Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

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

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Sep 12th 17 2:59 pm
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Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by VanFersen » Sep 12th 17 2:59 pm

Reading about pu-erh storage I couldn't ignore the fact that I read so many opinions about Kunming stored tea - and none of them were really good. Is Kunming stored tea really that bad? Now that I think of it I am quite sure I was drinking Kunming Pu before but I can't actually remember anymore or which one it was. What about teas being stored in Taiwan or Shanghai or even HK for around 10 years and the last couple of years (4) it was stored in Kunming. Those 4 years in comparison to the 10 years before do they change the tea a lot - I mean in a bad way!

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Sep 13th 17 4:57 am
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Re: Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by jayinhk » Sep 13th 17 4:57 am

VanFersen wrote: Reading about pu-erh storage I couldn't ignore the fact that I read so many opinions about Kunming stored tea - and none of them were really good. Is Kunming stored tea really that bad? Now that I think of it I am quite sure I was drinking Kunming Pu before but I can't actually remember anymore or which one it was. What about teas being stored in Taiwan or Shanghai or even HK for around 10 years and the last couple of years (4) it was stored in Kunming. Those 4 years in comparison to the 10 years before do they change the tea a lot - I mean in a bad way!
I've had teas that were stored in Kunming that were excellent, but they were from vendors there who understand storage and knew how to get the most out of the tea. I had a 2014 Dayi 7542 in 2016 that was shockingly complex. The girl who brewed it had the best gongfu skills I've ever seen and brewed with great precision. The asking price was too high and I only later realized the premium was for storage, since I could buy the same cake at much less (but cryostored).

I also bought shou that was very nicely aged in Kunming (lao cha tou) and I've had good examples of Kunming storage 7581, that again blew my mind as I really enjoyed it. In some cases I feel good Kunming storage is better than hotter storage (Kunming has plenty of humidity, the factor that slows everything down is temperature--it is rarely hot there).

Very often wholesalers store tea in a manner that prevents aging--they leave the aging thing to the customers.

Also, yes, tea that has gone from a humid climate to Kunming can end up quite bland if not stored well. Kunming DOES have the potential for good storage, but it seems the biggest dealers there don't have the time for that (or want to risk ruining the tea) and store in climate controlled warehouses that prevent aging!

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Sep 13th 17 5:49 pm
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Re: Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by stevorama » Sep 13th 17 5:49 pm

Kunming is a very big and spread out city. I imagine there are many variables in climate and storage there.

Perhaps the broader question is, does one prefer tea stored in higher humidity and temperature or lower humidity and temperature; and what tea is to be stored. The number of years in each storage type is also an important consideration.
Last edited by stevorama on Sep 15th 17 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by miig » Sep 13th 17 8:13 pm

I guess we should ask Honza Broz then :) I would be surprised that such a well-renowned and established vendor as Chawangshop (which is owned and run by Honza) should keep his shop there if the climate were to offer bad storage conditions per se.

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Re: Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by mr mopu » Sep 14th 17 2:25 am

miig wrote: I guess we should ask Honza Broz then :) I would be surprised that such a well-renowned and established vendor as Chawangshop (which is owned and run by Honza) should keep his shop there if the climate were to offer bad storage conditions per se.
The Honz has some good stuff.

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Re: Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by chrl42 » Sep 14th 17 3:23 am

I also think important thing is 'who' stores, than where to store...

Personally thinking, the worst places to store puerh are guangdong, se Asia...darn humid, or Beijing...darn dry.
But you get wonderfully aged puerhs from guangdong, bcos there are many storage masters dwelled in gd..

Kunming (generally), their contact with laocha is not too long compared to gd or hkers..or sometimes adding water is done to make up their lost periods....storing tea is hella labor as well..

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Re: Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by jayinhk » Sep 14th 17 11:18 am

Honza has apparently picked a location with good humidity levels specifically for aging. Interestingly every time I talk to Honza he tells me how much he likes HK storage! :lol:

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Re: Kunming stored Pu - does it always suck?

by theredbaron » Sep 14th 17 2:45 pm

chrl42 wrote: I also think important thing is 'who' stores, than where to store...

Personally thinking, the worst places to store puerh are guangdong, se Asia...darn humid, or Beijing...darn dry.
But you get wonderfully aged puerhs from guangdong, bcos there are many storage masters dwelled in gd..

Kunming (generally), their contact with laocha is not too long compared to gd or hkers..or sometimes adding water is done to make up their lost periods....storing tea is hella labor as well..


Oh, oh....

Well, if not too wet stored, or in changing AC - natural climate conditions, SEA storage is the best storage there is (IMO ;) ). Pu Erh matures much quicker, and it - if carefully protected and stored during the wet season - it can give wonderful teas.
I may be biased, but i believe that Bangkok stored teas are better than Malaysia stored teas - less danger for mustiness as Bangkok still has 3 real seasons.

But yes, you are right - it always depends who stores. :)