Yes, of course it is oxidation vs fermentation...I was thinking in Hojo's words:Tead Off wrote:You have to factor in all of the differences from one region to another, plus the way a tea is processed. No Dancong tea is processed to resemble Wuyi teas, even the Shui Xian cultivar. And, none of these teas are fermented. Oolongs are oxidized, not fermented. There are so many different types of oolongs that don't resemble each other at all. TGY and Rou Gui? Not even all black/red teas can be equated as their processing and terroir will render them miles apart. Just think about Darjeelings and Assamese or Yunnan blacks. Totally different flavors. But, somewhere in their flavors, there is a similar element which makes them all teas. The differences seem to outweigh the similarities. That's what makes tea so interesting. Home roasting doesn't equate with the processing that tea undergoes after it is just picked.jayinhk wrote:IMO it'll be fine! Dancong is considered shuixian varietal by Hojo, too, and there are similarities in the way old bushes are grown in both places. Too lazy to post quotes from Hojo, but he says what makes dancong dancong is a low temperature roast (under 100 Celsius) vs hotter temperatures for Wuyicha. He says after fermentation you'd never know the maocha would later become dancong, so it's all about the roast. I've had lower roast Wuyicha that resembles dancong (I've found around 100 Celsius, all var. sinensis oolongs give off a somewhat similar orchid/osmanthus bouquet from my own roasting experiments). There are of course differences from terroir and fermentation, and genetic drift from cultivation of specific cultivars in each area over centuries.
And yes, there is more going on than just roast. The level of oxidation counts for a lot I feel. Dancong and shuixian are the same cultivar, they've just drifted apart over centuries, but drinking them, they aren't anything alike. A vendor here in HK (a well known one, at that) sells Mt Phoenix Shuixian, which is a dancong!
TGY and rougui are definitely very different, regardless of roast level. The difference between certain Wuyi teas and dancong is much smaller, however, and I have some really lovely rougui from an old school HK vendor that has a powerful orchid flavor. It's definitely not dancong, but the aromas are similar for sure.