Yancha

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


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Nov 8th, '15, 15:31
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Yancha

by Frisbeehead » Nov 8th, '15, 15:31

Hey everyone,

Yancha is one of my favorite types of tea. I drink it often, especially now that the weather is getting colder. As I continue to try new varietals, I am starting to get curious about a few things. I have some questions about yancha in general.

I recently have had the opportunity to try yancha from a few different vendors, who are reputable for having decent to good yancha. I have some from Essence of Tea, Tea Hong, and Jing TS, and all of them have tasted good. However, they all come out light; meaning that the tea itself is light in color, body, and in taste. Now, the taste is delicious, but I feel like I may be steeping it wrong or not using enough tea. The tea lasts a good 5-7 steeps usually.

I use an 80ml zini and usually fill it with around 7g of yancha. Do one wash, then quick steeps after. All of the yancha I received recently turns out quite light, much different than a couple others that I have tried before from JKTea, Floating Leaves, and Yunnan Sourcing. Maybe this is because those vendors had very high roasted yancha, which I know has been more popular in the last decade. Thus, it is possible I have a misunderstanding of yancha.

I'm just curious if anyone has any experiences or thoughts on this. Again, maybe I don't understand yancha very well yet. That is likely. Or maybe yancha is just tricky to brew, and I haven't found these particular teas' sweet spots yet. It's not my yixing pot, because I have tried a few different wuyi teas in my gaiwan and they're always better in the teapot.

I know yancha is a complex subject, just from doing searches on it and reading posts about it on this forum. If anyone has had similar experiences, or has brewing tips, or has tried teas from these vendors, any thoughts are much appreciated.

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Nov 8th, '15, 21:07
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Re: Yancha

by tingjunkie » Nov 8th, '15, 21:07

There are high fired (heavy roast) yanchas and lighter roast yanchas. If you are brewing the high fire and it's coming out light, you are using too little leaf, or your infusions are too short. If you are brewing a lighter roast, that might just be the way it's supposed to be. :wink:

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Nov 8th, '15, 22:12
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Re: Yancha

by the_economist » Nov 8th, '15, 22:12

7g to 80ml is a pretty good ratio. That should basically be a half to 3/4 full pot (dry leaf)? I'm surprised you're getting light brews, perhaps it would be easier to understand if you give us specifically what tea you've had from those vendors?

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Nov 9th, '15, 07:41
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Re: Yancha

by Frisbeehead » Nov 9th, '15, 07:41

The teas are:
Shui Jin Gui - JTS
Red Cloak Grande - TH
2012 Zhu Lian - EoT
2013 Shui Xian - EoT

I know of course if I am drinking a lighter roast yancha, it will have a lighter flavor. The tastes are more subtle with these which led me to consider if they are just tricky to brew, or this is just the way lighter roast yanchas are. I'll have to play around with the steep time some more and see what happens.

I'm still kind of new to the world of yancha and getting an understanding for the flavor profile and things. So it's possible I may just be surprised that the lighter roast yanchas are more subtle in character than I anticipated.

Nov 9th, '15, 08:59
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Re: Yancha

by theredbaron » Nov 9th, '15, 08:59

Yancha are indeed very subtle teas, and after having drunk highroast Yancha, mid and lower roast might appear light. Very good grades of Yancha can be brewed many times, easily up to 10 and even 15 brews, with increasing times of course.
The next question is naturally also the water you use. Too hard water will destroy every good Yancha.

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Nov 9th, '15, 14:29
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Re: Yancha

by hobin » Nov 9th, '15, 14:29

I think your water/tea ratio is all right. I usually start with two 15 seconds brew and then increase. that way I usually get 6-7 brews. But I don't drink a lot of yancha lately...I suppose the problem is with the tea. In my personal experience really good yanchas are now hard to find, most of the teas you can find on the internet are just ok...

It would be great if someone could advise us a good yancha

Nov 9th, '15, 14:46
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Re: Yancha

by BW85 » Nov 9th, '15, 14:46

hobin wrote:..I suppose the problem is with the tea. In my personal experience really good yanchas are now hard to find, most of the teas you can find on the internet are just ok...

