Sealing bings in plastic


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

Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby squaretooth » Apr 25th, '14, 23:31

Well said, teaism. My sentiments exactly.

Teaism wrote:
kyarazen wrote:
I'll be ready to provide samples free of charge inclusive of postage to a single grp ....
10) 80s Sealed stored Guangyun gong bing (hopefully teaism can spare some?


Bravo kyarazen! Very positive attitude!

For the nicely stored Guangyun gong bing, I only have one piece. It cost a fortune now! Perhaps it is better for me to brew it if anyone drop by Singapore. :D

I have resigned myself from debating on this issue and rather enjoy drinking tea quietly. But it is important that we constantly drink the tea that we store to monitor and understand the aging process, rightly and wrongly. Also try to taste other methods of storage to widen our perspectives.

Peace and have a great tea day!

Cheers! :D
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby kyarazen » Apr 26th, '14, 00:14

William wrote:
Or we could just create a list of users, each one will receive the teas, try some, add some, and send to another person.

We could decide some minimum requirements in order to have access to that list, for example, being a member of TC, for at least 6 months or 1 year with at least a minimum number of messages posted here.


haha! i wish good tea was common and in large supply enough to send to so many people. but a cake consumed is a cake less. i used to hoard tea but now i dig into them because the knowledge and experience is more valuable than the tea itself.

Teaism wrote:
kyarazen wrote:
I'll be ready to provide samples free of charge inclusive of postage to a single grp ....
10) 80s Sealed stored Guangyun gong bing (hopefully teaism can spare some?


Bravo kyarazen! Very positive attitude!

For the nicely stored Guangyun gong bing, I only have one piece. It cost a fortune now! Perhaps it is better for me to brew it if anyone drop by Singapore. :D

I have resigned myself from debating on this issue and rather enjoy drinking tea quietly. But it is important that we constantly drink the tea that we store to monitor and understand the aging process, rightly and wrongly. Also try to taste other methods of storage to widen our perspectives.

Peace and have a great tea day!

Cheers! :D


oh oops. i was half hoping you have had some loose ones left.
better to keep that rare cake intact, its hard to come by such excellent storage :(

and as you have seen, those teas that i bought from d-art in china town, some of them in exposed storage for almost a decade already.. how rubbishy they are now :( so were the 80s gygb from the largest gygb merchant in singapore. after some analysis and experiments both at home and in the lab i think i finally figured out why. you could say 11 years wasted, or even more since i have a couple of cakes that i bought back into '99 or 2000.. but finally knowing the pit falls will perhaps now allow me to make more rational choices ;)

u're right on this issue, i think there's no need/desire for any of us to lead people to think our way, at least right now i've enough good tea to last me for years, and you've more than enough for several life times combined :P i can also go over and help you drink!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby kyarazen » Apr 26th, '14, 00:55

SilentChaos wrote:I don't really care about this fight/debate, but I'm wondering....... On your reasoning, how are you comparing the quality of a tea that was originally bad but turned good through aging against the quality of a tea that is good to start with? Or does aging not fundamentally changes the tea in kind?

And, I take it that you don't really like aged teas?


台湾和马拉西亚茶艺高手现在盛行喝老茶, 老包钟,老岩茶,老普洱,老冻顶等等。仓法之事不只是西方几个人在争论的,香港台湾界八十年代起就争得不三不四了。

茶是一直在转变的。真好玩,十年前去过台湾,买了约一公斤的手工乌龙,真空和缺氧环境储存,上个月开来尝尝,哇哈,就像十年前的味道一样, 所以如果要避免与减少茶的变质,应该真空和加入吸氧气的东西。

