A Tea Addict's Journal

Entries tagged as ‘young puerh’

The dangers of dry and cold

March 28, 2014 · 7 Comments

Well, regular readers know that I’m skeptical of storage conditions that are too dry or too cold. The combination of these two things is generally not good news for puerh tea. It makes for bad tea.

I recently bought a few cakes through Taobao from a vendor in Tianjin. I’ve bought from them before, years ago. Their tea is not that bad. These teas I got are not bad tea per se, but the storage on them has made them pretty poor. Specifically, the cakes (all different) all share a slightly sour, thin, and unpleasant note. Two of the teas are themselves very decent originally – the base tea still shines through, a bit, but without any of the thickness and richness you’d hope to see from teas that are 7-10 years old. Instead, they are just…. sour and a bit bland. If I have teas that old that taste like this, I’d be disappointed.

One of the cakes is a nice Yiwu that I know didn’t taste like that when first made, because I tried it way back when it first came out. I never bought any, because it was out of my budget at the time living on grad student stipend. I wish I had some, and was hoping that this cake would be ok, but it’s not – not in this condition.

Tianjin is typical north China – cold, not too damp, although probably damper than some of the more inland places like Beijing. This is why I normally don’t like to buy teas that are stored in any of these drier climates – they taste bad. The damage in taste is also not obvious when you’re buying online – the cakes, even when held in person, look perfectly fine. There’s no really obvious sign that something is awry, until you put it in water and try it.

This is not to say the tea hasn’t changed – it has. The colour has changed, the taste is also not what you’d see when it’s new. But as a tea that is getting better with age? No, not really. Just because a tea changes over time doesn’t mean it’s changing for the better over time, and a lot of people in these areas have never had a good tasting 10 year old to compare against, so it’s not obvious to them what’s wrong with teas like this.

Now the next question is whether some wet weather storage in Hong Kong can salvage the tea. I’ll let you know in a few years.

Categories: Teas
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Priced out of the market

March 20, 2014 · 17 Comments

As everyone knows, the prices of puerh has been rising, rising, and rising. The reasons are many – more people are drinking it than ever before, and moreover, there are even more people who think it might be a good investment. I still remember when many cakes, new, could be had for a dollar or two. Well, those days are long, long gone. Back then, buying puerh to drink was a real value proposition – you can get decent tea for a small fraction of the price of a good oolong. These days, a good puerh probably costs more.

The problem is, like many other such goods, these days they are priced in such a way as to make it simply not worth it anymore. For example, recently I tried the Wisteria and Baohongyinji that was offered at both White2tea and Origintea. It’s not a bad tea – it has qi, for one, which is rare enough. It’s full, etc. It’s also ridiculously expensive, right in line with a real Bingdao gushu tea, and is absolutely not worth the money if you are thinking of buying cakes of it. These days real gushu teas routinely cost 2-3000 RMB a cake, and plenty of fake ones claiming to be real at least have real gushu prices, even if the leaves are not the real thing. This puts the tea simply out of reach of most people – ordinary or even not so ordinary folks. If you want, say, a tong of tea that costs 3000 RMB a cake, that’s 21000 RMB, or $3300 USD a tong for tea that is new. Frankly, that’s a lot of money, and given all the risks of storage that you run yourself if you store it – water, fire, mold, sun, etc etc, it’s almost insurance worthy.

Some tea producing areas are also slightly more worthy than others – Lincang, where Bingdao is located, happen not to be one of them. I find Lincang teas generally to be rather boring and subpar when compared with teas from the Yiwu or Menghai regions that are of similar level of quality. The prices of teas from Lincang used to be dirt cheap. Well, that isn’t true anymore.

I also get nostalgic when drinking some of my older teas that I myself bought and stored over the years, thinking that sadly, unless I pay through the roof, I won’t have teas of this type of quality to drink in the distant future. I had a Spring 2006 Bangwei the other day that I bought back when I was living in Beijing. It’s a wonderful tea, full of flavour and body and aging nicely. It cost me something like 150RMB a cake back then, which was a king’s ransom for a cake of new tea at that time. Now, the same thing, if made in 2014, would probably cost 1000 RMB or more a cake. It’s insane.

