Saturday, February 2, 2019

Educational Series - Comparative Tasting of Old & New Ripe Puerh Tea

Gong Ting (aka Golden Needle) is a special grade of RIPE that contains a high content of buds. Only select batches of ripe puerh tea is made in this way. The light brown shimmering on the teacake represents small buds that give a unique appearance to this special grade of ripe puerh tea. LEFT: 2010 Golden Needle White Lotus Menghai TF RIGHT: 1990s CNNP Private Production Gong Ting

There are many questions and misunderstandings concerning old ripe puerh tea. Much of this concern revolves around its ageing potential and corresponding value as an old tea. Despite being considerably less expensive than old sheng, old ripe puerh still commands a hefty price. Many wonder if such prices are justified and whether ageing or spending more on old ripe puerh tea is worthwhile. This Sample Pack provides you with the opportunity to seek out those answers by comparing the differences in the refinement and maturity that can be found between a new and old ripe puerh tea. The experience provides an invaluable insight into ageing ripe puerh tea and towards deciding whether you wish to add ripe puer to your tea collection for future appreciation.

Comparing the color and clarity of the brew. L: New Ripe Puerh R: Old Ripe Puerh

Having started my puerh tea journey through drinking young ripe puerh tea I have a soft spot for the process of “Wo Dui” that produces this kind of fermented tea. Appreciating old ripe puerh tea opens you to another facet of old tea and the wonder and beauty it entails. Whist the ageing and transformation of ripe tea does not swing as dramatically as a raw tea, the post fermentation and refinement gives old ripe puerh tea a smooth and distinctive antique elegance. This transformation and refinement is especially noteworthy when drinking new and old teas side by side. The differences stand out significantly especially in the area of fermented and muddy notes, the clarity in both the visual appearance and taste of the brew, the development of age characteristics and the emergence of these subtle notes and flavors .... and let us also not forget the wonderful mouth feel. The soft and rounded brew of an old ripe puerh offers one of the smoothest and most pleasant sensation in texture that I have experienced in an old tea.

Wet leaves

The mass consumption of new ripe puerh tea means that there is an abundance of young and moderately aged ripe puerh tea. This has made ripe puerh aged between 1 to 10 years old easily accessible in the market. Unfortunately the finer qualities of an old ripe puerh take a much longer time to develop and emerge. Consequently it is rare to see old ripe puerh available in the general market. In achieving a more significant transformation ripe puerh can be expected to be aged for at least 20 years. Further still with more time and patience at 30 years onward under the right conditions, the beauty of old ripe puerh tea truly shines. Exploring the different age of ripe puerh tea provides us with the best way to observe and better understand these changes. As ripe puerh tea ages the value of time plays a key role towards further enhancing its overall refinement and quality.

Ripe Puerh Tea Sample Pack (2 x 50g)
US$65 + shipping costs

50g NEW | 2010 Golden Needle White Lotus Menghai TF
50g OLD | 1990s CNNP Private Production Gong Ting

Related Links
1990s CNNP Private Production Gong Ting (see SPECIALS for availability)
A Tea Session w/ 2010 Golden Needle White Lotus Menghai TF

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