Blue news about shu - what to do!

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Blue news about shu - what to do!

by Salsero » Feb 25th 08 7:07 pm

I looked in on my sweet little ones nestled snuggly in bed, cute as little pixies yesterday, when I was horror-struck to see their lovely brown-black complexions were covered with a slight whitish haze! I believe I was controlling humidity at just below 80% for the past few months, but I didn't like the look of that whitish hue of mold/yeast/fungus or whatever it is.

I jerked all the shu out of the plastic storage drawer it has been sharing with a bowl of water for the last nine months and spread it out to dry on the dining room table. The paper bags and wrappings became dry quite quickly, but the white cast is still there on the surface of the cakes, and they smell a little like ... well ... like shu.

Needless to say, I checked the sheng which is stored separately and is still looking primo. Whew, what a relief!

Fortunately, the mold is not one of the more festive holiday colors like green, red, or blue (reportedly more deleterious), and the white doesn't seem to have penetrated below the surface. I am hoping that any damage to flavor can be reversed by airing it out.

Anyone have any suggestions, observations, recommendations for what I should do going forward? I know that I'm planning a lot more dry storage for my shu in the future.
Last edited by Salsero on Jul 30th 09 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by Wesli » Feb 25th 08 8:00 pm

Disgusting story there Sal. :P

I recently read Hobbes' blog, and noticed that on the leaf in the photo there was horrific white/yellow mold specks!
Check it out: http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2008/02 ... g-pin.html
He still drank it, which makes me further wonder whether or not pu-heads are sane.

I'd say since shu already sucks, and that that could be a recurrence of a mold that began in their factory, you should toss it. It's possible they composted it wrong, the leaf grew some mold, and then they tried to remove the mold, but didn't get every last mold-body.

I have an image of wet leaf darkening on a factory floor stuck in my head...

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Frosty the no man!

by hop_goblin » Feb 25th 08 9:56 pm

Hey Sal, Don't need to worry. In one of the AofT mags, one of the tea masters makes reference to what he called white frost. He suggests that many wet stored puerhs have this dusty coating. It is perfectly fine to drink. However, he did mention that the toxic mold is colored yellow. If you find any of the yellow in your puerh, you should discard it as it is no longer safe to drink.


Try brushing it of gently with a vegtable brush the bad stuff and give it a 3rd flush in the rinse if you feel like it needs it.

I hope this helps!

Hop
Last edited by hop_goblin on Feb 26th 08 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by Salsero » Feb 25th 08 11:12 pm

Thanks, Hop, your comments about White Frost are a lot more encouraging than Master Wesli's references to mold. It sounds more like frosting. Yummm!

Actually, somewhere I read about the white stuff being relatively innocuous, so I wasn't worried. It must have been in the AoT article, though I can't put my finger on the article in question.

Best luck on coming into possession of those six remote mountains you would like to own.

Wesli, I would enjoy reading your excellent philosophy paper.

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by hop_goblin » Feb 26th 08 3:56 am

Salsero wrote:Thanks, Hop, your comments about White Frost are a lot more encouraging than Master Wesli's references to mold. It sounds more like frosting. Yummm!

Actually, somewhere I read about the white stuff being relatively innocuous, so I wasn't worried. It must have been in the AoT article, though I can't put my finger on the article in question.

Best luck on coming into possession of those six remote mountains you would like to own.

Wesli, I would enjoy reading your excellent philosophy paper.
Thanks Sal, but I dont think that wanting the 6ftms is too much to ask! :P

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by Salsero » Feb 26th 08 11:24 pm

Even a soft toothbrush worked nicely to remove the white frost from the larger pieces and whole bings. I have brewed up a couple of the teas and they taste just fine. Thanks for the guidance.

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by Salsero » Mar 9th 08 5:58 am

As a follow up: I have been tasting my way through the whole drawer of shu, and it all tastes just fine. Apparently the White Frost has not had a negative impact on it. In fact, either it has actually improved or my brewing technique has improved because I've never enjoyed it more!

In retrospect the whole event has been a golden opportunity to bond a little closer with my shu pu. In the cup, year 2000 3 cranes Liu Bao.

Image

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by jazz88 » Mar 9th 08 4:18 pm

@Salsero: This is a really nice photo. What a lovely tea cup you have!

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by Eastree » Mar 9th 08 6:09 pm

jazz88 wrote:@Salsero: This is a really nice photo. What a lovely tea cup you have!
>:D

One fish
Two fish
Red fish
Salsero's cup!

It is a nice cup. I love the detail on the fish.

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by Salsero » Mar 9th 08 8:53 pm

Actually I have 3 versions of the cup:
  • large one with a handle that I use with 130 to 150 ml teapots
    small one (in avatar) with no handle that goes with < 130 ml teapots
    tiny one I have never used so far.
They all cost like 50¢ in a local Asian mart and they all seem to be discontinued which leads me to worry that I will break them and lose my tea soul.

On the rare occasions that I do gong fu with someone else, I break out the fancier cups, of which I have several.
Image

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by ABx » Mar 9th 08 9:36 pm

Salsero wrote:They all cost like 50¢ in a local Asian mart and they all seem to be discontinued which leads me to worry that I will break them and lose my tea soul.
I've actually seen this line at one of my local Asian grocers, including a full teapot set :) So no worries, they still seem to be out there.

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by augie » Mar 9th 08 11:39 pm

Salsero wrote:Actually I have 3 versions of the cup:
Horror of all Horrors, Salsero! :shock: Glad it wasn't that big a tragedy.

My SIL has this exact same fish set. She has a teapot and 4 cups. Don't know what size. Her mother is from Hong Kong and bought them there long ago. It's very cool looking.

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by hop_goblin » Mar 10th 08 1:34 pm

Sal, I actually ran into your cups on a tea website. I can't believe but you sucessfully made a brand for yourself since when I do see those blue carp, you are what I think of!

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by Salsero » Mar 10th 08 2:40 pm

hop_goblin wrote:Sal, I actually ran into your cups on a tea website.
My original avatar was a photo of my (then) only yixing pot with a photo of my face superimposed on it. Phyll Sheng asked me about it and as I chatted with him about it I decided it was pretentious and foolish. I decided instead just to use my "go to gong fu" cup since it was really much more representative of me than the photoshopped pot. I didn't really plan to create a brand, but I do feel sort of intimate with the image at this point.

Do you remember where you saw those cups?

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by Dizzwave » Mar 10th 08 4:00 pm

haha! A friend of mine came over to see what this whole pu-erh obsession of mine is about, and digging around the cupboard for an extra teacup, I found one of those with the blue fish! Same as yours, the bigger one with the handle. And I immediately thought, "That's Salsero's cup!" :)
I asked my wife, and she thinks we got it at May Wah in SF (on Clement St).