I wonder if this is sustainable – at some point, we’ll run out of buyers for these crazy prices and things might at least not get more expensive exponentially every year. It doesn’t mean prices will come down – we’ll never see 150RMB a cake for that Bangwei again. We might, however, see some of the more newfangled tea regions that command extraordinary prices come down a bit, especially if the aging isn’t going so well. For example, the Yuanyexiang which some of you know has been stagnant in price in the last few years, despite a heavy ramp up in prices of a lot of other teas. It can be found for about 1300 RMB a cake on Taobao, and they look to be the real deal. That’s a much cheaper price than a lot of new teas for a cake that’s over 10 years old now with some age. Why? Because it hasn’t really changed much in the last few years, and hasn’t really gotten much better. It’s a fine tea, and given the relative prices of new teas versus old, it might actually be a reasonable purchase again. As more and more older teas like this appear on the market, I wonder if it will keep a lid on new tea prices as people simply stop buying them. Of course, the same thing has been said years ago, and it hasn’t happened yet.

This is why I almost never buy new teas these days, and have also not bothered to sample many new teas – what’s the point if I am not in the market to buy them? I try a few every year, just to get my tastebuds going, but by and large, I no longer bother. I also find myself increasingly disliking the taste of new make puerh – when there’s so much older stuff I can have at my fingertips. Hopefully, perhaps, pricing adjustment will come, and not a moment too soon.

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Back to the Island of Tea

December 12, 2013 · 11 Comments

How do you know you’re in the Island of Tea?

Well, not immediately, but when you check in to your hotel, and you walk around a bit, and notice that less than a block away at the street corner, there’s this

and this

and best of all

Did I mention this is all on the same street corner? And of course, within the same block and half radius, there’s at least two or three more shops that only sell tea.

But still, this could be just the one district where there are a bunch of tea shops. Well…. until you get back to your room, flip on the tv, do some channel surfing, and while doing so, finding that two of the tv shopping networks sell tea (among more normal things, like women’s underwear). Yes, they sell tea via tv.

In retrospect, I really should’ve recorded it via video, but I’ll spare you the hard sell, since it involves a lot of yelling about how great a deal is. The first channel was selling puerh.

As you can see, only 3 and half minutes remaining, so I didn’t catch the initial pitch. In any case, they were too excited about this amazing deal to actually tell me how much tea they were selling for the price they were quoting, and they had to keep reminding me how there’s only a few minutes left. From this chart, I figured the following:

It seems like they were claiming that they had this great cake from year 2000, somehow broke it up and made them into mini-tuos – don’t ask me how, why, or whether that’s even possible. Anyway, that’s the claim, and for the low, low price of 1980 NT (about $60 USD) you can get a can of these minituos. If you buy five! You can even get a free ceramic cup! In case you want to see what cake it is:

As the last line said, the preciousness of this tea does not need to be said.

The other channel was selling something a little more conventional

Yes, Cuifeng, in Hehuan Mountain, winter harvest. What sounds like half a jin (300g) for 2760 NT, about 90 USD, which is really not very cheap at all. To prove that it’s really high, they of course had to bring out the maps

Oh, and if you buy 4 jins total, they’d give you a free 4oz sampler of the same tea!

Yes, welcome to Taiwan.

Categories: Teas
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Really young puerh is not really puerh

September 18, 2013 · 5 Comments

The title of this post is perhaps slightly confusing. When is puerh not puerh? Let me explain what I mean…

What I’m talking about here only pertains to raw puerh. For cooked puerh, the whole process is different and the tea is puerh (cooked) as soon as the post-fermentation happened. For raw puerh, however, the tea does not go through such a post-fermentation process where it is basically composted to create the flavours you find in cooked tea. What you have instead, at least in theory, is a long period of aging where the tea changes from young to old, and in the process, transforms itself from a very green looking thing to a dark, brown or black cake of tea, with flavours to match.

Presumably, we buy young tea to age because we want aged flavours and profile. Cooked puerh is also an attempt to recreate the aged taste without the time – at least that was the original intention of the process, although now it has taken on a life of its own. Puerh, at its core, is a tea that requires post-fermentation of some sort. It is that process of aging which gives the tea its unique flavours, complexity, and aromas. It’s what makes it different from all other teas.

