Aged White Tea

Withered tea
faj
Posts: 496
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:45 am
Location: Quebec

Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:29 am

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:15 pm
My stories are true, but I fit them fictionally into a narrative of a life that has had more boredom than adventure by far. The meagre amount of highlights allows me not to forget almost every single one. Also with age a pleasant confusion helps me feel that I have experienced more than I have. E.g., I have only been scuba-diving 7 times, but now things I have seen in films of fish & coral in seas I have not been to, are mixed with my real memories.
Your explanation is a good example of what I was alluding to... Always nice to read.
User avatar
wave_code
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:10 pm
Location: Germany

Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:06 am

faj wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:11 pm
I have tried a limited number of sheng pu-erh teas between a couple years old to almost 20. I have really liked none of them. I feel I would prefer older teas, but finding the needle in the haystack seems daunting and expensive for someone with no tea friends with stashes and no connections. And if, as I suspect, I would much prefer old teas, the needle in the haystack seems like it will be prohibitively expensive even if I find it.

I am not getting this feeling with liu bao. Though I only have tried a handful, I like them all. There are better ones than those I have tried out there, but drinking these does not feel like a rite of passage on the way to stuff I like.
a very similar experience here too. I started off drinking mostly Chinese greens and had been introduced to better teas by someone whose main interest was oolongs, though that never was really my thing either. I've had a few sheng that I did enjoy, but never enough to feel compelled to pay what they would cost, and on the scale Puerh is on these were probably still considered on the low/starter price point. I tried buying some considerably more pricey samples of older/better ones over the years and always thought they were still something I wouldn't be mad at having on-hand but probably still would consume rarely. I had some much old Taiwan storage ones through a friend I liked but they came from her family and would be unattainable to me anyway, and even those while pleasant I didn't feel I was missing something crucial if I were never to have them again, whereas I have had quite a few shu where I'd feel compelled to stockpile them. Also aside from the profile of the tea itself it just doesn't agree with my disposition I suppose, and if it does for others more power to them. Though I remain highly skeptical of the young sheng heads. Before tea I was a craft beer obsessive for many years - to me young sheng is the equivalent of the one-dimensional grossly overhopped double IPA which some people insist is 'great' just because of its intensity and completely ignoring the fact that it gives you a ripping hang-over, has off flavors due to poor brewing, and gets you soused on one glass.
On the other hand, the first time I tried liu bao it was an almost instant obsession- I thought 'oh, THIS is what I wanted all of those other teas to be'. I have some thoughts on this I'll try and get down in an appropriate thread elsewhere...

I will say I think finding a place like this forum is a great resource though- theres people here with a lot of knowledge about different teas and some people with extensive knowledge about very specific cultivars/regions/processing which is great! I think if one doesn't know much yet and stumbles into a particular corner of the tea-internet it can be much harder to escape the dogma and hype of sheng puerh being the king of teas and getting storage and collecting advice from people who know all of 4 vendors and are maybe no older than a young-ish bing themselves :lol:

The only whites I think I have had were from Yunnan to my knowledge. I should look around a bit more. I can that my two favorite teas I think I've had from Yunnan were a white tea and an oolong black.
User avatar
BriarOcelot
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:42 pm
Location: Montreal

Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:39 pm

wave_code wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:06 am
... Though I remain highly skeptical of the young sheng heads. Before tea I was a craft beer obsessive for many years - to me young sheng is the equivalent of the one-dimensional grossly overhopped double IPA which some people insist is 'great' just because of its intensity and completely ignoring the fact that it gives you a ripping hang-over, has off flavors due to poor brewing, and gets you soused on one glass.
On the other hand, the first time I tried liu bao it was an almost instant obsession- I thought 'oh, THIS is what I wanted all of those other teas to be'. I have some thoughts on this I'll try and get down in an appropriate thread elsewhere...
Your conclusion to the taste of young sheng echoes my experience as well as your conclusion with Liu Bao (or Liu Anh especially when aged well). I also find young sheng (and its modern hype boom) similar to the godawful hoppy IPA boom. When I was a kid in the UK, IPA was a completely different (and much nicer) drink. Then again, I hate the smell and taste of marijuana and plenty of people seem to love that, so 'different boats for different folks' I suppose.

All I know is, when I look at a tightly compressed sheng that's less than 10 years old, I very rarely get a desire to drink it. I might give it a curious sniff, but trying it always feels like another opportunity for disappointment. I've had some successes, but mostly they go back into storage after they punch me in the face/gut.

If I'm making tea for a person I like, I'm not gonna brew up young sheng unless I have reason to torture them a little (or they specifically request it or are curious about it).

I do have some tuo that were cheap from the early 2000's (and you can still find them for relatively cheap) that are now decent middle/old sheng. Thick body, round and complex tasting. But my hit to miss ratio is way higher with Liu Bao/Anh where I get that desired red-date/almond or camphor note much more frequently. Otherwise $/g ratio on that stuff is stupidly high.

In terms of white tea (cakes) I've been curious to try them out (never really had them), but I'm sceptical too. It does seem like a marketing ploy as everybody seems to have it stocked and the usual marketers are doing their usual thing. I did succumb though (-__-) and have some 2014 Shou Mei and some Bai Mu Dan (both pressed into cakes) on order. I'm really not holding my breath.
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:54 pm

I have enjoyed this one (sweet with fall spices): https://www.thesteepingroom.com/collect ... -mei-white

I have not enjoyed this one though clearly others do (dry and just not my bag): https://www.thesteepingroom.com/collect ... -tea-brick

I have some older bings of Fuding bai mu dan around but they are long since sold out.
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:01 am

I completely agree on what has been said above regarding young sheng (and its advocates!). I wouldn’t go looking for aged white teas to get the same experience as aged sheng. I have a hunch that the qualities that make a great aged sheng are being blended out of many boutique cakes, and I see no way to get there with Camilia-sinensis-sinensis. It’s simply not robust enough.
Post Reply