Killer tea... what to do?


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

Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby Tead Off » Aug 16th, '12, 02:03

MarshalN wrote:Alas when I bought a sample of the Tai Lian market cake it came exclusively in fannings. I had to ask YS for a refund (which I got) for the sample because I drinking fannings is not the same as drinking leaves.

I think what shah's describing is what I called drinking with your body. Focusing too much on what's going on inside your mouth with regards to taste and smell is sort of missing the point in terms of drinking raw pu - the tastes and smell will change (sometimes very quickly) whereas the feeling will remain if the tea is good. Chase the feeling, not the taste.

Your body doesn't know what it is drinking. It's your mind that says I'm drinking this or that. Your mind also says I like or don't like and this is all based on subjective experience/memory. But, I get your point. Too much thinking goes into drinking tea, no matter what the tea is.
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby David R. » Aug 16th, '12, 03:28

shah82 wrote:I think there are too many people who want to follow the likes and dislikes of others rather than taste (and educate) for themselves. For best effect, it's a personal experience.


This is also my feeling.
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby Drax » Aug 16th, '12, 07:19

Thanks, everybody! All of this discussion is really helping.

I'm working from a sample, and I selected two really solid chunks. Like TeadOff described, the leaves look pretty chopped. After a rinse (30 seconds), I ran my first 4 steeps at 10 seconds each. So I probably overloaded my mouth with some astringent factor by the 2nd steep.

TwoDog, I guess the question is whether the strong astringency was the causing factor, or whether it was only part of a number of factors (I think I've had pretty astringent teas before that did not cause my taste buds to go into hiding). I think I'll do what shah suggested, and put the rest of the sample into a jar and let it breathe for a couple of weeks and then try again... and maybe steep a little quicker in the beginning. :lol:

Having said all that, I did feel something from this tea -- something that I don't feel with every tea. Maybe I noticed it more because I had no taste to focus on.

shah82 wrote:Apologies for getting all ranty. I just see the quantity of anything like affordable good puerh continually go down. I read recent posts by ulumochi about the practical consequences of this process and how it drives out honest shopkeeps delivering decent pu, cheap(er). I'm concerned about a future, along with global warming and the general economic crisis of low demand, where puerh that's good at being puerh is rare and expensive. If this is generally a hoarding problem, then the problem will fix itself, but it might take some years. However, it might also be a general exhaustion of the old tea trees, and they might be dying from the local climate change from rubber cultivation and other deforestation, or giving worse and worse new tea from being overpicked--then we'd really be screwed.


I worry about this problem, too... for markets that suddenly become popular and suffer from a flood of lower quality goods, you typically can still find a bastion of traditional or high-quality goods -- or sometimes the market collapses and has a rebirth focused on quality. But... for tea, the older trees play an important role, and one that can't readily recover...
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby MarshalN » Aug 16th, '12, 11:32

debunix wrote:If the tea doesn't taste good, I'm not going to bother drinking enough of it to find out whether it has any of the other special effects being discussed here. Taste matters a lot!


That's fair, but then we're talking about puerh. If your goal is only for immediate consumption and not storage, then don't worry about anything and just drink what tastes good to you now. If you buy anything more than that and intend to store them, however, then you do need to worry about how it's going to be down the road, and how the tea tastes now has very little to do with how it will taste in the future in terms of aroma and such.

Teadoff - I think in some ways your body does know, better than your brain does. I've had cases where I thought a tea is going to be horrible, but then it surprises me not necessarily in the immediate taste, but in how the tea feels once I drink it (in fact, I just had that experience today at a pretty dodgy vendor). I think my point, if I have to boil it down to a single one, is that we shouldn't just react to what's going on with our nose and tongue.
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby apache » Aug 16th, '12, 11:40

I think Drax should change the title of this post to "Puerh Conundrum". :wink:
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby teaisme » Aug 16th, '12, 17:22

perhaps you brewed too strong/long somewhere along the line

a 30sec rinse does sound excessive for me at least

It seems like for young plantation stuff (young bushes, not age of tea) there is a point, once you pass it the rest of of the infusions are muddied and taste rather mundane , really no saving it

xiaguan tuos come to mind, but I suppose this is common for many bigger production teas. A good preheat, high heat, very fast infusions, with a generous (but not too generous!) whole chunk seems to remedy this for me. Knocking out the astringency to far in the background is the way I enjoy these types of tea. Just too harsh for my body otherwise.