It would be great if someone could advise us a good yancha
The EoT full hand yancha offerings are probably some of the best available to the western market, and probably comparable to the anything you'd find in Asia... Except of course that small percentage of really great stuff. The half hands are exceptional in their own right for their price range

Nov 9th, '15, 15:09
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Re: Yancha

by BW85 » Nov 9th, '15, 15:09

I would also agree with theredbaron that what makes a good yancha good can be subtle

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Nov 9th, '15, 15:51
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Re: Yancha

by Frisbeehead » Nov 9th, '15, 15:51

BW85 wrote:
hobin wrote:..I suppose the problem is with the tea. In my personal experience really good yanchas are now hard to find, most of the teas you can find on the internet are just ok...

It would be great if someone could advise us a good yancha
The EoT full hand yancha offerings are probably some of the best available to the western market, and probably comparable to the anything you'd find in Asia... Except of course that small percentage of really great stuff. The half hands are exceptional in their own right for their price range
Agreed. The ones I have are both half-handmade, and they are good teas.

I was curious not so much about the quality of the tea itself, but the subtlety of the brew. The flavor is good, I was just expecting something different I think. Not in a bad way at all, actually, because like I said I really like these teas. They just come out to be lighter than I expected, and I was curious if that's how they are supposed to be or if I should be using more leaf/more time.

Roast level seems to be a very important variable with yancha, and has a huge effect on the flavor and body of the tea. I have tried a Rou Gui that tasted like it was roasted more, and the flavors were very bold and there was some astringency and bitterness in the aftertaste.

I'm drinking Taiwan dong ding right now, and I can't seem to recall at the moment the flavors of the yancha I was drinking as I posted this...I'll steep some more at a later time and report back. Every time I brew it, I get that feeling like I'm not doing something right because of the light taste. So I'll come back to this as soon as I brew up another pot of the EoT yancha.

The Tea Hong one I have is Red Cloak Grande, which is their da hong pao. It is indeed also a light roast. I will report back on that one as well, as I've only had the chance to try that one once so far and I can't remember everything about it. Just that it was lighter than I expected.

Edit:

Tingjunkie: Yeah maybe this is the case and I am overthinking things. Wouldn't be the first time :roll: I wanted to confirm this, though, since these teas are more expensive.

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Nov 9th, '15, 16:53
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Re: Yancha

by the_economist » Nov 9th, '15, 16:53

I just had the Teahong DHP - it looked something like this:
Image

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Nov 10th, '15, 13:08
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Re: Yancha

by wyardley » Nov 10th, '15, 13:08

Frisbeehead wrote: The Tea Hong one I have is Red Cloak Grande, which is their da hong pao. It is indeed also a light roast. I will report back on that one as well, as I've only had the chance to try that one once so far and I can't remember everything about it. Just that it was lighter than I expected.
I liked this one. The 2011 (sold out) was much better than the 2012 one. I would say it's a medium roast and medium oxidation; I think it's a well balanced tea.

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Nov 13th, '15, 14:35
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Re: Yancha

by Frisbeehead » Nov 13th, '15, 14:35

I just noticed that I titled the thread the same as alix a few below me. Whoops :roll:

Anyway I'm trying the Red Cloak Grande from Tea Hong again right now and the results are much different. I used more leaf this time and it came out well. Very good tea, plenty of flavor and a prominent signature Wuyi aftertaste. Really glad I got 50g of this one. Tea Hong is out of all their other yancha, and I'm excited for when they get some more. I want to try their Rou Gui.

I'll report back when I try the EoT yanchas again.

EDIT: @ the economist -

Yep that looks like the scene here too. Except different color pot. Is that pot hungni clay?

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Nov 13th, '15, 19:16
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Re: Yancha

by the_economist » Nov 13th, '15, 19:16

Yes it is. Just wanted to corroborate colors so that we know what you meant by 'light'!

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Nov 13th, '15, 21:58
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Re: Yancha

by Frisbeehead » Nov 13th, '15, 21:58

the_economist wrote:Yes it is. Just wanted to corroborate colors so that we know what you meant by 'light'!
How do you like yancha with hungni? I use a zini and it's a good fit, and I was curious about what yancha is like with different clays.

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Re: Yancha

by kuánglóng » Nov 14th, '15, 05:21

Last sunday a friend asked me if I had any use for the two yixing pots that I gifted her after my first trip to Yunnan and I started to prepare them right there in her kitchen. Long story short, one of those two pots (100ml, high fired hexagonal shape) has become my favorite yancha pot right from the first few sessions. I need some more experiments to be able to give a better description of what it does different than my other pots or gaiwans but it in those few days it saved some higher roasted leaves I almost gave up on from ending up in the trash - not bad for a start :D

Pot at work:
XPRO5011-FO-c-small.jpg
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