Bing Size History

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thommes
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:16 am

I've been looking for information on the history on the sizes of bings. Everything I've been learning suggests that the typical size is 357g due to historical causes. However, on a lot of tea sites, the bings are much smaller anywhere from 100 to 200g. Wondering when the sizes started getting smaller and if it's due to marketing or if the different sizes have any significance.
oeroe
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:35 am

357g/bing comes from state-run production standard. Not sure when they started to use that. In PRC era, tong was standardized as 7 cakes, 2,5kg of tea. That makes one cake 357g.

Basically around 90's the pu market was reprivatized, and other cake sizes started to become more common. 200g cakes have become more and more common in the last ?5? years, as pu prices have become high and smaller cakes makes the tea seem cheaper.

If someone has info on what cakes used to weight in ROC and imperial times, I'd be super curious. I think I read somewhere that they were lighter than the 357g, though I don't remember anything more detailed.
Chadrinkincat
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:21 am

“A single 357g cake is the equivalent of 7 liang. For storage and transport, the tea is packed into tongs. Each tong is a stack of 7 cakes wrapped together in bamboo. Tongs are referred to as Qi Zi Bing and weight 5 jin, or just a hair under 2.5kg. I’ve read in a few places that 7 is considered to be a lucky number in Chinese numerology so that may have played a role as well.”

https://www.teaformeplease.com/why-puer ... eigh-357g/
thommes
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:59 am

Yeah 357 was the original size that the bings came in and I understood that much. Just wasn't sure if the smaller sizes was a marketing issue which it sounds like it was. Sort of makes it hard for when people make a comment like "you shouldn't be paying more than $xx for a bing, cake, brick, tuo" when the size isn't specified.
Chadrinkincat
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:28 am

thommes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:59 am
Yeah 357 was the original size that the bings came in and I understood that much. Just wasn't sure if the smaller sizes was a marketing issue which it sounds like it was. Sort of makes it hard for when people make a comment like "you shouldn't be paying more than $xx for a bing, cake, brick, tuo" when the size isn't specified.
Much higher price for good leaf means vendors will have a harder time selling 357g cakes. Hence why you have 200g cakes.


No reference to size should imply standard weights.
Cake/bing, brick, tuo = 357g, 250g, 100g
thommes
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:44 am

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:28 am
No reference to size should imply standard weights.
Cake/bing, brick, tuo = 357g, 250g, 100g
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. The point was making is that I read comments where people would say "you shouldn't pay more than $xx for a bing" but since bings and bricks and tuos come in different weights, making a reference to a shape without providing weight doesn't clearly convey the price point.
Chadrinkincat
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:41 pm

thommes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:44 am
Chadrinkincat wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:28 am
No reference to size should imply standard weights.
Cake/bing, brick, tuo = 357g, 250g, 100g
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. The point was making is that I read comments where people would say "you shouldn't pay more than $xx for a bing" but since bings and bricks and tuos come in different weights, making a reference to a shape without providing weight doesn't clearly convey the price point.
Those are the normal/default sizes for those shapes. Everything else is considered mini or over sized such as 500g, 400g, 200g cakes, 100g bricks, 5g 50g tuo etc.

A brick shouldn’t cost more than $100 is the same as saying $100 for 250g which amounts to $.40/g
DailyTX
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:42 pm

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:41 pm
thommes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:44 am
Chadrinkincat wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:28 am
No reference to size should imply standard weights.
Cake/bing, brick, tuo = 357g, 250g, 100g
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. The point was making is that I read comments where people would say "you shouldn't pay more than $xx for a bing" but since bings and bricks and tuos come in different weights, making a reference to a shape without providing weight doesn't clearly convey the price point.
Those are the normal/default sizes for those shapes. Everything else is considered mini or over sized such as 500g, 400g, 200g cakes, 100g bricks, 5g 50g tuo etc.

A brick shouldn’t cost more than $100 is the same as saying $100 for 250g which amounts to $.40/g
Aside from the price, I just wanted to add that if you are buying pu erh tea, the geometric shapes of bing, brick, and tuo have some influence on the continuous fermentation of the tea as each shape allow certain amount of surface being exposed to the environment. From personal experience, I have noticed more whole leaves on a bing in comparison to brick or tuo. Also, as I dig into the bing, I also notice minor difference on the outer layer of the bing which is typically loose with age vs. the center of bing which is typically hard and tight. Something to consider...
thommes
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:53 pm

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:41 pm

Those are the normal/default sizes for those shapes. Everything else is considered mini or over sized such as 500g, 400g, 200g cakes, 100g bricks, 5g 50g tuo etc.

