In this episode, Denny and I bring a boutique tea generously provided by Darius (shah). The tea is the 2007 XZH Puzhen that has been relatively dry-stored.
2007 Xizihao Puzhen [Episode 238]
8 responses to “2007 Xizihao Puzhen [Episode 238]”
I would suggest that region affects aging, but in the exact opposite way. Assuming someone is storing pu-erh in his house in Florida or another hot humid climate without using a pumidor, that cake is likely in an air-conditioned home year round and would therefore not age very quickly. On the other hand, if you live in New England, as I do, half the year the windows are open and the relative humidity in the house can get very high, resulting in quicker aging (of course in the winter aging would all but cease in the heated, dry home).
Doug, I live in the Florida Keys. The sub-tropical climate provides good storage. Stone compressed pieces tend loosen over time making them difficult to handle. Being near the ocean I do not use air conditioning. An issue arose in September when the island was flooded by Hurricane Erma. When I saw flooding begin my first response was to move the containers of puer to the highest reach. You can see where my prioritise are.
My family owned a home on Duck Key for 30 years, so the Keys are like a second home. We kept the windows open in the winter, but the rest of the year it was just too hot (for us anyway) without air conditioning. I hope you’re recovering okay from the storm.
I bought the cake in the spring of 2010, and the cakes at the time has spent the vast majority of its existence in Houston, so it has never been in a humid environment for any length of time.
When I started drinking tea, almost all of the teas that I tried that were that old tasted much more humid than the Puzhen today. The Kunming stored stuff was very dry, but thinking about things in today’s time, that youthful strength tended to be awkward and off-putting. However, I don’t think it’s completely about humidity, because Kunming is much more humid than Atlanta. It might be about a long cool season, or just that shopkeeps just didn’t do a good job storing tea. Some other teas I’ve tried early on that have been kept very dry, like the ’96 Zenchunyahao or the ’02 spring tips from Best Tea and were reasonably tasty. The famous dry stored late nineties teas, like the the Changtai Songpin characters or the Yuanyexiang, were much more humid than what dry stored really should imply. They basically were “naturally stored” and not warehoused.
Now, I remember that you guys did a TeaDB which did a comparison between a Portland stored and Taiwan stored Yangqinghao Yiwu King. How does the memory of that tea inform you about the virtues/deficit of this tea?
I’ve never thought that the Puzhen had much hay in it, but I wonder if “hay” is describing the aspect that I think of as “kudzu”…
At this point, this tea can only be bought directly from Sanhetang, and they mark that tea at RMB10000, which is about $1,500. It doesn’t appear in Facebook auctions, tho’ a spring vesion (this is fall ’07) from 2008 does. That tea, while having the basic profile, is a fairly different tea now, perhaps due to the more humid storage. As far as getting something *like* this tea, I’m not sure how possible that is, because it’s pretty unique in some ways. I do think that the basic character does follow where Tony Chen sez it’s from, Yangta mountain in Jinggu–so roughly speaking, it’s similar to some Yangta and Xigui teas. The YS Huangshan jinggu teas are very vaguely like this tea.
Doug, we have a lot of collective experience now with storing tea in the North. Cold, dry, winter is generally more deleterious than Southern air-conditioning in the summer. Hammockman, I would advise you that you have a real risk of your tea tasting salty from the tea absorbing sea breezes over the years…
shah8, No salty taste so far. The climate seems to hasten the production of sugar in the tea. Brick tea with it’s ease of storage dose the best. Doug,Iappreciatethssesentiment.