Aging Puerh.


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

Aging Puerh.

Postby TIM » Oct 23rd, '12, 11:34

I think its time to have a real discussion on the subject of aging (puerh in this case).
Not because he is a friend, or someone I respected greatly, but because he consistently ask the right questions, called out BS, and have been answering us on teachat with Real research and knowledge. Therefore, I encourage people who really care about aging puerh to read this:

http://www.marshaln.com/2012/10/aging-p ... 1481237582

So, we can begin a positive discussion with real personal experience, rather than googled answers or made believe knowledge.

First question, do you think we can age puerh any where? How is your experience with people at least have 5 years of aging, and over 50 cakes?

*NO TROLL PLEASE.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby theredbaron » Oct 23rd, '12, 13:41

I have no clue what this or that famous Sheng is supposed to taste like. I haven't had the opportunity to drink fabulously expensive ancient Pu Erh's. But I do like the taste of aged sheng far more than fresh sheng.

What i am drinking are my own home stored teas. My oldest home stored teas are from the late 90's and 2000/2001/2002. I bought them in Malaysia at the time. I don't remember where they were from, just that they were boutique teas, and are very very nice. It was lovely to follow their aging process, when i began drinking them in 2008. I still have enough cakes from then left to last me two years at least. And by then some of my other teas will be ready.
For many years i haven't bought Pu Erh anymore, but began buying in 2008 again (mostly teas from 2004 and 2006 onwards). At times i nip at my teas, to see how they develop. A few teas i am not so happy yet (mostly big factory blends), but some others i am quite confident that they will develop into something very nice, such as Yunnansourcing's 2009 "Wu Liang Lan Xiang", which i had a pot a few months ago, and which develops into something very complex. Another tea, which i bought from Yunnansourcing in 2008 or 2009 that i liked a lot a year ago when i tried it last was the 2003 CNNP "Yi Wu High Mountain Wild Arbor".
I have other teas other than i have from Yunnasourcing, which i bought in Malaysia, or here and there.

Aging has a lot to do with climate. When i tried ten year old teas from Kunming, they often aged less in ten years than comparable teas here in my home in Bangkok in 2 or 3 years. That is my comparison. I am not an expert in Pu Erh, or aging Pu Erh, i just make do with what i can afford, and what i have. And so far, i like a lot what i have :D

I safe also a few of my cakes, so that one day i can have some proper 20 year old cakes (some of them won't even take that much longer, i realized with horror when just writing this down...i am i that old already...? :shock: ).

I don't aspire to become a Pu Erh master. I just like my teas. I buy mostly for the future, mostly look for teas that i feel have promise. Once a while i buy a cake or two from semi-aged teas, when they are not too costly, to stretch out my better teas, and to bridge over the time until the teas i bought later will be ready. I think that right now i have a 20 to 30 year supply. From now on i will buy a lot less, but then maybe more expensive cakes. I just won't need that much tea anymore, and i have no idea if my son will enjoy tea when he gets older.

I haven't had any disaster (knock on wood...), but i smell them regularly, and shift them once a while. I have done OK with my first cakes in this way, and why fix it when it's not broken.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby shah82 » Oct 23rd, '12, 13:48

An old classic series, sure to embiggin any newbie perspectives...

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/06/pers ... -puer.html

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/08/pers ... -puer.html

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/10/pers ... -puer.html

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/10/by-w ... eries.html

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/12/pers ... -puer.html

As for me, I think I have two important things I could say:

1) Aging horizons are going to shorten according to the perspectives and needs of a consumer base that's much broader than it used to be, and much less oversupplied. Most people will aim for 7-10 years, and be satisfied with that. The leftovers will get the decades treatment. The original explosion of puer drinkers more or less inherited aged puerh, and very few have personally aged, with due attention, puerh for more than 20 years. Long term storage is not necessarily something anyone would want to do as part of the hobby, more than that, few people have the kind of life stability needed for a hobby centered around aging in multi-decade terms.

