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

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Nov 11th, '15, 03:20
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by entropyembrace » Nov 11th, '15, 03:20

I've had very icky feelings from bad shu puerh :lol: :shock:

But I think I know more what you're getting at. I have a Xiaguan brick that I once liked but after a while I noticed a rough feeling in my throat when drinking it and my stomach felt a bit off as well. It's really low grade rough looking stuff, but the up front tastes are nice with an autumn air in the woods and camphor character. So why the sore throat after drinking? Is it pesticides? Or something else? I don't know.

Tead Off wrote: 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?
All I can think of is that with fruits and vegetables at least in the west the types of pesticides and allowable pesticide residue on the food is strongly regulated. The spraying times and concentrations are managed so the actual pesticide residues on the food are low. If we're talking about the tea industry in China which is not well regulated I think cases of abuse or ignorance where the concentration of the pesticide residue on the leaves at harvest time is not controlled can happen. In that case you might be encountering orders of magnitude more pesticide than you would from fruits and vegetables. That could explain the difference but it's pure speculation on my part.

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Nov 11th, '15, 05:29
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by PuerhCollector » Nov 11th, '15, 05:29

I would add that a tea that is not aging well can also make you feel icky or uncomfortable. This is with regard to a tea that is progressively deteriorating with time instead of aging and developing in a positive way. For me the feeling is like when you eat food that is slightly off. :(

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Nov 11th, '15, 09:04
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Drax » Nov 11th, '15, 09:04

TJ, going back to your original question, which asked "besides chemicals" -- I think the answer is, not much, particularly if it's repeatable.

If you have the same tea again and feel the same way, then it's something in the tea, which means it's a reaction to chemicals (whether chemicals native in the tea, or chemicals nonnative to the tea).

The only other thing it could be is some sort of fungus present, which is still a chemical reaction.

If it's not repeatable (you have the tea again, and you feel ok), then likely you were just not feeling well that day for whatever reason (and even that is still technically chemicals), or perhaps something else in the water or teapot (and still technically chemicals).

The only other thing that I can think of, is that your mental expectation of the tea could also color your physical response to the tea. Similar to the placebo affect, if you perhaps were suspicious of a particular tea, your brain might over-interpret ill feelings and magnify them into an icky feeling.

Perhaps this was not the intent behind your question, I'm sorry if I took it too literally.

Nov 11th, '15, 23:48
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Cwyn » Nov 11th, '15, 23:48

Fermentation! I find it in the years 3-9 especially with raw. I'm at the point now where I don't really want to drink raw puerh in those years. Either I drink it fresh or year 10+. Sourish, stomach issues, the runs, I've had it with teas in those years, like unfinished sauerkraut. A few more years and this goes away but honestly I get it far more often with younger shou puerh teas. Let that funky stuff rest.

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Nov 12th, '15, 01:17
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by tingjunkie » Nov 12th, '15, 01:17

Drax wrote: The only other thing that I can think of, is that your mental expectation of the tea could also color your physical response to the tea. Similar to the placebo affect, if you perhaps were suspicious of a particular tea, your brain might over-interpret ill feelings and magnify them into an icky feeling.

Perhaps this was not the intent behind your question, I'm sorry if I took it too literally.
The mental aspect certainly plays in to it, but at this point, I've been drinking tea long enough to not be too effected. :wink:

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Nov 12th, '15, 01:19
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by tingjunkie » Nov 12th, '15, 01:19

Cwyn wrote:Fermentation! I find it in the years 3-9 especially with raw. I'm at the point now where I don't really want to drink raw puerh in those years. Either I drink it fresh or year 10+. Sourish, stomach issues, the runs, I've had it with teas in those years, like unfinished sauerkraut. A few more years and this goes away but honestly I get it far more often with younger shou puerh teas. Let that funky stuff rest.
Interesting. I've had quite a few puerhs in that age range that didn't have a negative effect on me. Of course, tea is subjective though!

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

by tingjunkie » Nov 12th, '15, 04:19

entropyembrace wrote:I have a Xiaguan brick that I once liked but after a while I noticed a rough feeling in my throat when drinking it and my stomach felt a bit off as well. It's really low grade rough looking stuff, but the up front tastes are nice with an autumn air in the woods and camphor character. So why the sore throat after drinking? Is it pesticides? Or something else? I don't know.
To me, sore/scratchy throat always indicates foreign chemicals in the tea (unless I'm coming down with a cold or flu, of course!) Some teas stick out like a sore thumb in this way.

