Monday, December 9, 2019
Alternative Uses for Marco’s Hot Box: Testing Aging Potential and Turning Young into Semi-Aged
Marco has documented rather extensively how different puerh changes in his hotbox. He is mainly looking at the use of his hotbox as a way to optimally age puerh and even to remove some puerh qualities that are undesirable into something more optimal. However, I would also like to introduce a two different short term uses of Marco’s hotbox…
To accelerate the aging of a less drinkable young puerh into a more drinkable semi-aged puerh. I took a puerh that was 6 years old but still had edges on it that were a bit too harsh, astringent, cold energy, a bit hard on the digestion. It spent a month or two in the hot box and came out with the harsh edges dropped and basically in a much more drinkable semi-aged state. Interestingly, I put a semi-aged 8 year old puerh that was a bit harsh, bitter and hard on the stomach in the same hotbox and it didn’t really come out much less intense or aged out. Both were dry-to-mild humid stored cakes. I ended up putting both of these cakes into my drinking rotation rather than putting them into some long term storage.
To testing a puerh’s aging potential. I took a Lincang puerh that many had once thought wouldn’t age well because it was a very light feminine single estate gushu type puerh. People were basically concerned that a puerh like this would loose its greatest strength which is its highnotes and lighter qualities when under longer or more aggressive aging conditions (humidity and heat). I was considering a larger purchase and wanted to test the idea (which I strongly believed to be false from my previous experience with aging Lincang puerh). Besides I thought that this puerh had enough strength and throat feeling to hold on which are, to me, are important qualities for aging . The consensus at the time is that the subtly would disappear and leave you with an insipid puerh. It spent a month or two in the hot box and came out obviously changed with deeper notes revealed but still keeping many lighter nuances.
Both times I had the hot box at 40C and the humidity was pretty much pushed to the limit like a rainforest in there. It was so humid and lots of condensation that it jammed all my gyro meters and sealed cakes had to be carefully checked and rotated every few days. I would say that it’s using Marco’s hotbox at its extremes! It’s a bit a walk on the wild side due to the extreme risk of mold.
The aging conditions don’t exactly mirror my actual real life potential storage parameters either but I was satisfied with the information I obtained from the experiments by pushing them at extreme conditions. It gave me a bit more information to support my larger purchase of a certain puerh and dissuaded me from a larger purchase of another.
I hope to review these puerh in the coming months with some side notes on how they changed.