Tong Purchases


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

Tong Purchases

Postby AllanK » Sep 13th, '13, 13:35

I just bought my first two tongs from Yunnan Sourcing. I bought two different Shu Puerhs and will be looking forward to the mailman in about a week. Now the big question, what is the best way to store them? I was planning on using a cardboard box as I don't have a pumidor.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby shah82 » Sep 13th, '13, 16:34

You don't really need a pumidor for a shu. Especially if they are more than a couple of years old. Shu's ready in about five years. Only the best really benefit from more. Cardboard box is fine.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby AllanK » Sep 14th, '13, 01:36

AllanK wrote:I just bought my first two tongs from Yunnan Sourcing. I bought two different Shu Puerhs and will be looking forward to the mailman in about a week. Now the big question, what is the best way to store them? I was planning on using a cardboard box as I don't have a pumidor.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a tong purchase of Sheng Puerh from Yunnan Sourcing that is less than $150 per tong? I have been evaluating samples but haven't yet found one I want to try to age in the long run. It would have to be dry storaged.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby shah82 » Sep 14th, '13, 02:58

That is not possible.

Dude, seriously. Don't buy tongs of cheap tea just to age. There are a few things out there in the $40/cake range for ~$280 a tong that may work ok. Things like http://www.essenceoftea.co.uk/tea/puerh ... anmai.html

or http://www.white2tea.com/tea-shop/taoch ... -raw-puer/

or http://www.bannacha.com/en/matai/45-2012-matai.html

or http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php? ... cts_id=897

I'm not saying that you'd *like* any of this stuff. I'm mostly saying that most anything actually worth trying to age for yourself will cost around $40 at a minimum. And when I say at a minimum, I mean bare minimum. Cheaper than that, even if you're doing it for giggles, and, well, at the end of the time that you are storing it, some vender will have that or something like it for about the same price. Cheap tea will stay cheap. Decent tea is the stuff that keeps going up.

Instead of buying a tong, why not buy a cake + plus a few drinking grams of something reasonably nice? Like so: http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php? ... ts_id=1305

or two or three of these? http://www.banateacompany.com/pages/pue ... _Ming.html
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby shah82 » Sep 14th, '13, 03:05

If you're committed to YS, I judge the best chances to be decent values are:

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/rawpu-erh/ ... rhtea.html

YS selection of 2010 tea, aside from the braided tea and the brick are more or less a decent value too. You can try and swing above your weight with some of the 400g fall teas, like the 2010 Mangfei...
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby chrl42 » Sep 14th, '13, 06:36

shah82 wrote:Dude, seriously. Don't buy tongs of cheap tea just to age.

+1

If you wanna give your precious time to Puerh, why not to ones that deserve?

Some few bucks difference now will result in unpredictable gap later...China is big, tea trees are numerous. Treat your overseas mouth with more expense :)
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby BioHorn » Sep 14th, '13, 10:58

chrl42 wrote:
shah82 wrote:Dude, seriously. Don't buy tongs of cheap tea just to age.

+1

If you wanna give your precious time to Puerh, why not to ones that deserve?

Some few bucks difference now will result in unpredictable gap later...China is big, tea trees are numerous. Treat your overseas mouth with more expense :)

+2. Well put.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby theredbaron » Sep 14th, '13, 11:24

AllanK wrote:
AllanK wrote:I just bought my first two tongs from Yunnan Sourcing. I bought two different Shu Puerhs and will be looking forward to the mailman in about a week. Now the big question, what is the best way to store them? I was planning on using a cardboard box as I don't have a pumidor.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a tong purchase of Sheng Puerh from Yunnan Sourcing that is less than $150 per tong? I have been evaluating samples but haven't yet found one I want to try to age in the long run. It would have to be dry storaged.



Why would you need to buy a whole thong?

Why not one to three cakes of more expensive and/or better tea? It is anyhow a bit of a gamble with aging teas, some will work out very well, others not so. It is a better idea to spread your tea portfolio, so you have a higher chance to have teas that age well.
It is also interesting to taste the different teas, and see how they developed individually instead of putting all your eggs into one basket.

A few examples of reasonably priced teas from Yunnansourcing that have aged well for me are:

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-sou ... -cake.html

I have the 2009 version, and it has aged extremely well, so far.




http://yunnansourcing.com/en/china-nati ... u-erh.html

I bought this tea when it Scott sold it first in 2008, and have since stored it in Bangkok. It is developing very well.


Two more teas with an aged enough character to drink now, and who are still quite reasonably priced. They are not awesome (you can't expect that for that price), but good enough:

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/otherfacto ... -cake.html

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/otherfacto ... grams.html

Just buy samples, and see how you like them.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby theredbaron » Sep 15th, '13, 12:42

theredbaron wrote:
A few examples of reasonably priced teas from Yunnansourcing that have aged well for me are:

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-sou ... -cake.html

I have the 2009 version, and it has aged extremely well, so far.






