I picked up this tea from a vendor in Taiwan in 2017. Generally speaking, I lean skeptical of age and even moreso extreme claims of this extent. But I spent considerable time with this vendor and trust them more than most. Call me a chump, but I mainly believe it in this case. Finding tea this old is not common and I wanted to document the experience since I have not encountered many oolongs that I reliably consider this old and doubt I ever will.
About this Tea
This tea was picked in Pinglin which isn’t too far outside of Taipei and was one of the primary growing regions in Taiwan during that period. Like other teas, the processing of Baozhong has changed substantially over the years. I had the opportunity to try a (young) Baozhong produced in an older style when Origin Tea was still in business and it fit firmly into the category of a darker, roasted oolong. Today, the tea is typically processed very green and is usually considered one of the greenest oolongs on the market.Continue reading →
This episode, I finish up a ripe pu’erh cake I bought a while ago from Scott. The cake is part of Yunnan Sourcing‘s Man Tang Hong line, a series of teas I’ve had decent experiences with. The tea is brewed in a fashion that I normally drink my ripe pue’rh, in a big pot fairly casually.
This episode, Denny and I drink another tasty Hongcha from Scott. This one is from Yunnan and stands out for its engaging texture and taste. We actually unknowingly drank this Mengku Hongcha earlier this year for an episode.
Storage: keep in cool, clean, dry, ventilated, no peculiar smell, no pollutant, no direct sunlight place.
This sort of advice is common. It’s especially prevalent when looking at vendor descriptions on ebay or amazon or whatever. For a novice it all looks pretty uncontroversial, and for certain parts of the world it’s pretty good advice. But there are some real issues when this advice is directly applied to a drier climate. The first issue is with cool. This advice seems translated and copy/pasted from a place where temperatures are often higher. It’s important to keep in mind that places where pu’erh has been stored for the longest are hot. If you interpreted storing your tea “cool” relative to room temperature you may end up doing something dumb, like storing your tea in the garage at sub 50F degree weather for an extended amount of time. There is also ventilated. Airflow is a hotly contested topic in western circles, but leaving your tea in an open air environment in the west where room temperature air is a lot drier is not great for the long-term outlook of the tea.Continue reading →
This episode is my second deep dive into looking at the storage . I recently acquired a cake of Lingya from a non-Yang source in Taiwan and decided to compare it with the tea I’ve been storing. The first cake is a cake I’ve kept in my own pumidor storage (an unplugged wine cooler) for three years and was previously acquired from Yang. The second cake is one that I’ve stored in a pumidor for a year in a half and then on my shelf in a ziploc for another year in a half. This is the cake I’ve consumed out of and I’ve drank up around half of it. The final cake is the aforementioned cake acquired from Taiwan.
The tea featured is the 2007 YQH Lingya Yiwu. In my opinion this is a very decent Yiwu and I enjoy drinking it quite often.
The episode is set around a mix of visual examination/narration and direct comparison. I begin by taking a look at dry leaves and the humidity generated by them. I then compare the three teas with each other, before concluding with a wet leaf examination and some overall thoughts/takeaways,
If you are are pu’erh nerd or at all interested in storing pu’erh I think you will enjoy this episode. If you want to learn more about storage conditions, please check out some of our other storage related content.
Feedback for this episode is highly appreciated!
From Yang/Fridge/Shelf Rating: 7.5.
From Yang/Wine Cooler Rating: 7.7.
From TW/Non-Yang Rating: 6.1.
What’s a real bargain? Below are some of my musings on how we think about price.
The restaurant I probably go to most often in Seattle is a local taco joint. Their menu is simple and they execute their food well. I’ve been going pretty much since they opened. It’s a little more expensive than taco trucks but in a city that’s becoming increasingly expensive, paying around $8 or $9 for a meal is pretty good. When I leave I feel satisfied and feel as if I earned some well-earned frugality points. My wife and I also eat a good deal of seafood. Sometimes we will indulge in something nice like Black Cod, which our local Asian market had on sale for $18/lb. Typically around .5-.6 lbs is enough to feed us for a meal (with rice and veggie sides). This puts our the cost for two people around $9-11, quite a lot for a home meal. These meals feel like a splurge and sometimes induce a tinge of guilt. But the cost of the fancy-feeling Black Cod meal per person is actually less than the cost of my tacos. So why do I feel like Mr. Fancy Pants for the Black Cod and frugal for the other? Continue reading →
This episode, I drink a tea that is currently being sourced by some tea friends on their new project Teas We Like. The tea has been aged in Taiwan and is well-balanced, decently potent, with a strong huigan that mixes a lot of positive traits into a solid session.