So it is a bit confusing when we use the term puerh to denote anything coming from big leaf varietal trees in Yunnan compressed into cake or brick or tuo form. This is partly because we don’t have a name for such things – what, for example, do we call current year products that are meant for aging? For whisky, we can call them “white dog.” I’m afraid I don’t know the name of what you’d call wine that hasn’t gone through barrel aging – but the idea is the same. When we have something that is newly compressed and newly made, but hasn’t gone through that post-fermentation yet, calling those things puerh can be a bit misleading. White dogs aren’t really whisky – they are more like dirty vodka. The colours, aromas, and taste profile are not the same as whisky that has gone through aging. Likewise, wine that hasn’t been aged at all is going to taste funny. In those cases, there are legal limits to when you can call them by their names – in scotch whisky, for example, it’s three years. For cognacs, it’s two years.

Puerh, unfortunately, has a very confusing definition officially, so that such nomenclature is all jumbled. The official definition of the tea (at least in the 2006 update) makes room for both raw and cooked tea, but leaves out post-fermentation for raw tea completely, perhaps at the behest of producers who want to be able to call newly pressed raw teas puerh as well (note the date of 2006 – at the height of the first bubble). So we are left with a definition that is wholly incongruent for raw tea, all it requires is shaqing, rolling, sun drying, compression. For cooked tea, it includes “special techniques” that will cause “slow or fast post-fermentation.” So, the first is really a green tea that is only distinguished by the sun drying process, and the latter is what puerh tea probably should be – post-fermented tea.

I have been drinking a sample series of teas made by the same producer but from different years – ranging from 2006 to 2013. Since they were (and still are) stored in the same condition, it is possible to compare them against each other in terms of aging. The experience of this matches what I think to be true – that it takes about two to three years for a young puerh cake to lose the “greenness” of the tea and to start taking on some of the aged characteristics. Of course, the whole thing is a gradual process of change, but it is clear that by about three years old, the initial green flavours of the tea disappear. Of course, this depends also on compression strength, type of tea, storage environment, etc, but generally speaking, it takes a few years for a tea to start taking on aged flavours.

It also takes a few years for the wheat be separated from the chaff. I personally no longer buy anything younger than about three or four years. Yes, it is possible that you will have to pay more, but actually, I haven’t found that to be the case really. Considering how expensive new cakes are this year, with reasonably good tea often costing over $100 or $150 a cake, teas from 2007-2009 are actually quite competitively priced. Sometimes they are even cheaper, with the added bonus that now you can sort out the ones that are turning bad or bland. Not all tea will age well, just like not all wine will age well. It is a lot easier to pick and choose at the three year mark, with much higher probability of success, than picking them when they are brand new. I think that’s a good cutoff for when we can call them puerh.

Of course, some people just prefer them green and new. That’s all good – drink them if you want. You can buy new ones every year to satisfy that need. No need to store though – because unless you vacuum seal them (which some people apparently do right from the beginning) the flavours will change. If you are vacuum sealing the tea, you’re treating it as green tea. That’s fine, just don’t call it puerh.

Categories: Teas
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The retaste project 17: 2005 Yichanghao Mansa

September 11, 2013 · 5 Comments

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, tea was cheap. Puerh was considered very cheap tea, and things like the Laotongzhi, admittedly a very regular cake, would fetch about 25 RMB on the market. The vaunted Dayi, which is now attaining mythical status, was only slightly more expensive. In those halcyon days of plentiful and cheap tea, Yichanghao was among the new stars that promised greatness. They rapidly expanded from their initial foray into tea production in 99 to an important player by 2005. Times were good.

Fast forward half a dozen years, and now there are persistent rumours of imminent collapse of Changtai Group, the company behind Yichanghao. Fact is, ever since the 2007 bubble burst, Changtai hasn’t been doing much – at least, not much that anyone has paid any attention to. They still produce tea every year, but they haven’t had a “hit” for a long, long time.

It was in those blissful days when I bought this thing

Compared with the photos I took right after I bought this cake (romanized as Mengsa, because that’s how the characters are sometimes written, but not on this particular cake), it’s pretty obvious that it has aged a little bit over the years. The tea was stored in Beijing for a year, then for the rest of its life has been in Hong Kong. I haven’t had a chance to drink it since buying it, until a few days ago, anyway. I bought two cakes, of course, and this seems to be not the one that was pictured, but I’m sure they were similar in colours. The liquor is suitably dark.