Interesting - i have just seen Yunnansourcing having listed some of the 2009 cakes.

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/2009/2573- ... h-tea.html
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby AllanK » Sep 16th, '13, 02:19

shah82 wrote:That is not possible.


What is not possible? A tong in the 150 to 200 range or dry storage? I live in a non humid area of the US and don't have a pumidor or a place to build one so dry storage is my only option.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby theredbaron » Sep 16th, '13, 03:25

AllanK wrote:
shah82 wrote:That is not possible.


What is not possible? A tong in the 150 to 200 range or dry storage? I live in a non humid area of the US and don't have a pumidor or a place to build one so dry storage is my only option.



It depends how dry it is where you live. Aging Pu Erh needs some humidity - too dry stored tea will not age into anything that you can drink with pleasure.
Again - why do you insist on thongs? You may be better off with less amounts of cakes, but higher quality tea.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby AllanK » Sep 17th, '13, 01:13

theredbaron wrote:
AllanK wrote:
shah82 wrote:That is not possible.


What is not possible? A tong in the 150 to 200 range or dry storage? I live in a non humid area of the US and don't have a pumidor or a place to build one so dry storage is my only option.



It depends how dry it is where you live. Aging Pu Erh needs some humidity - too dry stored tea will not age into anything that you can drink with pleasure.
Again - why do you insist on thongs? You may be better off with less amounts of cakes, but higher quality tea.

As to the humidity, New York has some natural humidity fluctuations but it is not that humid most of the time, except for the summer months. I have a humidity monitor and my humidity averages around 55-60%. I live in an apartment and really can't figure out where I would build a pumidor. Although I have been thinking of trying to build one in a large plastic cooler, if it would work. As to why tongs simply to find a tea I really like that I want to drink for the next seven years. I bought two tongs of Shu that I really liked and were not expensive for the tea I want to drink every morning. I may not buy a tong of sheng because I may not find one I really like for $150 to $200 or I may find something I like. Besides, I am having a good time rating the samples I bought and am learning more about puerh. Also, as these teas are not always available in the long term, buying a tong means I will be able to keep drinking a tea I really like. Another point is to buy a tea as a tong that is new and has not yet increased in price. I expect that a really good 2013 tea will sell for a lot more in 2020. Why not buy it now.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby shah82 » Sep 17th, '13, 02:18

First of all, you missed the boat on really good tea. Most of it is not finding its way into the marketplace, and what there is, safely costs more than a dollar a gram (If you can even find the good stuff--plenty of stuff out there that cost that much and more that isn't any good). In general, proper tea such that it has the classic features of so and so area and it has most everything that such a tea should have, generally costs about $150/400g. For new tea. And this stuff ain't mindblowing. Just good.

And no, at this point, there is a lot of tea out there. Pedestrian tea will not go up in value, any more than baseball cards did. Besides, it will be very difficult for you to sell home stored tea, even if you thought that way. Between the inconvenience of keeping the tea, the chances that the storage would be bad or resulted in destruction, your taste in tea changing, the expense of getting all that tea, etc...It's best to just assume that there will be teashops that will sell you decent aged tea at a very good price. The only thing really worth storing are the things you will be drinking up, like that shu, and the nice tea.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby theredbaron » Sep 17th, '13, 03:20

AllanK wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
AllanK wrote:
shah82 wrote:That is not possible.


What is not possible? A tong in the 150 to 200 range or dry storage? I live in a non humid area of the US and don't have a pumidor or a place to build one so dry storage is my only option.



It depends how dry it is where you live. Aging Pu Erh needs some humidity - too dry stored tea will not age into anything that you can drink with pleasure.
Again - why do you insist on thongs? You may be better off with less amounts of cakes, but higher quality tea.

As to the humidity, New York has some natural humidity fluctuations but it is not that humid most of the time, except for the summer months. I have a humidity monitor and my humidity averages around 55-60%. I live in an apartment and really can't figure out where I would build a pumidor. Although I have been thinking of trying to build one in a large plastic cooler, if it would work. As to why tongs simply to find a tea I really like that I want to drink for the next seven years. I bought two tongs of Shu that I really liked and were not expensive for the tea I want to drink every morning. I may not buy a tong of sheng because I may not find one I really like for $150 to $200 or I may find something I like. Besides, I am having a good time rating the samples I bought and am learning more about puerh. Also, as these teas are not always available in the long term, buying a tong means I will be able to keep drinking a tea I really like. Another point is to buy a tea as a tong that is new and has not yet increased in price. I expect that a really good 2013 tea will sell for a lot more in 2020. Why not buy it now.


