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.