Zhengyan Locations

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


Sep 19th, '17, 14:26
Posts: 45
Joined: Apr 3rd, '17, 17:44

Zhengyan Locations

by abnyc » Sep 19th, '17, 14:26

As my understanding of yancha deepens, I'd like to learn more about the terroir of the teas I'm drinking. (Though I'm certainly aware how significant the age of the trees and the skill of processer/manner of processing, those are less accessible as data.) I found a partial list of zhengyan growing locations over at the Vicony website (http://www.viconyteas.com/tea-gardens/w ... ngyan.html) but the naming is inconsistent, doesn't include English translations in most cases, and doesn't give much context. There are some valuable pictures, mostly of Niu Lan Keng, Ma Tou Yan, and Dao Shui Keng.

I also found this (https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?dg ... 11597&z=15) linked to from a blog, which is a neat concept but seems to have been abandoned in early stages.

Does anyone know of some other resources (ideally online) with more information? If not, would forum-members with knowledge of the Wuyi reserve mind sharing the locations they're familiar with along with English translations and relevant information?

Sep 19th, '17, 22:20
Posts: 102
Joined: Jan 27th, '15, 21:29

Re: Zhengyan Locations

by LouPepe » Sep 19th, '17, 22:20

I too have been in your shoes. Searching for info on specific zhengyan locations and gardens. Unfortunately info is scarce and a bit vague. Unless you are fluent the language barrier makes it worse.

When you are spending 200-500 percent more for a cultivar that comes from a "certain garden", naturally you want to know the perks of that garden (tree age, elevation, north/south facing, surrounding flora, etc.). I guess the limitation is that many of the better gardens are so small or inaccessible by most vendors that no vendor finds it worthwhile to write a detailed guide to the area.

I've been left with going by taste, mouthfeel, huigan, like other teas to determine quality. Buying only and mostly from trusted/established vendors. I believe you can pretty much bet that any wuyi under $2 a gram will be from a far bigger garden than you may envision. Hopefully chemical free, and I've heard the zhengyan area is pesticide free, but also heard that some gardens are treated with them.

I'll be keeping my eye on this thread for any useful links! Thanks for posing the question. Maybe it'll inspire a vendor out there to do their homework and provide a detailed map with translated names of areas/cliffs/gardens. Maybe even a list of cultivars and where and to what extent they are present. Already sounding like a daunting task :|

Sep 19th, '17, 22:49
Posts: 45
Joined: Apr 3rd, '17, 17:44

Re: Zhengyan Locations

by abnyc » Sep 19th, '17, 22:49

LouPepe wrote: When you are spending 200-500 percent more for a cultivar that comes from a "certain garden", naturally you want to know the perks of that garden (tree age, elevation, north/south facing, surrounding flora, etc.). I guess the limitation is that many of the better gardens are so small or inaccessible by most vendors that no vendor finds it worthwhile to write a detailed guide to the area.

I've been left with going by taste, mouthfeel, huigan, like other teas to determine quality. Buying only and mostly from trusted/established vendors. I believe you can pretty much bet that any wuyi under $2 a gram will be from a far bigger garden than you may envision. Hopefully chemical free, and I've heard the zhengyan area is pesticide free, but also heard that some gardens are treated with them.
It's not that I want to use it as a buying guide, rather an opportunity to learn more about the tea and the region. It's clear that after the zhengyan/banyan distinction, the most useful factor in obtaining quality is who processed the tea from the raw leaves (I even assume that often the producers do not own most of the bushes for the teas they make), and for us westerners thus the tea seller by proxy of their relationship with one or more makers that they assess to be talented. That's enough for me. But it would be educational to know more about the locations than just the names (when those are specified). For example, I've read that at Horse Head Rock (Ma Tou Yan), older bushes were pulled out to plant the higher-yield Rou Gui, and that the area was then rebranded as a RG-specialist. Interesting, then, that MTY RG are relatively well-regarded. There's clearly more to learn there, which might clear up that contradiction, but wouldn't it be nice to have that level of knowledge about other locations in the park?

I'm more envisioning this (http://www.viconyteas.com/imagesk1/wuyi-zhengyan-29.jpg) than this (http://www.viconyteas.com/imagesk1/wuyi-yancha-19.jpg) for my current price-range of .5-1 USD/g. I do have a sample of Ban Tian Yao from Kyarazen that might be closer to the second one, though, which I'm saving for a special occasion.

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Sep 28th, '17, 03:50
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Re: Zhengyan Locations

by wyardley » Sep 28th, '17, 03:50

I would say first off that, even from reputable vendors, take any claims that this tea is from matouyan and so on, these names are all very famous (even going way back, with teapots and packaging from tea merchants referencing specific areas), but there is not a lot of growing area, so you are lucky if you're actually getting tea that's zhengyan / banyan at all, let alone from a specific peak / valley. I try to tune it out, other than to keep track of tea A vs. tea B.

I have visited once, so while I don't know the area super well, I can say that on any individual peak, there's not a lot of growing area, and the way that parcels are allocated to farmers is in little lots. You could probably ask Cindy from https://www.wuyiorigin.com/ if you want some more context about the specific areas.

https://www.15yan.com/topic/fu-cha-zhi-xin/aShvlRMrMPe/ has a long list of locations in the scenic area (Chinese). You'll see '峰' (fēng; peak), '岩' (yán, cliff), 坑 (kēng) quite a bit. I'll include some rough translations for a few I've heard of (with the disclaimer that I'm not a native speaker of Chinese, and that these translations might be overly literal in some cases). I'm sure some other folks might have suggestions / better translations:

* 三姑石 sān gū shí
* 悟源涧 wù yuán jiàn
* 马头岩 mǎtóu yán - horse head cliff
* 三花峰 sān huā fēng - three flower peak
* 九龙 jiǔlóng kē - 9 dragons nest
* 倒水坑 dào shuǐ kēng
* 天心岩 tiānxīn yán
* 杜辖寨 dù xiá zhài
* 大坑口 dà kēngkǒu
* 牛栏坑 niú lán kēng - cattle pen pit (valley?)
* 流香涧 liú xiāng jiàn
* 慧苑坑 huìyuàn kēng
* 竹窠 zhú kē
* 章堂涧 zhāng táng jiàn
* 鬼洞 guǐ dòng
* 丹霞嶂 dān xiá zhàng
* 燕子峰 yànzi fēng - swallow's peak
* 北斗峰 běidǒu fēng - north star peak
* 曼陀岩 màn tuó yán [famous for shuixian]
* 水帘洞 shuǐ lián dòng
* 桂林 guìlín
* 瑞泉岩 ruì quán yán
* 莲花峰 liánhuā fēng - lotus flower peak
* 三仰峰 sān yǎng fēng
* 双乳峰 shuāng rǔ fēng
* 天游峰 tiānyóu fēng
* 桃源洞 táoyuán dòng
* 北廊岩 běi láng yán
* 大王峰 dà wángfēng
* 九曲溪 jiǔ qū xī
* 虎啸岩 hǔ xiào yán - tiger's roar cliff
* 一线天 yīxiàn tiān
* 狮子峰 shīzi fēng - lion peak
* 马枕峰 mǎ zhěn fēng

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