Any Info On This Wheel?


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

Any Info On This Wheel?

Postby Tead Off » Apr 24th, '09, 06:53

My knowledge of Puerh is very limited and I don't read Chinese. I thought this would be a good place to ask the forum to help identify the maker and any other info that could be useful to me. I've never seen so many avid Puerh freaks talking about this stuff.

I bought this wheel in Bangkok a few months back. All it said was Ripe 2007. It came from the most expensive tea shop in town, Ong's. Not much help from the staff.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Ig5JW2vCr8I/SfGYi ... 0wheel.jpg
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Postby thanks » Apr 24th, '09, 06:59

I could be mistaken but I believe that's from the Banzhang factory. Not much else I could tell you except that I'm willing to bet it doesn't contain any Banzhang tea leaf. I've seen these cakes around for pretty cheap online, but never heard anything about the factory itself.
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Postby Dizzwave » Apr 24th, '09, 12:39

Hmm, the top two characters say "Menghai", but it's not a Menghai factory cake obviously.. So it must be from Menghai county. I don't know what the big 3 characters below that say though.
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Postby Drax » Apr 24th, '09, 15:02

Dizzwave wrote:I don't know what the big 3 characters below that say though.


That's the Banzhang part. Banzhang King.

班章王 (ban zhang wang)

That's as far as I go for knowing anything, though...
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Postby Tead Off » Apr 25th, '09, 04:29

Drax wrote:
Dizzwave wrote:I don't know what the big 3 characters below that say though.


That's the Banzhang part. Banzhang King.

班章王 (ban zhang wang)

That's as far as I go for knowing anything, though...


Thanks for that and to the others who responded.

Knowing very little about Puerhs, I would imagine that this beeng could use quite a bit of ageing. Usually, when a tea is named Wang, it is high quality. Any recommendations and what is the difference tastewise between Menghai and Banzhang?
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Postby puerhking » Apr 25th, '09, 12:10

The wrapper says that this is a shu or cooked puerh and therefore does not need to be aged. Aging it may reduce the fermented taste to some degree. Also puerhs are nortorious for making boasts so I wouldn't pay too much attention to what the wrappers state.
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Postby hop_goblin » Apr 25th, '09, 13:57

puerhking wrote:The wrapper says that this is a shu or cooked puerh and therefore does not need to be aged. Aging it may reduce the fermented taste to some degree. Also puerhs are nortorious for making boasts so I wouldn't pay too much attention to what the wrappers state.


agreed
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Postby Tead Off » Apr 25th, '09, 23:43

puerhking wrote:The wrapper says that this is a shu or cooked puerh and therefore does not need to be aged. Aging it may reduce the fermented taste to some degree. Also puerhs are nortorious for making boasts so I wouldn't pay too much attention to what the wrappers state.


Thanks for the info. So, in spite of what the wrapper says, can all shu benefit from ageing? When I drink this tea, there is nothing about it that makes me want to come back to it. It is simply not memorable or delicious to my palatte.

In a sense, I am answering my own question as I will probably not drink this tea any longer so it will sit on the shelf in its wrapper for quite some time allowing nature to do what it will with it.
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Postby hop_goblin » Apr 26th, '09, 14:16

Tead Off wrote:
puerhking wrote:The wrapper says that this is a shu or cooked puerh and therefore does not need to be aged. Aging it may reduce the fermented taste to some degree. Also puerhs are nortorious for making boasts so I wouldn't pay too much attention to what the wrappers state.


Thanks for the info. So, in spite of what the wrapper says, can all shu benefit from ageing? When I drink this tea, there is nothing about it that makes me want to come back to it. It is simply not memorable or delicious to my palatte.

In a sense, I am answering my own question as I will probably not drink this tea any longer so it will sit on the shelf in its wrapper for quite some time allowing nature to do what it will with it.


Aging shou more than 5-7 years is senseless. Shou doesn't change much in flavor profile when aged like sheng as a consquence of accelerated fermentation. What it does is take some of the pond and astringency out of it and mellows out some of the off flavors.
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Postby Tead Off » Apr 26th, '09, 23:12

HopG,

Being a 2007 beeng, don't you think it will change a bit if it sits for 3 more years? Or, is this what I'm 'stuck' with, hoping for something it is not?
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Postby hop_goblin » Apr 27th, '09, 10:37

Tead Off wrote:HopG,

Being a 2007 beeng, don't you think it will change a bit if it sits for 3 more years? Or, is this what I'm 'stuck' with, hoping for something it is not?


After 3 years, you will either will like it or not. Their is no shame in not liking a product. Not all shou or sheng is good. Try breaking it up and putting it in a a jar covered with a piece of cloth if you are worried.
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Postby thanks » Apr 27th, '09, 11:13

I don't know about all of this. I've seen this bandied about a lot lately, and it's probably the most attention I've ever seen given to shu aging on the internet. I've had shu that's 8 years old, and it tastes absolutely nothing like anything that I've had five years or younger. I've also had shu that was four years old that was "getting there" as far as taste and mouthfeel goes. I honestly see no problem with shu aging longer than 10 years, even. It all depends on it's amount of fermentation. If it's heavy fermentation, it's usually going to be thick and creamy even upon it's release. These shu probably don't change a huge amount over the years. There are, however, a few recipes even by the bigger factories like Menghai that use lightly fermented material to produce their shupu. Usually these lightly fermented shupu carry a chaqi and huigan more similar to young sheng, and so have a clear potential for further aging.

On the opposite side of things, this is all conjecture. I personally have not tried a thin, lightly fermented shu, aged it for 10-15 years, having tried it myself throughout the years, and that's part of the problem. I have some shu that's definitely shown vast improvements since purchase, but this is merely airing out the fermentation flavor. We'll see how my heavier fermented shu stacks up against my lightly fermented shu in the coming years.

As always, drink it whenever you want to. Only times I'd ever advise to drink it is if it starts losing flavor, or anything like that.
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