Official Pu of the day


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

Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 9th, '14, 12:16

having an 80s Xiaguan 8653, was heavily over-compressed during manufacture.. in my hands for almost 14-15 years now.. tasted like crap every year till i checked it a few weeks ago, using a modified brewing method inspired from the chaozhou gongfu tea philosophy.... and this tea is no longer destined for the trash can, now a treasure.

severe overcompression can lead to tremendously slow aging, particularly in non-warehouse conditions, and non-damp treatments. with enough time in proper storage, the "purity" of taste is intriguing.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Jun 9th, '14, 12:54

It's *supposed* to be like that, especially as it was the earlier day's answer to excess humidity. 80's 8653 iron bings are pretty much one of the most well known and popular truly aged (+25yo) teas there is, and it's the aged tea that I have been most impressed with. You see boutique tea makers like Sanhetang make iron bings on a regular basis, and see such tea sell at a higher price, because people believe it ages better. I'd have to agree. Tea ages, whether it browns from humidity or not, and this really does help with potent flavor far down the road when it can't help but brown in any reasonable climate.

Lastly, if you're removing tea from an aged iron cake, two weeks of wakening is pretty necessary.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby the_economist » Jun 9th, '14, 12:58

Shah have you aged any iron cakes yourself over the last decade? I'd be curious to know what they are like without any HK-style traditional storage at all.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 9th, '14, 13:30

the_economist wrote:Shah have you aged any iron cakes yourself over the last decade? I'd be curious to know what they are like without any HK-style traditional storage at all.


will mail you a sample soon.

if you've followed alan's cyber museum... this brick of the early 90s is now incredibly sought after... and very few have had even the fortune of encountering it

http://alansmuseum.blogspot.sg/2013/11/ ... ricks.html

also very highly compressed.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Jun 9th, '14, 13:37

Nope, just have had strongly pressed tea for about four years of varying years (and have been satisfied with aging process), and we've a big treasure trove of data about things like Xiaguan tuos.

There aren't too many people in the West with iron cakes in all dry circumstances (this hobby only really started in the West around 2006, well after Xiaguan stopped pressing iron cakes of 8653). Many of us have had the EoT dry(er) stored '80s iron cakes, and you could buy the '80s tuo at Houde. There have been bricks with good materials sold in the West around 2006, and there have always been the more firmly pressed bings that are as tight as an actual discuss. It should be mentioned that the Xiaguan discusses has had some really good material, and that was a factor in their popularity.

As far as what dry stored super-tight cakes are like? What I read implies that they are much like the Tai Lian when I first got those cakes. They'll have an aged mellowness, especially if you wake the tea, but they'll still be bitter, slightly smoky, and tasting only 3-4 years old. Aging in terms of aged browned taste is retarded something like 7-10 years.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Jun 9th, '14, 13:52

shah82 wrote:Nope, just have had strongly pressed tea for about four years of varying years (and have been satisfied with aging process), and we've a big treasure trove of data about things like Xiaguan tuos.

There aren't too many people in the West with iron cakes in all dry circumstances (this hobby only really started in the West around 2006, well after Xiaguan stopped pressing iron cakes of 8653). Many of us have had the EoT dry(er) stored '80s iron cakes, and you could buy the '80s tuo at Houde. There have been bricks with good materials sold in the West around 2006, and there have always been the more firmly pressed bings that are as tight as an actual discuss. It should be mentioned that the Xiaguan discusses has had some really good material, and that was a factor in their popularity.

As far as what dry stored super-tight cakes are like? What I read implies that they are much like the Tai Lian when I first got those cakes. They'll have an aged mellowness, especially if you wake the tea, but they'll still be bitter, slightly smoky, and tasting only 3-4 years old. Aging in terms of aged browned taste is retarded something like 7-10 years.

It's my opinion that most of these cakes & bricks are full of smoke and most of the flavor that these teas give off is smoke derived. What I mean by smoke derived is that the smoke has penetrated whatever flavor the tea had and has altered it permanently. Now, some drinkers may like this, and at some point, the aging will still smooth out any bitterness, but I don't think the quality of the tea is very high. I don't think they come close to single mountain gushu of the same age with careful processing and storage. Just my opinion.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 9th, '14, 14:08

Tead Off wrote:It's my opinion that most of these cakes & bricks are full of smoke and most of the flavor that these teas give off is smoke derived. What I mean by smoke derived is that the smoke has penetrated whatever flavor the tea had and has altered it permanently. Now, some drinkers may like this, and at some point, the aging will still smooth out any bitterness, but I don't think the quality of the tea is very high. I don't think they come close to single mountain gushu of the same age with careful processing and storage. Just my opinion.


