low-profile style pot. Of course always remember the teapot picks the tea. :wink:
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby Oni » Nov 10th, '11, 07:35

needaTEAcher wrote:I just ordered a Dan Kong and a Wuyi Rock tea. Not top of the line stuff, but mid-teens for 100grams, so not bags either.

How have you found that you enjoy brewing it? I will be playing with a gaiwan of course, but what about iron? Yixing zini, hongni, or duanni? :D

I have a tetsubin, and a LIN`S ceramic teakettle, I have a yixing, a cz teapot, many gaiwan, I always experiment with teas and teaware pairing and variables, for example tetsubin and ceramic tea kettle give diffrent tasting tea, TGY is very good with tetsubin water, Taiwanese high mountain is better with ceramic kettle.
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby Intelligen_tea_... » Jan 17th, '12, 21:41

needaTEAcher wrote:I just ordered a Dan Kong and a Wuyi Rock tea. Not top of the line stuff, but mid-teens for 100grams, so not bags either.

How have you found that you enjoy brewing it? I will be playing with a gaiwan of course, but what about iron? Yixing zini, hongni, or duanni? :D


I brew my Dan Cong teas in a 100mL gaiwan, and my rock oolongs in a 4oz yixing pot that I seasoned with a 2009 Mei Zhan.

From what I can tell, there are pros and cons to brewing with both. Yixing brewing is a game of patience. For one thing, it takes an entire day just to season the pot correctly. After that, it might take months before the yixing pot will yield the true flavor of an oolong because it continues to absorb the flavor and aroma of the tea, and it will be a while before the pot releases a noticeable amount of flavor into the tea liquor.

With the tea you ordered, it may not be worth it to invest your time and money into an yixing pot. I tend to reserve my yixing pot for only the highest quality rock oolong teas because I don't want the seasoning of the pot to be tainted.

That said, it might be best to use a gaiwan or a 6-12oz teapot. Neither of these options will let you down.
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby Intelligen_tea_... » Jan 17th, '12, 21:51

As far as other brewing logistics, let me offer two suggestions, both of which work well, depending on the tea you have.

1. Use about 1-1-5 tablespoons per 4oz of water. Use boiling water for every steeping. Let the first steep brew for 20-30 seconds. Some people pour out this first steeping, as it is only meant to open the leaves, but I like to drink it. For the 2nd and 3rd brews, let the tea steep for about 10 seconds. Brew the fourth steeping for about 30 seconds, the fifth steeping for about 1.5min, and keep adding additional time as needed. I find that with this method, I can get at least 9 steepings out of a good quality oolong, the last steeping being about 15-17 minutes long.

2. Use about 4 grams (.75-2tbsp, depending on the oolong) for a 6-14oz pot or gaiwan. Brew the first steeping for a minute, the second for two minutes, the third for three minutes, the fourth for five, the fifth for eight, etc. I find that I can get about 6 or seven steepings out of a good quality tea using this method.
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby wyardley » Jan 17th, '12, 22:05

intelligen_tea_a wrote:Yixing brewing is a game of patience. For one thing, it takes an entire day just to season the pot correctly. After that, it might take months before the yixing pot will yield the true flavor of an oolong because it continues to absorb the flavor and aroma of the tea, and it will be a while before the pot releases a noticeable amount of flavor into the tea liquor.

I don't think you need to do any special seasoning, at least with a new pot. Boiling it once might not be a bad idea, but mostly, just make tea in it.

I think that if you're waiting for your teapots to absorb the flavor of the tea to a point where it's detectable (i.e., where you could taste the tea in water poured into the teapot), you will be waiting for a long time. While some Yixing pots may smooth out the taste of a tea (in ways that are both good and bad), I'm not sure that you will get a more "true" flavor of a tea after brewing it in the same pot for a long time.

I'm mostly with Brandon - much of the time, a gaiwan will give as good or better results with most wuyi and chaoshan area teas, and even more so if they're not the top grade. Fill the gaiwan from 1/2 to almost completely full, and do very quick infusions for the first 4-6 rounds.
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby Intelligen_tea_... » Jan 17th, '12, 23:10

wyardley wrote:
intelligen_tea_a wrote:Yixing brewing is a game of patience. For one thing, it takes an entire day just to season the pot correctly. After that, it might take months before the yixing pot will yield the true flavor of an oolong because it continues to absorb the flavor and aroma of the tea, and it will be a while before the pot releases a noticeable amount of flavor into the tea liquor.

I don't think you need to do any special seasoning, at least with a new pot. Boiling it once might not be a bad idea, but mostly, just make tea in it.

