Aged White Tea

Withered tea
faj
Posts: 579
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: 287
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: 25
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: 863
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: 863
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.
User avatar
Lucifigus
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:05 pm
Location: Nova Scotia

Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:45 am

I am new at the serious tea pursuit, but over the last few months I have been ordering and sampling a reasonable number of teas, although overall, still a small sample size. Most of what I have been exploring is Sheng, Aged Whites, and a variety of Oolongs. I do find there are some Sheng that have similar elements to an aged White. I have tried a handful of Shou, but I have not been impressed, although I have more to try. I just haven't explored much Green or Black tea yet.

I had a number of various teas arrive yesterday. Somewhere I had read about or watched a reference to an aged White from a California vendor, and I had ordered 227g. The price was not high in comparison to a good Oolong, but perhaps high for whites, I am not sure. After dinner I brewed up some of the aged White. It is a loose, 2001, aged White Peony from Silk Road Teas. They use the term Rare in their online description.

As I sat back and had the first cup, I was very impressed. It was so smooth and sweet with a wonderful mouth feel. There was a lot of complexity with fruit and floral elements, both on the nose and after swallowing. I was quite stunned at how enjoyable it was, and certainly one of the best teas I have drank in the last three months. After I thoroughly enjoyed a number of cups, I felt very calm and contented. It was simply a very enjoyable experience. Later, as I was lying in bed thinking about that tea, I was chortling that I had purchased 227 grams rather than a smaller sample. Then my mind switched around and I realized I had ONLY bought 227 grams. There will come a point when I will run out, and that thought didn’t sit well.

This morning, after my first coffee and some consideration, I ordered more of that tea (454g). There may be other tea out there of a similar nature and I will look for it, but when the time comes when my cupboard is empty, I will want more. If it is unavailable, I may just weep. In my limited experience, this is just outstanding tea.

Lucifigus
Ethan Kurland
Vendor
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:01 am
Location: Boston
Contact:

Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:46 am

Lucifigus wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:45 am
from a California vendor, and I had ordered 227g. The price was not high in comparison to a good Oolong, but perhaps high for whites.... Later, as I was lying in bed thinking about that tea, I was chortling that I had purchased 227 grams rather than a smaller sample. Then my mind switched around and I realized I had ONLY bought 227 grams. There will come a point when I will run out, and that thought didn’t sit well.

This morning, after my first coffee and some consideration, I ordered more of that tea (454g).

Lucifigus
Thank you for such a poignant description of what we may experience after our purchases. I congratulate you on your bravery & decisiveness. You like that aged white & feel the price is appropriate, so enjoy.

I believe you are allowed to mention the specific vendor & the price of the tea. I know I am curious though I have not been a buyer of aged white tea.

Great post!
User avatar
mbanu
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:24 pm

There is a vendor out of California that has some quite nice old white tea. Most importantly it has good provenance, as you can trace it back to when they bought the shop out from its former owner. (Not sure if plugging vendors outside the vendor section is OK.) It is not as good as fresh black tea made from the same cultivars (in my opinion), but if you are keen to understand that style of HK tea-culture (re-roasted oolongs, "traditional storage" pu'er, old white tea, etc.) then I think it can be helpful. They also sell 90s unglazed earthenware clay pots that have a very reasonable price and also good provenance, for people who just want a basic pot to understand what unglazed clay does to tea, but are not willing to blindly spend a lot of money.

In general, I would say that if you want to understand this tea, it is best to see it in its natural environment, but that is hard right now, as in many places it is unwise to go out for dimsum. (It would be hard to get the classic noise level right now, anyhow. :lol: )

A very useful thing I strongly urge anyone interested in this style of tea to do, however, is to try black tea made from white tea bushes, like Zhenghe/Chingwo tea, or really any black tea made from a white tea cultivar. I mention this in another thread, but these are the black teas that made Fujian famous in the 19th century, and understanding them can help place aged white tea in context.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2550
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:43 pm

mbanu wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:24 pm
There is a vendor out of California that has some quite nice old white tea. Most importantly it has good provenance, as you can trace it back to when they bought the shop out from its former owner. (Not sure if plugging vendors outside the vendor section is OK.) It is not as good as fresh black tea made from the same cultivars (in my opinion), but if you are keen to understand that style of HK tea-culture (re-roasted oolongs, "traditional storage" pu'er, old white tea, etc.) then I think it can be helpful. They also sell 90s unglazed earthenware clay pots that have a very reasonable price and also good provenance, for people who just want a basic pot to understand what unglazed clay does to tea, but are not willing to blindly spend a lot of money.
Please go ahead and share this vendor, no rule regarding mentioning vendors unless it’s an obvious sales pitch or advertisement.
User avatar
mbanu
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:59 pm

