Aging Puerh.


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby sung8891 » Jun 28th, '14, 00:08

Sorry to digress ,but a lot of wines these days seem to have preservatives added . Why is that ?
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 00:34

sung8891 wrote:Sorry to digress ,but a lot of wines these days seem to have preservatives added . Why is that ?


to prevent over oxidation! if not wine over time, with some air leakage can become vinegar...
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby sung8891 » Jun 28th, '14, 00:39

Then what about those without?
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby shah82 » Jun 28th, '14, 02:05

wait what?

1) Alcohol kills fermenting yeast.

2) Wine turns into vinegar from oxidation.

3) preservatives like sulfites are used to prevent volatiles from changing under conditions of high heat as well as prevent metabolization of any sugar that's still there. It's also about antiseptic control in wineries that ensures that proper microbes ferment at the proper time. It's not about oxidation really, in the sense of open air oxidation, at all.

4) In a sense, Madeira wine is akin to Hong Kong traditional storage! High heat and humid circumstances creating a robust taste and high alcohol content.

Insofar as we are talking about wine-puerh comparisons, when you vacuum seal the puerh, that means you are mostly reducing the effect of the comparable "barrel stage" in the winemaking process. A 70's puerh probably can be considered "bottled" when it's shrink wrapped then. The main reason you want to seal tea is to reduce the fermentation process of your tea. It can absolutely be said that you're trying to keep it like grape juice instead of wine, or trying to slow the grape juice transformation into wine. Keep the tea fresh!

As for chen wei, my most recent conclusion is that this is a product of tea from specific places or perhaps manufacturing process, including any traditional storage. Some tea will have a lot more aged tea aromas than other tea. The '01 Dayi Simplified Yun 7542 I have, or the '01 Yuanyexiang, or the '03 Hong Kong Henry 7542, or some of the higher quality shu I have had, will all have much stronger and comprehensive aroma, regardless of storage than other tea. You're more likely to be successful buying from tea with known strength in aroma, and getting them in highly compressed brick or discus form, than just any tea with vacuum seal.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 02:15

sung8891 wrote:Then what about those without?


higher risks, but if carefully stored, bottled, may not go bad. they add preservatives like sulfur dioxide which is a good reductant to minimize chance, reduce risk.

few months ago a colleague popped a bottle of wine w/o preservatives from austria, bottle is perfect condition, but wine has gone sour. bottle was a gift from a visitor and randomly left in office for the past two years

many aromatics are phenol-alcohols, alcohol type molecules, if oxidized to aldehydes and ketones, can present new notes, more complexity. The end point of oxidation is still for aldehyde/ketones to become carboxylic acid.

for tea aging its two set of chemistries, one set for the aromatic molecules which is probably 0.1% content/presence, the other set for the polyphenols. over time the polyphenols will break down and allow the tea to become less bitter. but in a sealed context, this is very much slower than exposed.

in exposed unsealed, airy storage i've noticed the following transitions, taking a local hk style tea merchant as example
new, bright, grassy,florals, bitter, astringent tea ---> grassy, hollow, bitter tea ---> decreased in tea aromatics, increase in "warehouse scent", bitterness declines ---> increase in the "old book/old paper scent".

once you reach the phase where lignin breaks down to give the old book/old paper scent, this scent will only get stronger with time as more lignin breaks down.

if you get the tea moldy/damp, then the "water/earthy" taste will similarly intensify. its no longer "cha-qi" but what people describe as "suan-fu" or "fu-qi", i.e. sour/decomposition qi if you do a direct translation
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 02:27

shah82 wrote:wait what?

1) Alcohol kills fermenting yeast.

2) Wine turns into vinegar from oxidation.

3) preservatives like sulfites are used to prevent volatiles from changing under conditions of high heat as well as prevent metabolization of any sugar that's still there. It's also about antiseptic control in wineries that ensures that proper microbes ferment at the proper time. It's not about oxidation really, in the sense of open air oxidation, at all.

4) In a sense, Madeira wine is akin to Hong Kong traditional storage! High heat and humid circumstances creating a robust taste and high alcohol content.

Insofar as we are talking about wine-puerh comparisons, when you vacuum seal the puerh, that means you are mostly reducing the effect of the comparable "barrel stage" in the winemaking process. A 70's puerh probably can be considered "bottled" when it's shrink wrapped then. The main reason you want to seal tea is to reduce the fermentation process of your tea. It can absolutely be said that you're trying to keep it like grape juice instead of wine, or trying to slow the grape juice transformation into wine. Keep the tea fresh!

