Official Pu of the day


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

Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Puerlife » Apr 3rd, '14, 05:26

Shun Shi Yiwu 2006 Spring – The Tea Urchin website calls this ‘dark and mysterious’ and that is accurate. First infusion tasted like a very light shu, lacking in taste. In fact, I thought it was shu so I let the next one go 90 seconds, but instead of the mellow sweetness I was expecting I got a very overbrewed vegetal bitterness. I’m feeling the qi, though. I also agree with Eugene’s description of the feeling – “a mild qi that rises from the chest”. 3) 20s Back to being weak if you just swallow, but swishing in the mouth leaves ash. A full sip and swallow leaves a nice smoky base that doesn’t linger. Unfortunately, the last thing I need today is more smoke. Chiang Mai is completely smoked in. Yesterday we had a light rain for 45 minutes that only brought some of the smoke back to earth, causing the air to smell like the leavings of a recently extinguished campfire. 4) 25s Eureka! I got one whiff of red dates, as described on the website, but only one. Mushrooms, a bit. There was just a tease of sweetness; the bitterness is becoming more enjoyable. Oh wait, there was just a brief but actual taste of sweetness near the tip of my tongue! Minutes later the tongue is nice and wet. 5) 25s Boring 6-8 one to two minutes All characteristics fading, a sharp, bad bitterness in the umami spot the only salient feature. I’m done with this.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Apr 4th, '14, 22:25

2004 Taihe from Wistaria. The first whiff of aroma after pouring the water into the teapot is smoke. Sniffing the inside of the lid, I can smell the wet storage. It's not too bad, but enough to notice. I do two 30sec rinses with vigorous shaking of the teapot, pour the water away. The tea begins to settle down, the smoke is tamed to an acceptable level and the tea is very smooth in the mouth. The storage taste is there, but in the background. There are some citrus notes. The mouth is very wet and slightly thick. The leaves of this tea are unusually long. The feeling is good, the tea is lasting, smooth, but never really loses the storage and slight tinge of smoke. Maybe another 5 years of dry storage can remedy the storage and smoke. 10 years? I have my doubts.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby SilentChaos » Apr 4th, '14, 23:43

Tead Off wrote:I can smell the wet storage.


I don't know if your sample or cake is contaminated, but the sample and cake directly from Wistaria is definitely not wet in the sense of traditional storage. At best, it's TW natural which is still quite far from wet.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Apr 5th, '14, 00:40

SilentChaos wrote:
Tead Off wrote:I can smell the wet storage.


I don't know if your sample or cake is contaminated, but the sample and cake directly from Wistaria is definitely not wet in the sense of traditional storage. At best, it's TW natural which is still quite far from wet.

It could be a difference in definitions of the phrase 'wet storage'. My usage refers to any tea that has the smell of mustiness which is caused by high humidity over time. This one is nowhere near as bad as many I've encountered. I can also see that many drinkers have adapted to this kind of smell and taste, almost dismissing this quality if it lightly infused with 'must'. I guess it's a matter of personal taste whether one minds or doesn't. My wife left the table and said 'thank you', which means 'I'm not drinking this musty smelling/tasting tea'. I continued to drink and wasn't put off by it. :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby honza » Apr 5th, '14, 01:25

My experience from all samples of Wistaria teas (03-04) is: tea itself is really good material and I hope some day can drink from some private collection. But all teas I drank had smell and taste of warehouse. Specific and not really nice. This warehouse smell make all teas a bit similar. Humidity and maturation for the age was really good. I get these teas from two different persons and all have the same smell.

Today from morning drinking new maocha samples, some Mengku, some Lancang teas. I really dont know whats happend this year but taste is not so nice and prices crazy :| Maybe tea trees in Yunnan are also angry from the pu-erh situation these days as we true tea lovers :mrgreen:
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Apr 5th, '14, 02:44

If I might gently suggest, Tead Off...

That Taihe is not really a tea that you drink for the taste, and the taste isn't all that far off from the '05 maocha that I've had, which is definitely dry-stored. The primary difference is smoke and a bit more moisture. So I'm saying, it generally is supposed to taste like that, and is not stored with particularly heavy humidity and really should not be called wet-stored.

