Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

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Feb 26th, '17, 01:42
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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by ethan » Feb 26th, '17, 01:42

[quote

I had no idea there were any teas that cost $100 for a session!
[/quote]

The cost per session is how I think about the prices of tea now. Tea for > a few dollars an once used to seem so extravagant until I thought about a session costing < a dollar; while to get tea costing dollars per session makes me think of people at coffee shops treating their beverage like ice cream (piling on syrup, whipped cream, etc. until the price =s a cheap lunch).

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Feb 28th, '17, 02:26
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Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by joelbct » Feb 28th, '17, 02:26

Indeed, some great quality tea can be had for $10-$20 for 100g, so if a "session" is 3-5g, that's still roughly 0.5-$1 US per experience. Costs a lot more to be an enthusiast of most other beverages! Even the $30-$40/oz tea at the top of my personal experience came to $5 or so per pot. As you mention, that's a Latte with tip, not exactly lifestyles of the rich and famous.

I'd certainly be curious to try these rarefied-priced Oolongs. I wonder if there is anywhere in New York that serves any.

I can appreciate a decent Oolong, and probably discern a good one from mediocre, but I'm certain I lack the palate to fully appreciate a $100/session Oolong. I'd imagine it takes a bit of practice.

I know with matcha, I tend to prefer the taste of the upper middle grades to the priciest, from Ippodo or O-cha. And I recall the same phenomenon with grades of Dragonwell. Sometimes the priciest strikes me as the best though, of course, but the point is, not always, and there seems to be a point of diminishing returns, like most things.

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Feb 28th, '17, 22:00
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Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by Teasenz » Feb 28th, '17, 22:00

VanFersen wrote: I had a discussion a couple of days ago if it is OK to prepare Wuyi Yancha and Dancong in the same unglazed teapot (Yixing, Petr Novak, Nixing or Jianshui) - In my opinion I am a little bit troubled with this idea.
It's generally ok to prepare them both in one teapot. Even within Yancha's and Dancong's there's so much diversity in aroma's and flavours that you can't really have one teapot for each of them. If you want to make a distinction, it's better to make a distinction among 'styles' for example you reserve one teapot for a 'rougui' style yancha and 'rougui' style dancong.

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Mar 8th, '17, 11:58
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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by kyarazen » Mar 8th, '17, 11:58

it is a sophisticated subject :wink:

having ran the wuyi mountains.. and down to chaozhou.. am still in china at the moment so anyone's in this region do give me a heads up to meet for tea :D

factors that contribute to a tea's expense include
1) raw material cost, and scarcity (sometimes heavy demand leads to high raw material cost)
2) select raw material, that requires difficult accessibility, and has lower yields
3) workmanship for handmade tea, it is almost like a marine's hell week, and the related opportunity costs, for the same amount of tea hand made, much more could have been made/earned from industrial machine use.
4) the ratio of raw leaf to finished product can range from 4x to 8x raw leaf weight to 1x final product weight.
5) single bush work, some old tea trees produce 5-6 jin of raw leaves only.. and one production chain (human) needs to be sacrificed to produce this specific tea, rather than producing a large mass of bulk/blended leaves.

and many more reasons including the costs involved in every step
1) costs involved in the "farming", including land and all that "rights" related
2) manpower costs, up to 10 workers need to be mobilized for a months of production, one handmade tea may require up to 30-36 hours to completion (excluding the repeat roasts)
3) etc etc etc...

perhaps in sometime later i'll write an article on a tea farmer that i'm unable to help, due to his obstinance in wanting to adhere to the most traditional/authentic handmaking processes. there were times when he almost died when making tea


joelbct wrote:
kyarazen wrote:hmm.. top grade dancong is abt same price as top grade yancha.. ;) that is to exclude the bubbled examples.

expect 1 jin 500g to be about 8k-15k usd for either :shock: :shock:
Wow. If my math is right, 15k for 500g is nearly $900/oz, $30US/g.

The priciest tea I've tasted was the exquisite Keemun "Spring Dawn" black tea the old Ito En flagship store on Madison Ave purchased from time to time, before it closed it's doors. I thought that was steep, at $30 to $40/oz.

I had no idea there were any teas that cost $100 for a session! Supply and demand, and wealth concentration, I suppose.