Honestly, I use my mood and energy as an indicator more than anything. Before I start drinking a tea, I like to just check-in with myself and my body to see where I'm at. If a tea calms me down, helps me focus, leaves me feeling high, or just gives me a happy outlook, then I'm very happy to have found one of such rare quality. In short, I can compare the feeling to the purity and beauty I find being out in nature. It recharges me on a deep level. Conversely, if a tea makes my mind race through a bunch of unrelated thoughts, makes me jittery, causes me to stop paying attention to the tea, or makes me feel any unpleasant emotions, I'm kind of over it. That feeling is more like riding the NYC subway or standing in line at the grocery store.

Of course, as you learn to pay attention to such things, it definitely helps to give a particular tea a second or even third chance, just in case it wasn't the tea but perhaps some other factor in your life messing things up. The more I drink tea with my mood and energy in mind, the better I have become at noticing the differences. Gongfu... definitely a life-long teacher with no shortage of new lessons. Having wonderfully generous and knowledgeable friends to guide you helps immensely, too. :D

Nov 15th, '15, 21:49
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Cwyn » Nov 15th, '15, 21:49

The one tea I had a stomach issue from was Allan's 2011 HLH Bulang ripe brick sample he sent me. That was one funky brick, ripe being the operative word, but it wasn't in a bad way. It was a 2 kilo brick, I think, that Yunnan Sourcing sold. What it has is intense fermentation flavor that just needs to rest, and a packed huge brick like that will take forever. That tea will be damn fine about the time my great grandchildren grow up. :D

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

by Davcha » Sep 29th, '16, 09:09

That problem coul by a sign of allergy. You can be allergic to caffeine, fungi, insects (and other things) that may contain Puerh. And a lot of mycotoxins.

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Sep 29th, '16, 10:48
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by jayinhk » Sep 29th, '16, 10:48

Davcha wrote:That problem coul by a sign of allergy. You can be allergic to caffeine, fungi, insects (and other things) that may contain Puerh. And a lot of mycotoxins.
I've had wet stored tea that was stored at too high a humidity level, in the hopes of faking proper traditional storage. That stuff always makes my throat itch. Gotta be related to fungi and mycotoxins, IMO!

Sep 30th, '16, 09:07
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Re: Besides chemicals, what might cause the "icky" feeling?

by Davcha » Sep 30th, '16, 09:07

jayinhk wrote:I've had wet stored tea that was stored at too high a humidity level, in the hopes of faking proper traditional storage. That stuff always makes my throat itch. Gotta be related to fungi and mycotoxins, IMO!
Look here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0157847

I think microflora can vary greatly depending on storage, as well as the type and content of metabolites. Which can cause problems for sensitive people .

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

by Tertti » Oct 21st, '16, 05:12

Wow, Interesting topic!

I've drank 99% non-agrochemical tea(mostly pu'er) in the past three years mostly in silence with meditation. While concentrating fully on the tea brewing and the feelings induced by it I have gotten pretty sensitive to the feelings induced by tea.

I usually feel pesticide tea hard to swallow, pulsing tingling on the tip of the mouth, lack of salivation on the cheeks, upset stomach(a little bit), headache and generally somewhat bad feeling mentally and physically. The feeling "that something is off" comes pretty fast for me in the first few cups/bowls.

I've gotten a strong feeling feeling in the tongue from some sheng pu like some EOT shengs and maochas that I got straight from the farmer in rural Laos. The tingling was a bit different than from agrochemicals not lasting so long and not pulsing so much. These teas left me feeling really good otherwise so I think they are clean even though there is one similar "symptom" of unclean tea.

To detect the same things from fruit and other things is harder for me but not impossible. I think it has to do with a few factors. Tea is liquid and the active ingredients are absorbed faster than from solid food. I've had experiences with food in China that gave super bad feelings but the feeling came a bit later(30min or so?). I believe it was because of the food is being absorbed much later.

To the original question:
I've had some Taiwan aged 80's loose leaf sheng which caused somewhat similar feeling. There was a clear strong good feeling but also a weird bad feeling too. I believe this was due to some weird mold/mycotoxins on the tea. I believe it's very unlikely that agrochemicals were used in the 80's. I've found that almost all 90's and older teas don't give me bad vibes.

It's really hard to find affordable clean teas nowadays... Especially younger shou :/ If you are interested to hear which teas i've found to be clean(e.g. from YS) drop me a message!

-Tertti

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