Pu erh factories/companies


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

Pu erh factories/companies

Postby lebowitz » Sep 1st, '06, 22:29

hello, I am a new pu erh drinker (less than one year). I have bought some tea from Yunnan Sourcing mostly. When I buy I am basically guessing I just pick various ones without much knowledge as to what is good or bad. There are several factories listed such as:
Haiwan
menghai
Mengku
Six famouse tea mountain
dadugang
nan jian
and others

Are any of these better than the others? Is one more prestegious/famous/respected than the others? Does one put out better tea than the other (in general)? Is one the Lipton of Pu Erh?

Just curious I figure somebody knows alot about these companies.

Karl
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Postby jogrebe » Sep 2nd, '06, 12:06

What type of puerh are we talking about raw or cooked? If its cooked I'm under the impression that MengHai is one of the better ones because according to Tea Springs MengHai 7572 cakes are often used as a benchmark of quality to compare against other cooked puerh.

I know that Six famous tea mountain has a very good name but personally I'm not sure if its more of hype or if its rooted in the actual quality of their tea. Also I've heard that Xiaguan has the reputation of being an affordable everyday puerh to I'm guessing that that is a nicer way of saying that its not as good compared many of the other factories.

Beyond this I'm probably not the best person to be answering this question as I'm not that experienced when it comes to puerh and knowing what is what.
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Re: Pu erh factories/companies

Postby bearsbearsbears » Sep 7th, '06, 20:34

lebowitz wrote:There are several factories listed such as:
Haiwan
menghai
Mengku
Six famouse tea mountain
dadugang
nan jian
and others

Are any of these better than the others? Is one more prestegious/famous/respected than the others? Does one put out better tea than the other (in general)? Is one the Lipton of Pu Erh?


Any of these factories have productions that are good and productions that are not so good. Some even have productions that are great! But picking and sticking with a factory or set of factories won't guarantee you good pu'er, unfortunately.

From a business perspective, I imagine these factories produce tea of all qualities to cater to all segments of the market: collectors, dilettantes, everyday drinkers. So, on a production-by-production basis quality is highly variable and tied more to the source of leaf and production methods than to which factory produced it. Some collectors favor some factories over because of a factory's reputation at good production methods and leaf sources, but even this varies year-by-year, production-by-production.

If you want to discuss a specific production or productions, you're welcome to post here, on the [url="http://www.pu-erh.net"]pu-erh.net[/url] forums, or on the [url="http://puerh_tea.livejournal.com"]pu'er LJ[/url] if you'd like to get more opinions.
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Reputation

Postby lebowitz » Sep 7th, '06, 23:18

I understand about the various quality levels. I am new to pu erh tea buying just started this past spring, I have bought twice from Yunnan Sourcing but have tended to buy his lower priced offerings. I am afraid that if I buy a $20, $30 or more cake that it will be only marginally better than the lower priced ones (which so far i have liked). He has so many different teas for sale I don't know which to try!

For example Menghai factory there must be like 40 or more listed, which ones are the low end, medium and high, is it only by price?

Is it worth paying much more, which ones have the most potential to age well?

I would love experienced recommendations!

Anyone rate a bunch?
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Re: Reputation

Postby bearsbearsbears » Sep 8th, '06, 21:37

lebowitz wrote:...I am afraid that if I buy a $20, $30 or more cake that it will be only marginally better than the lower priced ones (which so far i have liked). He has so many different teas for sale I don't know which to try!

For example Menghai factory there must be like 40 or more listed, which ones are the low end, medium and high, is it only by price?


Sometimes price is an indicator of quality, sometimes not. Menghai products, for example, tend to be overpriced for their quality because of their reputation. Not always do their teas live up to their reputation. Teas from Haiwan, for example, might be priced cheaper but be just as good or better than a higher priced or equivalently priced Menghai.

On the low/cheap end, I've had Xiaguan tuocha, Baoyan bricks/mini-beengs, Menghai Fangcha and tuocha, that are basically chopped leaf and dust that aged well. There is some concern about new processing methods that keep the tea too hot and jeapordize aging, though I'm not sure what these specifically are and which factories employ them.

I've had some cheap tea I think will age. I've had average priced tea that I think will age. I've had high priced tea I think will age. But I've also had stuff I don't feel will age so well. But all of it is guesswork, and you'll be hard pressed to find a source who has knowledge of a tea's ageability whose opinion isn't biased or doubtable for the fact that they sell tea. I repeat the ubiquitous US pu'er caveat: I don't know; I'm guessing, but I'm willing to be wrong and earn my tuition.

On the very very high end, there are very expensive teas: Xizhi Hao and Yanqing Hao from Hou De, Hai Lang Hao and Fo Cha Ji from Scott, the private issue cakes from Jing Tea Shop, that have the following in common:

-Sun-dried maocha from ancient, wild tea trees of a single tea mountain, often from a single estate on that particular mountain
-Traditional hand processing methods and often manual compression rather than factory compression
-The person making these teas is a passionate pu'er-obsessed individual who oversees the process, or a smaller producer who specializes in small batch high quality stuff.

lebowitz wrote:Is it worth paying much more, which ones have the most potential to age well?


