As someone already asking, here are the opening. (I will continue this over a few weeks and please don't expect this will be quick. Would be nice if I do one paragraph and another person take over for another one)
Shi Kun Mu is a tea trader / blender from Taiwan. YS is still sellling some of his handy works. I have to make it very clear, I don't have any of his cakes in my collections but I find his notes very interesting regarding aging. I think this article was written around 2003 - 2004.
When translating the text from Chinese to English every now and then I would have to make a choice between adhere strictly to the original text or the narrative flow of the English language, I would always choose the latter.
Puerh Tea Storage and Aging by Shi Kun Mu
Puerh has been introduced to Taiwan for 50ish year. The puerh aroma and mouth feel known by most Taiwan pu drinkers are actually from HK storage. Since 1999 Guangdong storage tea also selling in large quantity in Taiwan. Although Taiwan tea traders and collectors has been collecting and trading pu for 20 or 30 odd years, they mainly collect HK storage tea and rarely collect newly made tea. And there are not enough this stored (in Taiwan) new tea to be sold in open markets as well as not enough information to categorise different storage conditions and aging environment and it is not like in HK where this kind of skills and experience could be passed it down through generations. The author of this article has been in the puerh world for almost eighteen years since 1986. My collection is rather small and I only knew about puerh for a relatively short time which is insignificant. I only wrote down my personal experience and hoping this will catalyse others to share their more valuable experiences.
The author of this article had a rather dramatic encounter with puerh tea. I first tasted shu / cook puerh tea In 1983, however as Taiwan teas were my first choice then, I didn't think much of it at that time. I was in my first year at University in 1986 and there was a Tea Society organised by fellow students. Even though I'm not a member of this Tea Society, other students knew that I had experience in Taiwan tea as early as in 1973 and they also trusted my tea judging and discerning abilities, so I often tasted and studied tea with them. One day, fellow students wanted me to visit a small tea shop in front of Shilinguanghua (士林光華) cinema, which has nothing special about it except at the front door of the shop posted an outlandish stirring statement, "Pesticides and chemical fertilizers could cause liver and kidney ...", and this shop owner's tea was "guarantee ... with analytical report from XX Medical Laboratory". My associates doubted about this claim and wanted me to check whether the shop owner was telling the truth. After a deep discussion with the tea shop owner, Mr Wei, although I did not agree all his opinions, I have tasted "Zhongcha Yuancha Hongyin (Red Mark)", early 7562 and early 7581 and get to know the charm of these teas. From then on, the author of this article beginning entering the broad, extensive and captivating world of puerh tea.
Storage Condition and Tea Collections
The following notes are based on my own observation on puerh tea storage over a period of more than a dozen of years and the experience of my good friends. As storage conditions could change the characteristic of any tea completely as well as the blending method might be different even within the same brand of tea, so one person experience could not be generalized and being applicable to others or other environments.
Moreover, my friend and I collected relatively small amount ...
Last update on 19 Mar 2013