Cloud suggests 5 criteria to choose pu for aging


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Cloud suggests 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby apache » Jan 5th, '13, 20:01

I just read a very useful article from the man:
http://www.hkteaforum.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=8816&extra=page%3D1

=============================

To choose cakes with aging potential, he stated five important criteria:

1. Avoid cakes which show signs of green tea (apache: e.g. oolong)
2. Avoid cakes which have too many silver tips
3. Avoid cakes which do not taste much
4. Avoid cakes which are bitter but the bitterness doesn't yield huigan
5. Avoid cakes which taste thin and without substance

These are just guidelines on paper, but the difficulty is knowing how to apply these principles when sampling a cake.

=============================

apache:
Interestingly, he didn't mention over-oxidized red tea.

Of cause, if for what ever reason you are not planning to age any pu but only buy it and drink it now, there is no need to worry about any of these.

Edit: Minor grammar corrections.
Last edited by apache on Jan 7th, '13, 19:57, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby MarshalN » Jan 5th, '13, 23:22

Over-oxidized red teas exist, but they're not that common. Green tea puerh is much more prevalent.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby TIM » Jan 5th, '13, 23:39

'Oolong-Pu' is a big problem!
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby Tead Off » Jan 6th, '13, 00:26

MarshalN wrote:Over-oxidized red teas exist, but they're not that common. Green tea puerh is much more prevalent.

What is actually meant by 'green tea' puerh? Is it tea that has not been through any fermentation process and made into a cake?
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby MarshalN » Jan 6th, '13, 00:52

Tead Off wrote:
MarshalN wrote:Over-oxidized red teas exist, but they're not that common. Green tea puerh is much more prevalent.

What is actually meant by 'green tea' puerh? Is it tea that has not been through any fermentation process and made into a cake?


Kill-green at too high a temperature. Can be quite fragrant now, but will not age well at all.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby Tead Off » Jan 6th, '13, 01:19

MarshalN wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
MarshalN wrote:Over-oxidized red teas exist, but they're not that common. Green tea puerh is much more prevalent.

What is actually meant by 'green tea' puerh? Is it tea that has not been through any fermentation process and made into a cake?


Kill-green at too high a temperature. Can be quite fragrant now, but will not age well at all.

How can you tell this?
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby MarshalN » Jan 6th, '13, 01:25

Tead Off wrote:
MarshalN wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
MarshalN wrote:Over-oxidized red teas exist, but they're not that common. Green tea puerh is much more prevalent.

What is actually meant by 'green tea' puerh? Is it tea that has not been through any fermentation process and made into a cake?


Kill-green at too high a temperature. Can be quite fragrant now, but will not age well at all.

How can you tell this?


By experience. If it tastes like green tea, red flags should go up.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby Tead Off » Jan 6th, '13, 01:49

MarshalN wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
MarshalN wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
MarshalN wrote:Over-oxidized red teas exist, but they're not that common. Green tea puerh is much more prevalent.

What is actually meant by 'green tea' puerh? Is it tea that has not been through any fermentation process and made into a cake?


Kill-green at too high a temperature. Can be quite fragrant now, but will not age well at all.

How can you tell this?


By experience. If it tastes like green tea, red flags should go up.

Okay. I've just drunk a young sheng with that exact profile. Leaves were gorgeous and whole. I even wrote in my notes how it tasted just like green teas I've had.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby shah82 » Jan 6th, '13, 03:56

Lincang teas can really taste like green tea as a whole, and I suspect part of the enduring charm is as a keepable green tea. Of course, this means that green tea puerh will be a bit harder to tell.

Hongchapu isn't so bad, and those guys do eventually age. I think there is a distinction to be made here. There's hongchapu with leaves fermented before the shaqing process. That's not so bad. Then there's hongchapu with a poor shaqing process with many leaves not fixed, and your bing turns all red. That's bad, because the energy of the tea dissappears and it gets all mild and flat, where with the previous example, if you sample it, it's aging from that set point, and the fermented flavors like malt won't increase.

