What Pu'er Are You Drinking

Puerh and other heicha
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Balthazar
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Location: Oslo, Norway

Sun May 05, 2019 4:33 am

tingjunkie wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:01 am
Finishing up a sample of the 2006 Changtai Tian Xia Tong An from YS. It's not earth-shattering, but it's very good at hitting all the areas I care about in an aged sheng. Clean humid storage, good aromas, flavors, mouthfeel, stamina, price, and most importantly it's a clean tea with calming energy. I had $20 worth of points to cash in and negate shipping costs, so I ordered 2 cakes to serve as a daily drinker and see how it ages further. There are better teas out there, but finding one of this quality for a very affordable price is always nice. I like the 2003 Changtai Yiwu better, but not enough to justify the 2.5X cost/g.
Thanks for the writeup, looks like a tea I need to consider. I see it is described as having been stored in "a traditional (wettish) storage condition", so it sounds somewhat wetter than Guangdong dry storage which is like music to my ears. Do you agree with this description? It's also described as having strong cha qi, does that resonate with your experience?

I have been really impressed with some of the Guangdong stored teas YS offers in terms of quality/price. Just ordered two more tuos of the "2007 Pin Xiang Bu Lang Shan Tuo" which blew me away considering the price (USD 18 a few weeks ago). I really hope Scott keeps stocking these Guangdong stored teas with 10-15 years of age and a daily drinker price tag.
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tingjunkie
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Sun May 05, 2019 5:28 am

Balthazar wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 4:33 am
I see it is described as having been stored in "a traditional (wettish) storage condition", so it sounds somewhat wetter than Guangdong dry storage which is like music to my ears. Do you agree with this description? It's also described as having strong cha qi, does that resonate with your experience?
I'd say it's very clean humid storage, but keep in mind it's only 13 y/o at this point, so it still has some aging it needs to do before it's mature. Cha qi is so hard to quantify, and seems to vary a lot between people. I'd personally say this has a pleasant calming energy, but the qi isn't especially strong. It's a nice feeling, but not a full blown tea drunk rocket ship. If I had to go out on a limb, I'd say it's clean material from older trees (not bushes), but it's not 200+ year old gushu.
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mrmopu
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Sun May 05, 2019 7:41 am

Balthazar wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 4:33 am
tingjunkie wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:01 am
Finishing up a sample of the 2006 Changtai Tian Xia Tong An from YS. It's not earth-shattering, but it's very good at hitting all the areas I care about in an aged sheng. Clean humid storage, good aromas, flavors, mouthfeel, stamina, price, and most importantly it's a clean tea with calming energy. I had $20 worth of points to cash in and negate shipping costs, so I ordered 2 cakes to serve as a daily drinker and see how it ages further. There are better teas out there, but finding one of this quality for a very affordable price is always nice. I like the 2003 Changtai Yiwu better, but not enough to justify the 2.5X cost/g.
Thanks for the writeup, looks like a tea I need to consider. I see it is described as having been stored in "a traditional (wettish) storage condition", so it sounds somewhat wetter than Guangdong dry storage which is like music to my ears. Do you agree with this description? It's also described as having strong cha qi, does that resonate with your experience?

I have been really impressed with some of the Guangdong stored teas YS offers in terms of quality/price. Just ordered two more tuos of the "2007 Pin Xiang Bu Lang Shan Tuo" which blew me away considering the price (USD 18 a few weeks ago). I really hope Scott keeps stocking these Guangdong stored teas with 10-15 years of age and a daily drinker price tag.
That Bu Lang Shan tuo is really nice. I think I grabbed 4 of them a while back.
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Balthazar
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Location: Oslo, Norway