As for chen wei, my most recent conclusion is that this is a product of tea from specific places or perhaps manufacturing process, including any traditional storage. Some tea will have a lot more aged tea aromas than other tea. The '01 Dayi Simplified Yun 7542 I have, or the '01 Yuanyexiang, or the '03 Hong Kong Henry 7542, or some of the higher quality shu I have had, will all have much stronger and comprehensive aroma, regardless of storage than other tea. You're more likely to be successful buying from tea with known strength in aroma, and getting them in highly compressed brick or discus form, than just any tea with vacuum seal.


the chen-wei, or aged tea is not a product of tea from specific places nor manufacturing processes. I've tasted aged taiwanese teas, aged oolongs that develop the "aged taste" after several decades. it is because of lignin break down.

7542 ages reasonably well and can give complexity because it is a blend of leaves, grade 3 on the front and back, and grade 4-6 in the middle. the grade 4-6, being rougher leaves, contain more lignin. its funny but 7572 the ripe version came out 6 years and had considerable success before 7542 was made publicly available, i.e. the first 7542 is around 1980-81 perhaps.

if you collect top grade tea, gushu, tender shoots, low lignification, then that will age differently. autumn gushu with higher lignification will age differently.

highly compressed tea the core of the tea is quite similar to sealed storage, i.e. the inside of the cake/brick is sealed by the heavy compression of the leaves around it... its no difference from other forms of sealed storage.

in the late 80s, japan rejected a huge order of 8663 and changed the order to 8582, apparently due to the fact that 8663 was over compressed. kunming also made a batch of heavily compressed iron cakes briefly but that was unpopular due to the over compression.

moving on 30 years since then, people in the field realize what these heavy compression teas are turning into, only a few yrs ago.. 8)
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby sung8891 » Jun 28th, '14, 02:42

shah82 wrote:wait what?

1) Alcohol kills fermenting yeast.

2) Wine turns into vinegar from oxidation.

3) preservatives like sulfites are used to prevent volatiles from changing under conditions of high heat as well as prevent metabolization of any sugar that's still there. It's also about antiseptic control in wineries that ensures that proper microbes ferment at the proper time. It's not about oxidation really, in the sense of open air oxidation, at all.

4) In a sense, Madeira wine is akin to Hong Kong traditional storage! High heat and humid circumstances creating a robust taste and high alcohol content.

Insofar as we are talking about wine-puerh comparisons, when you vacuum seal the puerh, that means you are mostly reducing the effect of the comparable "barrel stage" in the winemaking process. A 70's puerh probably can be considered "bottled" when it's shrink wrapped then. The main reason you want to seal tea is to reduce the fermentation process of your tea. It can absolutely be said that you're trying to keep it like grape juice instead of wine, or trying to slow the grape juice transformation into wine. Keep the tea fresh!

As for chen wei, my most recent conclusion is that this is a product of tea from specific places or perhaps manufacturing process, including any traditional storage. Some tea will have a lot more aged tea aromas than other tea. The '01 Dayi Simplified Yun 7542 I have, or the '01 Yuanyexiang, or the '03 Hong Kong Henry 7542, or some of the higher quality shu I have had, will all have much stronger and comprehensive aroma, regardless of storage than other tea. You're more likely to be successful buying from tea with known strength in aroma, and getting them in highly compressed brick or discus form, than just any tea with vacuum seal.


:-) so before you even think of storage , you have first to ensure that the tea you buy is of the type that will age well. A lot of vendors that sell the type that won't age well will tell you to keep your tea sealed. A tea properly processed for aging will age, it is just a matter of time.
Last edited by sung8891 on Jun 28th, '14, 02:58, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby shah82 » Jun 28th, '14, 02:56

It's just that I've just tried some 2002 7542, clearly 7542-ish blend, even allowing that it might not be MHCC, though I think it is. It has no where near the sort aged aroma from lignin breakdown as tea like that 7542-208, and it's probably a bit wetter stored! The 2002 Red Dayi Big Green Tree, the 1999 Dadugang Yuanbao both have strongish aroma, but are more camphor cakes, where it's converted smoke. Meanwhile, some '99 Da Xue Shan maocha stored most of the time in Taiwan has a bit of real chen wei, buds and all. But the Zhenchunyahao, Song Charactered Changtai, and other lighter Yiwus, dry stored, has very little aged paper/book/wood aroma. While lincang based tea tends to have a chenwei that's more sweet stuff, and only a few are like the YYX. Just feels like there isn't much rhyme or reason other than give it lots of time, if the processing and storage is reasonably right.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 03:11

sung8891 wrote:
:-) so before you even think of storage , you have first to ensure that the tea you buy is of the type that will age well. A lot of vendors that sell the type that won't age well will tell you to keep your tea sealed. A tea properly processed for aging will age, it is just a matter of time.