2) As a result of 1), I think we will see a much broader classification of aging destinations, from mellowing in dry storage, to a firm hand with 2-3 years traditional storage + a few years airing out. With nuanced circumstances to spare.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby TIM » Oct 23rd, '12, 13:50

theredbaron wrote:I have no clue what this or that famous Sheng is supposed to taste like. I haven't had the opportunity to drink fabulously expensive ancient Pu Erh's. But I do like the taste of aged sheng far more than fresh sheng.

What i am drinking are my own home stored teas. My oldest home stored teas are from the late 90's and 2000/2001/2002. I bought them in Malaysia at the time. I don't remember where they were from, just that they were boutique teas, and are very very nice. It was lovely to follow their aging process, when i began drinking them in 2008. I still have enough cakes from then left to last me two years at least. And by then some of my other teas will be ready.
For many years i haven't bought Pu Erh anymore, but began buying in 2008 again (mostly teas from 2004 and 2006 onwards). At times i nip at my teas, to see how they develop. A few teas i am not so happy yet (mostly big factory blends), but some others i am quite confident that they will develop into something very nice, such as Yunnansourcing's 2009 "Wu Liang Lan Xiang", which i had a pot a few months ago, and which develops into something very complex. Another tea, which i bought from Yunnansourcing in 2008 or 2009 that i liked a lot a year ago when i tried it last was the 2003 CNNP "Yi Wu High Mountain Wild Arbor".
I have other teas other than i have from Yunnasourcing, which i bought in Malaysia, or here and there.

Aging has a lot to do with climate. When i tried ten year old teas from Kunming, they often aged less in ten years than comparable teas here in my home in Bangkok in 2 or 3 years. That is my comparison. I am not an expert in Pu Erh, or aging Pu Erh, i just make do with what i can afford, and what i have. And so far, i like a lot what i have :D

I safe also a few of my cakes, so that one day i can have some proper 20 year old cakes (some of them won't even take that much longer, i realized with horror when just writing this down...i am i that old already...? :shock: ).

I don't aspire to become a Pu Erh master. I just like my teas. I buy mostly for the future, mostly look for teas that i feel have promise. Once a while i buy a cake or two from semi-aged teas, when they are not too costly, to stretch out my better teas, and to bridge over the time until the teas i bought later will be ready. I think that right now i have a 20 to 30 year supply. From now on i will buy a lot less, but then maybe more expensive cakes. I just won't need that much tea anymore, and i have no idea if my son will enjoy tea when he gets older.

I haven't had any disaster (knock on wood...), but i smell them regularly, and shift them once a while. I have done OK with my first cakes in this way, and why fix it when it's not broken.


Thanks Red Baron. What a good start of a conversation :D
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby TIM » Oct 23rd, '12, 13:53

shah82 wrote:An old classic series, sure to embiggin any newbie perspectives...

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/06/pers ... -puer.html


Wow... My Mandarin is really horrible :lol:
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby theredbaron » Oct 23rd, '12, 13:55

shah82 wrote: Most people will aim for 7-10 years, and be satisfied with that.


It depends though very much where these teas have been aged. 7 - 10 years in a hot/humid climate will be very different from the same stored in a cold/dry climate.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby edkrueger » Oct 23rd, '12, 13:58

A little off topic, but it looks like some one is taking climate control pretty seriously: http://listeningtoleaves.blogspot.com/
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby 135F2 » Oct 23rd, '12, 14:57



Shah82, Thank you for linking these very excellent posts on Chadao. It's good to re-read the advices, opinions and inquiries again today. They remind me of the concerns I had at the time and the answers I received (I inquired under Cha Dao's comment section as Phyll, my old handle). And now, having a few years of storing my teas, I have a bit more perspective on this issue, which I am still evaluating by doing a side-by-side tasting comparison.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby apache » Oct 23rd, '12, 18:21

Don't think I'm qualified to post anything on this topic yet, give me another couple more years.

Anyhow, I do notice changes in my collections. The soup colour changed from pale yellow to deep yellow to yellowish orange. Some became much less bitter, e.g. HLH 2008 BZ & Lao ManE, 2010 EoT Bulang. Also there are some just haven't changed that much e.g. 2007 12 Gentleman Menghai. Some are rather disappointing e.g. YS 2009 GFZ! If you ask me do any of my collections became or becoming fine aged pu, all I could say is that the jury is still out.