I think you go at it the wrong way. First of all - the resale value is a bit of an illusion, especially when talking about home stored teas in any place outside the real tea centers of Asia. Storing tea for profit is something for the professionals, and a high stakes game.

If you store Pu Erh at home, you do that primarily for your own pleasure - to one day have your own well aged Pu Erh that did not cost you a fortune.

Taste in tea changes and develops over time. If you drink one single tea all the time, chances are that you will soon get bored of that tea. You may also find out that a tea you find great today, you may find mediocre in a few years time, after you had exposure to better teas.

And as with storing Pu Erh, it is quite impossible to predict how a tea will age. Teas that you may find excellent when young, may not be great agers.

That's why it is better to have different Pu Erh's - a larger variety of teas, and a higher chance of getting a good tea. Don't forget - aging Pu Erh is an investment in time - at least ten years, better more. The Pu's in drink, for example, i have stored here in my hot and humid home for more than 12 years, and some i have set away for more years of storage. Younger teas i sample maybe once a year to have a look at their development.

I am an absolute opponent of these "pumidors". The risk of things going wrong is just too high. What i can see from the weather charts in New York, it seems to have sufficient humidity to age Pu Erh, with yearly averages of mid 60% to mid 70% humidity (just don't store Pu in an airconditioned room).


A much better way to reach one day a good collection of aged Pu Erh's is to buy reasonably priced semi-aged teas to consume sooner (it's also easier to see how they will be when aged), while at the same time buying more expensive and higher quality younger teas, but smaller amounts, for long term storage.
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Re: Tong Purchases

Postby AllanK » Sep 17th, '13, 20:49

theredbaron wrote:
AllanK wrote:
theredbaron wrote:
AllanK wrote:
shah82 wrote:That is not possible.


What is not possible? A tong in the 150 to 200 range or dry storage? I live in a non humid area of the US and don't have a pumidor or a place to build one so dry storage is my only option.



It depends how dry it is where you live. Aging Pu Erh needs some humidity - too dry stored tea will not age into anything that you can drink with pleasure.
Again - why do you insist on thongs? You may be better off with less amounts of cakes, but higher quality tea.

As to the humidity, New York has some natural humidity fluctuations but it is not that humid most of the time, except for the summer months. I have a humidity monitor and my humidity averages around 55-60%. I live in an apartment and really can't figure out where I would build a pumidor. Although I have been thinking of trying to build one in a large plastic cooler, if it would work. As to why tongs simply to find a tea I really like that I want to drink for the next seven years. I bought two tongs of Shu that I really liked and were not expensive for the tea I want to drink every morning. I may not buy a tong of sheng because I may not find one I really like for $150 to $200 or I may find something I like. Besides, I am having a good time rating the samples I bought and am learning more about puerh. Also, as these teas are not always available in the long term, buying a tong means I will be able to keep drinking a tea I really like. Another point is to buy a tea as a tong that is new and has not yet increased in price. I expect that a really good 2013 tea will sell for a lot more in 2020. Why not buy it now.


I think you go at it the wrong way. First of all - the resale value is a bit of an illusion, especially when talking about home stored teas in any place outside the real tea centers of Asia. Storing tea for profit is something for the professionals, and a high stakes game.

If you store Pu Erh at home, you do that primarily for your own pleasure - to one day have your own well aged Pu Erh that did not cost you a fortune.

Taste in tea changes and develops over time. If you drink one single tea all the time, chances are that you will soon get bored of that tea. You may also find out that a tea you find great today, you may find mediocre in a few years time, after you had exposure to better teas.

And as with storing Pu Erh, it is quite impossible to predict how a tea will age. Teas that you may find excellent when young, may not be great agers.

That's why it is better to have different Pu Erh's - a larger variety of teas, and a higher chance of getting a good tea. Don't forget - aging Pu Erh is an investment in time - at least ten years, better more. The Pu's in drink, for example, i have stored here in my hot and humid home for more than 12 years, and some i have set away for more years of storage. Younger teas i sample maybe once a year to have a look at their development.

I am an absolute opponent of these "pumidors". The risk of things going wrong is just too high. What i can see from the weather charts in New York, it seems to have sufficient humidity to age Pu Erh, with yearly averages of mid 60% to mid 70% humidity (just don't store Pu in an airconditioned room).


A much better way to reach one day a good collection of aged Pu Erh's is to buy reasonably priced semi-aged teas to consume sooner (it's also easier to see how they will be when aged), while at the same time buying more expensive and higher quality younger teas, but smaller amounts, for long term storage.

I have no interest in buying Puerh to sell it, only to drink it, both now and much later when it ages.
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