Sun May 05, 2019 10:23 am

tingjunkie wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 5:28 am
I'd say it's very clean humid storage, but keep in mind it's only 13 y/o at this point, so it still has some aging it needs to do before it's mature. Cha qi is so hard to quantify, and seems to vary a lot between people. I'd personally say this has a pleasant calming energy, but the qi isn't especially strong. It's a nice feeling, but not a full blown tea drunk rocket ship. If I had to go out on a limb, I'd say it's clean material from older trees (not bushes), but it's not 200+ year old gushu.
Thanks! Agree, cha qi is probably the most "subjective" and unmeasurable quality of tea, which I why I'm always interested in hearing several people's opinion about whether or not a certain tea "has it".
mrmopu wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 7:41 am
That Bu Lang Shan tuo is really nice. I think I grabbed 4 of them a while back.
Indeed! I can't think of many other teas that have given me the same bang for the buck. Would've bought more if I had a pumidor. Two tuos is probably what I will have time to finish before the "Norwegian storage" creeps up on the material and weakens/sours it significantly. Crossing my fingers for this tea still being available in a few months time, but I think there's a good chance it won't be :)

Speaking of good deals, I am currently drinking the 2005 Xiaguan 8653 (regular) from King Tea Mall. My first order from this shop, and what a great surprise this is, considering that that is a factory recipe with 14 years of age and only costs USD 45. It's definitely ready to drink now - at least to my palate - although I'm sure it will improve with further age (which, alas and as mentioned I will not allow it to get under the local storage conditions). I'm a huge fan of the Xiaguan flavors, and while I understand that the material used in these cakes is nothing to write home about (compared to earlier versions), this is still a wonderful blend that gives me 10-12 enjoyable steeps (I do tend to go a bit hard on the leaf to water ratio).

The FT and iron versions of the tea (same vintage) is significantly pricier. I wonder if they are worth it, should probably have bought samples to compare...
sqt
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Sun May 05, 2019 4:06 pm

Balthazar wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 10:23 am
Indeed! I can't think of many other teas that have given me the same bang for the buck. Would've bought more if I had a pumidor. Two tuos is probably what I will have time to finish before the "Norwegian storage" creeps up on the material and weakens/sours it significantly. Crossing my fingers for this tea still being available in a few months time, but I think there's a good chance it won't be :)
How are you storing your tea? I've had some of my tea stored in Norway for over two years now with no real issues.
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Balthazar
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Mon May 06, 2019 1:57 am

sqt wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 4:06 pm
How are you storing your tea? I've had some of my tea stored in Norway for over two years now with no real issues.
Just in a odor-free closet, usually in plastic/ziplock bags if it will take more than a few weeks to consume the tea. A few years back I kept some in crocks (documented on TeaChat), but after a while it felt like too much of a hassle for what was basically only a slowing down of the inevitable degradation. So I stopped bothering and started only buying teas for immediate consumption. Can’t say I regret it, somehow felt liberating to “let go” of worrying about which teas were worth picking up for the long haul.

How are you storing your tea in Norway, and which teas have you stored for two years with no issues? Hard to imagine a workable solution without a pumidor setup. The low relative humidity can always be compensated for, but even then, I find that normal indoors temperatures are too low to avoid degradation.

I have almost a full tong of 2008 8582 that has been kept in “natural Norwegian storage” for 5+ years, maybe I should revisit a cake of it soon :p
sqt
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Mon May 06, 2019 2:14 am

Balthazar wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 1:57 am
sqt wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 4:06 pm
How are you storing your tea? I've had some of my tea stored in Norway for over two years now with no real issues.
Just in a odor-free closet, usually in plastic/ziplock bags if it will take more than a few weeks to consume the tea. A few years back I kept some in crocks (documented on TeaChat), but after a while it felt like too much of a hassle for what was basically only a slowing down of the inevitable degradation. So I stopped bothering and started only buying teas for immediate consumption. Can’t say I regret it, somehow felt liberating to “let go” of worrying about which teas were worth picking up for the long haul.

How are you storing your tea in Norway, and which teas have you stored for two years with no issues? Hard to imagine a workable solution without a pumidor setup. The low relative humidity can always be compensated for, but even then, I find that normal indoors temperatures are too low to avoid degradation.

I have almost a full tong of 2008 8582 that has been kept in “natural Norwegian storage” for 5+ years, maybe I should revisit a cake of it soon :p
I guess you would call my setup a pumidor but it's pretty low effort. I store in food grade, odor free and airtight plastic containers, with Boveda packs to maintain the humidity at 72%. Average winter temperature in that room is about 23 degrees and average summer temperature is about 28 degrees (or higher in last years freak summer). The only time it drops below 20 degrees is that one week or so in fall when it's getting cold but the central heating hasn't kicked in yet. I have two other friends that have similar setups in Oslo, also with no issues.

