Tuesday, December 02, 2014

2015 Tea Blogging Hiatus Warning

Dear Readers- this is the teacloset's 278th post.  I've quadruple said anything I could possibly say on tea matters.  I hardly like most of the teas I encounter and readers don't read this blog to be led to better teas.  I write only because we are creatures of habit and we just like the story to continue on somehow.  I'm amazed that real puerh knowledge is still scant and we are still pecking around for crumbs in the dark.

The puerh tea blogging community is in yet another state of transition with many old-time bloggers decelerating or falling silent. Hobbes and MarshalN are finally sputtering.  Puerh on teachat is a ghost town, B&B is a Shah soliloquy,  reddit is more of a vendor space.  But new comers like teadb and cwyn have entered to continue on the puerh blogging line and hopefully there will always be someone holding a welcoming torch for new comers.

When I restarted blogging in the spring of 2012, I began with reflections on what little I did know after a 5 year hiatus.   After a flurry of tea activity in the last two years, I turn around and again wonder what did I learn if anything.  I can summarize my hard-earned puerh nuggets in less than half a page:
  1. Dry home storage - you can do damage to sheng by storing it in overly dry and cold conditions. Had I tasted a few 10 year old Bay Area dry stored tea in 2006, I might not have bought newborns with such abandon. I actually did not like aged tea back then and I wanted my teas to stay young. However, the flattening out and muting of my once vibrant cakes is a sad thing to see.  If you live in dry climes,  youngish sheng that has been humid stored for a few years might not be a bad way to go. 
  2. Pumidors in home storage - mucking about with complex humidity schemes can easily lead to unwanted mold problems. But you need not pitch teas for a bit of white mold.
  3. Second guessing yourself - our taste buds are fickle enough that you won't know what you may or may not like a few years from now much less decades from now. It's good to keep your options open. Get fewer teas of higher quality and you can always trade with others later on.
  4. Making up your own mind - there is a lot of opinions and when they form a chorus it might convince you your own instincts are mistaken. Always remember it is you drinking the tea.  
  5. Mediocre tea - most of what you will buy on the internet will be quite mediocre. But just because you don't live in Asia and don't have the funds does not mean you cannot heartily enjoy this mediocre tea.  Just don't overpay and don't let the tea snobs get you down.
  6. Young sheng and health - I know so many who have stomach trouble after over indulging in young sheng. Just because other people are flaunting their daily Bulang sheng intake does not mean you can too.  Don't take unnecessary risks- you have only one stomach and the damage can be cumulative.
I'll do a few more posts before I shutter up the boards this year.  If anyone is interested in any particularly last topic from the teacloset, please post a request.   No promises but I'll try my best.

In another five years, I may have another blogging surge as it will be when the bulk of my cakes will putatively start to come of age.  Until then, take care of yourselves and your precious tea stash.

Yours Truly,
hster

13 comments:


  1. Say it ain't so! Aw, Hster, I'm sorry to hear it as I value your opinions and experiments and find your writings entertaining. I'm just being selfish. It is hard to keep up the tea fervor and the momentum for countless blog posts. Your efforts have been most valiant and valuable. I know you have creative endeavors that might benefit from increased focus. I cheer you in these endeavors and will sorely miss your thoughts and your posts.

    Best wishes,
    Israel


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    1. Dearest Israel,

      You and I both have to seriously hunker down in 2015 on our creative endeavors. Hopefully I'll have something more interesting for you to read rather than how I did not like this tea or that.

      You are most welcome to do a guest post and I'll be back once my teas and I turn a corner.

      H

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  2. two things made me sad in this post:
    1. the fact that you're going to stop blogging
    2. you mentioned the homies @ TeaDB and Cwyn, but not me. I feel like the unwanted middle child

    anyways hster, good luck in the non-pu'erh blogging world. i've been enjoying reading the stuff you wrote these past few months, always brightens my day a little when I see a new post from you.

    -Jake

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    1. Dear Jake,

      I'll definitely add you if you turn seriously to the dark side! Aged oolongs are in much more limited supply compared to aged sheng so you will have to turn to something in the end. But puerh drinking is a hard road compared to the abundant and yielding pleasures of aged oolongs.

      H

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    2. Trust me, I've been drinking tons of pu'erh - way more than aged oolongs recently. I should start blogging about my pu'erh experiences soon. Next week's post is already written and involves pu'erh - I might just post it tonight and do another review on Friday.

      -Jake

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  3. Sad to see you go. It's been a pleasure to read your tea related posts, especially for one who shares your bad fortune of living in a cold and dry environment and having a stomach that disagrees with large amounts of youg sheng. I, however, only arrived on the scene after the music had stopped playing and the (English speaking) puer community mostly died. These days it seems many are writing out of a sense of duty rather than genuine delight, and I wonder how long this situation, which reminds me of artificial respiration, can go on.

    On the other hand, I do appreciate the few scattered acts of soliloquy and hope they will survive the long winter which I imagine at some point must come to an end (although this does not appear imminent). Unless the price hikes has killed the chance of access to truly interesting and well-stored puer for the majority of us, that is. I guess those of us who stick around will see.

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    1. Dear scholardilettante,

      I was quite impressed by your double handed gaiwan pouring on your lovely blog. Perhaps you might try your hand on this unfathomably deep topic.

      The genuine enthusiasm and delight for the leaf and transforming it into sippable blog posts are two separate things. Even I am surprised how the old timers have lasted but life is long and it would be a feat to see a puerh blog go on past the decade mark.

      Best,
      H

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  4. I will certainly miss your posts, but your reason for a hiatus is certainly understandable, 'tis better to bow out than force yourself to write when you no longer enjoy it.

    But, if by chance, you find anymore fascinating molds please share them ;)

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  5. Puerh tea has just gotten too expensive to support continued hobbyist interest. At least the sort of tea worth talking about. Given all the hoarding people have done, and well, they're all drinking the same things they've been drinking all along and not buying new, expensive teas. Taiwanese bloggers have been going silent the last two years, no least because of Yahoo ending its blogging platform over there, and just now, jft4u has a thread talking about how nobody's talking about new tea anymore.

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    1. Yes puerh is too expensive now. We will just be left to drink what we already have. I was just starting to get a good taste for better quality when they jumped to ridiculous prices. Most of us cant even afford samples of good tea anymore.
      Will we be left to scavenge the corners of the net for something decent.
      I still have a few more cakes I am saving up for and then I am done. Hopefully I get to them before there gone.

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    2. The worst thing is, we don't have gossipy rich people talking about puerh as they handle their full ceramics with the pinkie finger up, in such magazines as The Robb Report. It just goes full dark aside from the Puerh Teapot Magazine, which keeps trying out many of the same shengs, it seems...

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  6. Been a pleasure to follow your musings as a tea lover and fellow Californian...Thanks for the shares, enjoi your time off and be well!

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  7. Thanks for the information! This is perfect for my milk tea franchise in the Philippines. I will take note everything.

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