Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

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Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by tingjunkie » Nov 8th 15 11:09 pm

In my constant quest to understand tea better (especially raw puerh), I'd like to hear some experienced opinions about what can cause a tea to make you feel "icky." i.e. Any combination of upset stomach, headache, roughness on the throat, an uneasy distracted qi that makes you feel "off", or even the runs (ew)?

Anytime I felt these symptoms before, I just attributed them to pesticides or other chemicals in the tea, but perhaps I'm being too simplistic. Can otherwise good maocha be processed in such a way that results in negative physical symptoms?

To be specific, I'm not talking about drinking too much green puerh in a short time, or drinking strong tea on an empty stomach, but drinking tea that just makes you feel rather crappy somewhere in the first five or so infusions.

What are your thoughts, sheng gurus?

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Tead Off » Nov 9th 15 2:26 am

I've never experienced what you are describing. I've disliked teas and I've gotten sick to my stomach on green tea drunk before eating. But, feeling 'icky' is not something I can remember experiencing.

Is it the same tea that always makes you feel like this?

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by the_economist » Nov 9th 15 3:14 am

I'm not sure what causes it but I definitely have had icky feelings.

Tea getting 'stuck' in my throat rather than sliding down, headaches, stomach discomfort, unpleasant mouthfeel are the main symptoms for me too.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by tingjunkie » Nov 9th 15 3:25 am

I've experienced quite a few teas like this, however it was only after becoming very experienced with teas and paying closer attention to how my body and mind reacts to them that it effects me as much. When I was a newb quite a few years ago, my standards weren't as high and I just plowed through everything without too much complaint.

When I first began drinking "serious" tea, I focused more on upfront flavors and aromas. With more experience I began paying more attention to things like mouthfeel and aftertaste. In the last couple years, the most important thing I consider when evaluating a tea is the qi and the effect it has on my body and mind, and the flavors, aromas, etc., all take a back seat. With sheng in particular, I'm even more focused on this aspect.

The reason I asked the question is that I have been going through and re-evaluating some cakes I bought when I first really starting drinking sheng around 2009 or so. Cakes that I haven't tried in years, or am opening for the first time even. A 2008 Menghai 7532 was completely undrinkable to me because of the "icky." Clearly that is almost certainly due to being a huge plantation tea that uses pesticides and fertilizers. Today I tried a 2009 Nada (Essence of Tea) Nan Nuo cake, and although I enjoyed the flavors, aromas, and stamina of the tea, I just stated feeling kind of icky after 4-5 infusions. The Nan Nuo is supposed to be from 100-200 year old trees. I have no reason to doubt the integrity of David at EoT, of course, so I started wondering what it could be about that tea that didn't agree with me? I'm no stranger to very strong teas, so that's not it. It's not my storage, because I have no issues with other sheng I've stored in the same places for 6 years.

So, I'm just wondering if good, unadulterated, chem-free maocha can be processed in ways that screws with the body a bit? There has been discussion here of new wave "oolong pu" processing that aims for sheng to taste great when it's young, with less thought put in to how it will age long term. Maybe that's part of it? Just trying to learn more.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Tead Off » Nov 9th 15 8:17 am

TJ,

I have no idea what you're experiencing. I could be wrong, but I tend to doubt anyone who claims they can detect pesticides except for an actual farmer who can monitor the growing first hand and is able to detect differences in the same tea without pesticides.

However, recently I've began to experience a lot of mouth action from teas in Japan and China. I'm not sure if this is a good sign or a sign of heavy fertilizer usage. I've also experienced this with shengcha, too.

Lastly, heavy tea drinking can damage your gut and it's possible that you may be experiencing the first signs of your system becoming irritated by it. It's a very real and common problem for many. I can hardly drink coffee and alcohol. Red wine destroys me.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by William » Nov 9th 15 9:16 am

Hi TJ,

Just a question.
Your bones hurts?

