Monday, February 4, 2019

2019 Puerh Tea Predictions & Checking Past Predictions

One of my favorite posts of the year is Cwyn N’s yearly purerh predictions.  Last year I had rough copied some predictions of my own and was going to post that but, like a lot of rough copies I have on my PC, I never finished or published that post.  This year I thought it would be interesting to go back to some previous year's predictions and see if they came true…

2018 The Year of Puerh Storage

Cwyn N – Storage Prediction 2018- The biggest single prediction of 2018.  She pointed out that a lot was going on out of pubic view in private chats and invite only Slack threads and that this just basically came into full public view this year.  But did it ever explode.

James- Big Storage Solutions- James of TeaDB isn’t really a predictions type of guy but he did hint that larger storage setups are going to be the next big thing in storage.  Then he teased us all with the Euro Cave.

Me- I embraced the whole storage topic and thought I’d run with that by offering a challenge to the pumidor-centric view of Western puerh storage/aging in this article.

Marco- That article of mine was followed by detailed comparison reporting by Marco on Mylar bag hotbox storage (that I had no idea about).  Together they both (let's be honest, its mainly Marco's article) ushered in a shift in Western puerh storage in 2018 to the potential for more heated and sealed options looking forward.

My Past Predictions are Pretty Good

Rise in shu puerh popularity- predicted its popularity increase way back here with the explanation of why it will happen.  Shu puerh seems to have exploded this year.  Yunnan Sourcing seems to have grabbed a large section of that market by being ahead of the other vendors while offering some really nice pesticide free product at low prices.  The marketing of this product has been bolstered by many recent reviews of Yunnan Sourcing Shu puerh on TeaDB.

Global Uncertainty/ Currency Issues- Predicted global uncertainty and currency issues influencing the puerh world in comments here.  Currency was cited by Scott of Yunnan Sourcing as one of the reasons for puerh price raises this past year in wake of a Chinese/US trade war.  Likely, another reason the Essence of Tea distanced themselves from trading in Great Britain Pounds (GBP) and switched to trading in USD this year in light of what is going on with Brexit.  The United States buyers are less sensitive to this because they don’t have to exchange their currency when they purchase puerh from Western vendors but the rest of us pay closer attention.  It many have even had the effect of keeping 2018 prices from rising and may even result in some price corrections.

Better Black Friday Sales- See my last minute prediction here and follow up blog post confirming the resulting sales burst.  Considering the enormous sales generated this year, I predict that 2019 Black Friday will be even bigger. 

Why? It is cyclic phenomena that is taking place here people.  Big sales = more puerh buyers holding off on yearly purchases and waiting to spend the majority of their puerh budget on Black Friday where they can get the most from their money = sales become larger to entice spending in a very small competitive window= more and more people hold off puerh buying until Black Friday = competition is more fierce so vendors have to offer better sales. 

You know who started this all right? I give Paul of white2tea credit for starting it all here by the way. Thanks.

Qing Bing as Response to Xiao Binging of Puerh Industry- This recent article covers the issue in detail.  Basically, I called out the industry in this post here which cited that someone has to press a huge cake to make it right.  So Paul of white2tea pressed a few huge puerh cakes that he gave away in a sweepstakes marketing promotion in response to the criticism.  Awesome.  (see Below)

My 2019 Puerh Predictions

Shu will continue to be big and will grow. Western vendors will continue to find interesting ways to market shu puerh.  This includes more premium options as well as more unique options like bamboo, minis, coins, bricks, chocobars, waffles, Snap Chat ghost shape, ect.  White2tea will probably go the route of interesting marketing and Yunnan Sourcing the route of more premium offerings.

Creative blends will be used to help keep sheng prices from rising too much.  The Essence of Tea was spot on with their blending this year as a method to keep prices more reasonable while still offering a unique sheng puerh product.  They did this in three clever and different offering this past year.  First, by offering this 2018 Spring Essence of Tea Piercing the Illusion wild tea and sheng puerh blend that was Qi focused.  Second, by offering this 2018 Spring Essence of Tea Gua Feng Zhai which used a small amount of the huang pian (Yellow matured leaves) in the harvest.  Third, by offering this 2018 Essence of Tea Yiwu a whole year’s harvest (Spring and Autumn combined), single family blend.  I see more vendors offering whole year’s harvest blends, cakes which keep in the huang pian, as well as wild tea and sheng puerh blends in the future.

More Famous puerh producing areas/ forests in the Bulang/ Bada are discovered.  This was one of my unpublished predictions of last year.  Just look at a map and tell me that there isn’t tones of undiscovered quality puerh locations there, in the forest somewhere.  Who will be the first to find these areas?  I don’t know but in 2008 I predicted the rise of boarder tea (it was actually teamster Kim’s prediction) on this blog and it has become slow to become popular but it is now a thing.

Even Bigger Black Friday Promotions (see above)

Specific Western Puerh Vendor Predictions

Paul of white2tea will be the first Western puerh vendor to press a puerh melon (we all want the melon, don’t we?) and he will continue to expand his offerings of minis/ mini tongs.  He will be the first Western puerh vendor to offer a 500g or larger bing for sale on his site.

Scott of Yunnan Sourcing will offer more sheng blends including higher quality sheng puerh blends- a mid-priced and a high-priced blend to complement the popular lower price point Impression blend.  He is becoming quite the blender these days.

David and Yingxi of the Essence of Tea will offer some sort of promotion/give away involving some interesting antique tea even though the idea of offering a promotion such is this is counter to their hands off approach to marketing.  They might even press their first shu puerh cake… maybe.

Oh those crazy predictions… let’s see if any come true.



shah8 said...

Essence of Tea pressed a Lao Man'e (sorta) shu cake in 2011.

Matt said...


Crazy, I can’t remember this one at all. So I googled it- nothing. I guess I wasn’t paying close attention to shu back then.


Karl Drewke said...


Sha8 is correct. I reached out to David last year to ask if he was considering re-making the Gushu ripe in the future and he was pretty firm about not doing it. However, maybe he will change his mind?

Matt said...

Karl Drewke,

Well, I’ve never know Shah8 to be wrong... me on the other hand... hahaha If Paul of white2tea can press a big cake, then David and Yingxi can pile a ripe... hahaha...

I’m not sure how much interest there would be in an other Essence of Tea shu?


Anonymous said...

Incidentally, the US/China trade war really only started affecting currency mid-2018. It was at the beginning of 2018 when YS cited USD weakness, but this reversed course quite soon afterwards:

Who's telling what's to come here! I think it could be interesting to watch if China's economy slows and currency weakens, with puerh meanwhile being both a luxury item and an inflation hedge.

Matt said...


It also sheds light on the issue of 2018 Western puerh vendor prices not increasing this year. It could be the case of actual cost increases over 2017 but no price increase because of the stronger usd?

Thanks for the thoughts and comments.

I will be following closely.