Have not noticed any deterioration in the tea (and I've been paying attention), though drinking sheng in the dry winter isn't particularly enjoyable. But the tea itself seems to be doing fine.

I suspect you would see an improvement just by adding a Boveda pack inside your ziplock bags. Ziplock bags really aren't airtight and you are correct about it being crazy dry during the norwegian winter. I had tea go flat after a few months of storing in double ziplock bags before I got my current storage organized.

I have a variety of sheng stored away, including the Bulang tuo you mentioned actually. I'm only occasionally in Oslo but next time I am, you're welcome to come over for tea and you can try that tuo side by side to yours to see how the storage is doing.
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Balthazar
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Location: Oslo, Norway

Mon May 06, 2019 3:30 am

sqt wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:14 am
I store in food grade, odor free and airtight plastic containers, with Boveda packs to maintain the humidity at 72%. Average winter temperature in that room is about 23 degrees and average summer temperature is about 28 degrees (or higher in last years freak summer). The only time it drops below 20 degrees is that one week or so in fall when it's getting cold but the central heating hasn't kicked in yet. I have two other friends that have similar setups in Oslo, also with no issues.
Yeah, I think that sums up why you’re seeing better results. Under “artificial” conditions (not to be taken in its derogatory sense) I don’t think location matters much at all, and a constant temperature of 23-28 degrees Celsius plus relative humidity of 72% sounds like good storage conditions. I would be slightly worried about 100% airtight containers, but I guess you’re making sure to let some air in and perhaps also rotate that cakes every now and then?

I’ve considered going the Boveda pack route myself but have hesitated to do so, partially due to laziness and partially due to a concern about odors. But if odors are not a problem and they don’t need to be changed too often, it sounds like something I should look into. If you don’t mind me asking, where do you buy your Boveda packs and what storage containers are you using?
sqt wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:14 am
I have a variety of sheng stored away, including the Bulang tuo you mentioned actually. I'm only occasionally in Oslo but next time I am, you're welcome to come over for tea and you can try that tuo side by side to yours to see how the storage is doing.
Thanks for the kind offer, I might just take you up on that :)
oolongfan
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Indiana, USA

Mon May 06, 2019 12:36 pm

Back to the 2005 Xiaguan 8653....I too, have been wondering about the different versions of the 2005 8653 offered at King Tea Mall. Do the higher priced versions reflect better storage history??? I need to re-read the discriptions.

Speaking of Xiaguan, Norbu has the lovely 2004 Xiaguan Fang Zhuan raw puerh...this being one of my favorite teas because of the lovely bitterness and unique (to this tea) pepper note. There is very little smoke though, compared to other Xiaguan raw puerhs..so the bittering flavors really shine. This is a bargain considering how lovely this tea is.
oolongfan
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Location: Indiana, USA

Mon May 06, 2019 2:28 pm

tingjunkie - Thanks for the review of the 2006 Changtai Tian Xia Tong An ....certainly on my list of teas to tryat Yunnan Sourcing. I think I remember you mentioning liking the 2003 Changtai "Yi Chang Hao" more...but not for the price. Would love to hear your impressions on the 2003.

Speaking of Yunnan Sourcing, I absolutely loved the 2005 CNNP Big Yellow Mark..already bought two cakes and going back for more...some for drinking now and some for aging. The blend of Bulang and Nan Nuo is fabelous..inspires me to seek more of such blends out.
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mrmopu
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Mon May 06, 2019 8:21 pm

oolongfan wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 12:36 pm
Back to the 2005 Xiaguan 8653....I too, have been wondering about the different versions of the 2005 8653 offered at King Tea Mall. Do the higher priced versions reflect better storage history??? I need to re-read the discriptions.