古树普洱茶也是这二十年盛行的,作法和一般普洱茶工艺有区别,存放方式也大大影响茶的变化。茶作的不好陈化时能进步吗?不难。只要入大仓发酵就可以了。大货仓存放茶,茶量大,久而久之每个货仓都有自己的“仓气” 和“仓味”。在家里存放不容易得到仓气,自己收了茶也有了些心得,可是心得乃是心得,西方人不会了解的。高价收顶级古树普洱就应该把它当作收红酒一样。如果入仓收仓气和干湿仓法影响,失去了特征,不如低价以台地茶入仓算了,何必浪费这么多心思和金钱。最忌湿仓法,因为茶含正茶气,入湿菌类细菌发酵后会变成水气和腐败气。茶变质了真么办?最多拿去做便宜的茉莉花茶批发给餐馆泡,或作成散茶和其他渥堆后的茶混合

brief translation :
the same old argument, but what we're trying to achieve here is the same with red wine, sealed in the bottle to prevent the volatiles from escaping, and yet allowing the tannins etc to smoothen out over the years. some of the aromatics become more complex with aging. but if the bottle's popped open and aged, perhaps in due time it could be a really delicious vinegar.. not too bad to go with salad.
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby Teaism » Apr 26th, '14, 01:30

kyarazen wrote:
oh oops. i was half hoping you have had some loose ones left.
better to keep that rare cake intact, its hard to come by such excellent storage :(
[/quote]

Kyarazen,

That piece is worth US$2500 now and I only have one piece. Quite hard to give it away just like that. Hope u understand. It is also an art to brew this tea so I will brew it for u next time we have tea together. :D

Cheers!
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby Tead Off » Apr 26th, '14, 01:36

chrl42 wrote:At least I've learned one thing from this arguement.

No plastic in dry condition :)

this super-dry Beijing weather is really bugging me, I've got a better result after breaking Bings into pieces, other than that, they never seem to age :mrgreen:


Am seriously thinking to get myself a decent Pumidor.

For your own health and long term enjoyment of tea, get the heck out of Beijing before you develop serious health problems. It's essentially, unhealthy. :shock:
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby kyarazen » Apr 26th, '14, 01:38

Teaism wrote:
Kyarazen,

That piece is worth US$2500 now and I only have one piece. Quite hard to give it away just like that. Hope u understand. It is also an art to brew this tea so I will brew it for u next time we have tea together. :D

Cheers!


haha i know! good tea always appreciates in price and value tremendously. the next time we have tea together lets drink mine first :)
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby chrl42 » Apr 26th, '14, 05:21

Tead Off wrote:
chrl42 wrote:At least I've learned one thing from this arguement.

No plastic in dry condition :)

this super-dry Beijing weather is really bugging me, I've got a better result after breaking Bings into pieces, other than that, they never seem to age :mrgreen:


Am seriously thinking to get myself a decent Pumidor.

For your own health and long term enjoyment of tea, get the heck out of Beijing before you develop serious health problems. It's essentially, unhealthy. :shock:

lol thanks for caring my health..

but there are tons of more serious tea drinkers and authorities living in Beijing than I, as it's a capital of China...I'd take your advice when I grow old as a retired worker..until then, 'no pain no gain' is my word :P
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby William » Apr 26th, '14, 05:55

SilentChaos wrote:I don't really care about this fight/debate, but I'm wondering....... On your reasoning, how are you comparing the quality of a tea that was originally bad but turned good through aging against the quality of a tea that is good to start with? Or does aging not fundamentally changes the tea in kind?

And, I take it that you don't really like aged teas?


Under the assumption that I respect (and try almost daily) every type of storage, I honestly think that the conservation, is extremely useful to preserve and enhance a tea that is already pretty good when produced.
From this fact, I do not think that a bad tea, of poor quality, with a few exceptions, such as classical manufacturing defects that may disappear in a few years (e.g. Shaqing 殺青), will magically improve by the mere fact of having been preserved in some way, any type it is.
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby SilentChaos » Apr 26th, '14, 11:05

William wrote:
SilentChaos wrote:I don't really care about this fight/debate, but I'm wondering....... On your reasoning, how are you comparing the quality of a tea that was originally bad but turned good through aging against the quality of a tea that is good to start with? Or does aging not fundamentally changes the tea in kind?

