Yixing pairing


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

Re: Yixing pairing

Postby ImmortaliTEA » Dec 31st, '12, 14:20

brunogm wrote:
David R. wrote:Based on my personnal experience, I wouldn't go for a teapot for most Phoenix dan cong.


I am just learning the ropes and I feel I will have trouble finding a good teapot for Dan Cong. This kind of tea looks tricky to brew.

Yesterday I tried some Dan Cong (Mi Lan a.k.a Honey Orchid) in a gaiwan. I started by following the brewing instructions from Teahabitat, who seem to know their way around Dan Cong.

It is to start with almost brewing water for the first steep, then progressively decrease water temperature as the leaves open and become more fragile. It was good, or rather, great, until the 4th steep. At which point I said to myself, "I have established I love this tea, now let's try something different". I turned water temperature back up to 95°C for the 5th steep.

This ruined the tea by making it overly bitter.


I also find Dan Chong to be one of the most difficult teas to brew correctly as well as its affinity for not getting along with many different varieties of teapots and clays. A gaiwan is always one way to do it but I find that using a thin walled Tiao Sha Zhu Ni pot is probably the very best for any tea like this (one that you want to retain aroma, but if possible, at the same time thicken mouthfeel and accentuate flavor. I.E.- Dan Chong, Green Anxi teas, green Gao Shan, and any other light and aromatic teas). Pure Zhu Ni works good too and even modern Zhu Ni to an extent. Here is one that I have a slightly smaller version of from the same vendor and it brews some of the best aromatic teas of all of my pots:

http://1001plateaus.com/shop/pots/yixin ... ear-san-mu
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby David R. » Jan 3rd, '13, 12:43

brunogm wrote:
David R. wrote:Based on my personnal experience, I wouldn't go for a teapot for most Phoenix dan cong.


I am just learning the ropes and I feel I will have trouble finding a good teapot for Dan Cong. This kind of tea looks tricky to brew.

Yesterday I tried some Dan Cong (Mi Lan a.k.a Honey Orchid) in a gaiwan. I started by following the brewing instructions from Teahabitat, who seem to know their way around Dan Cong.

It is to start with almost brewing water for the first steep, then progressively decrease water temperature as the leaves open and become more fragile. It was good, or rather, great, until the 4th steep. At which point I said to myself, "I have established I love this tea, now let's try something different". I turned water temperature back up to 95°C for the 5th steep.

This ruined the tea by making it overly bitter.


You may have ended up with the same thing using a teapot. Dan Cong is not the easiest tea to brew, and a large family with a lot of different levels of oxidation and firing which may require different parameters. The quality of your water will also play a very important role.

If you want my advice, don't jump to quickly into using teapots and often use your gaiwan. Reading this kind of forums may make you think that there is nothing better than a yixing teapot to brew tea. People here love teapots but it is not the unique way to brew a very good cup of tea. Gaiwan works very very well too, especially for fresh and delicate oolong.

While you are still discovering tea, sticking to a gaiwan may be better than using a bad clay. You learn a lot while actually looking at the leaves, smelling them and so on.

Anyway, thanks for the price of the pot and happy new year !
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby wyardley » Jan 3rd, '13, 15:15

Spend some time looking through the threads on the forum about brewing dancong.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10870
viewtopic.php?p=85999

etc.
as well as
http://tea-obsession.blogspot.com/2008/ ... -cong.html

Many people do feel that dancong can be tricky to brew. For me, I think getting the amount of tea is very tricky, but I've seen first hand that brewing technique can affect the results quite a bit as well.

I would tend to suggest using water that's just off the boil, but using a very high, thin pour. If your gaiwan isn't very thin, try to find an eggshell thin one.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby 135F2 » Jan 3rd, '13, 18:10

What about for medium to high fired Dancong's? Do they need thin-walled pots and gaiwans, too? My dancong yixing pot is a bit on the medium thickness, but I only use this pot for med or high fired dancong's. :?:

wyardley wrote:I would tend to suggest using water that's just off the boil, but using a very high, thin pour. If your gaiwan isn't very thin, try to find an eggshell thin one.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby wyardley » Jan 3rd, '13, 20:50

135F2 wrote:What about for medium to high fired Dancong's? Do they need thin-walled pots and gaiwans, too? My dancong yixing pot is a bit on the medium thickness, but I only use this pot for med or high fired dancong's.