I thought, when I bought it, that this cake has aging potential. Well, six years later, I can report that the cake has indeed aged. I think my taste is a little more… picky than it used to be, so I am not judging the teas with the same yardstick. Having said that, it’s a cake with this age that’s still generally better than most of its counterparts from relative big factories from 2005. It hasn’t gotten worse, and it has a nice, rounded taste. It’s a bit on the thin side, all things considered, but since I didn’t pay great tea prices for it, it’s hard to expect great tea from it. I seem to remember paying something around 60-80 RMB for one cake at the time, which was ok, but not terribly cheap. Well, now you can find this tea on Taobao for about 300, but RMB has appreciated by almost 30% since then, so it’s actually about 5x the price I bought it for. Is it still worth it at these prices? In the context of new tea prices, absolutely – for a couple cakes anyway, and for more immediate consumption. I wouldn’t invest thousands for tongs of this stuff, but as a drinker and something to be had casually, it’s not bad, so long as the storage conditions are broadly similar and the tea hasn’t been dried out or been stored way too wet.

There is a taste among many Taobao cakes I’ve bought that are of this low-mid price range with 5-7 years that I really hate – I suppose it might be what people describe as “straw” which I find to be the precursor to thinness and blandness. I can see a hint of that here – just a hint, whereas a lot of times that is the dominant taste in cakes. I wonder if it has to do with the temperature and humidity that it’s stored at. I don’t know what the Taobao vendors’ cakes will taste like, it might be interesting to compare, but I don’t feel like throwing 300 RMB at it just to give it a try.

Categories: Teas
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Here, there, and everywhere, at the same time

September 3, 2013 · 3 Comments

Recently I received a pricelist for a puerh vendor’s new offerings. This is one of those higher end outfits that purport to sell gushu teas and which are priced anywhere from a few hundred RMB a cake to a few thousand, all for 2013 new teas. The owner, like many owners of such shops, was already a successful businessman in other ventures, but because of his love of tea (what else?) has gone into tea making and now presses his cakes every year for sale. You can probably find half a dozen such outfits in every major coastal city these days in China.

Also like many such shops, the offering is vast – in fact it’s so vast that it’s completely unbelievable. There are about twenty single origin offerings of various mountains, from Guafengzhai in the east, to Mangfei in the west, and everything in between. For some villages there are multiple offerings, while for others there is only one. This is not counting the dozen or so blends that they offer as well – blends of different mountains, some of which have single origin counterparts, and some don’t.

I say unbelievable, because for it to be top notch tea (and the prices definitely scream top notch) the person making it had to spend some time in each of these places to buy the maocha – maocha, at least of a certain quality anyway, don’t really come to you, especially if you’re not a particularly big outfit with enough muscle to do the buying. Conservatively, if we say the owner needs to spend at least 3-4 days per village to at least gather enough material for pressing the cakes, sort out the logistics, travel etc, that’s already over 70-80 days needed. If he started on one end in late March, by the time he gets to the other end it’s already June. The good tea is not going to wait three months – someone else would’ve bought it already.

It is also unbelievable, because unless you spend an inordinate amount of time in one of these places, being able to tell apart real versus fake (or at least, inferior quality) maocha from various village is difficult. Maocha smuggling – the practice of shipping cheap maocha from cheap production area to expensive villages to sell as the expensive place’s tea – is very common. It’s also not unheard of to pass plantation tea off as gushu, or to adulterate spring tea with fall tea, or other such practices. Just because you got to the village doesn’t at all mean you got the real thing, and even if you’ve gone a few years in a row doesn’t mean people stop trying to cheat you. I have talked to experienced vendors who have been going for a dozen years who still have people bring them inferior tea, hoping to pass muster. If you’re in a hurry and are not picky, you will get scammed, and the tuition gets passed on to the consumers.

Nor is the much vaunted “buy-out contract” model going to work, not well anyway. Over the years various brands and individuals have claimed to have signed contracts with local farmers of some village or another, buying up all their production for the year for a fixed price, limiting production to spring only, etc. In almost all of these cases, there are reports (and confirmed) that the farmers are still selling the tea on the side to others. The fact is, these contracts are basically impossible to enforce. How do you prove that a bag of maocha is indeed covered under the contract in question? In a court of law? How do you prove they harvested in the fall when they were not supposed to under the contract? You can’t, basically. It’s also hard to fault the farmers, who, until about 2006, have sold their teas for virtually nothing. Ten years ago a kilo of raw maocha from gushu material in a not-so-famous village might fetch you 10-20 RMB a kilo. That’s when 8 RMB equaled one USD. Many cut down their old trees to plant rubber instead, because rubber was more profitable. So, it’s hard to fault the farmers for wanting to cash in when the going is good.