And, I take it that you don't really like aged teas?


Under the assumption that I respect (and try almost daily) every type of storage, I honestly think that the conservation, is extremely useful to preserve and enhance a tea that is already pretty good when produced.
From this fact, I do not think that a bad tea, of poor quality, with a few exceptions, such as classical manufacturing defects that may disappear in a few years (e.g. Shaqing 殺青), will magically improve by the mere fact of having been preserved in some way, any type it is.


Perhaps I wasn't clear with my question. I'm not asking about what preservation or sealed-storage does or if bad tea can magically turn into good tea.

You effectively claimed that a good new cake is better than an old cake which started off as what you called 'bad tea' but got more palatable through non-sealed aging. So, I am asking about how you are making this comparison/judgement? I am assuming here we agree that non-sealed aging is more than just preservation and making cakes more 'palatable'. If we don't in fact agree on this, then we're not even on the same page to begin with.

(Btw, personally, if it were me, and all aging does (whether sealed or not) is preserve what is there when the tea is new, or contain the volatiles and smoothen out the tannis, I would never bother waiting for decades for this. I'd just drink white and red teas instead.)

Secondly, do you dislike all non-sealed aged cakes, especially traditional hk stored cakes?
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby William » Apr 26th, '14, 11:49

SilentChaos wrote:You effectively claimed that a good new cake is better than an old cake which started off as what you called 'bad tea' but got more palatable through non-sealed aging.


I never said that a bad tea become more palatable thanks to a period of aging. IMO, a bad tea remains bad, there are no excuses, miracles or strategies to change this. If someone really needs to age a tea, in order to makes it more palatable, maybe this person should only consider (and buy) a higher quality.

SilentChaos wrote:So, I am asking about how you are making this comparison/judgement? I am assuming here we agree that non-sealed aging is more than just preservation and making cakes more 'palatable'. If we don't in fact agree on this, then we're not even on the same page to begin with.


IMO, the ultimate aim of aging tea, is to makes it more refined, with elegant aromas, strong body and lingering aftertaste, thanks to a number of transformations that occur in a given period of months/years.
How to distinguish this? In my opinion, if a tea is great after 1/5/10/50 years, it is only because it was great from the first moment.

SilentChaos wrote:Secondly, do you dislike all non-sealed-stored aged cakes?


I do not like any tea that has lost aromas and flavors, and that has come in contact with humidity, my sensitivity-level is quite low, while for another person it may not be a problem or be more higher.
I respect everyone's choices, since preferences are personal, what I consider to be unfair, is this sense of elitism that treats a certain cultural background, as untouchable and always true knowledge, while all opinions that diverge from all this, are just nonsense/poorly interpretation/inexperience.
Last edited by William on Apr 26th, '14, 11:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby kyarazen » Apr 26th, '14, 11:51

SilentChaos wrote:
William wrote:
SilentChaos wrote:I don't really care about this fight/debate, but I'm wondering....... On your reasoning, how are you comparing the quality of a tea that was originally bad but turned good through aging against the quality of a tea that is good to start with? Or does aging not fundamentally changes the tea in kind?

And, I take it that you don't really like aged teas?


Under the assumption that I respect (and try almost daily) every type of storage, I honestly think that the conservation, is extremely useful to preserve and enhance a tea that is already pretty good when produced.
From this fact, I do not think that a bad tea, of poor quality, with a few exceptions, such as classical manufacturing defects that may disappear in a few years (e.g. Shaqing 殺青), will magically improve by the mere fact of having been preserved in some way, any type it is.


Perhaps I wasn't clear with my question. I'm not asking about what preservation or sealed-storage does. No one thinks that bad tea will turn into good tea through aging.

You effectively claimed that a good new cake is better than an old cake which started off as what you called 'bad tea' but got more palatable through non-sealed aging. So, I am asking about how you are making this comparison/judgement? I am assuming here we agree that non-sealed aging is more than just preservation and making cakes more 'palatable'. If we don't in fact agree on this, then we're not even on the same page to begin with.

