Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost


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

Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost

Postby streetspirit » Apr 20th, '07, 08:29

It seems to me Puerh price varies more than any other type of tea. I've seen prices of cakes for <$5 and more than $10000 in the other end.

Im curious... for experienced puerh drinkers who have tasted expensive/old puerh just how much of a taste difference is there?

I'm assuming that buying really old puerh is just like buying stereos where the difference in quality is small yet prices continue to skyrocket, but since I haven't tasted old/expensive puerh I wouldn't know.

Is there a particular magic age in which young pu-erh loses most of its bitter quality? Is there an age for puerh where further aging is not going to improve the flavor and maybe even hurt it?
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Re: Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost

Postby hop_goblin » Apr 20th, '07, 12:22

streetspirit wrote:It seems to me Puerh price varies more than any other type of tea. I've seen prices of cakes for <$5 and more than $10000 in the other end.

Im curious... for experienced puerh drinkers who have tasted expensive/old puerh just how much of a taste difference is there?

I'm assuming that buying really old puerh is just like buying stereos where the difference in quality is small yet prices continue to skyrocket, but since I haven't tasted old/expensive puerh I wouldn't know.

Is there a particular magic age in which young pu-erh loses most of its bitter quality? Is there an age for puerh where further aging is not going to improve the flavor and maybe even hurt it?


Price for pu-erh fluctuate as a consequence grade, quality, rarity,age and market trends. All of the factors will determine what a collector will pay for a praticular example.

According to most experts, Pu-erh will reach its full potential anywhere between its 20th and 40th year. At this age, the pu-erh as supposedly transformed itself into a nice mellow brew with many different layers and complexities. Of course the process is quite arbitrary with no definative definition where the "magic" lies with in the collector and drinker.

I would not put too much stock in price in terms of its quality. Currently, prices for pu-erh are out of control and if you are not a well versed collector, you can get "poked" badly. Your question is quite common for pu-erh beginners.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Pu-erh at times can be bitter when its young and can carry its bitterness into its maturity.

2. Just because its aged, does not mean that it is good. Although age can help pu-erh mellow, if it is made of poor quality materials, it will ultimately result in a poor tasting brew.

3. Young vs. Age - Some prefer to drink the pu-erh young, and some want to drink it aged. It is your personal decision. In fact, like them both for different reasons. They are really two very different animals.

4. Study and taste as many examples as possible to further your knowledge and to train your palate.

I hope this helps!
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Postby Space Samurai » Apr 20th, '07, 16:42

Hop,

You are my pu-erh Yoda.
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Re: Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost

Postby streetspirit » Apr 20th, '07, 16:52

That was very informative post, thanks!
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Re: Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost

Postby varatphong » May 1st, '07, 02:17

Good questions.

Well-aged Puerh tea is both expensive and difficult to find as it is becoming quite a rarity. The taste varies greatly but I am often reminded of an old vintage cognac or scotch whisky on occasions, without the alcohol of course. The many recipes formulated for different batches of Puerh tea makes each unique in the way they age. Some may take 10 years, others 20 or 30+ years to hit their peaks.

FYI I have recently made available an article on this topic at http://www.puerhcha.com/Pu-erh%20Tea%20 ... of_Age.htm
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Postby Retrogradesonne... » Jul 24th, '07, 17:55

I've heard that five years is a good benchmark for how long it takes for you to be able to tell the difference between that and a brand spanking new one.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jul 24th, '07, 18:31

retrogradesonnet wrote:I've heard that five years is a good benchmark for how long it takes for you to be able to tell the difference between that and a brand spanking new one.


Actually, in proper aging environment, you can tell as little a couple of years. :P in respect to its color and dry leaf aroma - at times taste but those are more nuanced at this age.
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aged tea

Postby teadrunk » Sep 1st, '07, 03:57

there is something in good puerh that chaneges over time. after 7-10 years some puerhs change in the way they make you feel. sheng or shu puerh in this age range can make you feel very relaxed and alert at the same time. sometimes the effects can be profound, especially with older puerhs. this is why some aged puerhs can be very expensive. it ultimatly is not a gourmet issue of taste but an issue of something which makes you feel profoundly relaxed, connected to yourself and connected to the tao. this depends on peoples sensitivity levels. for some a young puerh will do this for most others an older. see what makes you feel diffferent, there may be no need to spend alot of money. find what makes you feel good. there is really nothing else beyond this. qi is important,b ut only if it brings you to a more profound level in yourself.
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Re: Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost

Postby Rickardn » Oct 11th, '11, 17:47

I know this thread is several years old and I just arrived at it via google.

I just read the above post and wanted to comment on it. I had my first pu erh today and I was lucky to try a nice loose shu pu erh from 1990 and I must say that the experience was really intense! I drink a lot of green and oolong and this was completely incomparable! It hit me hard and fast...

I can't tell if a younger pu erh would provide a different experience, but if a young is more similar to a green then there is a huge difference on how it acts on the mind.

Btw, I just signed up to the forum. I have been reading here for some time now but never got around to register. Anyway, hi all!
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Re: Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost

Postby teaisme » Oct 21st, '11, 15:50

hi there! :mrgreen:
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Re: Puerh Age/Taste Vs. Cost

Postby hop_goblin » Oct 28th, '11, 12:24

teaisme wrote:hi there! :mrgreen:


Wuzup!
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