It takes skill to press good cakes. It’s not a matter of just going to a village, meeting a few farmers, trying a few different bags of maocha, and buying the best of the bunch – that’s in fact almost a guaranteed recipe for getting scammed. The best cakes I’ve tried all tend to be from people who have had decades of experience drinking tea – all kinds of tea – and who also know the area of production intimately well. This means they spend weeks, if not months, there, often pressing only a few cakes a year or have a regional specialization – only Bulang, say, or only around Yiwu, because you need to control for quality and that takes time and local knowledge. For local producers who are, say, based in Kunming or further south, it is probably possible to have enough contacts and access to do more, but for these fly-in-fly-out type of cake pressers, claiming to be able to do a dozen, or in this case, two dozen different villages, and do them all justice, is pretty much impossible.

Going back to the teas of this outfit – I only tried one, the Wangong. Oddly, it tasted like some Bulang area tea and nothing like a tea from eastern Xishuangbanna, and compared with Zhou Yu’s Wangong, which I also had recently and also from 2013 – it’s not even close. Yet, the tea from this outfit costs almost double what Zhou Yu wanted for his tea. I don’t know who’s buying the story, but you certainly aren’t paying for the tea.

Categories: Teas
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2007 Spring Xizihao Yiwu Chawang

August 18, 2013 · 5 Comments

Some of you might remember this, or even have it

Yes, this. There was a time when puerh cakes were selling like they were going to run out – which they did, promptly, when Hou De put them up. At least it happened for Xizihao teas, which were (and still are) made by Sanhetang in Taiwan. Back then they were basically the first of the gushucha wave available in the West. The 2007 ones sold out rather quickly – some as soon as within a day. There have since been some newcomers, of varying quality, but even now, I think some of the Xizihao remain the better ones that were sold as gushu puerh.

This cake, however, I did not get from Guang. I bought this at the Best Tea House in Hong Kong. For some reason, they had a tong of this – for 750HKD a cake, which is a bit less than $100 USD. This was in 2011, which makes this extremely underpriced – the cakes came out around that price, and so weirdly, it was selling for a pretty low price for some reason. I dithered for a while, and when the other six cakes were sold (to a single person) leaving this one display one, I snapped it up at a discount. Why not?

I haven’t tried it since I bought it – it’s been sitting in my storage. Unfortunate wrapper aside, the leaves themselves look good

The tea is a nice, solid performer – definitely has gushu material in it, good body, nice balance, etc. It isn’t mind blowing, but it’s really not bad. Although a bit on the weak side, it may very well have to do with the fact that my cake was the “display” that was sitting out on a store shelf for more than a year. I’m not sure if Sanhetang themselves have this tea available anymore – oftentimes these outfits no longer have their past runs, or the supply left is so limited that they are not making it available for the public (instead, dripping it out as a “favour” for important clients). I didn’t buy any back in the Hou De days, mostly because, well, they were sold out before I saw them. I probably should’ve bought the whole tong of tea when I had the chance, especially since it’s a pretty good price. But then, I already have a lifetime supply of tea, so maybe I don’t really need more. Or, maybe I can stock up for “the future,” but I think that’s usually just rationalization for an otherwise unhealthy hoarding behaviour…

Categories: Teas

Two new teas from Wisteria

July 26, 2013 · 6 Comments

I recently acquired two new cakes of tea, with many thanks to the generous help of Tony of Origin Tea. They are the two new productions that Zhou Yu supervised, and I believe these are the first new teas he’s made since about 2007. They are the best new teas I’ve had in recent years.

The first of the two teas is called Zhenren yufeng. This one’s hard to translate properly, but roughly, it means “Regal style of the enlightened man”.

I bet you the name wasn’t conjured up by Zhou Yu himself – it’s very pretentious, and is mostly a marketing ploy, I think. The run is only about 1400 cakes, so at 380g each, it’s 532kg, so they collected maybe something like 800kg of raw maocha to get this much stuff. It’s not a big run. I don’t know where the tea is from, but it’s somewhere in Banna. It says it’s from nationally owned forests in Yiwu, but that’s actually quite a big area.