(Btw, personally, if it were me, and all aging does is 'smooth out tannins' and make teas more 'palatable', I would never bother waiting for decades for this.)

Secondly, do you dislike all non-sealed-stored aged cakes?


well, i have a bunch of bad teas that were kept unsealed, reasonably airy, humid conditions ever since 2003. and no, i do not entirely dislike non-sealed stored aged cakes. i spent more than a decade drinking this type of tea. so 11 years into keeping, why wasnt i able to achieve the "Hk/SG/malaysian" warehouse taste that i always got from buying teas from a local tea merchant (OFH tea merchant)? in particular there were 2 of the cakes, yiwu and youle gushu 03 which was rather delectable when new, the aromatic notes were excellent, but today, they are flat.

you cannot compare keeping a small bunch of cakes, versus boxes and boxes, tongs and tongs stacked to the ceiling in a warehouse. when wrapped in tongs, and stacked face to face, the tea cakes are not exactly "unsealed", you can consider them "half-sealed". analogy, you decide to age 1 grain of pepper corn having it exposed, versus having 10 tons of pepper corns in boxes, stacked in your warehouse. the diffusion coefficients of air is entirely different.

with pu-erh storage in warehouses in large quantities, the air in the warehouse if done right will end up having a nice old bookish smell, sometimes woody camphorous, and this smell will persist for decades, high levels, constant and at saturating levels. this 仓气 will allow many teas within it to develop certain uniform characteristics. can one achieve this at home? also in HK storage style, there is movement of the tea between various warehouse conditions between humid, to dry, vice versa with the seasons, can one achieve this at home? i would rather buy HK warehouse aged tea rather than to do it myself.

keeping the cakes "sealed" in storage is not about making the cakes palatable only, that is only one small part. it is to prevent the escape of volatiles, and allow the volatiles which are essentially alcohols etc, to oxidize. the aromatic chemistry of tea is not too complicated if you've had read an article i had written with regards to yixing clay and tea oxidation.

if you dont believe in sealing the tea to keep the volatiles in, then why do people seal red label, blue label, and all the rare tea cakes? isnt the more exposure the better? why stop?
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby wyardley » Apr 26th, '14, 11:57

kyarazen wrote:if you dont believe in sealing the tea to keep the volatiles in, then why do people seal red label, blue label, and all the rare tea cakes? isnt the more exposure the better? why stop?

Sealing a cake that's already reached a state of balanced taste and is 60+ years old is a totally different matter from sealing a brand new cake. At that point, I think you're trying to prevent the tea from losing too much flavor or getting weaker.

Additionally, these kind of teas have already been exposed to some degree or another of humid storage earlier in their life.
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby kyarazen » Apr 26th, '14, 12:38

wyardley wrote:Sealing a cake that's already reached a state of balanced taste and is 60+ years old is a totally different matter from sealing a brand new cake. At that point, I think you're trying to prevent the tea from losing too much flavor or getting weaker.

Additionally, these kind of teas have already been exposed to some degree or another of humid storage earlier in their life.


i know, i was just hinting at that. to go to the expense and tediousness of getting pure gushu, if well made, there is reasonable balance even when new, and all that effort to get purity... what a waste to have it absorb warehouse flavours, or to have it dissipate.

the sealed method is based on the sufficient humidity within its sealing. you dont need too much water in the tea cake else it goes mouldy and fungly fermented. if the overall average "RH" of the microenviroments in the cake has about 30-40% humidity when sealed, what is the difference with leaving the cake in 30-40% humidity unsealed?

i think the sealed storers are just trying to provide an alternative, i'm actually reaping the benefits on some 2007 sealed stored gushu cakes right now. my responses to the subject was just to give merit to the sealed stored method than have it cast out.
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby Tead Off » Apr 26th, '14, 14:25

kyarazen wrote:
wyardley wrote:Sealing a cake that's already reached a state of balanced taste and is 60+ years old is a totally different matter from sealing a brand new cake. At that point, I think you're trying to prevent the tea from losing too much flavor or getting weaker.

