Official Pu of the day


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

Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby edkrueger » Nov 16th, '12, 15:29

shah82 wrote:Lastly, by the time a puerh tea gets older than 30 years old (with reasonable humidity), it starts losing any specific connection to where it's from.

How do you know this? I wonder,
wyardly wrote:can you give us some examples of aged cakes (let's say, > 30 years) you've tried made of pure [insert place here] material?
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 16th, '12, 15:49

This is what I've read, from multiple sources. I'm not sure, however, that anyone could contradict me very much. Isn't the latest reasonably and commonly available aged big tree puerh the early '80s proto-8582? Could you tell, much at all, what area that tea came from, those of you that have had it? Those of you that have had 70s sheng, could you tell where any of that tea came from?

Personally, I can't tell all that specifically where reasonably new tea came from. I can tell Banna from Mengku/Jinggu/ and from Jingmai. If this was so easy, do you think Dan Kunmu could stir up a controversy about a recent set of 99-00 Big Green Tree teas by saying they are actually from Nannuo and not Yiwu? Sanhetang and the shops they supply tea to have a really remarkable tendency to have pretty big differences in where something came from. The '07 Huangshanlin has 3 different areas cited as to where it's from in three different shops (and of course, there is no initial statement as such in the XZH blog). The '07 Yuanshilin is even worse. More than that, let's not forget about all the fakery that goes on with Yiwu and Banzhang teas. With an experienced tastebud, I suppose one could tell where some tea is from, especially when young. However, about the only place I can tell for sure a 90s tea is from a certain place is Lincang, largely for the distinctive sourness it can have.

How can *anyone* seriously care about what an expensive single estate tea will be like in thirty years? It's not as if you expect the flavors to be so awesome. You just want flavor, body, qi, and good aftertastes. That LBZ tends to be excessively mild is not a problem, so much that it has a thin body, typically. However, there's the qi, and there's the aftertastes. And frankly, we really just don't know how any of this will age, and it's silly to have strong expectations. What we do know is how the premium teas since Zhenchunyahao has aged, and the measuring stick we *can* apply, is how they age in the 5-10yo range. That's why and how I talked about the potential of LBZ to age. Not even to 15 years of age.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TIM » Nov 16th, '12, 16:00

hmmm.... I would not be so sure :roll:
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 16th, '12, 16:57

Well, shouldn't you add to the discussion? Which of my assertions should I not be sure about, anyways?
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TIM » Nov 16th, '12, 19:13

shah82 wrote:Well, shouldn't you add to the discussion? Which of my assertions should I not be sure about, anyways?


I think a lot of the suggestion you quote from others that I am not sure of.
Puerh aged properly should not fate in any means?
Losing the Terroir or Character of the area due to aging?
Just to name a few.... imho.

"Drink less, but better and longer - make a cult of it, a philosophy." just be more selective.

http://www.smokeshopmag.com/0606/spotlight.htm
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby gasninja » Nov 17th, '12, 00:55

I've thought that I could taste Bulang characteristics in a 70s Puerh I drink regularly.

I think that it may not be the best to judge how a tea is going to come out in 5-10 years. At this time in a teas life it seems that there is a lot of activity going on and there is a big chance that everything wont work together as well at this stage as earlier or later.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Drax » Nov 17th, '12, 08:57

gasninja EDITED wrote:I think that it may not be the best to judge how a child is going to come out in 5-10 years. At this time in a child's life it seems that there is a lot of activity going on and there is a big chance that everything wont work together as well at this stage as earlier or later.


A funny thought just struck me as I read what you said, gasninja, so I couldn't resist this edit of what you said! :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby BioHorn » Nov 17th, '12, 10:17

TIM wrote:
shah82 wrote:Well, shouldn't you add to the discussion? Which of my assertions should I not be sure about, anyways?


I think a lot of the suggestion you quote from others that I am not sure of.
Puerh aged properly should not fate in any means?
Losing the Terroir or Character of the area due to aging?
Just to name a few.... imho.

"Drink less, but better and longer - make a cult of it, a philosophy." just be more selective.

http://www.smokeshopmag.com/0606/spotlight.htm


Yesterday I had a nice 2002 Yi Wu Ancient Spirit from Yunnan Sourcing. Not bad.

Thanks for the link, Tim. This quote also caught my eye:

"Returning to Switzerland, Zino’s mission was to dedicate himself to the Havana puro, reinventing the experience in Europe by installing an environmentally-controlled storage room in the family’s shop - the first in the world and the forerunner of today’s humidor. Zino’s family had considerable doubts, but Zino never regretted his pursuit, as his store slowly earned the reputation as the premier site for Havana cigars."