Today, I had the '08 XZH XiShangJiaXi. Only one flaw...a bit of heavy and soft sourness that reveals itself in a few early brews, especially as the soup cools. Otherwise, magnificent. Besides the kind of dark, almost not fruity plum in the aroma and taste, there was this lovely sensation of drinking sugarcane, even though there wasn't that much sensate sweetness. Late infusions had that aromatic antique wood note that one finds in that '11 Jin Dayi as well. The qi was strong and it felt really good. This tea has been in my possession for about 3.75 years, and there has clearly been some benefit to my storage, so far. The only shu here that hasn't really upped their game has been the '09 Dayi Ziyun, which is sort of a wierd shu anyways.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Apr 5th, '14, 04:05

honza wrote:My experience from all samples of Wistaria teas (03-04) is: tea itself is really good material and I hope some day can drink from some private collection. But all teas I drank had smell and taste of warehouse. Specific and not really nice. This warehouse smell make all teas a bit similar. Humidity and maturation for the age was really good. I get these teas from two different persons and all have the same smell.


This is my experience, too. Every tea I've had from them has also had smoke to varying degrees. Yet, they are good teas, aging well, good feeling, etc. If they were less expensive, I could see putting up with the warehouse smell and smoke.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby chrl42 » Apr 5th, '14, 05:16

Tead Off wrote:
SilentChaos wrote:
Tead Off wrote:I can smell the wet storage.


I don't know if your sample or cake is contaminated, but the sample and cake directly from Wistaria is definitely not wet in the sense of traditional storage. At best, it's TW natural which is still quite far from wet.

It could be a difference in definitions of the phrase 'wet storage'. My usage refers to any tea that has the smell of mustiness which is caused by high humidity over time. This one is nowhere near as bad as many I've encountered. I can also see that many drinkers have adapted to this kind of smell and taste, almost dismissing this quality if it lightly infused with 'must'. I guess it's a matter of personal taste whether one minds or doesn't. My wife left the table and said 'thank you', which means 'I'm not drinking this musty smelling/tasting tea'. I continued to drink and wasn't put off by it. :D

+1
The definition of 'wet' can diverse quite a lot for countries.

Some of Taiwan storage can beat Guangdong storage in miles, I've drunk CR loose Pu stored in Taiwan, where I could see many white dusts floating...but that was quite expensive and the Laoban brew that to treat special customers. Selling teas like that, the store will be closed in months if it was in Korea.

This is not to dispute one's taste since Taiwan is about the only place where old hong-yin can be drunk as a casual activity. In Taiwan, Guangdong, SE asia, humid weather is common that has affected those ethnic tastes reserved for centuries. Seems like 'beginners' (like mainladers or Koreans)are more picky for drier storage of course I'm just joking :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Jingjiatang » Apr 5th, '14, 09:38

Speaking of "smoke" and "weidui" smell, I know some people (mainly from Taiwan and Guangdong, no offense) particularly teach tea farmers to proceed maocha in their methods (some like heavy fry with high temperature) for pursuing "smoke", and make that "smoke" as a distinguishing item of their tea. Personally I am not a fan of "smoke" or "weidui" smell (for me it could be deemed to be defects :) ), but they do have many customers like it, personal choices.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby William » Apr 5th, '14, 09:39

shah82 wrote:and really should not be called wet-stored.


There are no rules about tea, Shah, only opinions.

I also tried that tea, offered to me by a friend of mine.
It was good, but wet stored. With wet, I mean every type of storage that brings the tea to have an aroma/flavor with hints of mold. Of course, there are different degrees, arising from different levels of humidity present during the period of rest.

Have a nice day.

chrl42 wrote:Seems like 'beginners' (like mainladers or Koreans)are more picky for drier storage of course I'm just joking :D


.. and Europeans. :mrgreen:
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Apr 5th, '14, 11:49

My problem is that most teas of the age not stored in Kunming or somewhere else dry will have around that level of moisture, and most people who like older tea would prefer to have that level of moisture or wetter. It's not really a matter of opinion, precisely, where I say it's not wet and you say it's wet. It's mostly a matter of judgment that you're probably confusing the warehouse storage (the tea picked up aromas from its storage location) aroma with wetness. The tea is not wet, and it's not really a judgment call. Yes, it's a judgment the same way you can say that a poblano pepper is a really hot pepper. But if you say that in a crowd of chilli pepper aficionados, they are going to say no, a poblano has only about 1.5k Scoville Units, while a Bhut Joloka is several orders of magnitudes hotter at 1 million Scoville Units.

