jogrebe wrote:Wet storage puerh has been processed/stored with too much moisture and ends up being on the musty side - some will claim that earthy is the proper term but in my opinion musty is a more honest name. Better quality cooked/post-fermented will be mellow and smooth without any musty tones to it at all.
To be more specific, "wet storage" pu'er is usually raw pu'er that's been "quick aged" by spraying the tea with water and storing in a hot, humid environment that promotes the mold cultures within the tea to "convert" the tea faster.
I have had the displeasure of tasting two wet storage pu'ers
. The results can rarely be good, but often the tea tastes like insecticide (imagine tasting how RAID smells). Additionally, it can be a health risk to consume, as the hot humid environment promotes the growth of varieties mold and bacteria not natural to the tea OR natural to the tea but not usually found in sufficient quantities to pose a risk.
Truth is, the wet storage stuff is rare outside of China. No online vendor would knowingly sell the stuff, nor would any of the knowledgeable online vendors be duped by it. If you ever encounter it, it's likely to be a too good to be true price on a too-aged-to-be-outside-of-China cake. With the exception of Hou De (online), Tea Gallery (NYC), and Tea Garden (West Hollywood, CA), and perhaps GenerationTea (who appear to carry cakes from GrandTea at a high markup), no US-based vendors I know of sell authentic aged cakes, so if you find one in your Chinatown, be especially wary. For example, Wing Hop Fung in Chinatown Los Angeles has a zhongcha green-stamped cake supposedly from the 1950s selling for only $200/cake (such cakes would fetch thousands!). Thankfully, this cake smells more like a cooked cake than wet storage, so any gullible person wouldn't suffer digestively from their error.
In my cup: