Is ripe pu-erh for me?


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

Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby MrEffendi » Jun 3rd, '13, 20:38

First a little backstory: I'm a veteran tea drinker. I've had the addiction since high school (I am 25 now) and it is my absolutely favorite vice. Being a gracious host with a Turkish/anglo-saxon background I always insist that my guests partake in at least one cup of the leafy beverage. My American friends are always apprehensive at first of the exotic beverage but tend to instantly love it and ask for more.

I drink several cups every day after work as a means to mellow out while I read various books and attempt to write my own prose.

I've tried a couple of samples of the ripe stuff. Decent vintages even. I just simply don't like it. I thoroughly enjoy high mountain Yong Pin Hao (older the better). I wish I could still buy vintage Guangdong pu but it seems the well has dried up on that stuff. Some of the Menghai stuff I have from 06 is good on hot days- very refreshing. Can't bring myself to drink it when it's cold outside.

I'm mostly an oolong drinker. I have a preference for the sweet stuff from Taiwan. Dong Ding, Alishan, Li Shan, GABA, etc. Not a fan of oriental beauty, too western tasting. Is ripe tea simply not for me? I enjoy fresh, floral aroma, fruity aroma; seems to go well on hot days. All the ripe pu that I've sampled just tastes like mud. Is this stuff just not for everybody? I'm sort of put off by camphor, smoke, and earthy flavors.

Any recommendations for a smooth, mellow, SWEET, ripe tea with plenty of pleasant and relaxing qi? Maybe ripe teas "taste" better in cold climates? I'm not sure. Again, I'm quite put off by camphor and smoke. Is ripened pu for me? Should I simply admit my prejudice against the black stuff?
Last edited by MrEffendi on Jun 3rd, '13, 21:03, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby lordsbm » Jun 3rd, '13, 20:53

MrEffendi wrote:Any recommendations for a smooth, mellow, SWEET, ripe tea with plenty of pleasant and relaxing qi? Maybe ripe teas go "taste" better in cold climates? I'm not sure. Again, I'm quite put off by camphor and smoke. Is ripened pu for me? Should I simply admit my prejudice against the black stuff?


It's harder to find a right shu than a sheng :lol:

If you like sweet stuffs try one of those huangpian shu (normally in bricks). It should be sweet enough, some may have a bit of rock sugar yun at ending steeps, flavor is normally jujube. Just make sure you awake them for 2-4 weeks. Else it may still have some dui wei :lol:
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby MrEffendi » Jun 3rd, '13, 20:59

Is there even such a thing as a shu that still retains some of the floral undertones? Is there such a thing as "partial" fermentation with shu? I want flowers and sunshine, not something that tastes like the floor of my basement. Maybe if I lived in Siberia I would enjoy the bracing and dark flavors of the dark stuff but I come from a land of overbearing heat and palm trees.

Sidenote: I am currently quaffing back some Alishan; my old stand-by. I never run out of alishan. Soft Stem Li Shan is even better. Calm as the breeze after a rough day in the office.
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby lordsbm » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:10

MrEffendi wrote:Is there even such a thing as a shu that still retains some of the floral undertones? Is there such a thing as "partial" fermentation with shu? I want flowers and sunshine, not something that tastes like the floor of my basement. Maybe if I lived in Siberia I would enjoy the bracing and dark flavors of the dark stuff but I come from a land of overbearing heat and palm trees.


Shu normally is earthly tones, some younger ones at ending steeps you MAY get light flora flavor. Personally I enjoy own blend of shu sheng mix :lol:

If you want something cheap yet the dui wei not strong, kinda light refeshing taste, quite sweet. Try Xiaguan T7663, but do awaken it for 3-4weeks.

If you want flowers and sunshine just get some dried stored aged sheng :lol:
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby MrEffendi » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:28

I'll look into that. Maybe get a sample before buying a whole cake.

Follow up question: what about this "sun-dried yabao?" I would link but I'm not sure if that would be breaking the forum rules. The stuff doesn't even look like tea. It looks like stalks with little leafy bits protruding. Is it good? It looks like it would be floral enough. But I'm not even sure if it's real camellia sinensis.

edit: this stuff. Yabao. Sorry, I couldn't edit out the watermark but I'm sure most people already know of that venue anyway.
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby tenuki » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:36

MrEffendi wrote:I've tried a couple of samples of the ripe stuff. Decent vintages even. I just simply don't like it.


So.... .??? :?
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby MrEffendi » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:38

tenuki wrote:
MrEffendi wrote:I've tried a couple of samples of the ripe stuff. Decent vintages even. I just simply don't like it.


So.... .??? :?


Well, I want to know what all the fuss is about obviously :p
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby lordsbm » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:38

MrEffendi wrote: Follow up question: what about this "sun-dried yabao?" I would link but I'm not sure if that would be breaking the forum rules. The stuff doesn't even look like tea. It looks like stalks with little leafy bits protruding. Is it good? It looks like it would be floral enough. But I'm not even sure if it's real camellia sinensis.


This?
Image

:lol: seems like u had posted it.
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby MrEffendi » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:40

It looks intriguing, but is it "tea" in the true sense and not some random Chinese herb?
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby lordsbm » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:41

MrEffendi wrote:Well, I want to know what all the fuss is about obviously :p


Bet you aren't the only one :lol:

Those coming from sheng do have problem adapting to shu. IMHO, best thing is to drink more, make sure u awake them before you drink. You'll find your the shu u like eventually. I hope :lol:
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby MrEffendi » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:43

I might be partially put off that the soup looks more like coffee than tea. Coffee... the devil's drink.
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby lordsbm » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:43

MrEffendi wrote:It looks intriguing, but is it "tea" in the true sense and not some random Chinese herb?


It's a tea. There are some real wild pu erh, self pressed by collectors, that have some of these yabao in them.

However, don't drink too much too frequent. These wild yabao unlikely to age much. :lol:
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby lordsbm » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:47

MrEffendi wrote:I might be partially put off that the soup looks more like coffee than tea. Coffee... the devil's drink.


ahhh... You mean shu? If it's kept for a couple years, no problem with the processing, and brew correctly, the color should be similar to red wine.

Here's a shot of 8 steeps of a 2012 shu :lol:
Image

edit: the brew color will get closer to red wine and more clear as it ages.
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby MrEffendi » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:50

Ah, now that looks more palatable than the mudwater I have been exposed to. Now... is it sweet? The last time I had shu it was a 7581. It wasn't too bad. It just wasn't too good either. It made me want to jump out of my skin. I much prefer my downers... man. The stuff that binds to the cannabinoid receptors in my brain and makes me feel calm; almost euphoric. Like I could sit and read and write to my hearts content. The 7581 gave me the sudden urge to take apart my lawnmower and put it back together again for no reason at all. Tea meth.
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Re: Is ripe pu-erh for me?

Postby lordsbm » Jun 3rd, '13, 21:55

MrEffendi wrote:Ah, now that looks more palatable than the mudwater I have been exposed to. Now... is it sweet?


This one is sweet, almost no duiwei (storage smell), refreshing, has chaqi too. But it's still too young, lacks deep, a bit thin. This one has to be kept for a few years. :lol:

But for ur case won't recommend getting this as it's on Taobao. The shipping and agent fee will likely be more expensive than the tea itself. :lol:
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