a different type of appreciation and enjoyment perhaps. i've a 3kg piece of CR fu-zhuan (teaism has one too) that was quite well stored for the past 30-40 years. the leaf quality is coarse, lots of fat stem/twigs, smoking was used in the processing to dry (to speed things up during CR), today, smoke still can be detected in the tea, but after a good refresh, together with a couple of good rinses, the smoke is gone and the brew is delectable. the tea master that had developed the brewing process for the tea had made the comment on the tea as 乞丐变皇帝, the beggar turns into a king, after 40 years.

the xiaguan 8653 has no smoke in it, and several "famous" highly compressed teas i.e. '98 "A-grade" redmark (lots of fakes out there!), early 90s 300g pu-erh tea brick, dont either. the sought after flavour/taste is not contributed to by the smoke perhaps.

i dont think there's particularly any pure mtn "gushu" that goes back to the era of 80s, if there are any cakes containing old tree material its probably blended unless you know of one that is that pure and well kept. i'll be most interested to seek it out.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » Jun 9th, '14, 14:09

Thing is, those seventies and eighties cakes are generally made with much better leaves than teas in the '90s (on average) or outside of the special era of '99-'03. A genuine '80s iron discuss, whether traditional characters or not, is really not chopped liver. Many "gushu" cakes will not wind up coming close to matching that stuff.

Also, I guess I feel the need to press the point, that puerh is the language of flaws. The vast majority of the time, you will not get aged tea that is perfect or close to it. One of the best teas I have, the XZH Diangu, is considerably more sour and astringent than any Bingdao, for example. It's a matter of what you like, and what you're willing to live with, not to mention what brewing skills you have in minimizing what you dislike.

Now, what aged sheng *do* you like, TeadOff?
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Jun 9th, '14, 23:31

Very little, so far. :lol:

This is not to say I dislike all of it. I think there has been a lot of adaptation to 'careless' storage, processing, and perhaps misunderstanding about what direction puerh tea can go in. For example, if Chinese medicine was the cure-all for every ailment, science would never have been developed to achieve the results in medicine it has today. Now, science can also get lost in its own world as we see the pharmaceutical companies brainwashing us into believing that all these meds are good for us. It's the same with puerh. Most of it is not very good and probably not that good for you. Your body knows what a good tea is. Your mind plays lots of tricks putting together opinions, information, etc., that you've read or heard, to decide on what is good. Some drinkers sound like potheads comparing what dope is really cool. Wow, man. Groovy Qi.

I am clearly not in the old timer's camp about HK/Taiwan stored teas. I am not busy tracking down old Dayi and Xiaguan cakes that some want to compare to great Bordeaux. This comparison will never hold up. It's an intellectual game. Some of the newer teas that will be stored more carefully will blow away these poorly kept ones that so many think are good. I think this is an area that will make new discoveries about puerh, taking it out of 'medieval' times into the present.

Everyone must come to their own discovery.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby William » Jun 10th, '14, 00:09

Tead Off wrote:Very little, so far. :lol:

This is not to say I dislike all of it. I think there has been a lot of adaptation to 'careless' storage, processing, and perhaps misunderstanding about what direction puerh tea can go in. For example, if Chinese medicine was the cure-all for every ailment, science would never have been developed to achieve the results in medicine it has today. Now, science can also get lost in its own world as we see the pharmaceutical companies brainwashing us into believing that all these meds are good for us. It's the same with puerh. Most of it is not very good and probably not that good for you. Your body knows what a good tea is. Your mind plays lots of tricks putting together opinions, information, etc., that you've read or heard, to decide on what is good. Some drinkers sound like potheads comparing what dope is really cool. Wow, man. Groovy Qi.

I am clearly not in the old timer's camp about HK/Taiwan stored teas. I am not busy tracking down old Dayi and Xiaguan cakes that some want to compare to great Bordeaux. This comparison will never hold up. It's an intellectual game. Some of the newer teas that will be stored more carefully will blow away these poorly kept ones that so many think are good. I think this is an area that will make new discoveries about puerh, taking it out of 'medieval' times into the present.

Everyone must come to their own discovery.


+1.