So. He was recreating conditions he knew from Cuba. My take is we are trying to approximate storage conditions in HK.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby gasninja » Nov 17th, '12, 10:35

Drax wrote:
gasninja EDITED wrote:I think that it may not be the best to judge how a child is going to come out in 5-10 years. At this time in a child's life it seems that there is a lot of activity going on and there is a big chance that everything wont work together as well at this stage as earlier or later.


A funny thought just struck me as I read what you said, gasninja, so I couldn't resist this edit of what you said! :D

When I first read what you just said I thought "damn you auto correct." screwing up my posts again. Then I realized I didn't actually type that (havn't had any tea yet :? ) But that I could have copied what I wrote out of a cut rate child psychology paper.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby MarshalN » Nov 17th, '12, 15:02

shah82 wrote:How can *anyone* seriously care about what an expensive single estate tea will be like in thirty years? It's not as if you expect the flavors to be so awesome. You just want flavor, body, qi, and good aftertastes. That LBZ tends to be excessively mild is not a problem, so much that it has a thin body, typically. However, there's the qi, and there's the aftertastes. And frankly, we really just don't know how any of this will age, and it's silly to have strong expectations. What we do know is how the premium teas since Zhenchunyahao has aged, and the measuring stick we *can* apply, is how they age in the 5-10yo range. That's why and how I talked about the potential of LBZ to age. Not even to 15 years of age.


Hmm, whose LBZ have you been drinking? Thin body? Mild? Really?

Again, I know you don't agree, but the antique teas ARE a reference point. You can argue all you want about different climate, production volumes, etc, and I concur, but the fact is, that stuff is from Yiwu and surrounding mountains, so from a purely terroir standpoint, they do provide a reference point. Just because it's not easy to have access to it doesn't mean it isn't valid.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 17th, '12, 17:34

Practically the only LBZ I've ever had with a notable thick and plump body was the Puersom '11. I've had about 9 banzhangs and 5 explicitly stated LBZ. All but the puersom '11 have blog reviews on the web. If you'd go out and read english language reviews about LBZ that's not new at the time of review, most notably tuochatea.blogspot, you'll find my statements about calmness or mildness to be corroborated. Plenty of reviews about not having many low notes. As a result, I don't find my perception at all controversial.

Next, I find the attitude that you should consider antique teas to be a reference point to be excessively romantic sentiment. People get those tea straight out of Antique Roadshow. 30 year old, 40 year old, and greater, these things are only available to the wealthy, secure, and lucky, in terms of any sort of continuous hobby. It's like expecting any old geeky kid in high school to be able to pick up the head cheerleader. Those expectations are just not very fair, not to the average hobbyist and not to the average tea that could be consumnately enjoyed before 30 years. More than that, it is obvious to expect that the hobby will move away from antique teas as a focus, since only progressively richer and powerful will ever have access to them. And as you see with the Bingdao craze, I think it's safe to expect that teas that probably won't do so well beyond 8-15 years will increase in popularity. Especially since it's completely unreasonable to get exceptional Yiwu these days. I drank XZH '07 Dabaicha today, and it was frankly better than the vast majority of yiwus I have ever had access to. It might be flat, might have no dark depths, but what it does do well, it does very well, and I think people shouldn't have such high expectations or such long windows such that they dismiss a decent JingGu or whatever odd puerh there are, out there.

Of course, not that average people can get an exceptional JingGu anymore (or for anything like a reasonable price).

Ah, and gasninja, ultimately, if this 30y thing is what you want to do, I don't really think you have much of a choice but to get to taipei/hk with a seriously high budget and buy three haocha '96-'03 tongs. You've got that Xiaguan iron cake--that's only a good start! If you've got a decade, then 20 years is possibly makeable. I think the sooner that's done, the better.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby gasninja » Nov 17th, '12, 22:13

I might already have several tongs from that period. No trip to hong kong needed. not that I wouldn't like to go.


There is going to be allot more fifteen year plus tea available in ten years time, as the amount of Puerh produced in the past ten years. I some how think your wrong about the Puerh scene moving away from aged stuff. Isnt that the whole point yah know -gets better with age -and all that. Plus i dont know if you have noticed but new stuff is getting more expensive than older stuff. For the price of a new Lbz I can get three ten year old cakes that are quality( Even single mountain ).Old stuff may not be your thing but that doesn't mean it's not plausible for others to be into it.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 17th, '12, 23:07

I did think you might.

I mentioned that time period because I think people should have an easier to grasp horizon. Buy a few tongs of 15 year puerh, then that means it's far more imaginable that you'll be sitting down at your table, not too different than you are today, about to drink 30yo puerh--no worries that it's some precious precious sample, you've got plenty already!

Yes, in ten year's time, there will be more 15yo tea. That's tea from 2008. Do you think your Dayi 8582 801 is going to be anything like as good as its predecessors? Or more normal, like uber-cheap 90s tuo Nada used to sell? The good single mountain stuff that turned out to age well will probably be beyond anyone's pocketbook. We're probably going to find out, oh, LBZ sucks and DaMenglong (the Mengsong at the Myanmar border) is awesome! Or something crazy like that.

