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Topic: different concepts of "wet" storage

Marshaln wrote a new article on his web log which I think is well worth reading -- it's a good summary of the different ways people use the terms "wet" and "dry" in relation to pu'er aging and storage. I think he does a really good job of summarizing the information about this subject concisely, and in pointing out some of the issues with the way these terms are often thrown around.

http://www.xanga.com/MarshalN/682032582 … orage.html

Personally, if I use the term "wet stored" (rather than say something like "stored in a humid environment), I do usually mean to imply that the tea is very wet stored, along the lines of what Cloud refers to as "improper" wet storage in his book. To me, very wet stored means the tea has that very hard to describe but easy to recognize taste, and a noticeable lack of complexity, i.e., that taste is pretty much the dominant taste you notice when you drink the tea. I won't claim to have the world's most discerning palate, but I do notice when I can basically only taste one thing. Do you all think that a tea that's that heavily wet stored can recover some complexity of flavor, given some time in drier storage?

Re: different concepts of "wet" storage

I always hated that "wet storage" could mean anything from being stored in a humid environment to being artificially speed-aged. You would think that they could come up with a better term - "high humidity stored" doesn't really sound right. Specifying the region ("HK stored" or "Taipei stored") seems a lot better, but with puerh being discovered all over the world now it would mean having to learn a lot of new terms and we would still probably want a more umbrella term.

Re: different concepts of "wet" storage

to me wet stored means a cake that is going to taste bad.  i personally have decided to just drink my tea at whatever environment my teas find themselves in here.  i am not going to fake anything at all concerning humidity etc....let nature do its thing.

Re: different concepts of "wet" storage

So if something is stored really improperly, could it impart a very harsh taste to the tea.  I have this sheng (multiple samples) that when it is brewed the smell of the leaves is terrible. It almost smells like spent coffee grimes and a little fishy. This pervades the tea all through the brewing and is undrinkable.  Does that sound like poorly stored tea?

J


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Re: different concepts of "wet" storage

Jeremy wrote:

So if something is stored really improperly, could it impart a very harsh taste to the tea.  I have this sheng (multiple samples) that when it is brewed the smell of the leaves is terrible. It almost smells like spent coffee grimes and a little fishy. This pervades the tea all through the brewing and is undrinkable.  Does that sound like poorly stored tea?

That sounds pretty awful. Hard to say without seeing or tasting it, but it definitely sounds like some sort of unproper storage. Fishy / pond flavors and smells are fairly common in bad quality shu, but you really shouldn't see this in sheng unless the storage is absolutely awful.

How old is the tea, where and when did you source it, and are you pretty sure it's sheng? Do you know who it's produced by?

Re: different concepts of "wet" storage

If it smells like coffee grinds, then something's not quite right.  Wet stored puerh shouldn't smell like that.

I am about to post something else on this subject.  Perhaps it might add to the discussion.

Re: different concepts of "wet" storage

Living in a dry dry climate that's very "hostile" to aging puerh, I've been thinking about ways in which to use my environment to my advantage. I've read on several blogs people talk about putting wet-stored cakes into dryer storage to help mellow out the flavors/get over the wet storage (IIRC). Is this true, because I have this theory that I can age wetter stored stuff more successfully than if I was aging stuff that was brand new/dry stored before. Thoughts?