shou puerh and againg. ????


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shou puerh and againg. ????

Postby shogun89 » Apr 14th, '09, 22:01

OK, so we all know that sheng puerh needs fairly high humidity and temperature in order to age properly, so the question is, what does shou require? Most people just let shou sit for a little bit to mellow out the flavor and get rid of the wodui flavor. My question is, in order to keep its flavor or even develop its flavor does shou need special conditions as well? For example, could one store a cake at 40% humidity for 5 years then take it out and it will still have a good flavor and not be "dead"?

Any opinions on this will be most appreciated, Thanks.
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Postby Drax » Apr 15th, '09, 07:44

Shogun, I have no clue, so this is all opinion and surmise.

I would guess that shou stored 'dry' would retain its normal shou earthi- and mulchiness.

But I would also guess that whatever additional flavors that shou might get through aging would happen less if stored in a drier climate.

But I also gather that shou has much less available to age/change. That is, a sheng and shou stored at the same conditions -- 5 years later, the sheng would have changed the most.

So I guess my final conclusion would be that shou stored dryly would still have its shou flavor and not be 'dead.' But it probably wouldn't have gained anything during that time.

But (my final but) I have only tasted a couple older shous, and they tasted fine, so I can only guess...
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Postby MarshalN » Apr 15th, '09, 10:00

Generally speaking even if you're in a wet climate, cooked pu will not change much beyond getting rid of the pondy/wodui taste.

Only if you stick it in wet storage (controlled, high temp/humidity) will it do anything meaningful, but that's not for the home storer.
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Postby Dizzwave » Apr 15th, '09, 12:34

Good question, shogun. I'm curious about this too. My favorite shus are around 15 years old, but..... it could be that they were *always* that good, and haven't changed. I haven't been in the biz long enough. Until then, I guess I'll take Marshal's word. :)
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Postby Dizzwave » Apr 15th, '09, 12:34

Good question, shogun. I'm curious about this too. My favorite shus are around 15 years old, but..... it could be that they were *always* that good, and haven't changed. I haven't been in the biz long enough. Until then, I guess I'll take Marshal's word. :)
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Postby shogun89 » Apr 15th, '09, 16:29

Thanks for the reply's everyone. I am hoping you are right, and that it dosent change. The thing is, I like my shou now and would like it to taste the same or similar in 10 years. And I live in a fairly dry area (PA), so I just want to make sure that prolong exposure to little humidity will not cause the tea to become bad.
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Postby Dizzwave » Apr 15th, '09, 16:42

Hey shogun,
My attitude on that is, there will always be decent cheap shu, so I'm not going to hoard it unless I find something *really* good.
hehe, easier said than done, of course.. I already have more shu than I need for a while, but seem to keep buying it.... 8)
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Postby shogun89 » Apr 15th, '09, 17:14

Dizzwave wrote:Hey shogun,
My attitude on that is, there will always be decent cheap shu, so I'm not going to hoard it unless I find something *really* good.
hehe, easier said than done, of course.. I already have more shu than I need for a while, but seem to keep buying it.... 8)


That is true. As long as prices stay down that is a good plan. However, I too seem to keep on buying. haha
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Postby tony shlongini » Apr 16th, '09, 08:21

Dizzwave wrote:Hey shogun,
My attitude on that is, there will always be decent cheap shu, so I'm not going to hoard it unless I find something *really* good.
hehe, easier said than done, of course.. I already have more shu than I need for a while, but seem to keep buying it.... 8)


I agree. Save your hoarding money for sheng.
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Postby shogun89 » Apr 16th, '09, 18:57

tony shlongini wrote:
Dizzwave wrote:Hey shogun,
My attitude on that is, there will always be decent cheap shu, so I'm not going to hoard it unless I find something *really* good.
hehe, easier said than done, of course.. I already have more shu than I need for a while, but seem to keep buying it.... 8)


I agree. Save your hoarding money for sheng.


I am just getting paranoid about finding out 20 years from now that all the sheng I invested in was wasted due to improper storing (low humidity).
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Postby MarshalN » Apr 16th, '09, 21:44

Tom, that's a pretty good way to put it.

Do keep light away from the tea though. It will do nasty things to it, and very quickly too
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Postby Jedi » Apr 24th, '09, 05:02

Greetings all.

I've been lurking a here a while, and this is a timely subject to chime in on as it's something I've been thinking about recently.

A couple of weeks back I came across some Menghai 7572 from the early 80's. It had been stored in China for a while, and spent most of the last 10 years or so here in Malaysia. High humidity conditions are normal here, and I know for a fact the beengs were well ventilated over the years. The 7572 is a shu using a variety of leaf grades.

The 'shu' smell, or 'cooked' aroma is all but absent from the dry cake, and big leaves were visible from both sides of the cake. The dug out segment also showed potential. I was amazed at the condition of the cake.

Two rinses, and a lovely deep burgundy broth poured forth from the pot. The body was substantial, and the flavours deep and earthy, with a prolonged finish. Time had certainly done it's work, with the tea exhibiting an impressive endurance.

The experience demonstrated to me, for the first time, how shu can age, as previously I'd been wholly obsessed with aged sheng. And I concluded that it had aged pretty well!!

In order to further explore this tea, I've dismantled half the beeng into a clay container, to approximately 2/3rds full. The lid is left partially open, and by aerating the tea in this way, I hope to open it up further.

Conversations with more senior tea drinkers always yielded similar opinions, in that a good shu will age and develop to provide years of drinking pleasure. Patience will improve, as will flavour and smoothness. We're not too concerned in these parts when it comes to dry or wet stored, for as long as light is kept away and ventilation is available, the rest should take care of itself.

Pu Erh aging in SE Asia is generally speedier than in the Northern Hemisphere due to constant humidity and relatively higher ambient temperatures, so even a 5 old tea here may display characteristics of a 15 year old tea kept elsewhere.
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