... but which one to buy? (Yunnan Sourcing)


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

... but which one to buy? (Yunnan Sourcing)

Postby SmidgeDE » Apr 24th, '09, 10:29

Hi everyone!

OK, so I've been drinking tea "seriously" for only a few months now and tasted different greens and oolongs. I have read a lot about tea in general, many posts in this forum (not only) about Pu Erh, know the meaning of the digits, about aging, know (theoretically) how to brew it etc.

My question now is: Which Pu Erh(s) should I buy first?

I have never tasted Pu Erh before, if you have any recommendations for me (from Yunnan Sourcing), please let me know. Thanks a lot in advance!
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Postby tony shlongini » Apr 24th, '09, 12:05

I'd start with inexpensive cakes of classic recipes from longstanding factories. Everyone is going to tell you to buy samples, but my motto is "a cake is a sample." You'll need multiple sessions to figure out how to get the most of each tea, and you'll want to watch as your cake develops over months and possibly years.
Menghai 8582, 7542, 7532, or Xiaguan tuos are a solid place to start. Once you've tried some authentic pu'er, you can branch out into older vintages and the various mountains. At first, I'd keep it simple.
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Postby Dizzwave » Apr 24th, '09, 12:59

I agree with Tony. Those big Menghai recipes are good now (if you like that strong flavor) and will be great to hang on to. Same with the XGs.
I'd get one or two shengs... maybe one of those Tony mentioned, plus maybe something a little more along the lighter "drink now" lines (such as a Mengku)..
and one or two shus.. something that has been recommended in the forum.

I kind of agree with "a cake is a sample," but it depends on your intentions. It never hurts to have an extra cake around that you're not going to drink for a few years. :) There's nothing wrong with buying small samples either, but it's more $/g. That's how I got started though, just buying lots of small samples to get my feet wet and get familiar with a bunch of different sheng and shu flavors, without breaking the bank. (Even that is much cheaper than a daily latte.)
-dave
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Postby shogun89 » Apr 24th, '09, 14:30

These guys have hit it dead on. Samples are great if you are rich. A 25 g. sample will usually fetch about $3 for a cake that only costs $10, so there really is no point. I would suggest these cakes,

http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-Menghai-Tea-Fa ... 2|294%3A30
http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-Menghai-Tea-Fa ... 2|294%3A30

The second one is a ripe cake, which is totally different than the 1st one but you should try both. Other Menghai cakes would be great too, such as the 7542 and 7532 but the 8582 is a tad cheaper and is a little more mellow than the others so it should be a better intro cake, but I love em all.
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Postby SmidgeDE » Apr 24th, '09, 16:19

Alright, so I guess my journey into the Pu Erh world is going to start pretty soon, thanks to you ;)
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Postby tony shlongini » Apr 24th, '09, 16:59

I'd also suggest that you start posting until you're qualified for the "pu train", aka: the pu'er passaround box. I can't imagine what's in it at this point. :lol:
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Postby odarwin » Apr 24th, '09, 22:36

id start off with this...

http://cgi.ebay.com/2005-Langhe-Tea-Fac ... 1|294%3A30

this is my daily default cup in the office. very easy to brew, not too woody, and has slight plum taste. very little fermented taste left as this has aged a bit already. this cake wont scare you, both with the price and taste.

-darwin
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Postby Dizzwave » Apr 26th, '09, 12:44

odarwin wrote:id start off with this...

http://cgi.ebay.com/2005-Langhe-Tea-Fac ... 1|294%3A30

I second that -- I love that Langhe.
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Postby shogun89 » Apr 26th, '09, 13:22

That tuo is pricey though when you could pick up this. . .
http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-Mengku-981007- ... 1|294%3A30
Havent had it yet, but when I put an order in I intend on getting at least 3, look at the price!!!
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Postby odarwin » Apr 26th, '09, 22:42

you could also try this....

http://cgi.ebay.com/2005-Xiaguan-Crane- ... dZViewItem

this tuo has wood initial flavor and lots of camphor taste. i havent tasted much xg stuff to say how this compares to the others but for shou, it is also good and i think worth the price. again, compared to a new cake, this has lost most its fermented taste which is what you want as a beginner trying out pu erh. a lot are being put away by that pond taste. i personally cant stand it anymore after drinking semi old stuff (at least for shou). but if your budget permits, then go for older stuff. when it has the "aged aroma" already, i think its worth the price.
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Postby JAS-eTea Guy » May 1st, '09, 08:32

tony shlongini wrote:I'd start with inexpensive cakes of classic recipes from longstanding factories. Everyone is going to tell you to buy samples, but my motto is "a cake is a sample." You'll need multiple sessions to figure out how to get the most of each tea, and you'll want to watch as your cake develops over months and possibly years.
Menghai 8582, 7542, 7532, or Xiaguan tuos are a solid place to start. Once you've tried some authentic pu'er, you can branch out into older vintages and the various mountains. At first, I'd keep it simple.


Sage advise. I think you cannot go wrong with these suggestions.

Steve
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Postby SmidgeDE » May 5th, '09, 03:38

Many thanks for your suggestions, I just ordered one shu, sheng and tuo plus one extra sheng (for aging) of each. I will keep you updated on the tasting process ;)
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Postby heavydoom » May 5th, '09, 17:11

sample before commitment.
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Postby shogun89 » May 5th, '09, 18:39

heavydoom wrote:sample before commitment.


This has been discused, a cake is a sample as long as that cake doesn't commit your wallet.
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Postby tony shlongini » May 5th, '09, 19:21

heavydoom wrote:This has been discused, a cake is a sample as long as that cake doesn't commit your wallet.


I always said you were a smart kid.

I'll go one step further- samples are things that should be shared amongst friends. :D
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