Wuyi Oolong Rock Teas: Zhengyan (Full Rock), Banyan (Semi Rock) and Zhoucha... Did you know how they different?

Wuyi Oolong Rock Teas:

Zhengyan (Full Rock), Banyan (Semi Rock) and Zhoucha... Did you know how different these teas actually are?


According to documented records, Wuyi Mountain has long ago classified its teas based on the natural environment in which tea plants grow. So that, oolong teas in Wuyi city can be divided into "Rock", "Zhoucha" and "Outer Mountain". Don't forget that this is crucial here, given the fact that the most core area of Wuyishan is the most rocky one (tea literally grows on the rocks here) and so the highest minerality and rock flavour (yanyun - 岩韵)is found. Therefore, the further we move away from the core, the lesser rocks and so the lesser minerality and yanyun.




Summarizing, we could say that teas in the Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area are "Rock" (ZhengYan - 正岩 and BanYan - 半岩) in the strict sense of the word; 'Zhoucha' is produced right out of the Scenic Area, and 'Out-of-Mountain' is produced in the rest of Wuyi city's Jurisdiction :


★ ZhengYan Area (正岩区 - Full Rock Tea Area)

It refers to the famous 'Three Pits and Two Streams' area. Three pits are:
- HuiYuan Pit (慧苑坑)
- NiuLan Pit (牛栏坑)
- DaKeng Pit (大坑口)

The two streams are:
- LiuXiang Stream (流香涧)
- WuYuan Stream (悟源涧)

Apart from the famous area before, there are other 36 peaks and 99 rocks that belong to this ZhengYan area: HuiYuan Rock (慧源岩), Matou Rock (马头岩), TianXin Rock (天心岩), Sanyang Peak (三仰峰), Shulian Cave (水帘洞) etc...



★ BanYan Area (半岩区 - Semi Rock Tea Area)

SemiRock teas area is the area still within the Wuyishan Scenic Area, other than the the one comrpising the FullRock area described aboved. It is located in the area between the Danxia landform (Chinese red sandstone) and the river valley landform.

Its main producing areas are Qingshi Rock (青狮岩), Bishi Rock (碧石岩), Yanzi Rock (燕子窠) etc... Although is one step below Full Rocks, Semi Rock are still powerful in its minerality and yanyun and can be of a very high quality.


★ Zhoucha Tea Area (洲茶区)

It refers to the area right out of Wuyishan Scenic Area, the flat tea producing area on the areabetween the sides of streams and the pastoral or highway.

The quality of ZhouChais is considered slightly lower than that of semi rock tea, but with the help of modern craft and processing Rock Rhyme (yanyun) is still often well achieved.


★ Out-of-Mountain Rocks Teas (WaiShanCha - 外山茶)

These Rock Teas (in the broader sense of the word) are teas produced in the Wuyi City Jurisdiction, excluding all the previous.