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Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by kyarazen » Mar 8th, '17, 12:07

conversely, we have to ask ourselves.. what makes tea "cheap" and "affordable"?

1) low labour costs, the little dimes paid to tea labourers especially in some regions of india etc, and possibly some areas in china as well. these people cannot get out of their predicaments, live a life of poverty, and are not fairly remunerated. one should go try pick tea leaves themselves and feel the soreness, pain at the first joint of the index finger as the thumb uses this part to snap the tea leaves. if you were to be paid a dollar or less an hour just to do this, will you do it?

2) machine cut/harvested leaves, this is the most convenient way, and the leaves obtained from this process is quite fragmented and many times cannot give good performance for oolong/greens, but instead can be better made into red/blacks, and subsequent CTC.

3) farm management. whether chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers are used. pesticide use, grass/weed killer usage, all in an attempt to raise production amounts so that tea can be cheaper. less eaten buy bugs, worms.

4) speciation and location of growth, fast growing species, super sprouters etc versus slow growing high mountain or slow growing wild tea.

5) industrialized processes, no hand labour or minimal during production.

6) again, poor wages for tea factory workers, so that the tea can be produced for cheaper.

7) short cut methods, i.e. electric baking, instead of traditional charcoal. many passes on electric and one single pass on charcoal is also branded as charcoal roasted, although by tradition 3-5 passes on charcoal is considered "real"

8) additives... to enhance the tea's impression. versus a natural way of finding good tea. sometimes to find a good natural tea, one has to exclude 95% of the tea accessible, versus additives which will make any lousy tea appear "good" to the inexperienced drinkers

9) many more......

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Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by joelbct » Mar 8th, '17, 23:00

I am on my phone and want to reply in more detail, but suffice it to say, I often think about the fates of laborers employed around the world whose toil produces the products consumed in the Western world, as well as the corresponding lack of environmental regulations abroad. I wonder if the "fair trade" movement in the specialty coffee area makes a difference? In any case, though I was surprised to learn of $30/g tea, I certainly am not advocating that all goods (tea included) be made as cheaply as possible, irrespective of environmental externalities or labor depradations.

As for the pesticide issue, I had settled into an Organic sencha the past couple years and hadn't been drinking as much Chinese tea, but now am resuming explorations. When I first got "into" tea, 13 years ago, the organic food movement was less popular, and the consensus was that seeking organic certified tea was pointless, and in any case none of the best teas were certified organic.

I wonder if that is still the case? I do try to eat mostly organic where feasible, and I don't especially want to be drinking liters of insectide-laced liquor every day my entire life. But I do want quality tea. Any opinions?

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Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by kyarazen » Mar 9th, '17, 10:20

$30/g is possibly one of the top end wuyi/dancong teas.. but is still far from the price of a well aged pu-erh tea, i.e. century old tongqing or 50s redmark. and far from the price from top grade incense as well, premium fragrant woods can go for $1k/gram.

if you had followed my IG, there's a short video clip on the climbing/rappelling necessary to access a coveted tea spot. but chances is that such teas dont even make it to the market. i have on hand some wild wuyi yancha from old wild trees from such coveted spots.. and it was not even available to be bought. picking wild leaves is many times more labourious than from a garden.

as for the "organic" issue, that's something that i've been working on and researching on across different regions of china/taiwan. i would like to push for "原生态" tea gardens, or at most with organic fertilizer use. the yields of such gardens are lower, harder to harvest, yet are "tru-er" in nature. most farmers are unwilling to be involved with any of these concepts at the moment


joelbct wrote: I am on my phone and want to reply in more detail, but suffice it to say, I often think about the fates of laborers employed around the world whose toil produces the products consumed in the Western world, as well as the corresponding lack of environmental regulations abroad. I wonder if the "fair trade" movement in the specialty coffee area makes a difference? In any case, though I was surprised to learn of $30/g tea, I certainly am not advocating that all goods (tea included) be made as cheaply as possible, irrespective of environmental externalities or labor depradations.

As for the pesticide issue, I had settled into an Organic sencha the past couple years and hadn't been drinking as much Chinese tea, but now am resuming explorations. When I first got "into" tea, 13 years ago, the organic food movement was less popular, and the consensus was that seeking organic certified tea was pointless, and in any case none of the best teas were certified organic.