I do not agree that new stuff has been getting more expensive than old stuff. Most of this stuff, Lao Banzhang, '99-'00 Yiwus, they've all been hyped so much, and they've gone up way past what's really reasonable per quality. Now, look the other way. Do you see Houde stocking up on old tea? Hmmm? They've have added a new Ban'E, some quality yiwu over the last year, but they have not added one new aged product. The only thing they did over the last year, maybe two, is sell a few more of those mid-90s bricks. The last new pre 2k item Houde sold was some Dayi 250g tuo from '98. Only a little more '90s Yiwu maocha. A little more of that Vietnamese stuff. Do you see Jing Tea Shop, who used to sell quite a bit of high quality aged tea, sell *anything* older than '99? What, beyond the '99 Fuhai Yiwu has Nada brought back that was anything like recognizable? It's not as if people haven't been rummaging around Skip4tea or Taobao for nameless muck that tastes reasonably decent and aged.

I like non-musty aged tea perfectly fine. I'm just quite well aware of just how much of the stuff that makes it to the West is just meh leftovers that's really costly. Most of the best aged teas I've had was from the stocks of other people who bought their teas long ago. I paid $145 for 400g of XZH LBZ. I paid $165 for 500g of YQH Yiwu. At the time I could feasibly have paid for older tea that I liked at all, what were my choices? A 1993 7542? That was like $330/~340g at Nada's at the time. A reasonably cheap '96 7532 made me nauseus for some reason, same with the Little Yellow Label. A Dadugang Yiwu '99 for $320 @ Houde? A few '01 DaXueShan 100g cans of maocha from same for $70 ea? How about that 80's shu for $197/250g? The stuff that I'd like and want to buy and drink were unconscionably expensive! At the time, good Yiwu and good LBZ (however you want to define it) were still just expensive, and not out of your mind expensive. That's how I made my choices. And I don't think that the broad section of society are going to do otherwise. I'm picky about how I want my aged tea, but I'm not *that* picky. I never got the confidence to try Taobao while I still had money. I never just plunked down the money for that 7542 when I could have, because I wasn't sure then (and later bought '01 7542s that aren't as good). You shouldn't expect people to be happy with just, whatever. Or be comfortable trying to buy products in a language they don't understand, with intermediaries, almost literally from the other side of the Earth. What's more, it's not as if it's only puerh drinkers here face that logic. Puerh drinkers over there do so, too. Aged tea is a minimal presence on the chinese language forums, aside from hkteaforums. I think I will be proven right that the horizons will be more about 8-15 years of aging.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby MarshalN » Nov 17th, '12, 23:56

Just because something is called LBZ by the vendor doesn't mean it's actually LBZ. LBZ these days that are sold as such are often filled with other stuff. You need to find the right ones, and honestly, the thin, mild ones need not apply.

As for using antiques as a benchmark - we're talking about benchmark, we didn't talk about accessibility. I know it's incredibly difficult to get access to it. But just because you don't have access to it doesn't mean it's not there as a reference point.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Nov 18th, '12, 00:42

Well, then, who wants to play the paranoia game? I'm pretty sure that the Gan'en LBZ is not pure LBZ. Might be dubious about the Puersom. However, it's quite well beyond unreasonable to think that the '05 XZH LBZ or Nada's '08 aren't pure LBZ. They do taste and behave like one another, and most people think that's genuine LBZ. The Taiji? /me clownfrowns. They are not that standard, but I don't think they behave as a blend, and they really don't strike me as likely from any of the surrounding areas. It's much more likely in my opinion that they are from a distinct area of LBZ than not LBZ at all. But beyond all that--past a certain point, I have zero interest in playing No True Scotsman about what's any single estate (or aged recipe) tea's from. If someone sez it's from LBZ, and that person has credibility and experience, then I'm going to take them at their word unless they are obviously wrong. And I've already dismissed other authority, like that The Leaf's article on LBZ cakes, because their recs were bull. More than that, I will firmly contest the assertion that LBZ doesn't get mild, sweet, and subtle in flavor as it ages. Young, fresh LBZ? Wow! But they don't stay that way beyond about 3 years.

As for the second part, MarshalN, just listen to yourself. If a benchmark is unavailable, then can it really serve as a benchmark? Do you really think people can get a concrete idea from furtive samplings of $20-$50 pots of tea, or among a group of people who are preparing tea different than how they'd prepare it themselves? Don't you think the hobby will instead drift to what people can repeatedly experience for themselves? The rich and the folks who got in early can play the game, like fancy car owners and their stupid Mustangs. The rest of us have to go with Civics and just rice it up, man.
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