Official Pu of the day


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

Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » May 5th, '14, 13:00

kyarazen, the trend was, from the start, to try and monopolize the area tea. There was 101 Plantation in Jingmai, there is some sort of centralized distribution of Mahei tea, Chen Shen Hao famously tried to lock in LBZ, so forth and on. The results of their monopolizing attempts have tended to make the leaves outside of the collective more desired--which then erodes the attempts by the monopolizers. Of course, then new people thinking on monopoly try to barge in, with even deeper pockets.

Balthazar, for many people, had you gotten in early in the game, like 2006 or 2007, your attention would have been towards the "hot" products of the day, and you would have ended up with lots of 6FTM cakes, hopefully with plenty of Dayi, too. Back then gushu wasn't really *that* big, it was only big among tea nerds. The classic cakes were spoken of in terms of how expensive they were (where we'd think now, HOW CHEAP!!). People may talk about not following the herd, but herds generation extreme levels of social and intellectual pressure to follow along--just by making it hard to think concretely (and without being anxious about "risky") about the alternatives among other things.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TwoDog2 » May 5th, '14, 23:15

Good discussion.

I don't think it is ever too late to get into puer. Granted Laobanzhang prices are prohibitively expensive for most people, but not everyone needs to drink the highest priced or oldest tree puer. There are plenty of good plantation or younger tree teas out there for decent prices. There is also a lot of inexpensive aged tea out there. And shu can be had for very low prices, even from famous factories. Puer is what you make it.

If you can get a decent cake for under $50, it is a bargain. Big chain stores sell much lower quality (my opinion) teas for $20 for 50 grams. A 357 gram cake for $100 or less is not that expensive. Even a heavy puer drinker can drink one cake for months. Puer is comparatively inexpensive in the tea world.

And speaking of heavy puer drinking, isn't this the puer of the day thread? Heavy morning for sampling teas:

Image

Back left: 2001 CNNP "7542"ish thing (So so, good value)
Back middle: 2003 Dehong (Strange mouthfeel that put me off, a little numb)
Back right: 2006 Mahei plantation (not bad!)
In the gaiwan: 2014 Spring Gushu from Hekai (processing too green, but very sweet)
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby Teaism » May 5th, '14, 23:56

TwoDog2 wrote:Good discussion.

I don't think it is ever too late to get into puer. Granted Laobanzhang prices are prohibitively expensive for most people, but not everyone needs to drink the highest priced or oldest tree puer. There are plenty of good plantation or younger tree teas out there for decent prices. There is also a lot of inexpensive aged tea out there. And shu can be had for very low prices, even from famous factories. Puer is what you make it.

If you can get a decent cake for under $50, it is a bargain. Big chain stores sell much lower quality (my opinion) teas for $20 for 50 grams. A 357 gram cake for $100 or less is not that expensive. Even a heavy puer drinker can drink one cake for months. Puer is comparatively inexpensive in the tea world.

And speaking of heavy puer drinking, isn't this the puer of the day thread? Heavy morning for sampling teas:

Image

Back left: 2001 CNNP "7542"ish thing (So so, good value)
Back middle: 2003 Dehong (Strange mouthfeel that put me off, a little numb)
Back right: 2006 Mahei plantation (not bad!)
In the gaiwan: 2014 Spring Gushu from Hekai (processing too green, but very sweet)


Nice! I like Mahei too. Do you find the Hekai bitter? I find bitterness is the main character of Hekai and followed by sweetness in the later brew. One of the tea I enjoyed too.

Have a great tea day!

Cheers! :D
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby dilettante » May 6th, '14, 00:41

Mahei.. I was just drinking it..2010 production. It has a strong fruity and flowery fragrance.. sweetness that lingers at the throat.. I normally don't drink 4 year old Sheng pu but this beats my 10 year old plantation teas hands down.. hv a nice day
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TwoDog2 » May 6th, '14, 05:26

Teaism wrote:Nice! I like Mahei too. Do you find the Hekai bitter? I find bitterness is the main character of Hekai and followed by sweetness in the later brew. One of the tea I enjoyed too.

Have a great tea day!

Cheers! :D


Hekai generally should have stronger bitterness than this tea did. This particular one was processed heavily to up the fragrance. It could be that it lost a lot of its "puer-ness" along the way, or that it just wasn't that good to begin with. It was sweet but a little thin compared to other Hekai teas I tried this Spring. I found a new respect for a lot of the tea around Hekai this year.

dilettante wrote:Mahei.. I was just drinking it..2010 production. It has a strong fruity and flowery fragrance.. sweetness that lingers at the throat.. I normally don't drink 4 year old Sheng pu but this beats my 10 year old plantation teas hands down.. hv a nice day


I wonder how older Mahei will end up being? At this point Mahei has gotten so much fame that most of what is labeled as Mahei isn't Mahei. Heck, I don't even know if what i was drinking was actually Mahei or not. But, it fits the general profile you mentioned!
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby dilettante » May 6th, '14, 13:59

here's a pic of the mahei tea i drank earlier today. what's the earliest mahei in the mkt ? i'm not familiar with the history of mahei in the yiwu region but think it's one of the more promising sheng pu. not sure whether mine is the real deal but i do trust my vendor. actually, a reliable and knowledgable vendor in the puerh world is rarer than the LBZ tea. cheers.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » May 6th, '14, 14:07

dilettante wrote:here's a pic of the mahei tea i drank earlier today. what's the earliest mahei in the mkt ? i'm not familiar with the history of mahei in the yiwu region but think it's one of the more promising sheng pu. not sure whether mine is the real deal but i do trust my vendor. actually, a reliable and knowledgable vendor in the puerh world is rarer than the LBZ tea. cheers.


any vendors to share? have yet to really find vendors that are totally impressive except a couple that i know in person

would be glad to know more and of course, to buy more nice teas
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » May 6th, '14, 15:11

Drinking some bad Wenlong Fengqing puerh from '09, basically bad hongchapuerh...

kyarazen, any vendor is impressive one on one, if they aren't total hacks. They sell tea, so they are sales[wo]men first and foremost. Also, what constitutes a good vendor broadly tends to go with "how long were they vendoring" or "do they have solid connections?".

Guang and Irene at Houde, for example, have relatively little interest in chatting, blogging, or in any of the peripheral elements of customer service (after their early days in the mid 2ks). They also never had great connections aside from their original ones to family gaoshan grower links. They simply were around at the right time, right place, and they knew a bit about what was a good puerh, and simply bought the highly promoted boutique teas everyone else in Taiwan was talking about (from well known distributors anyone can buy from) and buying. To the extent their business has income from puerh sales, it's all eating from these earlier wholesale purchases. So they aren't gurus wrt puerh in the way Imen Shan is for dancong. Remember when she went on the warpath about how much tea a single tree can make about five years ago?

Other people who really know puerh, for instance, Sebastian and Jing of Jing Tea Shop, more or less have stopped seriously purchasing puerh long ago, but they know what the hell they're talking about. You can ask them for help, just as you would Tony@ Origin or Twodog2@ white2tea, in buying something specific.

When it comes to actually sourcing puerh, very few people can really keep up, and they are, like, rich moneybags or hangs with them. Tony Chen of Sanhetang really likes being around expensive sports cars, and he's also big on incredibly expensive new teaware. Not so rich, but accomplished guys, like the Yang dude have long since stopped seriously trying to source teas, but he still has unbelieveable antique teaware for sale or display. With unbelievable prices, I suspect--original taobao site never specified the prices of some of the nicer stuff. When you look at dudes that aren't so rich or connected, Nada was able to buy in 2008, real (or clearly high enough quality fake to be as good as) LBZ. He did okay in 2009 and 2010, but couldn't really drive towards really good stuff until 2011, then 2012 and 2013 just made it really hard to go for very good quality. This was paralleled by other people I'm familiar with, like the puersom guy, Zhizheng, and the newer teas made accessible from marc of creamofbanna or Bannacha makes clear the limits in quality that normal people have access to.

People who do have a stronger connections to gushu growth and who do have strong knowledge to curate teas well for their shop tend to be incredibly expensive, like Linda Louie from Bana Tea Company. Probably because plenty of rich people know her and trusts her wares as much as I would. Of course, given how crazy the prices have been, this year she seems to have only bought more shu. She's never directly produced any of her own tea, though (I think, that 145g Mengsong cake might be an exception). Most everyone else are easily outmatched by capital. I mean, Mengdai Tea Factory and 6FTM are both factory tea companies that pump out lots of bad tea, but when they want to, they clearly can put out something acceptable as high quality, regardless of where that tea is actually from. They have the size and social muscle to do this. They generally don't because it's not as profitable as selling bad tea, but recently it's gotten hard to get margins off of bad tea as people have gotten a bit more discriminating.

Heh, brought back to mind Eloi of Sampan Tea. Wonder what that rascal is doing these days...
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby kyarazen » May 6th, '14, 22:22

hows does the teas from jingtea taste? would be nice to get some reasonably priced hekai

i'm currently developing personal criterias for one to be considered an "impressive" vendor, with no regard to the duration of vendoring but simply the taste of the tea, a very good indicator of the reliability, honesty, professionalism and knowledge of the vendor.

shah82 wrote:Drinking some bad Wenlong Fengqing puerh from '09, basically bad hongchapuerh...

kyarazen, any vendor is impressive one on one, if they aren't total hacks. They sell tea, so they are sales[wo]men first and foremost. Also, what constitutes a good vendor broadly tends to go with "how long were they vendoring" or "do they have solid connections?".

Guang and Irene at Houde, for example, have relatively little interest in chatting, blogging, or in any of the peripheral elements of customer service (after their early days in the mid 2ks). They also never had great connections aside from their original ones to family gaoshan grower links. They simply were around at the right time, right place, and they knew a bit about what was a good puerh, and simply bought the highly promoted boutique teas everyone else in Taiwan was talking about (from well known distributors anyone can buy from) and buying. To the extent their business has income from puerh sales, it's all eating from these earlier wholesale purchases. So they aren't gurus wrt puerh in the way Imen Shan is for dancong. Remember when she went on the warpath about how much tea a single tree can make about five years ago?

Other people who really know puerh, for instance, Sebastian and Jing of Jing Tea Shop, more or less have stopped seriously purchasing puerh long ago, but they know what the hell they're talking about. You can ask them for help, just as you would Tony@ Origin or Twodog2@ white2tea, in buying something specific.

When it comes to actually sourcing puerh, very few people can really keep up, and they are, like, rich moneybags or hangs with them. Tony Chen of Sanhetang really likes being around expensive sports cars, and he's also big on incredibly expensive new teaware. Not so rich, but accomplished guys, like the Yang dude have long since stopped seriously trying to source teas, but he still has unbelieveable antique teaware for sale or display. With unbelievable prices, I suspect--original taobao site never specified the prices of some of the nicer stuff. When you look at dudes that aren't so rich or connected, Nada was able to buy in 2008, real (or clearly high enough quality fake to be as good as) LBZ. He did okay in 2009 and 2010, but couldn't really drive towards really good stuff until 2011, then 2012 and 2013 just made it really hard to go for very good quality. This was paralleled by other people I'm familiar with, like the puersom guy, Zhizheng, and the newer teas made accessible from marc of creamofbanna or Bannacha makes clear the limits in quality that normal people have access to.

People who do have a stronger connections to gushu growth and who do have strong knowledge to curate teas well for their shop tend to be incredibly expensive, like Linda Louie from Bana Tea Company. Probably because plenty of rich people know her and trusts her wares as much as I would. Of course, given how crazy the prices have been, this year she seems to have only bought more shu. She's never directly produced any of her own tea, though (I think, that 145g Mengsong cake might be an exception). Most everyone else are easily outmatched by capital. I mean, Mengdai Tea Factory and 6FTM are both factory tea companies that pump out lots of bad tea, but when they want to, they clearly can put out something acceptable as high quality, regardless of where that tea is actually from. They have the size and social muscle to do this. They generally don't because it's not as profitable as selling bad tea, but recently it's gotten hard to get margins off of bad tea as people have gotten a bit more discriminating.