I wonder if that is still the case? I do try to eat mostly organic where feasible, and I don't especially want to be drinking liters of insectide-laced liquor every day my entire life. But I do want quality tea. Any opinions?

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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by joelbct » Mar 9th, '17, 22:21

I like that I can taste some of the better teas available for a dollar or two per "session." But I'm not passing judgment on the existence of costly tea or market prices :)

And, well, I suppose there exist enthusiasts who consume $1000/g incense just as there are collectors who buy $50,000 bottles of wine (or $10,000,000 Damian Hirst sculptures).

Supply, demand, and im sure this must be exquisite incense, but I also tend to suspect figures like this tell us more about wealth concentration than anything else, given the law of diminishing returns.

I'll pass on the Puerh for now, but suddenly I want to experience this expensive wood incense :) Sigh...



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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by ethan » Mar 10th, '17, 03:10

joelbct wrote: suddenly I want to experience this expensive wood incense :) Sigh...
Get over it! Step into a flower shop or greenhouse. Or, prepare some aromatic tea. I think the vapors of the Himalayan Orange tea I have in front of me now are more healthful than smoke from incense. (Though the longevity of some Buddhist monks may argue against…..) Cheers

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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by kyarazen » Mar 10th, '17, 11:19

joelbct wrote: I like that I can taste some of the better teas available for a dollar or two per "session." But I'm not passing judgment on the existence of costly tea or market prices :)

And, well, I suppose there exist enthusiasts who consume $1000/g incense just as there are collectors who buy $50,000 bottles of wine (or $10,000,000 Damian Hirst sculptures).

Supply, demand, and im sure this must be exquisite incense, but I also tend to suspect figures like this tell us more about wealth concentration than anything else, given the law of diminishing returns.

I'll pass on the Puerh for now, but suddenly I want to experience this expensive wood incense :) Sigh...
its part and parcel of a "process" rather than an endpoint. for me, i dont need to burn expensive incense, because we learn to conjure the scent in our imagination, there's not much enjoyment for me to keep heating the same thing, i would instead, prefer to seek out new thrills and adventures. i'm not in a position of wanting to advocate that the most expensive is the best, but i'm on a journey all the time, to discover and find out why are somethings that expensive.. be it a piece of jade.. wood.. incense.. tea.. and why are some things are more affordable or can be very lowly priced. on both spectrums enjoyment and delight can be found.

with regards to the 1000/g incense had gone up by 400% and back down again... refusing to budge now due to lack of supply. on good months we move about 40-50 grams of this material and the people whom keep seeking it, are not the "tasteless" noveau riche, but some use it for meditation, and some use it to enhance their hobby/experiences, i.e. boil it with aged tea. a few use it for "medical" applications but i would advice them to try if a 10x cheaper material can suffice. just yesterday i was witness to a $500k transaction, the buyer was a young chap born in the 90s.. unassuming, teenagey but with a super adept acuity for this material. it was hard for me to judge perhaps.. having not reach that "status" myself, and that he knew what it was for, and what he was going to do with it. in a couple of days i'll upload on IG a photo of that lovely piece.. :D

and no worries, this incense is mean to be heated, with no smoke evolved :D
i travel quite a fair bit so if i happen to be anywhere near your location some day i'll bring some for you to experience, and also some handmade yancha/dancong.

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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by joelbct » Mar 11th, '17, 00:18

ethan wrote:
joelbct wrote: suddenly I want to experience this expensive wood incense :) Sigh...
Get over it! Step into a flower shop or greenhouse. Or, prepare some aromatic tea. I think the vapors of the Himalayan Orange tea I have in front of me now are more healthful than smoke from incense. (Though the longevity of some Buddhist monks may argue against…..) Cheers
Ha! As a matter of fact, the Bronx Botanical Garden is on our to-do list since recently moving back to the NY area.

I think conjuring this incense took me to some pleasant forgotten memory of a visit to a temple somewhere or other.

And I will have to take you up on some of that HOJ sometime, to be honest the reason I didn't jump at first was that you described it as similar to the better Darjeelings, of which I am not a huge fan.

