China


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

China

Postby xue_mo » Jul 5th, '06, 12:47

I'm studying abroad in China for the summer. Before this summer I had never really liked hot tea. Now, I drink it every day and absolutely love PuErh. I probably visit my favorite tea shop once or twice a week. The guys there are awsome, but that's beside the point. I have a cheaper brick for consumption now but am thinking about buying more to take back with me. I was wondering how much un-aged and aged PuErh costs to buy in the United States. Here it would cost me anywhere from five to thirty dollars for an un-aged brick, granted the more expensive ones come in a gift box and a display holder. The aged PuErh I saw was only aged up to about three years and was around 30 dollars. Is it worthwhile for me to stock up on PuErh while I'm here or can I buy it in the states? Also, I was wondering if the darker, clay tea sets are better for PuErh than the light colored, "China" looking ones. Sorry to throw so many questions into one post. I'd oppreciate any ideas.

Oh, also, have you ever seen PuErh formed into pictures? The local tea shop has a few of these framed peices of PuErh...
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Postby bearsbearsbears » Jul 6th, '06, 17:57

You can buy pu'er in the US, but it's far, far more expensive. It'd be far more worth your time and $ to buy it in China and bring it back with you. When bargaining for lots of tea (1 tong or more), bargain hard. my adventures buying tea in china are available here: http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/14001.html

Yixing clay (dark clay sets) are better for pu'er than porcelain, assuming you properly use the yixing. Your friends at the teashop should be able to help you pick one out and show you how to care for it.

I have seen and own pu'er formed into pictures. The one I have is a nice darkwood-framed "year of the dog" commemorative cake with its own stand. Very nice to look at...not so good to drink :)
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Postby MarshalN » Jul 9th, '06, 23:50

Do you bargain?

If you don't, you should. Better yet, take pictures of the cakes you want to buy, and post them somewhere (here, or on the livejournal site). Ask. We have a much better idea how much it should be... at least for the more common cakes. Good cakes can indeed cost something like $30, but most should not.

Also, where in China are you?
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Postby xue_mo » Jul 12th, '06, 08:41

I know the people at my favorite tea shop pretty well by now so I don't tend to try to bargain with them any more, even if I should. I have seen what other tea shop owners ask for the same exact things I buy and it's been dramatically higher than what I usually pay, so I suppose that's I'm not getting completely ripped off. I'm in Tianjin. It's a giant city, but perhaps not so famous to westerners. And yes, I do believe I use a yixing clay set, to answer the first reply.
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