As James explained in his review of 2020 Shui Jin Gui, Wuyi yancha is a very dynamic tea that quickly unfolds over 6 or 7 infusions. Lower grades of this tea might peak even sooner.

This has led to yancha fanatics to create a few techniques to extend the experience.

The first of these is the “return” cup, or simply having an extra cup or gongdaobei to set aside the rinse. The purpose of this is after the last brew, which can be fairly weak and a whisper of the early infusions, it can be interesting to go full circle and recall where the tea began. This is often more satisfying than leaving the table after a cup of tea that has faded.


The second is the “golden rooster standing on one leg” cup. This is named after the martial arts form of the same name. But it can be any cup that comfortably holds your teapot at a downward angle, catching the drips from the bottom of the pot. You can place the pot here in between serving a round, and collect the drippings from all the rounds into a concentrated brew.

Be careful when pairing your cup and teapot so that the top is not so wide that the lid can be not held in place, or the entire pot can slide. Unlike my cup pictured above, you should prefer cups with a wider base so that they are more stable and can survive knocks from guests or your furry friends. A small soba choko can be a good fit for this purpose, depending on the size and shape of your pots.

Serving this rich yancha towards the end of the session is another way to recall the strength of the first brew, and extend the enjoyment of your session.