I think that if you're waiting for your teapots to absorb the flavor of the tea to a point where it's detectable (i.e., where you could taste the tea in water poured into the teapot), you will be waiting for a long time. While some Yixing pots may smooth out the taste of a tea (in ways that are both good and bad), I'm not sure that you will get a more "true" flavor of a tea after brewing it in the same pot for a long time.

I'm mostly with Brandon - much of the time, a gaiwan will give as good or better results with most wuyi and chaoshan area teas, and even more so if they're not the top grade. Fill the gaiwan from 1/2 to almost completely full, and do very quick infusions for the first 4-6 rounds.



Actually from what I've read and heard (from both Seven Cups and Red Blossom), seasoning a new yixing pot is highly recommended and involves either boiling the pot with tea or steeping tea with boiling water and letting the steep cool to room temperature. That's what I did with my yixing. For corroboration visit sevencups.com and look for the yixing guide.

I was wrong to say "true." That's too universal. I meant preferrable, or devinitive difference.

Still, I stand by what I say about yixing. With patience, it is the best way to brew a top grade oolong tea, simply because it holds heat better than most ceramic, porcelain, or glass, and also because a well-seasoned yixing pot will only improve the flavor of the tea leaves.
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby needaTEAcher » Jan 19th, '12, 01:44

Thanks all for the flurry of responses.

I ended up choosing a thinnish-walled, low-profile duanni pot, about 10 years old, made by a master before she was a master. It was a lucky find at $25. :lol:

I put it in a pot with fresh water, and brought it to a boil. While it was heating I added the Dan Kong, which I enjoy less, but which is still pretty good. I boiled it for 20ish minutes. Then I placed the pot in a glass container, and filled it with the water and leaves. I sealed it and left it overnight.

Since then, I have used it once or twice for Dan Kong, but I always reach for the Da Hong Pao when I want a good oolong. I also have brewed Silver Needles in it 5 or 6 times, with great results.

I have been eyeballing 5-10 grams (guess?) for what I think I remember to be a 180 cc pot, and doing a short rinse of 10 or 15 seconds, with water well off the boil the whole way through. Still steaming heavily, but maybe half from when I took it off the heat source. Then I let the leaves sit for a while to open. Then I start with instant steeps, so 10ish seconds counting the time to put the lid on and pour it out. After two, I just to 15 seconds, and so forth, gauging it more by breath than a timer.

I was pushing it to 10 or 12 infusions, ending at 5-10 minutes depending on the day and the amount of tea I used. Last week I decided to push it more, and in the 13th or 14th infusion, 10+ minutes, and as I neared 20 infusions more like 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and an hour, something amazing happened: it changed into a different tea, and tasted nutty and bolder. It is hard to describe, but it was amazing. I savored each sip, even though the end was a bit cold due to the LOOOOONG steeps.

Da Hong Pao is not my favorite oolong hands down. The Dan Kong is good, but a touch bitter, and without the spectrum or the nuance that I like. Hope these experiences help to guide others!

PS-I brewed many times in a gaiwan, even out to 16 steeps, without finding that nutty place. And overall, I like it much better in the duanni. Go figure!
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby chrl42 » Jan 23rd, '12, 00:50

Wuyi Rock tea is best prepared with traditional Gongfu style. But Gaiwan is fine, too.

If you are gonna use Yixing, you should consider many, I find Yancha to be hardest tea to brew. Below is just my humble opinion.

On shape, thin wall is perfered than thick wall. Yancha is very delicate tea with special rock feel called yan yun. Thin wall is better to deliever its delicacy, IMHO. Shui Ping is what they used to use for Yancha in southern China. I prefer round shape. On clay, I prefer Zhuni, with size being 4 or 6-cups, that is 80~130 ml.

But these are what I brew delicate hand-made tea. For high-fired style, I prefer old hongni too.
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Re: Dan Cong and Wuyi Rock Pairings

Postby oolongfan » Feb 25th, '12, 23:42

Lots of great advice from more knowledgeable people so I will only add a little bit more.

Water temperature - The hotter the water, the more astringency (good type) and straw like flavors came through.

Teapot shape - In my super limited experience, I found that rounder teapots like the 'dragon egg' shape emphasized astringency whereas a flatter wider Xi Shi type teapot seemed to soften astringency. I use Jian Shui purple pottery teapots though...so take these observations with a salt shaker ;)

Experiment - especially since the variation of both brewing parameters and palates are so wide. Some of your findings will match conventional wisdom while others will defy it ;) Above all, have fun and enjoy the journey.
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