And kyarazen, by all means, if you are in the area, let me know ;)

I brew Western style in glass, I focused my modest teaware accumulating phase on Japanese stuff, so after all these years I still need to experience proper gong fu. I've replicated the brewing parameters before, but never bought any yixing myself. I thought of perhaps the tea gallery in NYC to experience it, but it appears they are closed.

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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by kyarazen » Mar 11th, '17, 21:29

joelbct wrote:
ethan wrote:
joelbct wrote: suddenly I want to experience this expensive wood incense :) Sigh...
Get over it! Step into a flower shop or greenhouse. Or, prepare some aromatic tea. I think the vapors of the Himalayan Orange tea I have in front of me now are more healthful than smoke from incense. (Though the longevity of some Buddhist monks may argue against…..) Cheers
And kyarazen, by all means, if you are in the area, let me know ;)

I brew Western style in glass, I focused my modest teaware accumulating phase on Japanese stuff, so after all these years I still need to experience proper gong fu. I've replicated the brewing parameters before, but never bought any yixing myself. I thought of perhaps the tea gallery in NYC to experience it, but it appears they are closed.
you can try looking around the orchid teahouse, the T Shop etc at NYC :D

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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by jayinhk » Mar 12th, '17, 11:44

kyarazen wrote:
joelbct wrote:
ethan wrote:
joelbct wrote: suddenly I want to experience this expensive wood incense :) Sigh...
Get over it! Step into a flower shop or greenhouse. Or, prepare some aromatic tea. I think the vapors of the Himalayan Orange tea I have in front of me now are more healthful than smoke from incense. (Though the longevity of some Buddhist monks may argue against…..) Cheers
And kyarazen, by all means, if you are in the area, let me know ;)

I brew Western style in glass, I focused my modest teaware accumulating phase on Japanese stuff, so after all these years I still need to experience proper gong fu. I've replicated the brewing parameters before, but never bought any yixing myself. I thought of perhaps the tea gallery in NYC to experience it, but it appears they are closed.
you can try looking around the orchid teahouse, the T Shop etc at NYC :D
I'll second Orchid Teahouse. That guy really knows what he's doing!

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Re: RE: Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by cwj » Mar 12th, '17, 15:23

joelbct wrote:
ethan wrote:
joelbct wrote: suddenly I want to experience this expensive wood incense :) Sigh...
Get over it! Step into a flower shop or greenhouse. Or, prepare some aromatic tea. I think the vapors of the Himalayan Orange tea I have in front of me now are more healthful than smoke from incense. (Though the longevity of some Buddhist monks may argue against…..) Cheers
Ha! As a matter of fact, the Bronx Botanical Garden is on our to-do list since recently moving back to the NY area.

I think conjuring this incense took me to some pleasant forgotten memory of a visit to a temple somewhere or other.

And I will have to take you up on some of that HOJ sometime, to be honest the reason I didn't jump at first was that you described it as similar to the better Darjeelings, of which I am not a huge fan.

And kyarazen, by all means, if you are in the area, let me know ;)

I brew Western style in glass, I focused my modest teaware accumulating phase on Japanese stuff, so after all these years I still need to experience proper gong fu. I've replicated the brewing parameters before, but never bought any yixing myself. I thought of perhaps the tea gallery in NYC to experience it, but it appears they are closed.
I love incense, and have a large collection of resins and woods that I burn on my shrine's censer. Kinda funny that came up on this thread...I never really expected to see incense mentioned on a tea forum :)

Gong fu brewing (with gaiwan rather than yixing) is my method of choice and is really not hard to learn at all. However lately I started using a "western style" tea pot. Although even with that I use a kind of semi-gong fu style...lots of leaf, short steeping times. :)

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Re: Dancong and Wuyi in the same teapot?

by joelbct » Mar 13th, '17, 02:06

Ah thanks, orchid and t shop both look good. Also found one called tea drunk. Good to know. I have been to Cha-an in nyc, the Japanese tea house, which is excellent, and I recall Ippodo opened an NYC branch, but too often, the typical 'American' tea house experiences tend to be disappointing, as described in the recent thread on the solitary existence of being a tea lover in America ;) hard to throw a dart without hitting a 'specialty' coffee roaster or cafe in urban and even suburban America though!

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