"Cost-effective" puers for beginners?


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"Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby Potapka » May 24th, '14, 07:55

Hello everybody,

I’ve been drinking Chinese green&white teas for about 5 years now, and recently I’ve developed sort of a liking for puer tea, especially, sheng puer. I’m drinking Haiwan Old Comrade 908 and Menghai 7572 shu puers now, I like them, but I got kinda tired of them and want to order a few sheng puers. I'll save shu for cold weather.

I’ve read here that some puers are more “cost effective” than others (especially for beginners like me, I guess), as compared to DaYi or Xiaguan puers. I’d be really grateful if someone got me in the right direction and shared some specific info on these “cost ffective” sheng puers. I’ve seen a few positive reviews on caicheng and Nerd puers.

I’m especially interested in all kinds of fruity tones/sweetness, etc. (if it’s possible at all in this price range) as I’ve tried enough of highly astringent/bitter and “wet hay”-like young and cheap sheng puers available locally where I live (Belarus).

Right now I'm waithing for the followig teas to arrive from China:
1) Tulin 752 2007 sheng puer
2) Xiaguan 2007 Te Ji sheng tuocha
3) Caicheng 2013 "purple bud" sheng bing, 100g
4) Caicheng 2012 500g sheng "of old trees"
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Postby bonescwa » May 24th, '14, 08:42

Xiaguan is pretty cheap IMO
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Re: "Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby TwoDog2 » May 24th, '14, 10:12

Xiaguan is inexpensive compared to most major factories. But in general, factories have to pay for big advertising campaigns and marketing, which dilutes the overall value to the consumer. Television commercials and advertisements plastered across buses in major cities are ultimately going to affect the companies budget for tea.

Try to track down some teas without wrappers or without a major brand behind them. For fruity tones, find some off brand Yiwu plantation teas or if you can track down Bangdong plantation tea, that might do it too. I am trying to stock more wrapperless tea lately, since the major factory productions continue to diminish in quality and maintain a high price point.
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Re: "Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby AllanK » May 24th, '14, 11:12

Check out puerhshop.com for a lot of reasonably priced tea. I have bought from them many times without a problem.
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Re: "Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby Balthazar » May 24th, '14, 11:59

I'm a beginner too, and unlike OP I live in a place where there's virtually no puer available for sale.

I'm sure certain teas are more cost effective than others, and I'll await replies from more knowledgeable members in anticipation to see what comes up, but I guess the common (and still valid) suggestion would be to sample broadly. I've bought a bunch of samples from a handful of vendors, and some (very reasonably priced) have turned out to be what I consider good value for the money. It seems such teas are harder to find the less you are willing to spend, so I don't think there is any way around sampling.

Incidentally, the best value tea (in my personal opinion) I've had so far is the "White Whale" (2002) from white2tea, at a mere 15 bucks per brick (perhaps due to the lack of wrapper? in any case it went way beyond my expectations).

Other than that I think the best bargains I've found is actually the rather commercial Dayi cakes 8582 and 7542, which are very decently priced at tuochatea.com. The cakes I bought from there should keep me going while I continue sampling for other bargains..

I'll keep a watch on this thread, though :)
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Re: "Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby miig » May 24th, '14, 12:02

Hi,
I'm rather new to Pu myself but I dare say that you will find much better deals if you avoid the big factories and seek out the teas which the vendors press themselves.. just like TwoDog said.

But - since Pu is so complex and taste is so subjective, you might consider ordering a rather large variety of samples from different vendords - thats more work, but this way you will really find what you like. And since you're ordering sample sizes only, it won't be very expensive, and you can learn a lot.
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Postby bonescwa » May 24th, '14, 12:26

One caveat- I wouldn't trust off brand shu D:
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"Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby Exempt » May 24th, '14, 13:24

AllanK wrote:Check out puerhshop.com for a lot of reasonably priced tea. I have bought from them many times without a problem.

but be warned, there have been some issues of fakes being sold and handled poorly in the past
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Re:

Postby AllanK » May 24th, '14, 14:55

Exempt wrote:
AllanK wrote:Check out puerhshop.com for a lot of reasonably priced tea. I have bought from them many times without a problem.

but be warned, there have been some issues of fakes being sold and handled poorly in the past

I have never gotten a fake from them.
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"Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby Exempt » May 24th, '14, 19:42

If you search there were issues with aged dayi a year or two ago
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Re:

Postby AllanK » May 25th, '14, 01:45

Exempt wrote:If you search there were issues with aged dayi a year or two ago

I don't know what experiences others have had with them. I have never gotten a fake. I have always gotten good tea, usually to my liking but not always. And I have always gotten good service. Just because you have had a bad experience doesn't mean everyone has.
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"Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby Exempt » May 25th, '14, 01:59

It wasn't me, it was actually publicized by a fairly popular tea blogger. Again, if you search as I've suggested many times before you can read up on the issue. I'm not saying that OP shouldn't shop there, but I think he should be aware that people have had issues.
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"Cost-effective" puers for beginners?

Postby Exempt » May 25th, '14, 02:01

As far as cost effective Puerhs go, it's getting to the point where there are fewer and fewer teas that are both good and cost effective. I think Balthazar hit the nail on the head, sample sample sample sample.
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Re: Re:

Postby Tofsla » May 25th, '14, 03:25

AllanK wrote:
Exempt wrote:If you search there were issues with aged dayi a year or two ago

I don't know what experiences others have had with them. I have never gotten a fake. I have always gotten good tea, usually to my liking but not always. And I have always gotten good service. Just because you have had a bad experience doesn't mean everyone has.


AllanK, it seems, Exempt comes with this comment every time puerhshop is mentioned on this forum - just check with the search. There must be something personal.

The known tea blogger he mentions currently is not blogging about tea at all, and in the past she wrote few reviews and none were positive. It looked like drinking pu-erh only hurts her, but she kept trying.

As for puerhshop, its owner, Jim, has made his statement on the issue at the time it was actively discussed, but has chosen not to leave it on the product page forever. It is his right, I suppose. There are many generic CNNP wrapper teas that are claimed to be 7542 from late 90s or early 2000s, some made on Menghai factory, others not. And, in most of cases, the claims of the exact recipe number, origin or age are hard to prove. Even telling the exact age by actually tasting a tea is not generally possible (certainly not with that blogger's experience, I believe). Depending on the storage, even a 10 y.o. tea may taste very green or rather matured.

Anyway, puerhshop's own teas are often as good, as those from other popular western stores, like YS, White2Tea, or EoT. For most of the teas they sell, including the disputed ones, one may buy samples and decide for herself. One should always start with samples anyway.
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Postby bonescwa » May 25th, '14, 09:11

Have you gotten anything aged from them AllanK?
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