Aged Shu - is this mold?

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


User avatar
Oct 5th, '17, 13:58
Posts: 168
Joined: May 5th, '13, 08:47
Location: Vienna
Contact: VanFersen

Aged Shu - is this mold?

by VanFersen » Oct 5th, '17, 13:58

Got a new package today and I was wondering if this dried mud looking stuff on this 2004 Tuo Shu might be mold or just from the pressing or aged stains? This tou was stored in Taiwan so quite humid - the scent of this fellow also is quite basement like. Hope you guys can tell me some good news!

https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A7B1552

https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A795FDD

https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A48E0F3

https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A465930

https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A7F6098

User avatar
Oct 5th, '17, 16:24
Posts: 168
Joined: May 5th, '13, 08:47
Location: Vienna
Contact: VanFersen

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by VanFersen » Oct 5th, '17, 16:24

No one?

User avatar
Oct 5th, '17, 16:59
Posts: 322
Joined: Jul 10th, '15, 23:36
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by Frisbeehead » Oct 5th, '17, 16:59

No, it's not mold. That is common to see on many pu'erh wrappers, particularly with semi-aged or aged pu'erh. I've seen those brown spots on many of the wrappers of my cakes. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it's just the color of the tea rubbing off on the wrapper.

Oct 5th, '17, 19:46
Posts: 169
Joined: Apr 3rd, '14, 19:33

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by Bef » Oct 5th, '17, 19:46

Frisbeehead wrote: No, it's not mold. That is common to see on many pu'erh wrappers, particularly with semi-aged or aged pu'erh. I've seen those brown spots on many of the wrappers of my cakes. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it's just the color of the tea rubbing off on the wrapper.
Yeah, it’s just tea oils or something like that. Not mold.

Oct 5th, '17, 20:35
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 17th, '13, 12:34

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by mr mopu » Oct 5th, '17, 20:35

Agreed on the tea oils. Especially since it had some humid storage to it.

User avatar
Oct 5th, '17, 21:54
Vendor Member
Posts: 3089
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by jayinhk » Oct 5th, '17, 21:54

All aged pu has a nice bit of bacteria and fungus growing in and on it. You'd have to look at the tuo itself for visible mold.
Last edited by jayinhk on Oct 6th, '17, 06:47, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Oct 6th, '17, 05:15
Posts: 168
Joined: May 5th, '13, 08:47
Location: Vienna
Contact: VanFersen

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by VanFersen » Oct 6th, '17, 05:15

That's a relief. I know enzymes and bacteria are the major key when it comes to aging pu-erh. But good enzymes & co is one thing but actual mold on a cake or so that's another one. I know that some Pu-erh lovers even like the fact of mold on the cake but I can't see anything good in drinking poison. There is good mold like in cheese but there are really bad ones and if a cake caught that type of mold I wouldn't drink it anymore.

But good to know that my guess was write too and those are only stains :wink:

User avatar
Oct 6th, '17, 06:52
Vendor Member
Posts: 3089
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by jayinhk » Oct 6th, '17, 06:52

VanFersen wrote: That's a relief. I know enzymes and bacteria are the major key when it comes to aging pu-erh. But good enzymes & co is one thing but actual mold on a cake or so that's another one. I know that some Pu-erh lovers even like the fact of mold on the cake but I can't see anything good in drinking poison. There is good mold like in cheese but there are really bad ones and if a cake caught that type of mold I wouldn't drink it anymore.

But good to know that my guess was write too and those are only stains :wink:
Yes right now, in China, there is a whole fuss about moldy pu erh and cancer risk from aflatoxin after someone published an article to that effect recently. I was reading a review of a Guangdong dry storage cake yesterday. A guy was happy with the cake until the news came out. Three months after his purchase he accused the seller of selling him dangerous tea! ^_^ I have the cake in question and it's actually very nicely aged.

There is ruined tea on the market that is unsafe to drink; you can usually tell, though, since it looks and smells BAD and would taste bad too, and maybe even make your throat feel funny. I personally only buy traditional storage teas from HK vendors that have been at it for generations. When it comes to mainland pu, I stick to brand new cakes or dry storage. The only examples I've had of wet storage stuff from the Mainland were either nothing to write home about or downright scary!

There was an aflatoxin scare back in 2012 too:

http://english.cntv.cn/program/china24/ ... 7386.shtml

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017 ... 033364.htm : This year

Wet storage pu erh checked out:

http://www.lifescienceglobal.com/pms/in ... /view/2217

User avatar
Oct 6th, '17, 12:35
Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 29th, '17, 23:13

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by Shine Magical » Oct 6th, '17, 12:35

jayinhk wrote: The only examples I've had of wet storage stuff from the Mainland were either nothing to write home about or downright scary!
I want to hear these stories sometime :lol:

User avatar
Oct 6th, '17, 14:15
Vendor Member
Posts: 3089
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

Re: Aged Shu - is this mold?

by jayinhk » Oct 6th, '17, 14:15

Shine Magical wrote:
jayinhk wrote: The only examples I've had of wet storage stuff from the Mainland were either nothing to write home about or downright scary!
I want to hear these stories sometime :lol:
One day I visited a tea market in Shenzhen after some planning (I don't speak much Mandarin and don't read and write much Chinese either). I grew up in Hong Kong, right across the border from Shenzhen, but went to schools that were set up for the British government kids and we took UK examinations, instead of the HK examinations for local kids, and we existed in a bubble of sorts where everyone spoke English and speaking Cantonese was actually banned at school(!).

After crossing the border and cabbing it to the market, I started checking out tea stores. I was invited to drink tea and in every case, the dealers said the tea was aged in Hong Kong (they can charge more if people think the tea is from HK). Everything smelled like it had just come out of basement storage and tasted like it too. No terroir detectable whatsoever, just basement funk and my throat itched when drinking the tea! And starting prices were higher than HK prices for the same cakes and bricks (not that I had any interest in bargaining on tea that was undrinkable). It was just a horrible waste of an entire day.

+ Post Reply