A wet stored sheng has a specific taste and character that people seek out if they like it. Others avoid any hint of it. However, the Taihe is in no way similar to the '04 Changtai Jifengyuan that Houde and others sell. It is in no way similar to the character of the Yuanyexiang Thick Paper or the recently reviewed 2006 ShunShi Yiwu that Puerlife just had. That's because the Wisteria tea is more or less dry stored according to East Asian tastes. Best Tea House among a few others have kept some of their teas drier, but only a few really have benefited. In the tropics and subtropics, it's a big effort keeping them dry, hence some fans of sealing cakes in plastic like Hojo.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby the_economist » Apr 5th, '14, 12:08

Shah makes a fair point. This isn't about rules or opinions, its about definitions so that we can actually have meaningful conversation.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Apr 5th, '14, 12:47

I thought the conversation has been very meaningful, to me, at least. Many tea drinkers chimed in and gave voice to this specific tea, their preferences, and what may be the difference between 'wet' storage and TW traditional storage.

Now, personally, I live in a hot & humid place and none of my teas have any hint of mustiness, mold, or any taste or aroma derived from a stifled environment. Calling Wistaria's teas 'wet' was not an insult. From my point of view, it isn't a 'dry' taste. What other word should I have used? Weidui is understood immediately by Chinese drinkers, but not westerners unless they've been around Chinese speakers. I even tried to qualify the 'wetness' factor by saying it wasn't oppressive to me and that I liked the tea. But, that 'wetness' did not disappear, and after all, I'm posting to describe a tea that I'm drinking and I'm sure others want to hear opinions about these teas and what they can expect if they decide to order some. I still enjoyed the tea! My wife didn't. :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby William » Apr 5th, '14, 14:30

shah82 wrote:My problem is that most teas of the age not stored in Kunming or somewhere else dry will have around that level of moisture, and most people who like older tea would prefer to have that level of moisture or wetter. It's not really a matter of opinion, precisely, where I say it's not wet and you say it's wet.


During my numerous experiences, I tried different degrees of wet, some acceptable, some less acceptable, but what I found during my (short) journey, were numerous well aged and well stored Pu Erh, without that type musty/earthy notes, which remained for the entire duration of the session with that particular tea.

shah82 wrote:It's mostly a matter of judgment that you're probably confusing the warehouse storage (the tea picked up aromas from its storage location) aroma with wetness.


I am starting to know how to differentiate warehouse notes from humidity notes, but that particular tea presented both, IMO.

I am generally not a fan of teas that are humid, at every degree. I prefer them in a perfectly dry environment, obviously protecting the aromas/flavours by dispersing in time.

To increase my knowledge of this world, I have tried various types of this wet world. Between all the levels of humidity I found, that particular tea was humid enough, not too much, but the humidity was quite present.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Puerlife » Apr 6th, '14, 08:02

16 grams of shu (from 2008 made by family of vendor) in 150ml glass gaiwan.
I was sick for two days and a bitterness occupied my tongue that could only be overcome by strong food or drink. Yesterday I had coffee at a friend’s. He’s learning how to roast coffee beans and wanted me to try a new attempt. That taste got through, although he is still under roasting. The night before last I went to a Chinese-Thai restaurant with the wife and those tastes got through, too. But that day’s two oolongs slid over the tongue with great stealth, leaving little trace of their passage.
I’m feeling better today – the overt bitterness is gone from the tongue but it’s still not back to normal so it’s a good day for a cheap shu. I found a nice but weak one in Penang last month. It’s in the form of eight gram buttons and according to the vendor it takes two. I’ve tried just one button and it’s not enough so I’m going to try two and see if I can get to the power and truth of it. This is going to be the most grams I’ve ever consumed in a session.
1 – 3 Soup aroma in the cha hai is lovely – some kind of dark berry but not raw; cooked. Nothing on the tongue – still sick after all- but that deep dark berry reappears in the base going up the back of the throat through the sinuses.
4,5 Stronger now, I feel a somewhat pleasant coating on the tongue, the base is richly pleasant (but doesn’t linger). The tongue stays wet long after. No astringency. Headache, boredom, loneliness – all gone. I’m ready to go out and meet and greet, and find bacon. : - ) Long break.
6 was weak, so from now on it’s long infusions.
7 – 11 Brief teases of berry and other fruits against a light background of woodiness. There was only one sip of off taste, in 10, telling me it was time to move on, but 11 gave me one more whiff of berry after an absence of two steeps.
So, despite my tongue being useless except for sensing the sustained wetness, and a brief coating sensation early on, I was able to enjoy this shu. Good choice. I wonder if I was already sick but didn’t know it when I reported on the Shun Shi Yiwu at the top of the page. I think it deserves a do-over.
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