lukep said

Irregularity in pu-erh

Has anyone ever had a brick that tasted good sometimes and bad other times? If so have you ever figured out why? (I’m afraid it could be something like good tea on surface bad tea interior)

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Cwyn said

That can totally happen. Cakes in a tong can vary too, the cakes inside the stack can be very different than the ones on the top or bottom. It can happen that cakes on the outside or inside can be great while the others might be awful.

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lukep said

Yeah. I have a 2005 tiandiren cake and the inside tastes weird and the outside tastes beautiful.

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Cwyn said

I guess you can flake off the outside as you wish and let the inside go a couple more years^^

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lukep said

Well. It’s not an ‘off’ taste. It’s more like it’s darker and smokier and almost astringent. It probably has to do with the absence of buds. Anyway, I’ve already broken the entire cake down, so any chance of aging the center is gone. However, it would’ve been a good idea.

I also find brewing it longer helps.

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lukep said

Yeah. Actually kind of digging it when I brew it for a few minutes.

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Cwyn said

Oh I see, you have a good point. Some cakes they do put the buds on the outside and the inside is more leafy, or larger leaves. So that would account for differences in taste and breaking up the cake to mix it all together more is probably a good idea.

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mrmopar said

Agreed lots of companies “make a pretty face” on a cake with lots o buds and mix the other things in the middle. The old adage “A Pretty Face” sells.

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TwoDog2 said

As many people mentioned, certain cakes do have a pretty exterior and lower quality interior.

Another possibility is what you can broadly call “variance”. For example, the chunk you broke off had leaves from a less healthy bush or a part of the bush that got less sun or a bug bitten part of the bush or from a bush that was next to a weed patch that deprived it of nutrients or or or or or… and we didn’t even touch on processing issues!

A puer cake is not a homogeneous thing, like a bottle of wine, where each cup will be roughly the same. It is very common for one session to differ from another. Sometimes even a single cake can range from average to excellent!

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lukep said

Yeah. I’m kind of thinking maybe the interior was just of a lesser quality.

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lukep said

If that’s the case, how do you avoid buying cakes that are essentially packed with dead weight?

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