What to do with this Pu erh
Was gifted from a friend in Hong Kong this massive cake (357 grams) of Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Cha, looks like a yellow label of some sort, surrounded by red circle in rectangle shapes.
I’ve got so much tea I’m trying to sip down right now and also working through a heart condition, so need to slow down anyway.
Thinking about letting the cake continue to age. How best to do it? It’s currently wrapped in plastic and then the thin paper it was packaged in. I heard if you don’t want to get too fancy with it, you can do it a paper bag stored in a cool, dry place. Or cardboard box? Or even just punching a couple holes in it.
I can’t tell how old it is, but has an expiration date of 2035, so I’m thinking maybe it’s 10 years old? No clue. And no clue the quality of this or if it’s even worth continuing to age.
sounds like a classic CNNP-style wrapper, but it could be anything, (post a picture if you can) no way to tell if it’s any good or not without opening it up and trying it, or even if it’s raw or ripe puerh, though it’s probably pretty young, the cost of these tends to go up exponentially as they age. To store it, just remove the plastic (leave it in the paper wrapper) and put somewhere, on a shelf or in a box or cabinet or whatever, they’re not that picky, it just needs to be somewhere dry, dark-ish (especially not in sunlight), and away from strong odors (so not with your flavoroed teas or food storage), and not completely airtight (hence remove the plastic wrap, also you might want to air it out for a couple weeks after removing the plastic before trying it.) Also, that’s a normal size, 357g is the standard size for most cakes.
can you not just ask the friend that gave it to you what it is?
Thanks for the great info. Attached is a link to what it looks, like, although, I’m not sure if it’s that year. There’s no year marked that I can see, maybe once I open it up? If it’s age worthy, I guess I’ll take the wrapper off and stick it in a drawer or closet, kind of air it out here and there. If it’s not, I guess I’ll give it a try to see what it tastes like.
yeah, that could be anything in one of those CNNP wrappers, though there’s no chance it’s anywhere near that old, in fact there’s no way that aliexpress one you linked is as old as it says it is either, even mediocre puerh from the 80s will be like a thousand dollars a cake or more, i doubt your friend spent tons on it. They still use those same yellow label wrappers today, I’d bet yours is younger than 2006.
leave the paper wrapper on to store it, just remove the plastic.
excellent, thanks. I just opened and stuck it on a shelf in my office. It’s perfect because no sunlight and stays about 70ish degrees. Smells pretty good. I might try a brew just to have a baseline of how good (or mediocre) it is. I have so much good tea I need to get to and being limited to 3-6 grams a day will take forever to crack through it all.
On the inside is a paper that says “Yunnan Chitsu Pingcha”. But alas, no year, no mentioned of cooked or raw. Who knows.
I believe she spent about 200 HK for it, so roughly $25ish if that’s any indicator of anything.
Anyway, thanks for the help again.
It is an ordinary drinker, has already been pre-fermented, aging won’t change it a whole lot the way a raw will develop. Also, is rather forgiving, storage-wise. I would just keep it and drink up fresher tea types knowing this one will be about the same in a couple of years. Chitsu just refers to seven cakes in the pingcha/beengcha tong.
Looks like a CNNP simplified Yellow mark. I would say that the most available ones now are from 2005 and forward. If it is a very dark looking cake you probably have a shou or ripe tea cake. If it still has lots of green good bet it’s a sheng or raw cake. On the words beeng, bing means round and Cha is the actual word in Chinese for tea. Many types Fang Cha or square tea, Tuocha or bowl tea and Beeng Cha or round tea. Storage is important with any puerh. Keep it away from smells and odors and excess humidity. Storing in the sunlight is not preferred as it will dry the tea out and make it flat and lose it’s flavor over time. Your storage you listed should keep it in good shape for you.
fantastic, thank you.
Cake is pretty much black with some scattered brown strands. So most likely a ripe tea cake. Is that worth continuing to age or should I just dig into it?
You could dig into it now and save some notes and maybe put some away to try down the road and see how it progresses. Sheng will definitely age more than shou down the road though.