What Pu'er Are You Drinking

Puerh and other heicha
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friso
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Wed Dec 29, 2021 12:35 pm

I've heard a lot about "oolong processed" shengs over the year, but never encountered one myself. Until now, maybe?

This is a tea I picked up at Palais des thés, Paris, last year, while I was desperate for quality caffeine. It is from Myanmar and also quite young (but no vintage specified and the seller had no idea!).
I just got it out of my storage after a whole year in it, and I'm surprised by how and how much it had changed. I remember it being green and floral, but it is now really dark, dry and woody. The color of the tea does not look like the others sheng in my storage (65%, 25C) or any regular aged sheng really. It is uniformely darkened, like it went through serious oxydation. And the taste is wrong... so dry, no finish and almost no aroma. I never was a great tea to start with, but I'm now wondering if it is one of those shengs meant to be drank young.
Spent leaves are still green-ish and the soup is only light orange. Definitely weird!
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Balthazar
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Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:01 pm

yinyautong wrote:
Tue Dec 21, 2021 12:01 pm
*images*
By the way, I had another look at these pictures, and what a lovely gaiwan that is!
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Bok
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Wed Dec 29, 2021 6:41 pm

friso wrote:
Wed Dec 29, 2021 12:35 pm
I've heard a lot about "oolong processed" shengs over the year, but never encountered one myself. Until now, maybe?

This is a tea I picked up at Palais des thés, Paris, last year, while I was desperate for quality caffeine. It is from Myanmar and also quite young (but no vintage specified and the seller had no idea!).
I just got it out of my storage after a whole year in it, and I'm surprised by how and how much it had changed. I remember it being green and floral, but it is now really dark, dry and woody. The color of the tea does not look like the others sheng in my storage (65%, 25C) or any regular aged sheng really. It is uniformely darkened, like it went through serious oxydation. And the taste is wrong... so dry, no finish and almost no aroma. I never was a great tea to start with, but I'm now wondering if it is one of those shengs meant to be drank young.
Spent leaves are still green-ish and the soup is only light orange. Definitely weird!
Image
Image
I wouldn’t expect a still very young tea to have any other colour than orange. The 10y and more that I had are have all had still more of a deep orange than a darker red or brown…

Just leave that tea and forget about it, maybe it becomes something in 10y or more. It might just enter a boring phase in between.
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wave_code
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Thu Dec 30, 2021 10:53 am

friso wrote:
Wed Dec 29, 2021 12:25 pm
wave_code wrote:
Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:42 pm
Hung Chong Tai scene report...
Nice picks! I bought a few cakes from HCT while I was in Hong Kong, and in my experience the owner leans towards dry storage. Some cakes were branded as "traditional", but I believe they were not from his own storage. Everything I have from him is pretty clean, nothing "dank" so to speak.

Also, what is the US vendor, if don't mind saying? I didn't know we could get HCT in North America.
Ah ok, interesting to know you found the cakes on the dry side for HK. I have no frame of reference for what they are normally like so I have no idea what is from local storage or not, and there is of course no info on how old the cakes are or when they came from HK to the US. The cakes come apart super easy, but seem a little too dry to me, which makes me think it could have happened later. When I get them back home I'll break up a good part of it and try waking it up in my home storage for a month, see how it is then. The material seems good, so maybe worth picking them up even if they are a little dried out and seeing what some time in more considered storage conditions do for it. Wing Hop Fung has cakes from them which I have not tried, and at a lower price I got mine from TS Emporium. If you pick up either I'd be curious how they compare to the cakes you got directly at HCT.
Andrew S
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Thu Dec 30, 2021 2:33 pm

@friso: yours does sound strange. I don't have much experience with young puer, but it sounds like it has not aged, but rather has simply gone stale. But like Bok says, if you have the room, you may as well hold onto it and see what happens in the future, at least to learn more from the experience.

@wave_code: for what it is worth, the Wing Hop Fung website says that your cake is both cooked and dry-stored (although it also says that it "Prevents Cancer", so perhaps take all of that with some proverbial salt): https://winghopfung.com/products/pu-erh-tea-cake

At least your photos look like a cooked cake; I don't think wet storage would produce a lot of variation in the leaf colours like that.

