Accelerating Sheng Aging


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

Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby kasey » Sep 15th, '09, 00:35

Why does everyone store compressed Sheng teacakes just as they had received them? They are only made that way because they once had to survive a long journey across China on horseback across mountains and the Yunnan people have stuck to this tradition.

I'm new to this site but I haven't heard of anyone breaking up a Sheng pu'erh and offering techniques on properly storing and aging the loose tea product.

I don't know about you but I don't want to have to wait 10 or 20 years
to enjoy a tea I bought today. I also don't want a collection of tea cakes
built up in my dresser drawer. I like to keep things simple.

I've only been around here a few days. Is this a new topic?
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby odarwin » Sep 15th, '09, 00:47

you can actually buy time with money

-darwin
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby oldmanteapot » Sep 15th, '09, 00:57

odarwin wrote:you can actually buy time with money

-darwin


+2

If I had unlimited financial resources.... I would just buy the 1950s Kunming Red Mark. It would only cost about US$18,000. Compared to when it was first introduced... it was tagged as the "tea to rinse your mouth" and was considered as one of the "rejected" tea of that era!

It was only after a decade or two, people started to appreciate the uniqueness of the Red Mark. Hence... the rest is history. The Red Mark that I had once been offered by a friend cost less than US$1000! That was barely a decade ago!

Just a week back, a Taiwanese millionaire was in town, offering US$5000 for a Beeng of the 1950s Kunming Blue Mark Iron Beeng. Anyone who has it, bring it and once authenticated, he will pay you CASH! More the merrier! If you have a tong, bring it! If you have a carton, bring it! He will pay CASH for it!

So.... yeah.. you can buy time with money.... Pu Time in Pu World.. hehe... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Cheers!
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby oldmanteapot » Sep 15th, '09, 01:13

kasey wrote:Why does everyone store compressed Sheng teacakes just as they had received them? They are only made that way because they once had to survive a long journey across China on horseback across mountains and the Yunnan people have stuck to this tradition.


There's no rule that Pu has to be stored broken up. It's common to break up a Beeng that you're planning to consume. It makes perfect sense when you have only one Beeng. But if you have a vessle big enough to cater for an entire Tong.... more the merrier. There's a Pu collector here. If he like the Pu, he will break up the entire tong and place it in large jars and consume them over time. But there are also those who buy them in cartons... that's 12 or 24 tong per carton. It's 7 Beeng per Tong. You can do the math... so... it just wouldn't make sense to break up the entire carton, unless again, there's a vessel or vessels large enough to fit all.

On the extreme end, there are tea hoarders... these guys are in to it for investment purposes. No one will buy a broken up Pu. No one in their right mind would want to break up this amount of Pu for consumption..... To give you a graphical illustration, here's how much an average tea hoarder keeps, per individual....

Image

kasey wrote: I'm new to this site but I haven't heard of anyone breaking up a Sheng pu'erh and offering techniques on properly storing and aging the loose tea product.


Well, I break up my Shengs and Shus (in totality) when I want to consume them. As replied in your earlier thread, storage is rather subjective. The rule of thumb here is not to stifle your Pu. So don't store them in air tight jars or containers. Avoid any strong or any odour. Note that any fragrance besides the aroma of tea is considered as odour in Pu terms. Avoid direct sunlight. I believe a short search in the forum, you'll be able to find the proper parameters and figures you need to store your Pu.

I think what you meant is the broken pieces, and not the loose product. There's no difference in aging the complete Beeng and the broken up ones.

kasey wrote:I also don't want a collection of tea cakes built up in my dresser drawer.


Neither would I, your Pu might end up smelling of fresh detergent and clothes. Prolly a little of your dresser too... ahaha... :lol: :lol: :lol:

kasey wrote:I've only been around here a few days. Is this a new topic?


Nope. It's not a new topic. But an age old topic, often debated and misunderstood.

Cheers!!
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby AdamMY » Sep 15th, '09, 16:14

Kasey,

The real question is, will the aging be the same... A common theme in aging is not to loose the initial fragrance and oils the tea already has. So Cake, Brick, Tuo cha, all are geared towards not exposing to much of any one given leaf to the elements. I mean If we could get great aged tea in a year by leaving it spread out on a tray with perhaps just a roof over it, I'm sure the wo dei processes for Shou would have never been invented.

The thing is if it didn't take a substantial amount of time it wouldn't be called aging, it would just be called waiting.

