taitea wrote:Given that this wet stored cake is close to what an aged sheng should be like, how much age does it take a typical sheng to get to this point? Most of the shengs I have tasted have been under 5 years old and tasted somewhat similar.
As far as very dry stored stuff, I think often stuff that's 20-30 years old can still taste pretty "young" and aggressive. I like late 80s - early 90s dry stored 7542, but even that isn't super mellowed out yet. Though everyone's idea of "wet stored" is different, I wouldn't say that a wet stored cake is "close to what an aged sheng should be like" any more than you would say that a shu cake is. With overly wet storage, you do get mellowness and darker tea broth earlier on, but you also get that wet-stored taste (love it or hate it), and you don't have the same complexity as a well aged cake. I'm not saying it's necessarily unpleasant, but it's not the same thing.
The stuff I've had (not much) from the early 70s and before is the stuff that really seems to taste great, especially if it's well stored ("dry storage" didn't exist as a concept until the late 80s, so I'm sure most older cakes have at least some amount of fairly humid storage in their past). But I don't have the money or connections to drink that sort of stuff very often.