A Tea Addict's Journal

Crashing prices

February 26, 2024 · 5 Comments

A couple years ago I posted about an outing with a friend to go to the local Dayi store to drink new 7542s (I think I deleted the image by accident). The tl;dr is that they’re very average and way too expensive. Now, two and half years later, we have this:

This is a screencap from Donghe which shows you prices of puerh. For the 2020 7542, which reached a peak of around 50,000 RMB/jin (42 cakes) we are down to around 29,000 RMB. It’s still really expensive at over 600 RMB a cake, but nowhere near the peak. I’d also imagine prices will continue to fall as the quality simply isn’t there.

More importantly, you can easily buy ten, even fifteen, years old 7542s on Taobao that are genuine that cost around this price. People trying to sell you the 2020 version will tell you it’s special, they used better leaves, blah blah, but in reality it probably is just another run of the mill 7542 with very little difference that you, the drinker, will notice some years down the road – certainly not at a price that is so inflated.

I have increasingly come to think that for most teas, especially ones that aren’t special in some way (i.e. most big factory productions) you’re just better off buying when you are ready to drink them – there is such a huge backlog of teas that are sitting in storage somewhere by people who bought them years ago to “invest” that are, well, looking for drinkers. Why buy new, when you can buy old?

Categories: Teas
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5 responses so far ↓

  • Doug M // February 27, 2024 at 11:53 pm | Reply

    I have not gone down the aged sheng rabbit hole very far, I am not shocked to see the prices declining. Look at the Hang Seng and mainland stock market and local real estate prices, I can’t imagine most people feeling wealthier now than two years ago. Granted I don’t know what % of young and aged puerh stays in China + HK but I would imagine it is significant.

    Are the prices for aged teas more stable in general?

  • S. Rank // February 28, 2024 at 10:35 am | Reply

    Lawrence. Please contact me. No scam.

  • Doug M // February 28, 2024 at 10:08 pm | Reply

    Thanks for sharing that website, I used it to look at a 2006 7542 which had also declined a lot in value. It seems like the economic woes of China are weighing on demand or encouraging speculators to sell. You can also see this in fine whiskey/scotch prices. I wonder if this will show up in lower prices or higher quality per $ for western facing vendors any time soon.

    • MarshalN // February 29, 2024 at 12:21 am | Reply

      Yeah whisky prices have been leaking too, as well as luxury watches. I wrote a post maybe a decade ago about this – how Chinese money, for not having enough outlets to invest, just buy pu among other things as a way to park a lot of cash.

      I think the more common factory stuff will never recover in price, so just buy what you like to drink. Unfortunately on the top end of rare old tree etc stuff, those prices are never going to come down meaningfully

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