As I'm pretty sure anything short of a process similar to making shou, no matter if the tea is compressed or not, it is still going to take many many years.

And the compression is also more for taking up less space while aging. I mean next time you look at a beeng or look at the largest amount in weight of any other tea you have. I'm willing to bet the 357 grams of loose leaf tea takes up much more in spacial volume than the compressed cake.
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby kasey » Sep 16th, '09, 02:11

Okay, what the heck, I'm gonna break them up anyway because I'm not getting a logical answer here.

Again, as I said, the only reason these Tuo'cha cakes were sent out this
way was to preserve flavor and reduce physical space during their lengthy transit across China... I don't see any reason why we should have to age them as cakes.

There's a world of difference between a Sheng and a Shu pu'erh.

As a tea enthusiast, I would like to be able to select somewhere between the two.
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby betta » Sep 16th, '09, 09:01

oldmanteapot wrote:So.... yeah.. you can buy time with money.... Pu Time in Pu World.. hehe... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Cheers!


+1 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby AdamMY » Sep 16th, '09, 12:01

kasey wrote:Again, as I said, the only reason these Tuo'cha cakes were sent out this
way was to preserve flavor and reduce physical space during their lengthy transit across China... I don't see any reason why we should have to age them as cakes.

There's a world of difference between a Sheng and a Shu pu'erh.

As a tea enthusiast, I would like to be able to select somewhere between the two.


Yes there is a world of difference between sheng and shu, but shu was created as a way to try and achieve an aged taste in a short amount of time.

You can break them up, but how are you storing them? If its not enclosed or there is to much air in the container, I think you might risk the tea going flat.
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby TIM » Sep 16th, '09, 12:33

kasey wrote:Okay, what the heck, I'm gonna break them up anyway because I'm not getting a logical answer here...


Your logic is similar to breaking up a block of good cheddar to age....Good Luck. :roll:
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby hop_goblin » Sep 16th, '09, 13:42

TIM wrote:
kasey wrote:Okay, what the heck, I'm gonna break them up anyway because I'm not getting a logical answer here...


Your logic is similar to breaking up a block of good cheddar to age....Good Luck. :roll:



Classic! :mrgreen:
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby tony shlongini » Sep 16th, '09, 18:19

kasey wrote:I don't know about you but I don't want to have to wait 10 or 20 years to enjoy a tea I bought today. I also don't want a collection of tea cakes built up in my dresser drawer. I like to keep things simple.

I've only been around here a few days. Is this a new topic?


If that's really how you feel, I'd suggest a new hobby.
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby oldmanteapot » Sep 17th, '09, 01:41

hop_goblin wrote:
TIM wrote:
kasey wrote:Okay, what the heck, I'm gonna break them up anyway because I'm not getting a logical answer here...


Your logic is similar to breaking up a block of good cheddar to age....Good Luck. :roll:



Classic! :mrgreen:


Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of aged cheddar here... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Well, I'd guess it's a trade-off for aged Pu.. hehe.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby zhi zheng » Sep 17th, '09, 23:29

kasey wrote:They are only made that way because they once had to survive a long journey across China on horseback


Isn't that a little like saying 'the only reason wine was ever put in a bottle was because it was a practical way to transport it'.

Just as there are other reasons for wine to be kept in a bottle - particularly a good one that you are going to age - so there are reasons for keeping a Puer that you intend to age in its original form. This is why factors to do with the size, shape (brick,cake,etc.) and the degree of pressure used in compressing the cake (a basic differentiation is between machine and stone pressed, though with either method pressure can vary considerably) are all important and will have an effect on the way the thing ages.

If keeping it simple is important, better leave it alone. :wink:
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby betta » Sep 19th, '09, 05:32

zhi zheng wrote:This is why factors to do with the size, shape (brick,cake,etc.) and the degree of pressure used in compressing the cake (a basic differentiation is between machine and stone pressed, though with either method pressure can vary considerably) are all important and will have an effect on the way the thing ages.


I understand the logic of doing stone pressing, which results in rather loose cakes good for aging and it maybe the technique available widely before machine-pressing was introduced later on. But what is the logic behind doing iron-pressing and other tight pressing?
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Re: Accelerating Sheng Aging

Postby puerhking » Sep 19th, '09, 11:22

Do what ever you want. You will learn from it. I did that very thing early on to a very bitter sheng. Left it for about a year and then it was quite pleasant. I drank it up in about six months and had no regrets.
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