A Tea Addict's Journal

Brewing yancha

September 25, 2007 · 6 Comments

I had the laocong rougui I bought recently again, this time using less leaves (about 50% of the pot was filled). Results were quite good, actually. The tea is a little lighter this way, and a little more aromatic, sacrificing a little bit of the “punch”, especially in the “yanyun” (what you might translate as “rock aftertaste”, rock referring to the fact that this is “yancha”, literally rock tea). It sort of depends on what you want from the tea and what you’re looking for. I have friends in Hong Kong who drink this stuff because of the yanyun, and sometimes I’ve seen teas made with about 95% of the gaiwan filled with leaves. It’s not a cup for everybody, but the results can actually be very pleasant. Most people who see me brew a yancha for the first time will often remark how much tea I am putting into the pot…. but later discover, when they drink it, that it’s not bitter nor nasty at all, but in fact, brings out nuances that are otherwise not obvious enough. I think generally speaking, a yancha (not the unroasted stuff you sometimes find these days…) should be brewed with at least a 50% fill in the pot. Anything less…. and you are sacrificing the uniqueness of yancha. Some, of course, will disagree. I am, however, quite happy drinking my yancha this way — in a small pot with lots of leaves.

I think I am starting to sound like those Chaozhou old men.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • Anonymous // September 26, 2007 at 12:47 am | Reply

    Yeah. Wuyi yancha is/was my first love of tea and that’s how I’ve come to like it best. Depending on the smell of the leaves (and how much food I’ve eaten in the last few hours) the pot is always 50 to 75% full.

    Love your blog.


  • foniyo // September 26, 2007 at 10:02 am | Reply

    I’ll go buy some white shirts and velvet slippers so you can dress like an old man around the house.

  • MarshalN // September 26, 2007 at 11:04 am | Reply


    I actually find yancha to be pretty mild on the stomach.  It’s the Taiwanese gaoshan oolong that kills me.


    That could be fun 🙂

  • Anonymous // September 26, 2007 at 12:30 pm | Reply

    I have a friend who – when she is at death’s door – wants her friends to carry off into some Western mountain range to leave her for the mountain lions. That’s how she’d like to go. Powerful jaw and teeth at the back of the neck.

    I’d like to be submerged in the finest tea of the season.

    Yeah – the greener teas are pretty wicked on an empty stomach – but I find that any strong brew on empty can be problematic.

    Some more than others.

    btw, several years ago I was a huge fan of a Wuyi yancha called Beidou #1 – some kind of DHP clone – available to the US via Teaspring. I remember it as amazing. They just got some more in stock and I bought a package. Haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I recommend it – if you are looking. I can send you a baggy if you’d like.


  • MarshalN // September 26, 2007 at 1:02 pm | Reply

    I actually got some from Beijing, cheap and good.  Beidou is a great substitute for DHP, I think, without the price tag.  Too bad not more people carry it.

    Is the Teaspring one well roasted?

    Thanks for the offer though 🙂

  • Wuyi Oolong Compendium | TeaDB // February 1, 2014 at 7:09 am | Reply

    […] Home to the original oolong tea and ts fair share of tea legends, the Wuyi mountains house some of the world’s most sought after oolong teas . Although there are many types of tea grown in the Wuyi mountains (notably Lapsang Souchong/Jin Jun Mei), it is famous for its oolong teas. Due to the mountainous area that the tea is grown, Wuyi Oolongs are frequently referred to as yancha or rock/cliff oolong tea. This terroir and Wuyi oolong’s firing/processing methods contribute to the very distinctive taste of Wuyi yancha (this is sometimes referred to as yanyun. […]

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