jayinhk wrote:The notion of qi in good raw tea is absolutely true, and I feel nothing from the cooked (ripe). The loose raw I picked up a few weeks ago makes me feel really positive and happy. It also makes me eat twice as much!
The shu tastes good, but it doesn't make me feel any different. I want to say the cooking takes the 'life' out of the tea, which I guess it does, since the heat will kill microrganisms that would otherwise thrive.
The general statement that ripe teas have less qi than raw teas is accurate, but to play devil's advocate for ripe, there are a few other factors involved.
How heavily the tea is fermented, in my experience, has a big impact on how much qi (or other desirable characteristics for that matter) are left behind. Some of the best ripe teas are lightly fermented, as still have a bit of power in them. The stuff that is piled and heaped until it is jet black usually has very little left in its guys. You can usually see this in the spent leaves, which fall apart when touched.
Another point for ripe, some people don't drink it for qi, but for it's smoothness. I have a few friends who don't drink tea very often, and they much prefer ripe. It is a more friendly drink.
Alright, that is enough playing defense attorney for ripe. Your witness.