perhaps you will need to taste a proper sealed tea before deciding.
my relatives in ipoh did go into a crazy period of buying pu-erh tea because everyone was hyping. was given some dayi tea recently. their expected outcome is to have the "attap-water" taste and smell, reminiscent of the roofing of their homes in child hood, bamboo taste, old book, old paper smell.. :)

it was only the 90s when several taiwanese tea lovers pushed for the dryed stored pu-erh vs the hk wet stored pu-erh and as some of the writers had described, it took them a long time to convince others on the dry stored method.

and this time round it will probably take a long time to convince people on heavy compression or sealed stored types of pu-erh. i've had the fortune of tasting some superb sealed stored pu-erh, and have found the parameters (almost!) after a load of experiments and measurements in lab. i've also several heavily compressed teas from late 80s to 90s.. but no longer drinking them or offering them as free samples as i rather keep them intact (due to sudden intense price increment!)...
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 03:15

shah82 wrote:It's just that I've just tried some 2002 7542, clearly 7542-ish blend, even allowing that it might not be MHCC, though I think it is. It has no where near the sort aged aroma from lignin breakdown as tea like that 7542-208, and it's probably a bit wetter stored! The 2002 Red Dayi Big Green Tree, the 1999 Dadugang Yuanbao both have strongish aroma, but are more camphor cakes, where it's converted smoke. Meanwhile, some '99 Da Xue Shan maocha stored most of the time in Taiwan has a bit of real chen wei, buds and all. But the Zhenchunyahao, Song Charactered Changtai, and other lighter Yiwus, dry stored, has very little aged paper/book/wood aroma. While lincang based tea tends to have a chenwei that's more sweet stuff, and only a few are like the YYX. Just feels like there isn't much rhyme or reason other than give it lots of time, if the processing and storage is reasonably right.


on the contrary i dont think camphor is converted smoke, based on the cakes and teas i've studied/tasted from 70s onwards.

there are two ways to get chen-wei, one either it generates within itself (meaning that it has to have rougher leaves and twigs), the other is to have it absorb from the environment, where a HK warehouse or similar will give it the chance to absorb. to get it within itself is very much slower than hk warehousing, where conditions and the "scent/qi" of the warehouse is right to accelerate it. you need high concentration, large amount of cakes/teas, and not something dissipassive/diffusive.

8582 surveyed so far has a more intense, and earlier developed chen-wei than 7542.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby shah82 » Jun 28th, '14, 03:27

Eeeh, in both cases, that's a bit more of a cheat than a success, and you don't really get a dense taste or aroma using crappy leaves and twigs. It works if you're thinking shu, but sheng? Tends to be weak and unconcentrated. An 8582 still uses relatively tender, if large, leaves.

The camphor flavor I'm talking about definitely comes from converted/converting smoke. That there are other flavors associated with camphor, I am aware of.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 03:37

shah82 wrote:Eeeh, in both cases, that's a bit more of a cheat than a success, and you don't really get a dense taste or aroma using crappy leaves and twigs. It works if you're thinking shu, but sheng? Tends to be weak and unconcentrated. An 8582 still uses relatively tender, if large, leaves.

The camphor flavor I'm talking about definitely comes from converted/converting smoke. That there are other flavors associated with camphor, I am aware of.


i'm talking about sheng all the while.

hmm. then that is the "western" camphor definition perhaps although it is still different from the "camphor" definition that the incense people in the west use. the camphor that the incense/aromatic/fragrance use is that of zhang-xiang, crystalized camphor, or the reduced product, borneol. cool, sparkly note.

in pu-erh storage hk style, you can get green camphor notes or wild camphor notes. autumn tea tends to show camphor as well, there are countless giant camphor trees in the tea plantation areas..

