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All about Rock Tea

All about Rock Tea

, by Web Admin, 6 min reading time

All about Rock Tea Do your digestion and mood suffer from seasonal changes? A balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep are essential for maintaining health. To secure predictable radiant vitality despite health challenges and seasonal upheaval, we need a hardy tea that assures rock-solid wellness. 

 

 

Do your digestion and mood suffer with seasonal changes? The year is often a rollercoaster of unexpected rain, snow, and smoky pollution that may unhinge even the strongest constitution. Chronic stress, unwise habits and aging can also ruin digestion. A balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep are essential for maintaining health. To secure predictable radiant vitality despite health challenges and seasonal upheaval, we need a hardy tea that assures rock solid wellness. 

Yancha is Rock Tea

Yancha, rock tea, a forefather of oolong, grows in high rock crevices in Wuyi mountains located in China's south-east province of Fujian, which contains the largest intact forest encompassing the diversity of the Chinese Subtropical Forest and the South Chinese Rainforest. Archaeological findings date the first human settlements on the slopes of Mount Wuyi to 2,000 B.C.E. During the Western Han Dynasty, the ancient city of Chengcun served as the capital of the Minyue kingdom. The area’s early inhabitants were Buddhist, Daoist, and Confuscian monks and farmers who lived in peace. Many famous ancient Chinese poems praise the mountain and its Rock Teas. 


Rock Tea Named for Mineral Content 

The landscape is characterized by beautiful winding river valleys flanked by columnar or dome-shaped cliffs as well as cave systems. Astounding peaks in the western portion of the Wuyi Mountains typically consist of volcanic or plutonic rocks, whereas hills in the eastern area are made up of red sandstone with very steep slopes and flat tops. Bedrock lithology at Wuyi Shan is dominated by tuff, rhyolite and granite in the western part. Red sandstone is common farther east. The elevation ranges from 200 m (656 ft) to 2,158 m (7,080 ft). The rugged terrain with cliffs and high peaks has numerous caves, some of which have been explored and opened to the public. The Wuyi Mountain region has 39 peaks, 99 valleys, and a river with 9 bends. The tea mountain peaks are always shrouded with fog and mist. The moisture gets accumulated on the rocky sides of the mountains and flows down the rocks to nourish the roots of the tea plants, enriching them with minerals and creating a unique Yan Yun (rock rhyme) taste. 


Rock Flavor 

Rock tea is named for this rocky, mountainous area, but also because it inherits an unmistakable “rocky” taste thanks to the soil known to be rich in minerals. Rock tea, treasured by tea lovers around the world, has richly complex flavor and fragrance with fruity, floral, and mineral notes. Rock teas can be re-steeped over and over again up to 12 x 15 times, becoming sweeter over time, with a long and lingering flavor. Yan Yun describes the mouthwatering sensation we have after sipping the tea. The Rock Rhyme enters us, invites us to drink more of the tea, to absorb all the nutrients it possesses. Rock Rhyme is famous not only for its flavor, steam and moisening qualities but especially its pleasant long lasting aftertaste. After drinking a cup of Wuyi Rock Tea, inhale and exhale, its sweetness lingers, and you may still sense the flavor hours later. 

The origin of the term comes from a poem written in the eighteenth century by Emperor Qianlong (乾隆) called “Brewing Tea on a Winter Night” (冬夜烹茶). It is said that the sandy soil in Wuyi gives the tea a “rock bone flower fragrance” (骨花香岩).  This video explains how this special tea came about and the Emperor who praised it in his poem. (Video Link)


A Pure and Protected Environment

Zheng Yan, the prime area of Wuyi Shan, where the best and most praised cliff tea is grown, is a National Reserve area where the use of pesticides is prohibited. The area is quite small and allows to grow only a limited amount of tea. Furthermore, the processing that this tea undergoes is a unique craft that takes time to master. Tea makers in Wuyi make up for lost outdoor withering time by roasting rock tea for a long time at low temperatures, bringing out fruity and mineral notes in the tea. The final drying and roasting step for rock tea can last between 48 and 72 hours. All of the above creates a demand that is much higher than the supply.

History of Rock Tea

Oolong tea as we know it originated during 16th century Ming Dynasty. For hundreds of years, the Emperors of China would drink compressed tea in the form of tea cakes which was cultivated and produced in Fujian tea gardens. However, the production of tea cakes became too expensive since it required a lot of labor. The Emperor Qianlong requested that his tea should be in loose leaf form which caused a significant collapse of the well-established tea industry of Fujian. Consequently smaller tea farms popped up higher up in the Wuyi Mountains. These farms were mostly owned and tended to by Buddhist and Taoist monks who in turn discovered that letting the tea lightly oxidize before firing it created a new, darker, flavorful type of tea called Oolong. Compared to other types of Oolong tea, Wuyi Yancha is twisted into strips instead of being rolled. The tea is usually darker and smokier. 

Health Benefits 

Rock Tea is a treasure that harks back to our ancient past. Wuyi oolong tea is not only delicious, but it also has many health benefits. Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, it can help to improve cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation throughout the body. Additionally, it can help to boost cognitive function and memory recall. Regular enjoyment of oolong tea may offer various health benefits including, reducing body weight and fat, lowering bad cholesterol levels, and increasing endurance.

Brewing Rock Tea 

Rock Tea is different from other oolong teas. The brewing is precise. Use pure water that is 100 degrees, do not steep the tea longer than 10 seconds each time. The color will be clear, dark and the tea fragrant with a long complex aftertaste. Here are directions: Click Here!

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