Additionally, these kind of teas have already been exposed to some degree or another of humid storage earlier in their life.


i know, i was just hinting at that. to go to the expense and tediousness of getting pure gushu, if well made, there is reasonable balance even when new, and all that effort to get purity... what a waste to have it absorb warehouse flavours, or to have it dissipate.

the sealed method is based on the sufficient humidity within its sealing. you dont need too much water in the tea cake else it goes mouldy and fungly fermented. if the overall average "RH" of the microenviroments in the cake has about 30-40% humidity when sealed, what is the difference with leaving the cake in 30-40% humidity unsealed?

i think the sealed storers are just trying to provide an alternative, i'm actually reaping the benefits on some 2007 sealed stored gushu cakes right now. my responses to the subject was just to give merit to the sealed stored method than have it cast out.

There are many ways to look at this. How many unsealed cakes have gone bad, flat, moldy, etc., vs. sealed cakes? For all the unsealed cakes that have made it to that 'glory' state after 10-15 years, how many didn't?

In my brief experience with drinking puerh, I have had far more 'bad' teas than good ones. Bad from quality and poor storage.

If I find a younger tea that I like, wouldn't I want to preserve those qualities while allowing the fermentation process to continue its magic? A cake doesn't have to be 30 years old before wanting to keep the properties that make you like the tea to begin with. Why would someone buy a tea they didn't like and then begin to age it? Isn't that a type of 'gambling', 'hoping', for some kind of transformation into a palatable tea at some point in the future?

And, why would you expose any tea to the elements when most teas that we know go flat in a relatively short period?

And, furthermore, we have sworn testimony from our Singaporean and Malaysian board members that have been sealing their own teas for years and have acquaintances who have been doing this for decades and have produced excellent results with it. Maybe it's just us crazy folks who live in hot & humid SE Asia that have developed a different taste profile that we prefer to the musty storage smell of so many mainland, HK, & Taiwan cakes that we are told are superior. The smell stops here. :D
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Re: Sealing bings in plastic

Postby wyardley » Apr 26th, '14, 14:48

kyarazen wrote:i know, i was just hinting at that. to go to the expense and tediousness of getting pure gushu, if well made, there is reasonable balance even when new, and all that effort to get purity... what a waste to have it absorb warehouse flavours, or to have it dissipate.

The kind of balanced "aged" taste I'm talking about can't really be rushed, and requires some period of fairly humid storage. With "balanced", I'm not talking about whether or not the tea has a lot of bitterness or astringency when young, but rather a kind of "integrated" taste, where the tea just tastes old and comfortable. I don't think a tea will ever get to this point if it is sealed tightly in plastic, but of course, that's just my opinion. And anyway, if one likes the taste of these fancy cakes when new, why not just drink them young? If preserving that taste is the goal, sealing the cakes in plastic is definitely the way to go.

For me, with these aged teas, taste, nuance, complexity are all kind of besides the point. And yet, somehow those teas haunt you, and have something that can't really easily be put into words.

Now, personally, I like a little bit of warehouse storage, but even if you want to avoid these notes creeping into these precious and expensive cakes, natural storage in most environments (even in fairly hot and humid areas) should be sufficient - keeping the tea in an odorless box and wrapped in its original outer packaging provides a certain buffer.

Obviously, people living in a hot and humid climate do face different challenges than those living in a relatively dry climate, but even so, I think sealing teas individually is a bit over the top.

This type of sealed storage may help avoid the "awkward" phase when the tea starts to lose fragrance, but I would argue that in most cases, it will also prevent the type of aging we are used to with these kind of teas. But since sealing these teas in plastic was not really done before recently, I think it's anyone's guess whether the results of doing this will be good or not. Based on the handful of teas I've tried which have been stored in a fairly sealed environment, I am not really optimistic that the results will be good.
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