Just a stab in the dark though about your cake, I'm just starting to drink lots of puerh past few months. :mrgreen:
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby TwoDog2 » Aug 21st, '12, 04:46

Tead Off wrote:Your body doesn't know what it is drinking. It's your mind that says I'm drinking this or that. Your mind also says I like or don't like and this is all based on subjective experience/memory. But, I get your point. Too much thinking goes into drinking tea, no matter what the tea is.


The body is at least somewhat aware, some peoples more than others.

If you were given a pill, filled with an unknown chemical substance, you could have purely bodily responses, even if your mind didn't know what you had consumed. Whether it was caffeine, a sedative , or a hallucinogenic.

When seeking out good tea, I think the overall feeling a tea delivers is more important than the taste, but it is still an overall package. I wouldn't drink something for the qi if it tasted like diapers. Or from the other side, I wouldn't drink some tea that great flavors I enjoyed if it made me feel sick and gave me a headache.
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby Tead Off » Aug 22nd, '12, 13:49

TwoDog2 wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Your body doesn't know what it is drinking. It's your mind that says I'm drinking this or that. Your mind also says I like or don't like and this is all based on subjective experience/memory. But, I get your point. Too much thinking goes into drinking tea, no matter what the tea is.


The body is at least somewhat aware, some peoples more than others.

If you were given a pill, filled with an unknown chemical substance, you could have purely bodily responses, even if your mind didn't know what you had consumed. Whether it was caffeine, a sedative , or a hallucinogenic.

When seeking out good tea, I think the overall feeling a tea delivers is more important than the taste, but it is still an overall package. I wouldn't drink something for the qi if it tasted like diapers. Or from the other side, I wouldn't drink some tea that great flavors I enjoyed if it made me feel sick and gave me a headache.


Your body is not aware of anything in the sense that it doesn't discriminate between good and bad. The brain does this discriminating and the brain makes decisions based on the past and the accumulation of your experience. Certainly, the body is not inert and is like a receptor for sensations. But it is the brain that is interpreting these sensations according to what it already knows. If you stick yourself with a pin, the body feels it but the brain interprets this to be pain, something to be avoided. But the brain can be taught not to associate certain sensations with pain. This is why some people have a much higher tolerance for discomfort. The phrase 'it's all in your mind' is very telling. Even the sense of yourself is learned just like your name.
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby bagua7 » Aug 22nd, '12, 18:40

Washing/rinsing the teas with boiling water prior to brewing should remove most of those pesky pesticides residues.
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby TwoDog2 » Aug 22nd, '12, 22:40

Tead Off wrote:Your body is not aware of anything in the sense that it doesn't discriminate between good and bad. The brain does this discriminating and the brain makes decisions based on the past and the accumulation of your experience. Certainly, the body is not inert and is like a receptor for sensations. But it is the brain that is interpreting these sensations according to what it already knows. If you stick yourself with a pin, the body feels it but the brain interprets this to be pain, something to be avoided. But the brain can be taught not to associate certain sensations with pain. This is why some people have a much higher tolerance for discomfort. The phrase 'it's all in your mind' is very telling. Even the sense of yourself is learned just like your name.


I see what you are saying. In that sense, very few things are independent of brain function. All sensation comes to us via the brain.
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby Tead Off » Aug 22nd, '12, 23:34

TwoDog2 wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Your body is not aware of anything in the sense that it doesn't discriminate between good and bad. The brain does this discriminating and the brain makes decisions based on the past and the accumulation of your experience. Certainly, the body is not inert and is like a receptor for sensations. But it is the brain that is interpreting these sensations according to what it already knows. If you stick yourself with a pin, the body feels it but the brain interprets this to be pain, something to be avoided. But the brain can be taught not to associate certain sensations with pain. This is why some people have a much higher tolerance for discomfort. The phrase 'it's all in your mind' is very telling. Even the sense of yourself is learned just like your name.


I see what you are saying. In that sense, very few things are independent of brain function. All sensation comes to us via the brain.


There may be a separate 'life' of the senses, of the body, but the brain has become the interpreter of every experience we have and all of it is based on the past. It is the creator of the sense of self, of 'I'. And, this 'I' is having an experience. Maybe in rare moments, we recognize this through some kind of insight or 'seeing', but usually we are like programmed robots moving towards or against what we like and don't like, what we think we should like and not like. It goes on and on, but this is too big a topic for the heading Pu-Erh. :D
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Re: Killer tea... what to do?

Postby bagua7 » Aug 24th, '12, 14:03

In TCM, Buddhism and Taoism, the brain is a minor organ and definitively not the seat of consciousness:

http://www.sacredlotus.com/theory/extra ... .cfm#brain
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290610,00.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... njury.html

It has little importance. :wink:
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