quest for strange pu erh tea cakes.


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

Postby ABx » Aug 21st, '08, 04:21

Bert wrote:
edkrueger wrote:According to a lab [not medical] study all of the mold in pu-erh is killed when water above 80c is put on it. Found in the Art of Tea publication.


The problem is not the mold itself but the substances formed by it which are mostly quite stable even in boiling water.

I wrote a rather dry article about mycotoxins in shu pu in the Puerh Tea LJ a while ago:

http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/207329.html#cutid1
Did you catch the article in The Art of Tea magazine? Apparently the oolong farmers started a rumor that puerh is dangerous, so they sent a bunch to a lab for testing.
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Postby Dizzwave » Aug 21st, '08, 09:27

ABx wrote:A lot of the stuff I get, even from good sources, is wrapped in plastic.
Same here. Even if it's not in plastic, sometimes (especially if it just spent a month in a box) if I drink the tea within a day of receiving it, the cakes have a weird smell, and the brew itself has a very "postal" taste to it. But after a day of sitting out ("out" meaning in the pumidor), everything's great.
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Postby shogun89 » Aug 21st, '08, 09:31

Dizzwave wrote:
ABx wrote:A lot of the stuff I get, even from good sources, is wrapped in plastic.
Same here. Even if it's not in plastic, sometimes (especially if it just spent a month in a box) if I drink the tea within a day of receiving it, the cakes have a weird smell, and the brew itself has a very "postal" taste to it. But after a day of sitting out ("out" meaning in the pumidor), everything's great.


If only we could turn a regular $10 mengku cake into a Lao Ban Zhang just by storing them together.
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Postby Bert » Aug 21st, '08, 12:43

ABx wrote:Did you catch the article in The Art of Tea magazine? Apparently the oolong farmers started a rumor that puerh is dangerous, so they sent a bunch to a lab for testing.


No, I didn't read it. Do you know the results?

@salsero: thanks. :oops:
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Re: quest for strange pu erh tea cakes.

Postby heavydoom » Aug 21st, '08, 16:37

chamekke wrote:
heavydoom wrote:i live in toronto where a large chinese community is to be found and hence we have a lot of stores that cater to the chinese community. some of them are chinese supermarkets and chinese herbal/pharmacy store.


Which of Toronto's Chinatowns have you found the pu in? Are you looking in the Dundas/Spadina one, or East Chinatown at Broadview and Gerrard? I do make it to Toronto occasionally, so if you have any tips for good places to buy tea (pu or otherwise), I would love to hear!


i have not gone to the dundas/spadina grocery stores yet.

the menghai one and the plastic wrapped cooked pu were found in the gerrard/broadview area.

the golden sail cooked pu was found up here in scarberia. vic park/mcnicoll area.


when you do make it here in tdot, give me pm and we can meet for a pu session and i can show you around the various tea hot spots here. i know two places for sure you will love. make sure to bring your credit card or cash though. :D
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Postby ABx » Aug 21st, '08, 21:22

Bert wrote:
ABx wrote:Did you catch the article in The Art of Tea magazine? Apparently the oolong farmers started a rumor that puerh is dangerous, so they sent a bunch to a lab for testing.


No, I didn't read it. Do you know the results?

@salsero: thanks. :oops:
While there were some that have potential risks on poorly stored cakes, none of the molds made it into the brew. The age of the tea made no difference, it was about how they were stored. Some bacteria (in general) did, but it was only tested with water at 80C. Boiling water would probably kill most of the rest.

When it comes to the dry cakes, I think you have to keep in mind how relatively little there is and the fact that it would probably be pretty well clung to the cake.

Personally I tend to think that if there were a problem that it would have been discovered in the past 2000 years. It doesn't take much of a pattern for people to pick up on it, especially in modern times.

Anyway, the "white frost" is indeed harmless and some consider it desirable as it theoretically protects the leaves. It can be found on cakes stored in just about any conditions. It's the ones that are deceptively "speed aged" by spraying water on them that you'd want to watch out for, if anything.
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Postby hop_goblin » Aug 21st, '08, 21:46

ABx wrote:
Bert wrote:
ABx wrote:Did you catch the article in The Art of Tea magazine? Apparently the oolong farmers started a rumor that puerh is dangerous, so they sent a bunch to a lab for testing.


No, I didn't read it. Do you know the results?

@salsero: thanks. :oops:
While there were some that have potential risks on poorly stored cakes, none of the molds made it into the brew. The age of the tea made no difference, it was about how they were stored. Some bacteria (in general) did, but it was only tested with water at 80C. Boiling water would probably kill most of the rest.

When it comes to the dry cakes, I think you have to keep in mind how relatively little there is and the fact that it would probably be pretty well clung to the cake.

Personally I tend to think that if there were a problem that it would have been discovered in the past 2000 years. It doesn't take much of a pattern for people to pick up on it, especially in modern times.

Anyway, the "white frost" is indeed harmless and some consider it desirable as it theoretically protects the leaves. It can be found on cakes stored in just about any conditions. It's the ones that are deceptively "speed aged" by spraying water on them that you'd want to watch out for, if anything.


I concure ABx. In fact, the Art of Tea Mag provided a detailed study of the pathagens of Pu-erh. For the most part, aged pu-erh was benign of harmful microbes. Indeed, white frost is not an issue when it comes to pu-erh. It is yellow mold of which people should be mindful of.
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Re: quest for strange pu erh tea cakes.

Postby chamekke » Aug 21st, '08, 22:01

heavydoom wrote:i have not gone to the dundas/spadina grocery stores yet.

the menghai one and the plastic wrapped cooked pu were found in the gerrard/broadview area.

the golden sail cooked pu was found up here in scarberia. vic park/mcnicoll area.

when you do make it here in tdot, give me pm and we can meet for a pu session and i can show you around the various tea hot spots here. i know two places for sure you will love. make sure to bring your credit card or cash though. :D

Thank you, heavydoom! I will definitely do that.

I used to work close to the Dundas/Spadina Chinatown, so it's the one I know (or knew) best. When I went to live in the UK for a few years, it was Chinese food that I was most homesick for ... :) e.g. Spadina Garden's orange beef, loaded with red chilies!!
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Postby Bert » Aug 22nd, '08, 14:25

ABx wrote:
While there were some that have potential risks on poorly stored cakes, none of the molds made it into the brew. The age of the tea made no difference, it was about how they were stored. Some bacteria (in general) did, but it was only tested with water at 80C. Boiling water would probably kill most of the rest.

When it comes to the dry cakes, I think you have to keep in mind how relatively little there is and the fact that it would probably be pretty well clung to the cake.

Personally I tend to think that if there were a problem that it would have been discovered in the past 2000 years. It doesn't take much of a pattern for people to pick up on it, especially in modern times.

Anyway, the "white frost" is indeed harmless and some consider it desirable as it theoretically protects the leaves. It can be found on cakes stored in just about any conditions. It's the ones that are deceptively "speed aged" by spraying water on them that you'd want to watch out for, if anything.


Thanks for the information. It seems the article refered to sheng pu er or pu er in general. The articles i have are all about shu pu er.
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