What to look for in young sheng for aging potential?

Puerh and other heicha
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Rickpatbrown
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:10 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:24 pm

I'm very new to the world of puerh, but have spent the last 5 months drinking A LOT of different teas. Young sheng, old sheng, wet stored, dry stored, bitter aweful young sheng, delightful young sheng, flat aged sheng, smoky deep complex amazing aged sheng. It is obvious to me the difference between poorly aged tea and really special tea. It is always reflected in the price, too.

I've been working my way through dozens of 2017-2018 productions from Yunnan Sourcing. A lot of it tastes remarkably similar, some are almost unpalletable and a few have stood out as being nice, like the 2017 Da Shong Shan Raw https://yunnansourcing.com/products/201 ... h-tea-cake.
I was thinking of picking up this cake, but it occurred to me that I have no idea what I'm doing.

This cake tastes excellent now (strong, good hui gan, floral aroma, goes for 10 infusions). I assume that there is no real way of knowing what a tea will taste like in 30 years, but think that you want to start out with something good and with a strong backbone. I worry that the high end aroma will give out, since these are usually more delicate, volatile aromatic compounds.

I've bought a mini fridge and will keep the tea between %60-70 RH. I'm thinking about some subtle heating to keep it at 70F, also. I'm worried about spending lots of money on tea and ruining it. But also, I'm worried about buying the wrong tea. I'm 37 years old and am only going to get one chance to age tea for 40 years :lol:

It seems to make sense to buy $30-$90 cakes now. Tong a few and sit on them. The alternative is buying 200-$300 aged cakes.

The big question is ... what should I taste in a young sheng that makes it a good candidate for risking aging it?
.m.
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:29 pm

Rickpatbrown wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:24 pm
I assume that there is no real way of knowing what a tea will taste like in 30 years, but think that you want to start out with something good and with a strong backbone. I worry that the high end aroma will give out, since these are usually more delicate, volatile aromatic compounds.
I don't know much, but I think you got it right :) A good aftertaste might be another indicator that i think should last well through aging. Also why not look to some older cakes too with 10-15 years that have already aged a bit. Like teaswelike.com, or yangqinghao.com, or teaurchin.com,...., for exemple? Yes they are more expensive, but the price difference to young sheng is not that crazy big.
Chadrinkincat
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:03 pm

+1 for M.

Ideally you should already have years worth of teas you can enjoy now before you even consider long term investing.

Your safest bet for not wasting $$$ is to buy 7-10yr old cakes that are already showing signs of good aging.
YQH along with some tongs of daily drinker factory teas with humid storage.
Rickpatbrown
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:10 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:11 pm

Chadrinkincat wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:03 pm
+1 for M.

Ideally you should already have years worth of teas you can enjoy now before you even consider long term investing.

Your safest bet for not wasting $$$ is to buy 7-10yr old cakes that are already showing signs of good aging.
YQH along with some tongs of daily drinker factory teas with humid storage.
Ahhh. Yes. This is a good idea too. Ideally, I would start collecting young and middle-aged, so that I'll have a steady supply as an old man. I figure 1 cake a month should keep me full of tea and saving for the future.

I'll have to check out these other sites. There's a lot left for me to explore.

How about old trees and/or big leaves? Do these age better, or is it a case by case basis?
mrmopu
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:11 am

There are teas with older material already blended in so they have a jump start on the process.
Rickpatbrown
Posts: 46
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:16 am

mrmopu wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:11 am
There are teas with older material already blended in so they have a jump start on the process.
I'm a little confused. I thought old trees meant that the trees were older and had deeper roots and therefore extracted from deeper layers of nutrients and minerals (among other things).

I also was under the impression that big leaves give "bigger" flavor, but at the expense of astringency and bitterness. But aging should smooth them out.

Are you referring to blended materials that have freshly picked tea along with tea that was picked years before?
gregcss
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:43 pm

Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:32 pm

Rickpatbrown wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:16 am
mrmopu wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:11 am
There are teas with older material already blended in so they have a jump start on the process.
I'm a little confused. I thought old trees meant that the trees were older and had deeper roots and therefore extracted from deeper layers of nutrients and minerals (among other things).

I also was under the impression that big leaves give "bigger" flavor, but at the expense of astringency and bitterness. But aging should smooth them out.

Are you referring to blended materials that have freshly picked tea along with tea that was picked years before?
I dont want to speak for what mrmopu intended here, but to answer your question about blending - yes, puer can be a blend with various regions or years. For example, this https://white2tea.com/product/2015-pin/ "2015" raw puer is a blend of 2013, 2014, and 2015 material and even though it's still young it has a bit of an aged taste to it. An example of a blended ripe seen here https://yunnansourcing.com/collections/ ... h-tea-cake is labeled "2018" and is made of 2013 and 2015 material. Probably pressed in 2018 and the reason for that year label.
mrmopu
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:07 pm

Rickpatbrown wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:16 am
mrmopu wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:11 am
There are teas with older material already blended in so they have a jump start on the process.
I'm a little confused. I thought old trees meant that the trees were older and had deeper roots and therefore extracted from deeper layers of nutrients and minerals (among other things).

I also was under the impression that big leaves give "bigger" flavor, but at the expense of astringency and bitterness. But aging should smooth them out.

Are you referring to blended materials that have freshly picked tea along with tea that was picked years before?
Indeed. Older material blended with newer material to kind of jump start the tea itself. Some made in 2011 with 7 year old material are now over the decade make in actual age.
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