Sheng and Shu Pu Erh - Alcoholic?

Puerh and other heicha
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metalfan1999
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Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:47 pm

I am a big fan of Pu Erh tea and I drink lots of the Shu (ripe variant). Does Pu Erh Tea (particualrly Shu) contain any alcohol due to the fermentation process?
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aet
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Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:48 pm

I'm not aware of any research focused on this but from personal experience I can say that some wet stored shu can also have some alcohol ( fancy name Bourbon notes is used for it ) notes ( cant say if it's actual some Vol% alcohol ) which , by my conclusion , is happening due to the presence of sugars in tea leaves ( more here https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24021435/ ) it self and the fermentation does something with it alright.

In taste it appears something like slight acid notes ( like out of date milk ) and actual alcohol sharp tickle on tongue or throat. Like something between those two. I think depends on how long it has been " post-fermenting " ...I mean wet stored in pressed way.
Last edited by aet on Sat Aug 06, 2022 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Darbotek
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Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:31 am

I can tell you as an alcoholic, I think not. I started drinking tea during the early times of my sobriety, mainly pu and had no issues.

But I did once take two sips of homemade kombucha and immediately got a buzz and had to get the rest away from me. I can drink a whole bottle of store bought booch and have no problem, but apparently I could relapse on homemade lol.
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pedant
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Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:33 am

there is simply no way that dry tea material has any medically/psychoactively significant amount of alcohol.
even if any were produced, it'd be gone after drying.
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OCTO
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Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:09 pm

I just had some English Whiskey last night and I can tell you for sure it didn't taste remotely close to my PuErh... ahahahaha.... I have not come across any PuErh that has alcohol content in them.

Cheers!!
DailyTX
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Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:29 am

It may be a good innovation to do a shu pu infused whiskey haha. Toss in a few old cha tou/茶頭 to the barrel, age it another 5-10 year. It would interest me to try a bottle haha.
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OCTO
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Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:43 pm

DailyTX wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:29 am
It may be a good innovation to do a shu pu infused whiskey haha. Toss in a few old cha tou/茶頭 to the barrel, age it another 5-10 year. It would interest me to try a bottle haha.
hahahaha... I have some 90s baby tuo that can slip through he bottle opening.... good idea.... let me convince the Beverage Minister to set aside some in the name of research and quirky experiments... hahahaha.....
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Maerskian
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Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:57 pm

aet wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:48 pm
is happening due to the presence of sugars in tea leaves ( more here https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24021435/ ) it self and the fermentation does something with it alright.
That link only mentions Korean green tea having the lowest content of glucose, fructose & sucrose ( apparently we must assume those measures are almost identical to Glutinous sorghum & paddy rice ) out of a particular selection of commonly consumed Korean veggies.

For such low amounts on a very specific kind of tea - ideally consumed fresh - i wonder if there's anything left on sheng with just a couple years on it ( plus year-increments ) not to mention shu.

Any other article, paper, study, etc... focused on any kind of "sugar" content on sheng/shu ? , so far only managed to find the usual ambiguous sources.
Ethan Kurland
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Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:28 pm

pedant wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:33 am
there is simply no way that dry tea material has any medically/psychoactively significant amount of alcohol.
even if any were produced, it'd be gone after drying.
Yes, but a successful movie w/ Rock Hudson & Doris Day had some fun w/ the idea. (Before your time, I assume.)
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aet
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Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:11 am

Maerskian wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:57 pm
aet wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:48 pm
is happening due to the presence of sugars in tea leaves ( more here https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24021435/ ) it self and the fermentation does something with it alright.
That link only mentions Korean green tea having the lowest content of glucose, fructose & sucrose ( apparently we must assume those measures are almost identical to Glutinous sorghum & paddy rice ) out of a particular selection of commonly consumed Korean veggies.

For such low amounts on a very specific kind of tea - ideally consumed fresh - i wonder if there's anything left on sheng with just a couple years on it ( plus year-increments ) not to mention shu.

Any other article, paper, study, etc... focused on any kind of "sugar" content on sheng/shu ? , so far only managed to find the usual ambiguous sources.
unfortunately I haven't invested much time into some research of that kinda articles, but I always wonder from where is the actual sweet taste ( after ageing ) coming from ?
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pedant
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Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:27 am

imo there is not actually any sweet taste in tea. i think it's aroma contributing to sweet flavor.
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LeoFox
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Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:46 am

pedant wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:27 am
imo there is not actually any sweet taste in tea. i think it's aroma contributing to sweet flavor.
Quick pubmed search yields some papers suggesting free amino acids such as alanine and glycine as potentially contributing to sweetness, non-gallated catechins EGC and EC contributing to sweet aftertaste ( e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl ... o=0.833333).

Also
Previous research studies revealed that glucose and fructose content and sucrose content in tea shoot tips have been reported as 0.3–0.8% and 0.9–2.3% respectively while the total soluble carbohydrate content of tea shoot tips has been shown as 1.3–3.1% on a dry weight basis (Sanderson and Perera, 1965). In addition to that, in tea extract solids, around 4% polysaccharides, 0.15% pectin, and 6.5% sugars including fructose, glucose, sucrose, m-inositol along with small amounts of maltose and raffinose have been determined (Engelhardt, 2010
).
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 09#bib0026
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pedant
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Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:18 am

interesting.

hrm, i just did the math on sucrose assuming
2% sucrose, 4g tea, one out of four steeps (assuming complete, even extraction across steeps, then 1/4 of the tea is used in a steep), 80mL steeps:

0.02 * 4g / (342.30g/mol) / 4 / 80mL * 10^6 mg*mL/(g*L) = 0.7mM

according to this (table 5)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5390504/

recognition threshold (correctly detecting sweetness 3x in a row) for sucrose is like 12mM
even if all of the sucrose pulled in one steep, that's still <3mM

if you did this for every sweet taste component, idk how you'd model summing those up though, lol.

next time you brew up a sweet tea, plug your nose and see if you can taste the sweetness. i'll do the same and let you know.
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LeoFox
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Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:09 am

pedant wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:18 am
.

next time you brew up a sweet tea, plug your nose and see if you can taste the sweetness. i'll do the same and let you know.
Will need a super taster like Debbie for sure to test this, hahaha. I'm just an under taster.

Just did this for a strong tasting hojo zairai- and the tea became water. Hahahaha
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