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by nada » Nov 9th 15 2:04 pm

tingjunkie wrote:. Today I tried a 2009 Nada (Essence of Tea) Nan Nuo cake, and although I enjoyed the flavors, aromas, and stamina of the tea, I just stated feeling kind of icky after 4-5 infusions. The Nan Nuo is supposed to be from 100-200 year old trees. I have no reason to doubt the integrity of David at EoT, of course, so I started wondering what it could be about that tea that didn't agree with me? I'm no stranger to very strong teas, so that's not it. It's not my storage, because I have no issues with other sheng I've stored in the same places for 6 years.

So, I'm just wondering if good, unadulterated, chem-free maocha can be processed in ways that screws with the body a bit? There has been discussion here of new wave "oolong pu" processing that aims for sheng to taste great when it's young, with less thought put in to how it will age long term. Maybe that's part of it? Just trying to learn more.
I haven't drunk that tea in several years, but I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't be too surprised if agrochemicals had been used. Like most famous mountains, agrochemical use is rife in Nannuo! It's one of the reasons we stopped pressing tea from there, and also started lab testing the teas we're pressing.

Unfortunately we didn't have as much awareness of the prevalence of agrochemical use on even old trees and we took it on faith when the farmer said he didn't use any. Sadly I've heard that story too many times now - the lab reports often say something different.

When drinking tea with pesticides, I often experience a numbing of the tongue, roughness/tightness in the throat and uncomfortable stomach amongst other things. For me these are telltale signs that point towards agrochemical use. Perhaps there are other reasons too why one would experience these but I'm not aware of them.

p.s. I'd be happy to offer a refund for this tea. Please send me an email or pm and we can sort it out.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Tead Off » Nov 9th 15 2:58 pm

nada wrote: When drinking tea with pesticides, I often experience a numbing of the tongue, roughness/tightness in the throat and uncomfortable stomach amongst other things. For me these are telltale signs that point towards agrochemical use. Perhaps there are other reasons too why one would experience these but I'm not aware of them.
I would like to believe that these are telltale signs of agrochemical usage, but I'm not sure this statement would hold up across the board. Many high-end teas that I've drunk produce tingling on the tongue and lips and I've observed roughness in some. But those teas also have deep body and huigan in many cases. The numbness part I'm not sure about.

In the case of fruits and vegetables which have pesticides usage, I don't think I've ever experienced these kinds of sensations in my mouth. If your theory is true, wouldn't it extend across the board? Maybe some of our more scientific posters could add something to this?

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by nada » Nov 9th 15 3:21 pm

I'm learning too Tead Off - I can only describe my experiences.

Some teas - especially wild teas, do produce a numbness & tingling in the mouth. In my mind, this on its own isn't a conclusive proof. When in conjunction with the other experiences I mentioned, the likelihood becomes higher.

It can be experienced in non-organic fruit & veg too. Try eating only organic food for a few days, then buy a selection of organic & non-organic fruit and veg. The same effects can be experienced.

Whether a tea is 'high-end' or has deep-body or huigan has nothing to do with pesticide use. I've got several lab-tested teas that I can share which have body & huigan, but contain pesticide residues.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Tead Off » Nov 9th 15 4:38 pm

nada wrote:I'm learning too Tead Off - I can only describe my experiences.

Some teas - especially wild teas, do produce a numbness & tingling in the mouth. In my mind, this on its own isn't a conclusive proof. When in conjunction with the other experiences I mentioned, the likelihood becomes higher.

It can be experienced in non-organic fruit & veg too. Try eating only organic food for a few days, then buy a selection of organic & non-organic fruit and veg. The same effects can be experienced.

Whether a tea is 'high-end' or has deep-body or huigan has nothing to do with pesticide use. I've got several lab-tested teas that I can share which have body & huigan, but contain pesticide residues.
I should have qualified what I said about higher end teas. It doesn't mean that pesticides haven't been used. But, for whatever it's worth, many expensive teas exhibit the qualities I mentioned as opposed to much lower priced teas.