A brick shouldn’t cost more than $100 is the same as saying $100 for 250g which amounts to $.40/g
Ok I thought that might have been what you were meaning. I've only placed ONE order for tea that wasn't loose leaf and that was yesterday so if I sound like an idiot, I am right now. LOL. However, as much as I would agree with you, I haven't seen a default size for shapes. Maybe by vendor? but I've been seeing varying sizes from vendor and the same vendor having different sizes. Maybe I'm seeing a difference in the house brand compared to what the factory might sell directly? Too new right now to be sure.
thommes
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:56 pm

DailyTX wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:42 pm

Aside from the price, I just wanted to add that if you are buying pu erh tea, the geometric shapes of bing, brick, and tuo have some influence on the continuous fermentation of the tea as each shape allow certain amount of surface being exposed to the environment. From personal experience, I have noticed more whole leaves on a bing in comparison to brick or tuo. Also, as I dig into the bing, I also notice minor difference on the outer layer of the bing which is typically loose with age vs. the center of bing which is typically hard and tight. Something to consider...
THIS information is the exact reason why I'm here. I haven't read anything or seen a video that even suggests shape influences the fermentation process. The personal tidbits of experience that is shared is how I learn best. It makes total sense to me that exposed surface area would have an impact. How old is the bing that you saw with the outer layer being looser than the middle? How many years had it been pressed?
.m.
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:53 pm

DailyTX wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:42 pm
Also, as I dig into the bing, I also notice minor difference on the outer layer of the bing which is typically loose with age vs. the center of bing which is typically hard and tight.
I think this has to do with the compression: typically the outer leaves will be more flat/layered, while the leaves in the center more interlocked making them harder and tighter. You are right, that as the cake/brick/tuo/etc. ages and loosens up, that the outer layer loosens up more quickly than the core does. I'm not sure if there is much difference between standard cake and brick in terms of aging other than in the force of compression (supposing the material was the same), but in things like melon shape it will definitely make a difference.
DailyTX
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Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:00 pm

thommes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:56 pm
DailyTX wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:42 pm

Aside from the price, I just wanted to add that if you are buying pu erh tea, the geometric shapes of bing, brick, and tuo have some influence on the continuous fermentation of the tea as each shape allow certain amount of surface being exposed to the environment. From personal experience, I have noticed more whole leaves on a bing in comparison to brick or tuo. Also, as I dig into the bing, I also notice minor difference on the outer layer of the bing which is typically loose with age vs. the center of bing which is typically hard and tight. Something to consider...
THIS information is the exact reason why I'm here. I haven't read anything or seen a video that even suggests shape influences the fermentation process. The personal tidbits of experience that is shared is how I learn best. It makes total sense to me that exposed surface area would have an impact. How old is the bing that you saw with the outer layer being looser than the middle? How many years had it been pressed?
That will depend on the environment the bing was aged. The reason aged cake loosen over time has to do with moist in the bing get evaporated. For example, I have a 1000gram brick that was stored in Guangzhou, it was pressed in 2001, now it weights about 2 pounds. Without getting into the rabbit hole of pressed tea, enjoy the cake you order, sample it every 3-6 months, and learn from hands on experience ;)
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debunix
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:14 am

I've been doing this with one cake purchased in 2009, and in my dry LA storage, it has been changing slowly and subtly. It's been hard to keep it to small tasting sessions at a time, because I like my Lao Mansa so much.
DailyTX
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:26 pm

debunix wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:14 am
I've been doing this with one cake purchased in 2009, and in my dry LA storage, it has been changing slowly and subtly. It's been hard to keep it to small tasting sessions at a time, because I like my Lao Mansa so much.
I find aging pu erh tea very interesting, similar to home made kimchi. Although I have limited knowledge on pu erh tea recipes, I hope some day I have enough understanding of teas I aged and combine 2 and more pu erh tea to further enhance the drinking experience. Like how people mix Sheng and shu :D
oeroe
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Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:23 am

thommes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:59 am
Yeah 357 was the original size that the bings came in and I understood that much.
I'd say that this is strictly speaking wrong, 357 isn't "original", it became the standard during PRC era. Before that (ROC, Qing dynasty..) bings were of different size.

I know that from the point of view of the modern pu market that's not really relevant, but it's just a small piece of misinfo which keeps rotating around sources, hence the nitpicking on my part.
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