That would be Silk Road Teas, a company focusing on Chinese teas started in 1992 by David Lee Hoffman that was bought out in 2004 by Ned and Cathy Heagerty. Hoffman kept the pu'er teas (later using these to start a new company), while he sold off all the other teas and teapots. After the buyout the focus for Silk Road was mainly on oolongs, which I think is why the price of their inherited teas and teapots was so reasonable. Recently the price on the old white tea has gone up, although I would struggle to point to another place to get 20-year-old white tea with good provenance for a lower price (keeping in mind that baimudan aged in California will not be quite the same as shoumei aged in Hong Kong, which is really the classic dimsum old white tea).
User avatar
mbanu
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:50 am

mbanu wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:59 pm
That would be Silk Road Teas, a company focusing on Chinese teas started in 1992 by David Lee Hoffman that was bought out in 2004 by Ned and Cathy Heagerty. Hoffman kept the pu'er teas (later using these to start a new company), while he sold off all the other teas and teapots. After the buyout the focus for Silk Road was mainly on oolongs, which I think is why the price of their inherited teas and teapots was so reasonable. Recently the price on the old white tea has gone up, although I would struggle to point to another place to get 20-year-old white tea with good provenance for a lower price (keeping in mind that baimudan aged in California will not be quite the same as shoumei aged in Hong Kong, which is really the classic dimsum old white tea).
One fun thing with them is that since they have had the same website for so long, we can follow when they first put it up for sale approximately using the Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20141130094 ... ite-peony/
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2550
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:14 pm

mbanu wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:50 am
mbanu wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:59 pm
That would be Silk Road Teas, a company focusing on Chinese teas started in 1992 by David Lee Hoffman that was bought out in 2004 by Ned and Cathy Heagerty. Hoffman kept the pu'er teas (later using these to start a new company), while he sold off all the other teas and teapots. After the buyout the focus for Silk Road was mainly on oolongs, which I think is why the price of their inherited teas and teapots was so reasonable. Recently the price on the old white tea has gone up, although I would struggle to point to another place to get 20-year-old white tea with good provenance for a lower price (keeping in mind that baimudan aged in California will not be quite the same as shoumei aged in Hong Kong, which is really the classic dimsum old white tea).
One fun thing with them is that since they have had the same website for so long, we can follow when they first put it up for sale approximately using the Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20141130094 ... ite-peony/
Has anyone tried Silk Road Teas rare teas selections? and or David Lee Hoffman’s extensive Phoenix Collection of sheng, shu and heicha? They both have aged whites as well. I’ve been fascinated by his organic and slowly evolving approach to building structures on his property. It got him into hot water with the city and now see he has a go fund me campaign and new legal representation. Hope he succeeds.
WChee
New user
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:34 pm

Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:52 pm

Although I am fairly new to tea I drink quite a bit (usually about 2 liters a day) and I know what I like and I like the 2014 "Chen Nian Shou Mei" Aged White Tea Cake of Fuding from YS China:

https://yunnansourcing.com/collections/ ... -of-fuding

When I first got the cake I tried it and didn't find it at all to my liking. I think it may have been due to the phenomenon I call "variable tasting" where I can drink the same tea on different days and get a much different experience that has nothing, or at least very little, to do with the brewing. I first noticed this phenomenon in relation to cigars. On days when I could really taste the tobacco I would smoke several cigars to experience the full enjoyment. So a month or two went by and I decided, "Well, I've got this tea I don't really get, but let's give it another shot". Well blow me down but I was amazed. What I had experienced before as an undistinguished brew that lacked flavor was now subtle but full. Flavors of honey and dried leaves combined with a lovely mouthfeel transported me to my happy place. It has a very gentle stimulatory effect but very calming.

I thought, "I've got to let my SO try this tea". She drinks tea almost daily (due to me) and upon first taste proclaimed, "This tea is tasteless". Halfway through the cup she exclaimed, "Wow, this tea is really satisfying". It's now one of our favorite teas. Right now I just started on my second liter off a 5 gram amount and it still tastes great. I love tea with legs.

This tea costs $11 for a 100-gram cake. I ordered 5 more cakes. If anyone else has tried this tea I would be interested in your opinion.

Happy brewing to all who partake!
User avatar
wave_code
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:10 pm
Location: Germany

Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:20 pm

Victoria wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:14 pm
mbanu wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:50 am
mbanu wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:59 pm
That would be Silk Road Teas, a company focusing on Chinese teas started in 1992 by David Lee Hoffman that was bought out in 2004 by Ned and Cathy Heagerty. Hoffman kept the pu'er teas (later using these to start a new company), while he sold off all the other teas and teapots. After the buyout the focus for Silk Road was mainly on oolongs, which I think is why the price of their inherited teas and teapots was so reasonable. Recently the price on the old white tea has gone up, although I would struggle to point to another place to get 20-year-old white tea with good provenance for a lower price (keeping in mind that baimudan aged in California will not be quite the same as shoumei aged in Hong Kong, which is really the classic dimsum old white tea).
One fun thing with them is that since they have had the same website for so long, we can follow when they first put it up for sale approximately using the Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20141130094 ... ite-peony/
Has anyone tried Silk Road Teas rare teas selections? and or David Lee Hoffman’s extensive Phoenix Collection of sheng, shu and heicha? They both have aged whites as well. I’ve been fascinated by his organic and slowly evolving approach to building structures on his property. It got him into hot water with the city and now see he has a go fund me campaign and new legal representation. Hope he succeeds.
also very curious- there are some teas there that if the material and storage is good seem like quite a nice price, but there is so little information, no photos of leaves, basket numbers or factories...
Post Reply