Personally, I eat almost exclusively organic produce. It's readily available here. But, occasionally we will buy non-organic and I can't really tell the difference on my palette.

It's an interesting subject that should be explored more.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by tingjunkie » Nov 9th 15 5:04 pm

William wrote:Hi TJ,

Just a question.
Your bones hurts?
No, that would be a new one for me. :shock:

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by tingjunkie » Nov 9th 15 5:11 pm

nada wrote:
I haven't drunk that tea in several years, but I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't be too surprised if agrochemicals had been used. Like most famous mountains, agrochemical use is rife in Nannuo! It's one of the reasons we stopped pressing tea from there, and also started lab testing the teas we're pressing.

p.s. I'd be happy to offer a refund for this tea. Please send me an email or pm and we can sort it out.
Thanks for the honesty and for the offer of a refund, David. That's amazing customer service on your part! I'm thinking back to how much I have learned and progressed in my tea knowledge since 2009, and I have to assume it would be even more for someone such as yourself actually in the tea business. Kudos for continually working to offer higher quality teas!

I don't remember that being a pricey cake at the time, and it's currently serving the purpose of a tea lesson for me to learn more, so no refund necessary. All part of the tuition! :wink: Thanks though.

Out of curiosity, do you remember if that 2009 Nan Nuo material was sun-dried, or done in a drying room?

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by HifideliTea » Nov 9th 15 10:45 pm

I recently had a ripe puerh which gave a tingling and numbing of the mouth.
That feeling was quite pronounced on the roof of the mouth (the palate), and lasted a lot longer than in the tongue. That wasn't a very pleasant experience.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by mr mopu » Nov 10th 15 12:47 am

tingjunkie wrote:
nada wrote:
I haven't drunk that tea in several years, but I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't be too surprised if agrochemicals had been used. Like most famous mountains, agrochemical use is rife in Nannuo! It's one of the reasons we stopped pressing tea from there, and also started lab testing the teas we're pressing.

p.s. I'd be happy to offer a refund for this tea. Please send me an email or pm and we can sort it out.
Thanks for the honesty and for the offer of a refund, David. That's amazing customer service on your part! I'm thinking back to how much I have learned and progressed in my tea knowledge since 2009, and I have to assume it would be even more for someone such as yourself actually in the tea business. Kudos for continually working to offer higher quality teas!

I don't remember that being a pricey cake at the time, and it's currently serving the purpose of a tea lesson for me to learn more, so no refund necessary. All part of the tuition! :wink: Thanks though.

Out of curiosity, do you remember if that 2009 Nan Nuo material was sun-dried, or done in a drying room?
Definition of good customer service! See above. I am jusy getting into some EOT products and I had the 2008 Mengsong and the 2012 Bulang. Liked both rather well.

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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by nada » Nov 10th 15 7:49 am

tingjunkie wrote: Thanks for the honesty and for the offer of a refund, David. That's amazing customer service on your part! I'm thinking back to how much I have learned and progressed in my tea knowledge since 2009, and I have to assume it would be even more for someone such as yourself actually in the tea business. Kudos for continually working to offer higher quality teas!

I don't remember that being a pricey cake at the time, and it's currently serving the purpose of a tea lesson for me to learn more, so no refund necessary. All part of the tuition! :wink: Thanks though.

Out of curiosity, do you remember if that 2009 Nan Nuo material was sun-dried, or done in a drying room?
You're very welcome. I look back at some of the teas I sold with a little embarrassment. Some others I wish stocked up more on, but didn't have foresight to be able to tell!

I think it's all part of a learning journey. There seems to be no quick route in the tea world, other than spending years learning, tasting and drinking as widely as possible. Very often I think I've understood something very well, only to look back the following year and realise I was still quite wide of the mark.

The Nannuo tea was sun-dried maocha, with the newly pressed cakes dried in a drying room in the factory.