Then, the second one, is called Yuema wangong. Of course, this is a play on words – the literal meaning of this name is “Jumping horse, bent bow”, with a man suitably doing exactly that in the picture. The real point is that this is Wangong tea, also a small village in the greater Yiwu area that’s been getting a lot of attention these days. This name is something that the actual maker of the tea (Zhou Yu took a supervisory role), an outfit called Baohongyinji, has been using this name for their Wangong tea for at least the last two years, I think.

Taste wise, the second is more immediately appealing – nice aroma, etc, but the first is the better tea. The first tea has relatively mild taste, but it has strong body and good qi. It will age well. Not that the Wangong will age badly, but given a choice, I’d pick the first one.

Too bad the cost of the tea, at over $200 a piece, is rather high. The first second cake is slightly more expensive, but neither are easily within reach. That said, there are way more expensive teas out there that are terrible, like this 5000 RMB monstrosity that is basically green tea puerh. Thank god I didn’t pay for it. There are few people out there who have more experience with puerh than Zhou Yu, and these two cakes show (not that he needs to prove anything) that he knows what he’s doing.

Categories: Teas

The retaste project 16: 2006 Fall Jixiang Chashe Yiwu Dingjiazhai

July 9, 2013 · Leave a Comment

So after that terrible, terrible tea from Jabbok, I had to have something else to clear my mouth of the bad taste. I opted for an old reliable – this 2006 Yiwu I bought, online, from a small time maker of puerh who seems to have disappeared since then.

This guy’s business model was basically to press cakes and then sell them via the various discussion forums on tea. I bought maybe half a dozen cakes from him, all pretty decent things. I’ve written about this tea some years ago. I think the main things to note now are as follows:

1) The most obvious thing is that the smoke is gone, totally gone. There’s no more smoke in the tea, at all.

2) The tea is not quite that strong, now that I have more comparative experience. It’s fine, but it’s not awesome.

3) I really should dig out the other cake and try it side by side with this and see what happened 6 years down the road.

What I can say with confidence though is that my storage conditions seem to be advancing the tea steadily. That’s reassuring, because the last thing you’d want is if the storage of your own teas is ruining it. It’s happened to other people before, and I sure as hell don’t want it to happen to me. This isn’t even remotely close to the same tea as the one I drank almost seven years ago, and in the intervening times, I’ve only tried it maybe a few more times. It’s a pleasant enough drink, and I will happily drink it all up in one go. For the price I paid back then, which was about 200RMB, it seemed like a lot of money, but nowadays I think something of this quality will already set you back far more, unfortunately. That’s the market for puerh these days. Oh well.

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A clear and present danger

July 5, 2013 · 16 Comments

One of the problems I find quite common these days is what I’d call “green tea puerh.” This is stuff that, basically, have been through too much/too hot a kill-green process, and the tea has consequently turned into green tea. Some of you might ask “well, isn’t puerh basically green tea?” Well, yes and no – greens, such as Longjing, have been through higher temperature firing than things like puerh. Whereas puerh will age into something because it’s still alive, teas like Longijng are cooked – fixed in form, and need to consumed as soon as possible.

It’s not entirely clear what the reason for the proliferation of green-tea puerh is, but as Scott of Yunnan Sourcing recently described, it’s as if all the farmers bought a tumbler machine to help them fry the tea leaves, and nobody learned how to operate it properly. So what happens is that they do it too hot or too long, and the tea gets cooked.

The result of such cooking is bad, very bad. Initially, it will yield a pleasant tasting tea with good floral or beany aromas, sweet, and perhaps smooth. What hits you though is if you try the tea two, three, or four years down the road – it’ll be bitter, nasty, thin, sour, all the things you don’t want in an aged tea, because it’s aged green tea. I recently tried a sample given to me by a vendor two years ago. At that time the tea tasted a bit off – but it’s called “honey sweet.” Well, honey sweet has now turned into massively bitter. It’s terrible, and it’s a shame, because the raw materials were good.

I just had a tasting with some friends of five newly made teas. Of the five, three were of the “way too green” variety. This is not a regional thing – this is a processing problem. Two of the teas are fine – one is from Xishuangbanna, while the other is from Menghai. The rest were all green teas in disguise, and no doubt, in a few years, the people paying good money for them (and good money it is – one is selling for 5000 RMB on Taobao a cake) will regret it. Or, they can keep fooling themselves and say it’s aging well.

Pictures were taken with the phone, so pardon the varying lighting.

Categories: Teas