I admire your intellectual honesty, Jeff. I completely agree with what is written.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Jun 10th, '14, 01:54

+1 for me. :lol:

I can accept that people feel differently than I. But I cannot accept what I don't feel. So, it is all relative. We continue to drink............
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 10th, '14, 02:09

well.. western science's still struggling with many ailments it cannot treat, so is chinese and other medicinal school of thoughts. everyone's body's different, there are some claims by people that they are incredibly sensitive to tea, i.e. gastric, and that allows then to evaluate/judge tea better. in reality, perhaps these people are not as healthy as they think, because the best definition of being healthy is to be able to accept all sorts of consumed insults, be it super bitter, astrigent, sour, sweet, salty foods. as such it is important for people to find teas that "agree" with their bodies, and since it is that subjective, there's still a big chance that an agreeable tea would be non-agreeable to another.

pu-erh of the past decade or so are big experiments, all the more with the new processing techniques which results in a "green tea" like pu-erh since 09/10.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Tead Off » Jun 10th, '14, 06:59

kyarazen wrote:pu-erh of the past decade or so are big experiments, all the more with the new processing techniques which results in a "green tea" like pu-erh since 09/10.


Both you and I are drinking 7 year old teas that are clean, free of storage odor and taste, and single mountain gushu. 7 years has to count for something and that LBZ is a good example of the direction that I want my puerh to head in. Puerh is a green tea and should exhibit some green tea properties when they are young. This is normal. The fermentation process will do its thing over time and we won't have to deal with the smokiness, wetness, and other bothersome elements that so many cakes have if there is care taken in picking and processing. Quality has to beget quality if all steps are carried out well. The ill effects should only be from either climactic problems of a season or poor handling.

The problem of smoke in teas is a processing issue. If I were a producer and the tea I bought to have made into cakes was permeated with smoke, I would be pissed. No seller ever highlights the 'delightful smokiness' of this high mountain single farm tea using leaves from 500+ year old trees. No one should defend this and producers like Xiaguan who routinely sell smoked cakes never mention this. I would say 9 out of 10 of their cakes are smoked. Why do buyers put up with this? It will change when the perception changes, when drinkers will start to compare non-smoked teas and see how much better they can taste.

Time for a good yancha. :lol:
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Teaism » Jun 10th, '14, 11:56

Enjoying a 2002 wild spring Yiwu hand processed by a small artisan producer. Super nice, clean, smooth, intense sweetness and complexity. Those early 2000s wild and Gushu teas were really very hard to drink when they are young but after 12 years of careful storage, it is really so much enjoyable.

Cheers! :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » Jun 10th, '14, 22:12

i wonder how many teas can be like an LBZ 07 now? because it is an extremely good tea, the LBZ 07 of the one you had sampled is now easily $5k a piece in mainland now, the 08 LBZ is 4k+... in some way this is one style of "aged pu-erh", sealed storage of a single mountain gushu for the past seven years have paid off, but no one knows what happens after ten, fifteen, twenty or more years, will it pass its peak, or continue to "improve" further?

i definitely support the "proper" storage of well processed, high quality gushu, particularly of the right season too. its funny no one picked up on the tea stalk discussion in a separate post... because with proper assessment of the stalk and the leaf venation patterns, pigmentation, the seasons/flushes become really clear. it is unfortunate that many famous brands seem to deal more with "autumn" teas as the fragrance is stronger, sharper, blending it into spring tea to give a trait that greatly delights the western palate. whether these cakes would really age as well is not quite certain.

but when it comes to the other spectrum of pu-erh, i.e. factory teas, blended teas, traditional recipes where the blend creates a unique flavour/taste there's also something to appreciate in them. wouldnt mind having some of the old teas (70s, 80s,) through hk storage (as long as it doesnt develop the mouldy note), just to enjoy the 仓味 (warehouse smell).



Tead Off wrote:Both you and I are drinking 7 year old teas that are clean, free of storage odor and taste, and single mountain gushu. 7 years has to count for something and that LBZ is a good example of the direction that I want my puerh to head in. Puerh is a green tea and should exhibit some green tea properties when they are young. This is normal. The fermentation process will do its thing over time and we won't have to deal with the smokiness, wetness, and other bothersome elements that so many cakes have if there is care taken in picking and processing. Quality has to beget quality if all steps are carried out well. The ill effects should only be from either climactic problems of a season or poor handling.

The problem of smoke in teas is a processing issue. If I were a producer and the tea I bought to have made into cakes was permeated with smoke, I would be pissed. No seller ever highlights the 'delightful smokiness' of this high mountain single farm tea using leaves from 500+ year old trees. No one should defend this and producers like Xiaguan who routinely sell smoked cakes never mention this. I would say 9 out of 10 of their cakes are smoked. Why do buyers put up with this? It will change when the perception changes, when drinkers will start to compare non-smoked teas and see how much better they can taste.

Time for a good yancha. :lol:
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