I really don't think my teas will age as quickly as they would if they were stored in HK. Humidity perhaps is not a problem (around 70% most of the time), the only problem is temperature which not very often goes over 20 C. so everything just goes in a leisurely pace.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby BioHorn » Oct 23rd, '12, 19:37

apache wrote:Don't think I'm qualified to post anything on this topic yet, give me another couple more years.

Anyhow, I do notice changes in my collections. The soup colour changed from pale yellow to deep yellow to yellowish orange. Some became much less bitter, e.g. HLH 2008 BZ & Lao ManE, 2010 EoT Bulang. Also there are some just haven't changed that much e.g. 2007 12 Gentleman Menghai. Some are rather disappointing e.g. YS 2009 GFZ! If you ask me do any of my collections became or becoming fine aged pu, all I could say is that the jury is still out.

I really don't think my teas will age as quickly as they would if they were stored in HK. Humidity perhaps is not a problem (around 70% most of the time), the only problem is temperature which not very often goes over 20 C. so everything just goes in a leisurely pace.

Apache, thanks for the update. It is interesting to hear your experience. The comments about Lao ManE I find particularly interesting.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby gasninja » Oct 24th, '12, 00:29

I Don't have five years of ageing experience. But I have have noticed big changes ( well bigger than I expected) in the two years that I have had my storage cabinet " pumidor". My humidity stays around 80% in the summer and 70% in the winter. I have used a cigar oasis humidifier they are around$100 dollars but I ended up breaking it. I have since found that an adjustable fish tank heater in a pitcher of water does allot better job of keeping the rh up as well as adding some much needed heat. I have so far not noticed any new mold. I try to go through and check them out every couple months.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby MarshalN » Oct 24th, '12, 00:30

With any type of artificial humidifier - be careful with the mold, because I've seen more than one person getting screwed by such actions.

It's the dry season in HK now, but I'm not too worried, since it's HK and home stored teas should be fine. God knows it's hot enough here.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby jayinhk » Oct 24th, '12, 05:14

MarshalN wrote:It's the dry season in HK now, but I'm not too worried, since it's HK and home stored teas should be fine. God knows it's hot enough here.


This is the nicest time of year. Not too hot, not too wet or dry and lots of sunny days. Pity about the pollution though.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby yanom » Oct 24th, '12, 05:28

Seems to me the thrust of blog post is less about ageing and more about articulating the difference between how puerh has been drunk for the last 50-100 (?) years and how it has started being drunk for the last 10 (?) years -- i.e. either with 15+ years of warm, humid ageing; or young.

I've started keeping some bings that I'm hoping *may* age okay but I don't think they'll age that well because I'm in the UK, although I am adding some humidity.

If I was somewhere hot and humid I'd be much more confident. However, I do tend to visit Hong Kong every couple of years. For now, in the UK, I'll be buying & drinking aged samples and armed with that bit more experience and confidence would hope in the future to be able to load up on a few 10+ year bings from HK in the future. I'm guessing something that's had 10 years of storage in the UK would be fine after 10 more years in the UK?

I wish I could enjoy lots of young sheng but anything I've had so far that is younger than 10-15 years I tend to find a bit boring.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby TIM » Oct 24th, '12, 16:41

First question, do you think we can age puerh any where? How is your experience with people at least have 5 years of aging, and over 50 cakes?

I do believe we can age puerh properly anywhere, with the right condition and proper equipments and idea.

Personally, I have learn and benefit a great deal by the knowledge of aging cigar. Cigar connoisseurs in England and French tent to prefer aging them in a bit drier condition, hence the more floral aromatic character which most European fancy. In Asia and South America, people prefer more body and meaty flavor so with a more humid and closed environment.

These changes only occurs after 5 plus years. So, if cigar aficionados can archive these results any where, why cant puerh enthusiasts?

http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/200 ... rt_02.html
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