Tea that will never reach its prime

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


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Oct 8th, '17, 23:41
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Tea that will never reach its prime

by Gregg » Oct 8th, '17, 23:41

I assume lots of us have bits of old puer cakes hanging around. Some because they are special and other because they were just OK, and we’ve moved on. Now I’ve paid a price for letting some lightly roasted oolongs, dan congs and Japanese green teas sit (mainly because they were special) - but I assume that puer would not deteriorate, even if it did not mature and I could always go back to it. Not surprisingly there is always something new to try so I rarely went back and the bits sat.

Given that puer in North America (NYC specifically for me) will not mature without proper humidified storage. I’m curious to know what other people’s opinion is on longterm storage (set and forget) for well protected, but not properly stored puer. Happily most of my properly put away mature puers still seem great! My question is pointed toward the fact that we buy an awful lot of green/young and middle age puer (i.e. far from mature) that once it reaches us will (supposedly) never change. Not maturing means that the tea is inert. But if we are OK with inert, does that mean that the tea cannot degrade?

Thanks,

Gregg

Oct 8th, '17, 23:52
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Joined: Feb 12th, '10, 13:09
Location: Cambridge, USA

Re: Tea that will never reach its prime

by steanze » Oct 8th, '17, 23:52

Gregg wrote: I assume lots of us have bits of old puer cakes hanging around. Some because they are special and other because they were just OK, and we’ve moved on. Now I’ve paid a price for letting some lightly roasted oolongs, dan congs and Japanese green teas sit (mainly because they were special) - but I assume that puer would not deteriorate, even if it did not mature and I could always go back to it. Not surprisingly there is always something new to try so I rarely went back and the bits sat.

Given that puer in North America (NYC specifically for me) will not mature without proper humidified storage. I’m curious to know what other people’s opinion is on longterm storage (set and forget) for well protected, but not properly stored puer. Happily most of my properly put away mature puers still seem great! My question is pointed toward the fact that we buy an awful lot of green/young and middle age puer (i.e. far from mature) that once it reaches us will (supposedly) never change. Not maturing means that the tea is inert. But if we are OK with inert, does that mean that the tea cannot degrade?

Thanks,

Gregg
With less humidity, the puerh will still change, but in a different way and more slowly.

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Oct 10th, '17, 02:19
Posts: 495
Joined: Jul 17th, '14, 05:38
Location: UK

Re: Tea that will never reach its prime

by Rui » Oct 10th, '17, 02:19

In matters of pu'er storage I can only recommend Cwyn who has written extensively on this matter in the past. Her blog is

http://deathbytea.blogspot.fr/

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Oct 10th, '17, 07:13
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Re: Tea that will never reach its prime

by PuerhCollector » Oct 10th, '17, 07:13

Another consideration is not all teas age equally well regardless of how good a storage you may have. I have thrown out a few puerh teas in my time whilst others have come along very well. Same storage.

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Oct 11th, '17, 08:17
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Re: Tea that will never reach its prime

by jayinhk » Oct 11th, '17, 08:17

I have yet to throw out any pu. The only tea I might throw out is one that underwent WET storage (water added to speed up breakdown). With sufficient natural heat and humidity I believe even mediocre pu will become something drinkable down the line, but it won't be as good as better quality tea.

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Oct 11th, '17, 09:38
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Re: Tea that will never reach its prime

by PuerhCollector » Oct 11th, '17, 09:38

Everyone has their own path and strategy on how they do things. I started off wanting to study puerh tea more than anything else. I was less concerned about good or bad teas (unless they were really bad) but just wanted to cover as much of the diversity out there as possible but within reason. So I was buying all sorts, a cake here and a cake there. The odds were I was bound to get a few bad teas along the way. That's part of life. I honestly feel my tuition teas made me a lot smarter and aware :)

Receiving an early blow at the start of your journey can raise your awareness to avoid the heavier ones down the line. As I gradually shifted my focus from younger to age teas the bad teas that came my way (early) really helped me avoid the bigger disasters. The puerh market is extremely chaotic and a minefield. Sometimes taking a few steps back to reset yourself is no bad thing.

Good luck to all!

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