The third guideline is the most problematic--I suggest an age limit, in that if a tea doesn't taste that much (specifically a low taste volume) as a three year old, then that tea's probably bad. Some areas like Yiwu can start off light, and you'll need to figure out what is a light taste and what is a low volume taste.

There are lots of cakes that are bitter and doesn't yield huigans. For instance, I'm not really a fan of most Lao Man'e, because the yield, frankly, is not worth it. There are other Bulangs with that tendency as well. But beyond tea from areas that are just really bitter, bitterness without huigans as a general rule is a major tipoff that something is wrong, and most bitterness like that will not feel natural. Paying attention to astringency matters the same way. The top stuff? It's one of three things. It's ultra smooth. The astringency will store flavors in your mouth. The astringency will give character to the body and leave a pleasant feel in the mouth. Like with bitterness, a young tea can be very astringent and still be promising, if it feels right and behaves. On the other hand, a bad tea will have an astringency that makes your mouth feel wierd, sticky, funky.

I'm not sure about the thin and without substance...that's personal preference to me, and I do like the silky and thin teas. I suppose it's better to say that the tea should feel like something. If it's like hot water, well, you know, there will be plenty of other things wrong with that tea.

Too many silver tips is easy. Too many tips makes the tea boring and lacking in MEAT. So, sweet 'n bland/insipid. Tips adds sweetness, but your broad leaves should be doing the same, too. So you shouldn't need too many tips in that cake. You judge by whether the sweetness is balanced by real flavor. If it is, then no matter how the tips are, you're probably going to be happy with the aged cake. Tippy teas do have their place, if you know what to expect and know to consume them.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby MarshalN » Jan 6th, '13, 04:39

[quote="shah82"]There are lots of cakes that are bitter and doesn't yield huigans. For instance, I'm not really a fan of most Lao Man'e, because the yield, frankly, is not worth it. /quote]

Lao Man'e is not generally considered good pu by old tea hands.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby Exempt » Jan 6th, '13, 04:53

MarshalN wrote:
shah82 wrote:There are lots of cakes that are bitter and doesn't yield huigans. For instance, I'm not really a fan of most Lao Man'e, because the yield, frankly, is not worth it. /quote]

Lao Man'e is not generally considered good pu by old tea hands.

Why is it not generally considered good? I really enjoy it. I can get it at a good price and I find it has good qi, mouthfeel, strength, and if brewed right it has a deep sweetness along with the bitterness.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby MarshalN » Jan 6th, '13, 07:44

Exempt wrote:
MarshalN wrote:
shah82 wrote:There are lots of cakes that are bitter and doesn't yield huigans. For instance, I'm not really a fan of most Lao Man'e, because the yield, frankly, is not worth it. /quote]

Lao Man'e is not generally considered good pu by old tea hands.

Why is it not generally considered good? I really enjoy it. I can get it at a good price and I find it has good qi, mouthfeel, strength, and if brewed right it has a deep sweetness along with the bitterness.


There are two types of Lao Man'e tea, the sweeter kind and the bitter kind, a lot of the stuff on the market are the bitter kind, and will be pretty much forever bitter no matter how long it's been aged. Those really are no good. People mistakenly identify bitterness with strength/power, but there are different kinds of bitterness.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby ChengduCha » Jan 6th, '13, 09:06

I think how well a tea will age depends a lot on external factors too.

The conclusions are simple and logic, but I think it'll probably take another 15-20 years or so to be able to come to better empirical conclusions, given the fact that all the single estate cakes of specific areas are relatively recent productions and people only recently started to store younger cakes on a larger scale in climatic regions that are a lot different from HK, Guangdong and Yunnan.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby ImmortaliTEA » Jan 6th, '13, 11:22

I was of the opinion that bitterness without huigan should be referred to as astringency but based on these posts I guess that is wrong. I realize there might be info about this in past records but I would greatly appreciate if someone could explain the difference between bitterness & astringency.
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Re: Cloud suggested 5 criteria to choose pu for aging

Postby JakubT » Jan 6th, '13, 11:36

ImmortaliTea: I think that astringency is that feeling of "sandpaper in mouth" - as you slide your tongue on the palate/sides of oral cavity, it feels rough and does not slide as easily.
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