I had some of Yee On's 1999 sun withered loose leaf puer yesterday, which tastes remarkably mature (at least, much more so than I was expecting) but with plenty of youth still showing through the storage character and good durability.

And today I'm starting off with some of TeaLife's 2005 8582 traditional storage chunks, which have gone through some fairly strong wet storage, but not excessively so; simple, smooth, rich flavours, a little bit thin, but no bitterness or harsh feeling. The fact that it was once a raw tea does not come out in the flavour as such, but rather comes out in the way that it retains a bit of lightness and freshness that a heavily-cooked tea usually does not have. I've also tried his "Dad's Hong Kong Traditional Storage" puer a while ago, which comes across as being even more humidly-stored, but again, not excessively or offensively so. It's just a very simple and sweet tea with very little remaining of its original character.

I've mentioned before that Sunsing (and Yee On as well) use wet storage as the first step to ageing their teas to take away their raw nature rather than to turn them instantly into cooked tea, and I can contrast that by saying that those two from TeaLife are very much an example of the opposite, where wet storage is used to change a tea's character completely into something approaching a cooked tea, likely with little or nothing to be gained by ageing them any further. They're finished products rather than works in progress.

Of course, the teas I mentioned above aren't in the same price range as the Hung Chong Tai cake, but it would be hard to find a raw tea with ten to twenty years on it at the same price as a cooked tea, wet-stored or not. It would be nice to find an online vendor of decent but simple and cheap wet-stored loose puer, but that seems to be easier said than done. Perhaps others around here have some sources they can share.

Andrew
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yinyautong
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Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:59 pm

@Andrew S Thanks for your sharing. I've always wanted to try their (Yee On, Lau Yee Fat, Sun Sing etc...) famous aged raw Puerh to see the power of ageing. I tried 80s 7542 in two tea gathering occasions and their tastes and aroma were just remarkable.

Just like what you have mentioned. I bought some 80s decent, simple and cheap wet-stored loose Puerh in Hong Kong. They were good. But of course are not on the same level of those famous tea.

I bought the below 30-years-old loose tea in To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong this summer (HKD500 / 190g ; around USD60 / 190g). I don't know if they sell tea online but I also recommend buying some and have a try if you have connection in Hong Kong. https://www.facebook.com/TakCheungTeaShop/
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Andrew S
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Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:57 pm

Thanks; I think that traditionally-stored old loose puer offers excellent value for people who just want smooth, calming, simple old teas. It's just unfortunate that it seems to be a category that is hard to access through the Western-facing online world.

If I can't decide what tea I want to drink in the morning, I usually end up reaching for my big jar of 1990s loose raw puer. It's not the most interesting tea, but it's simple, relaxing, and never disappointing.

Andrew
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yinyautong
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Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:26 am

Today I drank another very good Puerh raw tea named 2006 Taipei Tea Culture Expo. Ji Nian Cha (Conscientious Formula) [2006 臺北茶文化博覽會紀念茶 (認真配方)]. The cake that I broke was a 100g small cake. The cake was made by Chongtai tea factory, which is famous for making wild tea since late 1990s to early 2000s. This tea is not a strong and thick tea but tastes very delicate at this stage. The sweet honey and fruity aftertaste are very long and comfortable. https://yinyautong.wordpress.com/2021/1 ... 覽會紀念茶-認真配/
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yinyautong
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Fri Dec 31, 2021 8:12 pm

Happy 2022 everyone! I'm drinking 2004 Va Lun Brick (2004 華聯茶磚). Va Lun is a Macau based tea company established in 1965. Their most famous Puerh product is 1997 Va Lun Brick, which cannot be easily found in the market. This 2004 raw puerh tea has a very pleasant camphor wood and smoky fragrance. The mouthfeel is so rich and thick. https://yinyautong.wordpress.com/2022/0 ... -華聯茶磚/amp/
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debunix
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Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:42 pm

Hatvala Forest Genie Dark Tea: this is my second session with this tea; the photos are from my first session, which was very similar. 4 grams of tea in 90 mL Petr Novak treebark pot. The pouch of dry leaves has a floral and grassy scent.
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10 seconds
Light, a little sweet, taste like sheng that is young and with a little vegetal and floral and herbaceous notes. It is not particularly sharp or bitter but I think that may show up in the next infusion.

