A Tea Addict's Journal

How much tea do you really need?

January 7, 2011 · 3 Comments

Once in a while, I get into a discussion with tea friends about how much tea you really need.  Assuming I drink 10g a day, every day, for 50 years (let’s say I get to live 50 years from now).  That’s about 182,500g of tea, or in puerh terms, about 73 tongs of tea.  That is if I don’t drink anything else — no oolongs, no greens, blacks, whatever.  That’s also assuming I don’t drink with friends, drink more than 10g a day, or give tea away.  So let’s say those two things balance out (oolongs/greens/blacks vs gifting) which means that I need a total of about 6 jian of tea, if we go by 12 tong jians.

6 jians is not a lot.  In fact, I know a lot of people who own more than that right now.  That leaves a question — what can they do about all that tea?  I don’t see an outlet for such things, other than the tea market — and the production volume of puerh in the past 10 years far exceeded anything we’ve seen in the 80s and 90s, which means that in years to come, there’s going to be a steady stream of aged puerh, of varying quality (storage and otherwise) that will show up.  If I have reconfirmed anything this trip to HK, it is that storage is of utmost importance, and that not every place is going to be good for storing tea — dry places like Kunming just aren’t going to cut it.  I had a number of “pure dry storage” teas recently, and most are, unfortunately, insipid and uninteresting.  The best teas I’ve had are the slightly traditionally stored ones.  You just need that moisture, and if your storage doesn’t have it, fix the problem now before it gets serious.

Or, you can just buy from the secondary market five years from now.  I can’t see a puerh shortage coming any time soon, as long as you’re not in the market for pre-1995 teas.

Categories: Information · Old Xanga posts
Tagged: ,

3 responses so far ↓

  • Anonymous // January 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply

    Maybe we need a method of indicating on ebay that we’re tea enthusiasts and we’re selling part of a cake we’re probably not going to get through.

    I have this same problem. I don’t like having a full cake when I know i’ll drink 50 to 100g of it (it’s 350!).

  • PetrN // January 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply

    As I buy Puer not only for joy from drinking but aslo pleasurment of colecting, exchanging with friends, examining I am not worry about buying more then I can drink out in future. For sure it is going to be interesting on Puer market in 10-20years.

    Neverending discusions on topic of storage but, please, I have a question here- Usually aged teas (20-30years of storege) had wet as well as dry storage periods. I can imagine that too wet storage can ruin the tea- it will be in a tea forever even if after this too wet period it had ideal storage. Do you think that I can aslo ruin my tea in too dry storage. I hope to make some better-more wet storage place but for now it is dry…


  • MarshalN // January 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply

    @Anonymous – 

    That’s like advertising that people shouldn’t buy what you’re selling.

    @PetrN – 

    I think too wet storage can indeed ruin the tea, but too dry storage will do the same. Tea stored in a too-dry environment, in my experience anyway, tend to be thin and weak and the flavours turn bland and the tea loses power. It has a strange, citrus smell that dissipates over time into nothing. It does not age well, in other words. If your constant humidity is relatively high (in a place such as Hong Kong) then dry storage is probably viable. If you live in a place where it’s liable to get quite dry, I’d be cautious.

Leave a Comment