Heh, brought back to mind Eloi of Sampan Tea. Wonder what that rascal is doing these days...
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby dilettante » May 7th, '14, 00:51

What price is reasonable for Hekai? With the ever escalating puer mkt, I am no longer certain what is reasonable for authentic gushu Sheng pu
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TwoDog2 » May 7th, '14, 01:36

dilettante wrote:What price is reasonable for Hekai? With the ever escalating puer mkt, I am no longer certain what is reasonable for authentic gushu Sheng pu


The better Hekai's I had this year cost 1000-1200 RMB per kilogram. Plenty of 600 RMB per kilogram range stuff out there that was heavily cut with plantation. Some stuff in the 800-900 RMB range was good.

Most retail prices would be double/triple/quadruple/quintuple that price.
Depends on the vendor and whether their material was pure when they got it, or whether it is when they sell it.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » May 7th, '14, 01:59

I've never been a huge fan of Hekai. I've always found them fairly sweet with a lack of real character. They are often used to fake LBZ, with other tea blended in.

People do not normally sell much Hekai teas, and the only western facing vendor who does sell Hekai is Teaclassico, who is selling a special production 6FTM Hekai for $390. I don't think it's worth *that* much money, but it is pretty decent. Puersom also likes to sell a lot of Hekai, for the Korean market--generally about $60-$120 back in 2012 or so.

Pasha tea, the good Pasha tea, is much better (in my lights). However, good Pasha isn't really sold all that often in english. This is contradicted by the fact that as far as my favorite brand goes, XZH Hekai (07, 09, 10) teas are sold at much higher prices than XZH Pasha (09, 11) teas.

TwoDog2, how do you really even explore so much tea well given how fresh they are and indubitably short session for each? It takes me two to three hours to work out just one tea, and honestly, I'd need every bit of brewing I did do to understand how good a tea is. A second try really help clarify, too. If I was testing out GFZ or similar way out there, for example, I'd *never* do less than ten brews, because a big part of its best appeal, to me, is usually evident pretty late in the session. Most places north of Banna can be tested pretty quickly with three or four brews, I suspect, though.
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby shah82 » May 7th, '14, 02:00

The stuff that made Jing Tea Shop the place to go to for puerh is long gone, and what's left is less appealing than what's left at Houde...
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby TwoDog2 » May 7th, '14, 02:42

shah82 wrote:TwoDog2, how do you really even explore so much tea well given how fresh they are and indubitably short session for each? It takes me two to three hours to work out just one tea, and honestly, I'd need every bit of brewing I did do to understand how good a tea is. A second try really help clarify, too. If I was testing out GFZ or similar way out there, for example, I'd *never* do less than ten brews, because a big part of its best appeal, to me, is usually evident pretty late in the session. Most places north of Banna can be tested pretty quickly with three or four brews, I suspect, though.


Ha! If only I had the luxury of 10 steeps with every tea I try.

First, small cups. Second, usually a group of people sampling together to spread out the tea. Third, always rinse twice. Fourth, if a tea is not impressive in the first few steeps (steep 5 by a normal count) it is almost always ditched.

There are just too many teas to give 10 steeps to all of the bad tea out there. I'd probably die of caffeine poisoning. (see below)

Image

It's kind of like a music producer listening to demo tapes. If you have 100 demo tapes to listen to, it would be nice to listen to the full performance of every musician you encounter, but there just isn't enough time in the day. A good talent scout is searching for talent in a short period of time. If something sounds good, then they listen further and start worrying about what the album is going to sound like.

And to note, when I am sampling a huge amount of teas in a day I obviously take a different posture than if I am alone in a room with some music on Sunday morning. Truth be told, I am not a fan of mass sampling teas, but there is no other way to pick out the needles in the haystack.

Speaking of which, I pressed some 2007 Hekai material this Spring. But, ironically no 2014 Hekai. (Not for lack of want, the price was just too high)
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Re: Official Pu of the day

Postby chrl42 » May 7th, '14, 02:46

Hekai is another region where a vast difference occurs within.

The best Hekai I've had was 2700/500g last year, a pretty famous vendor sitted at Maliandao..the Laoban might be crazy putting the price but people still go there because their tea is good.

fairly sweet with a lack of real character is exactly what it was. Some people might even believe to be putted as Yiwu...very friendly taste I'd say.

And I've had other Hekai of different characters..from harsh bitter to def. platation trait. Gushu is difficult because so many variables exist. :)
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