SFLouis wrote:MarshalN has pointed out that there are historical documents that show that old trees weren't always thought to be better- see his blog post called "The Faith In Old Trees".
TwoDog2 wrote:SFLouis wrote:MarshalN has pointed out that there are historical documents that show that old trees weren't always thought to be better- see his blog post called "The Faith In Old Trees".
The "older is better" mantra probably stems from marketability and rarity as much as anything. People love to tell you how the tree supplying this tea is 800 years old and blah blah blah. The fact is, plenty of the aged cakes that people lust after today were made with plantation tea. So, while the age is a factor, take it with a grain of salt.
needaTEAcher wrote:A few thoughts:
1-I have read that older trees have such deep roots that they can tap into deeper flows of qi, actually pulling the planet's qi into the leaves.
2-As per older trees killing the soil, my understanging is in line with what the folks above said, that a healthy, balanced ecosystem will renew the soil, as long as the tree it picked responsibly. It also follows to me that healthy old trees, as well as wild/semi-wild trees would likely have some space between then, rather than being planted row after row. This is extrapolation (as well as in a book I am reading), since I have not yet been to Yunnan. Thoughts?
3-I went to a bunch of factories in Nepal, Darjeeling, and Assam. All three grow the same big-leaf plant found in Yunnan and used for puerh (though significantly less in Darjeeling and Nepal, since they primarily use small-leaf varietals). Interestingly enough, the prevailing belief in these places was that trees are not good after 50 years or so. The folks I asked cited a drop in productivity, so it seemed to me to be a matter of quantity over quality. I did find one plantation in Darjeeling that had plants over 100 years old. But I think I agree with Gecko that an old tree chopped short is similair to a bush. Dunno though.
4-For the "anti-old-tree" folks, can you cite better reasons? Have you done some tests with old tree pu vs plantation pu and found them to be the same? Or is this some good old fashioned skepticism? In my experience, old trees and wild tree feel smoother and with a stronger qi feeling. But I can only truely attest to my own experiences... I'd like to hear what others have found.
beecrofter wrote:I would seperate "old trees" from "wild trees" that have seen no commercial fertilizers or pesticides.
In my opinion this is why there are such pleasant surprises obtained from teas produced by minority peoples such as the Dai, and border teas from trees that were never a part of a plantation.
needaTEAcher wrote:I agree that the market seems to be flooded with "fake" teas, or at least teas that claim to be something they are not. But I think our role as consumers should be to educate ourselves, learn what we like, and try to find it, rather than dismissing large swatches of the tea culture that are often imitated. Find a source you trust and go from there! And use common sense. If it is a lot cheaper than it should be, something is likely wrong.
Stupid mean dishonest tea vendors!
iovetea wrote:yes but its hard to trust someone when its involves money, also i wish it were so easy that you could go by the price. i paid good bucks for fake pu erhs. I even had one with a berry in it.