The former is a question for yourself to answer even after you receive advice, opinions, and responses. The latter is a question of contention even amongst the Asian collectors. My opinion and method: sample from all price levels, compare, buy what you like, take a risk on a few expensive teas, and see how right and wrong you were in 7+ years. My answer to the latter: my opinions on teas are on the pu'er LJ.

lebowitz wrote:I would love experienced recommendations! Anyone rate a bunch?


Mike Petro has a list of reviews and recommendations on his site. These are probably the closest you'll find to "experienced" recommendations. Cha Dao blog also has some good reviews from some relatively experienced people.

The Pu'er LJ has a great resource for reviews and recommendations that's very visual: a list of reviews that usually assess rateability and if the tea is worth the price, sorted by year, factory, raw/cooked, and shape, often with pictures. Search through it and see if that cake you're considering has already been reviewed. When you buy something and taste it, take the time to put your notes on the LJ or on Mike P's site so others can see what you think.
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What to buy

Postby lebowitz » Sep 8th, '06, 22:30

I will consider some of those you mentioned next time I place an order from Yunnan sourcing.

I will keep trying various pu erh.

I just tried some Xiaguan tuocha today, not as good as others I've tried but still pretty good. I have ripe brick 2004 Six Famous Tea Mountain Ripe Pu-erh Tea Brick which was only $7 which is quite good. I tend to open one up and finish the entire brick/beeng before I try a new one.

When I get to the 1kg elephant pu erh tea I guess I will be on that for quite a while!
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Postby Phyll » Sep 25th, '06, 21:32

Elephant pu'er tea????
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Elephant pu erh

Postby lebowitz » Sep 25th, '06, 21:44

441823441 is the item #.

Lucky elephant pu erh

Have not tried it yet

karl
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elephant pu erh

Postby lebowitz » Sep 25th, '06, 21:46

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My 2 cents worth

Postby Jim Liu » Oct 1st, '06, 18:27

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Postby studio271 » Oct 2nd, '06, 00:43

Hate to chime in, but...

New USA based Pu-erh Tea Shop

Feel bad, but still have to point it out.

-Drew

P.S. - Time doesn't heal all wounds.
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Postby jogrebe » Oct 2nd, '06, 01:13

I agree worth Phyll's comment in the thread about it being a tough crowd as I think there is a bit of over reacting. I understand the points that others are making but even after reading it I'm still glad that the site is up and plan on ordering from it when I start to run low on puerh. Compared to other US companies his prices seem fair and his variety of cooked puerh is a lot better than Ten Tea and Hou De where I have been ordering. Sure I realize that it would be cheaper to order in bulk directly from China but for people who are uneasy doing so and prefer to do business with American companies it is a real blessing in my opinion. After all "overpricing" might be a bit too strong of a term to use as the guy has to make a living off of his company and once you factor in shipping from China which costs a lot not to mention the peace of mind of knowing if there was a shipping problem within a few days instead of weeks to months.

John Grebe
Last edited by jogrebe on Oct 21st, '06, 19:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Thanks, guys.

Postby Jim Liu » Oct 2nd, '06, 22:43

Since I promised I would never post another note on rec.food.drink.tea, it is hard to keep quiet for all these talks going on there.

I still got no idea how I offended this Dominic T. guy. He says:

"I have received a large number of emails off-group from folks who ordered from this site and had nothing good to say, also from concerned people who "registered" and are now concerned
about the safety of their info. Which are all quite valid since all of
this guy's businesses have the same address and it goes back to a residential apartment that has no less than 10 phone numbers and PO Boxes asociated with it. "

There is no ground for anything above.

If a person who had ordered from Puerh Shop had a bad experience, he should have posted at rec.food.drink.tea or somewhere. By this day, I received orders from 9 persons, one ordered 3 times already.

As I said in rec.food.drink.tea, I operated two businesses at my house, I got no more than 2 phone lines, no PO box either, all real information.

Please do your investigation if you have any doubt.

I thank TeaChat for this opportunity and I was delighted to read the notes by Phyll and jogrebe. There are true Americans in this country after all.
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ebay shops

Postby lebowitz » Oct 3rd, '06, 10:03

I have ordered from three ebay shops, yunnan sourcing, yun cha, and chinese tea pot gallery and have had no problems. I actually feel better ordering chinese tea from someone actually in china, that is where it comes from actually after all! and you are skipping the middleman.
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Postby jogrebe » Oct 21st, '06, 20:53

I'm happy to report that despite the claims of some the Puerh Shop appears to be a legit merchant who offers very excellent customer service. My order arrived fine and included a generous sized free sample thrown in with it.
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