Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Questions About Dark Tea


I had posted an entry about dark tea last week and Peter, a reader  posed the following question -

"I've been to Penang and seen that these giant bricks are very popular with older tea drinkers. Is it because they are so cheap? There are tea shops that seem to only sell these teas."

He was referring to those very heavy (about 1.5kg) bricks that you see in the 2nd pix

Here is my response:

1.  Yes, Peter you are right about black tea is generally cheaper than say oolong or pu erh tea. Gram for gram, those black tea bricks whether the small (1st pix) or larger bricks (2nd pix) are cheaper than pu erh tea. 

2.  One reason is that there is a much larger pu erh (or oolong) tea drinking community than the black tea drinker groups. There is also a very large group of pu erh collectors that buy to store for  investment. It is actual commodity trading except this time its pu erh tea. It is interesting to know that many limited and high end pu erh factory productions for the past 10 years are often sold out at product launch. These tea are never drank but are bought and sold like trophies. As far as I know, these black tea bricks are mainly purchased for drinking. Yes, there are collectors that aged these black tea bricks to sell but these resold black tea are usually bought up to be consumed. 

3. Black tea includes other fermented tea that include liu bao and ripe or shou pu erh. Older versions of these tea can be quite expensive now. 

Who knows. Black tea bricks may be the new investment tea in the next few years. 

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