8582 leaves tend to be papery.. not tender large leaves unless your version is made of gushu-pu-erh tea shoots.. :shock: not cheap in that case.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby sung8891 » Jun 28th, '14, 05:38

kyarazen wrote:
shah82 wrote:It's just that I've just tried some 2002 7542, clearly 7542-ish blend, even allowing that it might not be MHCC, though I think it is. It has no where near the sort aged aroma from lignin breakdown as tea like that 7542-208, and it's probably a bit wetter stored! The 2002 Red Dayi Big Green Tree, the 1999 Dadugang Yuanbao both have strongish aroma, but are more camphor cakes, where it's converted smoke. Meanwhile, some '99 Da Xue Shan maocha stored most of the time in Taiwan has a bit of real chen wei, buds and all. But the Zhenchunyahao, Song Charactered Changtai, and other lighter Yiwus, dry stored, has very little aged paper/book/wood aroma. While lincang based tea tends to have a chenwei that's more sweet stuff, and only a few are like the YYX. Just feels like there isn't much rhyme or reason other than give it lots of time, if the processing and storage is reasonably right.


on the contrary i dont think camphor is converted smoke, based on the cakes and teas i've studied/tasted from 70s onwards.

there are two ways to get chen-wei, one either it generates within itself (meaning that it has to have rougher leaves and twigs), the other is to have it absorb from the environment, where a HK warehouse or similar will give it the chance to absorb. to get it within itself is very much slower than hk warehousing, where conditions and the "scent/qi" of the warehouse is right to accelerate it. you need high concentration, large amount of cakes/teas, and not something dissipassive/diffusive.

8582 surveyed so far has a more intense, and earlier developed chen-wei than 7542.


If you think that Chen wei is the taste that u described as warehouse taste then all that I can say is that you've not had a tea with real Chen wei at all
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 06:33

sung8891 wrote:
kyarazen wrote:
shah82 wrote:It's just that I've just tried some 2002 7542, clearly 7542-ish blend, even allowing that it might not be MHCC, though I think it is. It has no where near the sort aged aroma from lignin breakdown as tea like that 7542-208, and it's probably a bit wetter stored! The 2002 Red Dayi Big Green Tree, the 1999 Dadugang Yuanbao both have strongish aroma, but are more camphor cakes, where it's converted smoke. Meanwhile, some '99 Da Xue Shan maocha stored most of the time in Taiwan has a bit of real chen wei, buds and all. But the Zhenchunyahao, Song Charactered Changtai, and other lighter Yiwus, dry stored, has very little aged paper/book/wood aroma. While lincang based tea tends to have a chenwei that's more sweet stuff, and only a few are like the YYX. Just feels like there isn't much rhyme or reason other than give it lots of time, if the processing and storage is reasonably right.


on the contrary i dont think camphor is converted smoke, based on the cakes and teas i've studied/tasted from 70s onwards.

there are two ways to get chen-wei, one either it generates within itself (meaning that it has to have rougher leaves and twigs), the other is to have it absorb from the environment, where a HK warehouse or similar will give it the chance to absorb. to get it within itself is very much slower than hk warehousing, where conditions and the "scent/qi" of the warehouse is right to accelerate it. you need high concentration, large amount of cakes/teas, and not something dissipassive/diffusive.

8582 surveyed so far has a more intense, and earlier developed chen-wei than 7542.


If you think that Chen wei is the taste that u described as warehouse taste then all that I can say is that you've not had a tea with real Chen wei at all



仓味就不能有陈味?(warehouse stored cannot get chen wei?)
if you drop by singapore, go visit the 2nd floor unit of OFM tea merchant, he doesnt allow visitors to that place, but just outside his 2nd floor unit you can already smell the "chen-wei". he uses it to "warehouse" his pu-erh for sale in his level 1 shop.

can you describe the chen-wei of yours just to make sure we are on the same page? the chen-wei i talk about is from the break down of ligno-cellulose to vanillin like compounds

refer to smithsonian mag - http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next ... la-710038/

well i've perhaps tasted many hundreds of pu-erhs over the years from all ages, and the chen-wei comes not only in pu-erh but in many other old teas.

if your chen-wei is different from the chen-wei that i'm referring to do you have a tea to recommend that your version of chen-wei that is presented very well together with a merchant that carries it so that i can procure some for experimentation?

Deng sihai (2002), despite being accused for some pu-erh propaganda, did contribute very well to the classification of aged pu-erh aromas

he divides it into aging aroma notes pu-erhs with "Zhang xiang" and "no-zhang xiang", and then by the various aromatic notes, nothing on "chen-wei"
Image

in the "wei" section, there is also nothing on "chen-wei", but the various tastes, textures, throat feels.

however there is a section on "chen-yun" though. and "yun" is not something that can be easily "summarized"/described like a smell/odour/taste.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » Jun 28th, '14, 06:42

if you have access to the full paper you can have a read at
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ac9016049
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