I have experienced very few high-fired dancongs (though I guess everyone's idea of "medium" or "high" is a little different. Usually if the dry leaf has a darker color, it is from higher oxidation, rather than from heavy roast. While dancong tends to have higher oxidation than a lot of oolongs, the general trend does seem to be towards greener these days.

I wouldn't go so far as to say dancong "need" a specific type of brewing vessel. All of this is very much dependent on personal taste (for example, how sensitive you are to astringency, whether you like fragrance or texture more, etc.). If you like the way your tea tastes in the pot you brew it in, then there's no reason to try something different.

For me, a thin gaiwan often gives results that are as good, or better than, a teapot, and that goes for a lot of Wuyi teas as well. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I think it's the quality of the tea, more than the processing, that seems to allow some teas to take a bit more heat.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby brandon » Jan 3rd, '13, 20:56

I would like to echo everything Will said about the thin gaiwan for Dan cong and many wuyis, and extend it to raw puer of less than a few years. This might be somewhat a preference thing, but I for one definitely prefer it.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby jayinhk » Jan 3rd, '13, 21:01

As for dancong, from reading through threads here, I found an interesting post from someone who had visited Chiuchow, and was told the higher grade stuff is and has always been 'green,' and roasting was only used on the low-grade dancong that was sold outside the region. The dealer I bought my dancong from (in Chiuchow) recommended using a gaiwan and uses one himself.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby brandon » Jan 3rd, '13, 21:08

I don't have as much experience as your chiuchow source, obviously, but I find the "traditional for locals" and the new green style to be slightly different, and both different from the high oxidation export version.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby jayinhk » Jan 3rd, '13, 21:10

TIM wrote:
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: Yixing pairing

Postby Exempt » Jan 3rd, '13, 21:19

Thank you all for the help. I bought a couple fairly inexpensive yixing pots to try out with different oolongs from jing tea and some younger raw puerh. I'll post on this thread with what I find. I'm definitely going to do side by sides with my gaiwan to see what I prefer.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby jayinhk » Jan 3rd, '13, 21:45

Looking forward to hearing back on your findings. I personally tried some cheap, oxidized DC in my high fire zini and I got a VERY intense cup of tea that was almost unpleasant to drink, and then nothing in later infusions. It went forever in a gaiwan or porcelain pot.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby Exempt » Jan 3rd, '13, 23:13

The pots that I purchased are listed as high fired, thin wall zisha clay and medium fired hongni clay. I will be trying both with sheng puerh, wuyi oolongs, and dan congs. I know it is impossible to tell without tasting but in you guys' experience which pot do you think will work best with wuyi and which will work best with sheng? I have read that high fired is better for oolong because it keeps floral notes, however zisha clay absorbs some of those floral notes.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby Tead Off » Jan 4th, '13, 00:41

brandon wrote:I would like to echo everything Will said about the thin gaiwan for Dan cong and many wuyis, and extend it to raw puer of less than a few years. This might be somewhat a preference thing, but I for one definitely prefer it.

I found for both young sheng and dancong teas, a lower temp, no more than 90℃ can work very well in bringing out both flavor and aroma in gaiwan or appropriate teapot. These teas are often so green that a bit of delicacy in water temp doesn't cook them as much and cuts the astringent qualities that both can have.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby David R. » Jan 4th, '13, 07:28

brandon wrote:I would like to echo everything Will said about the thin gaiwan for Dan cong and many wuyis, and extend it to raw puer of less than a few years. This might be somewhat a preference thing, but I for one definitely prefer it.


My thoughts exactly. I'll add gao shan cha to the list.

Tead Off wrote:I found for both young sheng and dancong teas, a lower temp, no more than 90℃ can work very well in bringing out both flavor and aroma in gaiwan or appropriate teapot. These teas are often so green that a bit of delicacy in water temp doesn't cook them as much and cuts the astringent qualities that both can have.


I myself prefer to use very hot water along with a high ratio of leaves, but with very short infusion times. The more firing/ageing there is, the more I extend. I guess everyone has his ways. :wink:
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby jayinhk » Jan 4th, '13, 11:33

For me, 95-98 degrees C (approx), lots of leaf and short infusions.

Exempt, where did you buy your pots (and what are you exempt from)?
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