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Is there a particular reason for
1) Obscure pricing -- where everything needs to be inquired by email?
That's rather cumbersome.
2) Selling older cakes in small bits? That seems awfully strange.
It's also much, much more difficult to tell the authenticity of any
particular old tea when it's only coming in pieces. In fact, you
can't even tell if they're all from the same batch sometimes.
The thing is, in my neck of the woods, I have no teashops that I can
go try a pot of ancient tea from a reputable source. Consequently I
actually appreciate the opportunity to get smaller bits. I fully agree
that authenticity is extremely difficult if not impossible, however I
personally cant afford very many whole cakes of 60s and 70s era teas,
particularly site unseen.
I wish more vendors would sell aged tea by the gram. For example Guang
at Hou De often sells small bits and I fully appreciate that fact. As
a result I bought a full cake of 60s GYG from him because I tasted the
tea and really liked it. Was it authentic, I think so, but I am no
expert on aged puerh since I cant afford very much of it. All I know
is that I liked it and that's all that counts. I would never buy a
whole cake of 60s era puerh from *anyone* unless I really knew the
vendor, or I tasted it first. Hence the small bits I can taster are
GrandTea is another vendor who occasionally offers small bits of
predominantly authentic old tea. Teahub does as well, but like I
admonished in another thread, they seldom post a price list.
My apologies, I had not seen this new storefront yet. You do indeed
have prices listed for most of your young stock. I do not see your
"Authentic Old Pu-erh Tea" pricing though?
Ah, I didn't make myself clear. I fully agree that having cakes being
available through smaller bits is a great way for those of us (myself
included) who can't afford to buy whole cakes of such things.
However, the website in question does not tell you anything about
where these cakes are from, who made them, etc, and not having a
picture of the whole cake itself means that we cannot independently
verify such information. Of course, pictures can be faked, but no
picture is worse. Right now.... what I'm seeing in the picture can be
a 5 years old wet stored puerh.
The cake "1970s AGED PUERH TEACAKE" seems like a Xiaguan production.
What I'd appreciate is a little more info, which these broken bits do
not provide. I can't even see a shot of the whole cake, nor the
packaging with which it should come.
Ditto for the raw/cooked mixed cakes. With the mix of cooked leaves
in it, it makes the tea rather difficult to tell with age. However,
the brewed leaves in the picture provided looks young, and remarkably
so. The raw leaves are still very green and I have seen stuff 3 years
old that look older than this. Private batch means not much
information can be given, of course. But still
Most importantly, while having such information does not necessarily
mean that much, for people buying it it does mean that they can say
"oh, I've had that before... and compared to that, this particular
sample is......". Right now, though, such comparisons cannot be
made. You could be drinking, say, the same batch of Xiaguan Iron
Cakes stored differently, but you won't know because such vendors did
not tell you what they were. It's a lot of lost information, and I
thought you, Mike, of all people, would care for such information.
I suppose I phrased my initial post incorrectly, and it sounded like I
have a problem with them selling tea in bits, when in fact, I have a
problem with them only showing us bits and not telling us what these
You are spot on there my friend. I have been singing that exact same
song for years now. I would never, and I do mean *NEVER*, buy tea
based on that description. Even if I knew the seller well and trusted
them I would still want to know more if only for my taste memory
I have seen several Merchants who will tell you not to care about such
things. To only care about whether or not you like the taste. If you
like the taste then the pedigree doesnt matter. I do not trust such
Merchants. To me part of the allure of ancient puerhs is the history
that goes with them. it is this very same history that often justifies
the price. Any merchant trying to sell me unknown pedigrees for
hundreds of dollars per cake will automatically raise every red flag
in my psyche.
Anyway, I fully agree with your entire post, wholeheartedly as a
matter of fact.....