Speaking of Xiaguan, Norbu has the lovely 2004 Xiaguan Fang Zhuan raw puerh...this being one of my favorite teas because of the lovely bitterness and unique (to this tea) pepper note. There is very little smoke though, compared to other Xiaguan raw puerhs..so the bittering flavors really shine. This is a bargain considering how lovely this tea is.
8653 First , second or third batch pressings.
sqt
Posts: 39
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Tue May 07, 2019 12:44 am

Balthazar wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 3:30 am
I’ve considered going the Boveda pack route myself but have hesitated to do so, partially due to laziness and partially due to a concern about odors. But if odors are not a problem and they don’t need to be changed too often, it sounds like something I should look into. If you don’t mind me asking, where do you buy your Boveda packs and what storage containers are you using?
I'll PM you some more details, so as to not go further offtopic in this thread. There is also a small group of us that gets together semi-regularly for tea in Oslo, you're always welcome to join.

We had a long session on Sunday actually:
- 2018 Taliensis sheng from a Singapore vendor
- 2018 Naka from Flying Bird - very good and powerful tea, has changed dramatically since fall last year.
- 2007 Qizhong from Yang Qing Hao
- 2005 Song pin Hao (pressed in 2014) - really should get a cake of this
- 2006 Yiwu with light HK storage
- 2006 Wild leaf Xiaguan
- 2018 Stone Lion from Crimson Lotus tea.
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tingjunkie
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:39 pm

Tue May 07, 2019 1:34 am

oolongfan wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:28 pm
tingjunkie - Thanks for the review of the 2006 Changtai Tian Xia Tong An ....certainly on my list of teas to tryat Yunnan Sourcing. I think I remember you mentioning liking the 2003 Changtai "Yi Chang Hao" more...but not for the price. Would love to hear your impressions on the 2003.
It's been a minute since I tried the sample, so the specifics are foggy. The YCH is a better tea all around: flavor, mouthfeel, qi. However, it was only better by maybe 10-15%. Certainly not enough to justify the large difference in price, in my opinion. I enjoyed both teas more than the 2005 Big Yellow, personally.
gatmcm
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Wed May 08, 2019 9:11 am

oolongfan wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 12:36 pm
Back to the 2005 Xiaguan 8653....I too, have been wondering about the different versions of the 2005 8653 offered at King Tea Mall. Do the higher priced versions reflect better storage history??? I need to re-read the discriptions.

Speaking of Xiaguan, Norbu has the lovely 2004 Xiaguan Fang Zhuan raw puerh...this being one of my favorite teas because of the lovely bitterness and unique (to this tea) pepper note. There is very little smoke though, compared to other Xiaguan raw puerhs..so the bittering flavors really shine. This is a bargain considering how lovely this tea is.
Can't help you on the 2005 but I have a 2006 T8653 (iron cake) from them, I quite like it, could use a bit more time but it brews nice and red already, if you like aged xiaguan id say its a good cake, lots of aged out smoke and a bit more complexity beyond that, maybe some cherry (i'm sorry but Im terrible with tasting notes).
My criteria was to look at which of the cakes looked darker in the pictures, it doesnt tell everything but im not about to buy green looking xg sheng :lol:
oolongfan
Posts: 138
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Location: Indiana, USA

Thu May 09, 2019 9:39 pm

@mrmopu - I don't remember there being any info on which pressing the cakes were at King Tea Mall.

I think it was an order placed by a Japanese outfit with CNNP..which CNNP turned over to Xiaguan to makes...then the order was cancelled and another buyer took it...I may have the detals wrong.

There is a listing at King Tea Mall which allows to choose from three cakes, with different wrappes...but again I don't remmber if there were any details about pressing info. Maybe there is and I am too new to pu'erh to 'see' it :)

@tingjunkie - Thanks for the comparison of the two cakes. I noticed the price difference on the YCH and wanted to know if it was really worth it. Both teas must be good though if you liked them better than the 2005 CNNP Big Yellow Mark..because I loved that tea. I wil have to get samples of both at the very least.

@gatmcm - Thanks for sharing your impressions on the 2006 T8653 cake -sounds right up my alley. Does this cake reflect what I have heard as a slightly 'newer' style Xiaguan? I have not had any newer Xiaguan..so can't confirm..but what I am asking is this cake similar to the previous years T8653? One more question, where did you get your 2006 T8653 from?

@Balthazar @sqt - I didn't mean to infringe on your interesting storage discussion..I hope you both share your discussion on the tea storage thread on this forum...as I myself have not really set up a formal storage area ...so I am quite interested in your suggestions and expeirences :)
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