30 seconds
Second infusion is very much like a typical young sheng with a bit of gentleness to it that is very nice.

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I stopped taking notes after that, but I definitely enjoyed it for at least eight or nine infusions.

Today I'm enjoying it again and the favorable impression remains very pleasing young sheng.
Andrew S
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Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:35 pm

Found this in my old loose puer today... Hopefully I don't find the rest of the bird.

What's the strangest thing others have found in their tea?

Andrew
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mbanu
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Mon Jan 03, 2022 8:26 pm

Andrew S wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:35 pm
Found this in my old loose puer today... Hopefully I don't find the rest of the bird.

What's the strangest thing others have found in their tea?

Andrew
Image
Hoping to prevent this kind of thing is what inspired the creation of shengchan codes, I think, as if you find any feathers, you will have a way to know where they came from. :D

Not a pu'er, but one strange thing that springs to mind was a black tea blend from Java where one of the teas had been artificially dyed, so if you shook the tea in cold water, it would color like a brewed tea. The blenders were surprised -- this kind of hustle rarely makes it out of the country in India or Sri Lanka due to the strong supply chain controls, so my guess is that they weren't used to testing teas for things like that.

(To keep things on topic, my most recent pu'er was more Nor Sun loose, as I was thinking how nice it would be to have pu'er at work without having to break apart a cake and bring it in my own tin.)
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yinyautong
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Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:29 pm

I'm drinking 2006 Dayi 7542(605). After trying the 2006 Dayi 7542 (601) yesterday, I wanted to do a comparison between the two 2006 7542s because the one (601 batch) I drank yesterday was quite strange. It was like muted that its taste and aroma were just so weak. But this 7542 (605) is much better. The two teas were also medium bodies but the 605 has the fragrance of dry plum, floral and honey. Looking at the dry tea leaves, they looked just 99% the same but tastes so different. I bought both two batches of 2006 7542s in 2017 from two different reliable sources. Really don't know why they tastes so different. The upper photo is 601 batch and the lower is the 605 batch of 2006 7542.

I also drank 2004 Chong Tai Manzhuan with Chen's Teapot Trademark (Supreme Wild Tea) [2004 昌泰茶壺陳蠻磚野生極品] and 2001 Qing Yun Supreme Raw Cake (2001 青雲特級青餅 these week. Both are simple, elegant and durable puerh teas. Please visit my tea blog for more details if you're interested, the link is at below.

https://yinyautong.wordpress.com
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Andrew S
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Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:39 pm

@yinyautong: that seems curious; was there a big difference in the nature of the storage as between the two cakes? The photos look very different in colour overall, but that can be impossible to tell accurately from online photos.

Andrew
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yinyautong
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Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:19 pm

Andrew S wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:39 pm
yinyautong: that seems curious; was there a big difference in the nature of the storage as between the two cakes? The photos look very different in colour overall, but that can be impossible to tell accurately from online photos.

Andrew
Hi Andrew,

Yes, I also think that they taste and their fragrance was so different was because of their storage conditions. I bought both the cakes in Hong Kong about 5 years ago, one of them was official Dayi dealership. However, when I bought them, I was told that the 605 batch had been stored in "Natural Storage" but the 601 stored in "Dry Storage". When I drank these cakes, the taste of the 605 was more mature than the 601 batch.

I don't want to say the Natural Storage is better than the Dry storage just based on my only one comparison, and they are not even the same batch. But in my case, the degree of fragrance of the 605 was just higher than the 601. When I looked into the tea cakes, they are very similar, their tea materials, their tightness are just looked the same. I definitely will try both of them again few month later, maybe their performance will be much different.
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