MN area Puer drinkers


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

MN area Puer drinkers

Postby xiaijipincha » Jan 30th, '12, 23:01

Hello, I am currently living in China (Yunnan), but I hail from Saint Paul. I am looking to connect with people who specifically live in MN and love puer cha. FYI, my name basically means 'lover of really good tea'.

Also, my knowledge of puer is still low (but I am in a great place to learn so much about it)!

Thus, my post.

Also, when I return to the US, perhaps I can bring some back for you?!

-xiaicha
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby Chip » Jan 30th, '12, 23:15

I am moving this topic to Pu-erh where it will be more at home. I will leave a "shadow topic" under Announcements which will expire in a few days.
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby Spoonvonstup » Jan 31st, '12, 10:27

Lucky you! When I lived in China, I was only able to visit Yunnan for a week. Are you in Kunming? We visited their tea market (more like a tea city.. it's probably the size of Downtown Winona or the whole State Fairgrounds), but since it was around New Year's, most people were at home with their families. Hope you get a chance to visit, and also the Cultural Minorities Village. But that's just around Kunming city..not even any of the natural wonders close by.. Yunnan has so much!!

I live in Minneapolis. There actually is a little community of tea and pu'er drinkers springing up. mostly due to the guys who worked at Infinitea in Uptown before it left town. They worked to get the tea house off of basic Rishi stuff- started bringing in offerings from Mandala Tea down in Winona (great guy, great place.. I recommend visiting when you return to the States. He's a real cha ren.. reminds me of a lot of my friends in the tea markets). Then they upgraded enormously to Verdant Tea when Verdant's owner ran out of his own supply and decided he might as well import and sell the good stuff since he was already bringing in the best for himself from his friends.
Since Verdant started up in the Twin Cities, it's been a fun time for pu'er drinkers. He often holds fun group tastings at his office downtown in Mpls' warehouse district. I think I've learned more about pu'er from him since I returned to the States than my whole time living in China and going to the tea market every week. Maybe that's because I was blinded for so long by the draw of fresh oolongs, etc, and only dedicated myself in the last few months to pu'er study. Maybe it's because I slogged through so much young, metallic, bitter stuff (put in my time, so to speak) that I can actually appreciate a jewel when it's in front of me.
Recently, some of the core group has run off to Wisconsin, but then again, folks are sharing with the towns' foodies and coffee lovers, and the word is spreading. It's easy when you have a good importer in town and you don't have to dive into the great abyss of the internet, with all of its risks and rewards.

Anyway- I hope you are having a great time, and can really make some good tea friends who can keep teaching you what they know about pu'er. You're in the cradle! Hope you can get in touch with the pu'er drinking community up here in the Twin Cities when you get back. It is here- it's just off the beaten track (TeaSource is all well and good for Indian teas, I'm sure, but the Chinese offerings are basically obligatory). I'll keep doing my part to share pu'er love among my local fellows so the drinking pool is wide and varied.

When you return, bring pu'er back for yourself! You will be glad you did. Any money earned in China is much better spent on tea than it would be saved and changed back to USD. At least, that's what we did, and my husband and I are so glad to have so much pu'er unavailable in this country to share with our new pu'er friends.
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby xiaijipincha » Feb 4th, '12, 02:44

Thank you for the post! It is nice to know there is a growing population and that Verdant Tea is not just an internet company (I sent them an email)!

Yeah, I don't think I will be converting very much into USD- although that may change (3 Yuan per USD, if that every happens). I am still learning about Puer- here, I need to be very careful because it is possible to purchase fake Puer. So it is not only taste, age and cost, but also authenticity I need to watch for!

THanks again!
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby the_economist » Feb 4th, '12, 10:42

Hi there, I'm in Wisconsin does that count? :)

Good luck on your pu journey!
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby Spoonvonstup » Feb 4th, '12, 12:24

xiaijipincha wrote:Thank you for the post! It is nice to know there is a growing population and that Verdant Tea is not just an internet company (I sent them an email)!

Yeah, I don't think I will be converting very much into USD- although that may change (3 Yuan per USD, if that every happens). I am still learning about Puer- here, I need to be very careful because it is possible to purchase fake Puer. So it is not only taste, age and cost, but also authenticity I need to watch for!

THanks again!


Oy yoy! 3 per USD? That'd certainly change things for the world.

As for fake pu'er, just get to know folks at the tea market. Don't buy from someone unless you trust them. No one would sell something bad to someone they considered a friend, and a real tea person will probably want to be friends with a "foreigner" (or really anyone) who truly expresses an interest in learning and appreciating tea. If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable and it seems like they're just trying to take advantage of you because you're white, then well- trust your gut. These folks tend to have large shops right at the fronts of the markets, and they'll push white tea and jasmine or 8-treasure / babao on you. If you want to learn about pu'er, you'll know those shops when you see them. Pu'er bricks stacked to the ceiling, and not much else! Taste tea with them, ask them lots of questions and ask for their opinions about things, and you'll learn a ton. Once your palate has a better idea of what pu'er is and can and should be, you can trust what your tongue is telling you about what the brick is worth.
The tea market is also a great place to learn Chinese, because you'll inevitably end up spending 8 or so hours at a time there tasting teas and chatting chatting chatting. It's where I learned basically all I know (so wow, do I have some warped vocab.. I can talk flavor and texture and steepings, etc, but I have no idea about words for weather or politics or clothing..).



the_economist wrote:Hi there, I'm in Wisconsin does that count? :)

Good luck on your pu journey!


It totally counts to me! One of my great pu'er fiend loving friends just moved out to Brookfield. Infinitea (which used to be down the street from me in Uptwon) is based in Eau Claire, and I've heard there are some rocking tea houses in Madison.
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby xiaijipincha » Feb 6th, '12, 06:27

Depends upon where in Wisconsin you are! Eua Claire is good, but Green Bay ain't! No, just kidding! WI counts. And I have a cousin who I used to always insult the Packers in front of. She hated it (and I have never really cared).
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby Amonite » Jun 25th, '13, 18:47

I got a tea from Cup and Kettle in Leavenworth (Caramel Toffee PuErh) and I had been wondering about the odd spelling! I thought it was a play on words (like 'pure earth' or something') I didn't realize it was a differently made tea :)
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Re: MN area Puer drinkers

Postby tenuki » Jun 25th, '13, 19:03

I used to live in Madison, does that count? :D
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