Pu Erh


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

Pu Erh

Postby teachat » Jun 7th, '05, 15:00

I just had my first cup of Pu Erh. I really liked it and looked a little deeper in to it. I read that it gets better with age. Is there a particular way to age it? Will it get better if I just leave it in an adagio tin can? Is the Adagio Pu Erh aged?

Lynn Solomon
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Postby teachat » Jun 7th, '05, 15:00

It is somewhat impractical to age loose Pu Erh and impossible inside of a tin! Pu Erh cannot "age" in a sealed container. There HAS to be free air flow around the tea, this is one reason that bricks are preferred as they are easier to store. Other challenges include keeping the tea away from ANY foreign odors as the tea will rapidly absorb them. My recommendation is to simply enjoy the loose tea that you already have and if you want to age some Pu Erh try exploring the many compressed forms.

Personally I buy loose Pu Erh only for immediate consumption. When I buy bricks or cakes I always buy at least 2, one to enjoy now and the rest to age in my collection.

Pu Erh is a unique variety that DOES improve with age. 30 year old specimens can fetch hundreds of dollars for a 357 gram cake. It is available in loose or compressed forms, however the aged or "vintage" ones are almost always compressed. There is a great deal of modern research that supports significant medicinal value in this variety.

The compression was originally intended to allow tea to be transported long distance on horseback. As a matter of fact these compressed bricks were often used as a form of currency. It was discovered that the compressed tea actually fermented a second time during these long trips in hot humid climates, thus changing the characteristics of the tea.

This second fermentation is what makes Pu Erh unique, and it is this second fermentation that improves the cakes, bricks etc over time. The older the brick the longer the second fermentation is active.

Today the tea is often artificially forced into this second fermentation by applying a culture much like in yogurt or sourdough bread. The reason the bricks are compressed today is to allow for aging and storage rather than ease of transportation. From what I understand it is often stored in damp caves for several years.





Hope this helps,

Petrm
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Postby teachat » Jun 7th, '05, 15:01

Pu-Erh

What are some of your guy's out there fav. Pu-erh teas...and perhaps where could i aquire some.

Master-S.T-
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Postby teachat » Jun 7th, '05, 15:01

How do you prefere to age your pu-erh cake collection petrm.
My personal Favorite is the cake funalliance.com sells It is a whole cake. Excellent stuff.. Just remember if it is compressed to really get that true feel of the tea, it needs to literally be boiled. somethign you should never try with other tea. And the tea you mentioned in the can Lynn, is a loose pu-erh, keep it in the can. It is best. The only thing ( like petrm said) that you would want to age is a cake or brick( compressed pu-erh) This is why i am interested in how he ages his own in an environemtn with slim changes of the tea gathering outside oders.

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Postby teachat » Jun 7th, '05, 15:02

Once my roommate moves out, I'm going to be using her room as a computer/sewing/craft/costume/spare bedroom. I'll be buying some pu-erh bricks to decorate the room. Because it's away from the kitchen and the main bedroom and any bathrooms, I think it will be a good place to store and age my bricks. What to you all think?

Marlene
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Postby teachat » Jun 7th, '05, 15:02

great idea =], excelent example of a perhaps bad thing turn into a grrreat thing =]. May i suggest sample plenty of pu-erh cakes before you find ones u want to store...cause it would kindof suck if you aged a cake a plus 5+ years...and the day comes where u try it ..you dont even like it haha. I will be soon selling a Pu-erh Cake when my company hits the net. I hope you will give us a try when the day comes =]

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PU-erh green?

Postby Charles.j.kelly » Jul 2nd, '05, 08:48

I am a little confused. Recentely I have been researching Pu-erh tea and have found some tea companies advertizing Green
pu-erh tea . Other than the obvious, what is the difference?
Thanks
Charlie
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Postby Marlene » Jul 2nd, '05, 14:08

There is a difference. Green pu erh or sheng/raw pu erh is composed of unprosessed leaves. Kind of like green tea. Although I've been told that the term 'green' in refrence to pu erh tea in asian markets means it's been aged less than 3 years. Black pu erh or shu/cooked pu erh is composed of leaves that have been prosessed then pressed into cakes. In asian terminology, black is used for all pu erhs.
Black pu erhs are smooth, very earthy and mellow. They were invented in order to get the smooth taste of an aged green without the wait. Green pu erhs taste green and sharp at first, then as they age, they mellow out and get earthy. I'd much prefer the lowest quality aged green to a high quality black most days.
Beware wet storage pu erh! It is used to fake the look of an antique cake. A cake is sprayed with water, then allowed to dry out in a humid environment repeatedly. Good forgers can fake the look right down to the wrapper. The taste leaves much to be desired.
For more informaton check out http://www.pu-erh.net
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Postby Seb » Jul 24th, '05, 03:34

Marlene wrote:There is a difference. Green pu erh or sheng/raw pu erh is composed of unprosessed leaves. Kind of like green tea


Marlene, the leaves to make raw pu erh are processed, they are steamed then pressed. Some ancient Chinese green tea were steamed and not fried like the Zheng Qing Lu Cha from Guangdong province.

Marlene wrote:Although I've been told that the term 'green' in refrence to pu erh tea in asian markets means it's been aged less than 3 years.


I live in China and I very often go to the biggest tea market in south east Asian. There, raw pu erh is called raw pu erh by pu erh vendors regardless of its age. And, it is the same with puerh collectors that I know.


Marlene wrote:In asian terminology, black is used for all pu erhs.

Could you let me know what is your source for this. Black is not
the asian terminology for all pu erh.

Marlene wrote:Black pu erhs are smooth, very earthy and mellow. They were invented in order to get the smooth taste of an aged green without the wait. Green pu erhs taste green and sharp at first, then as they age, they mellow out and get earthy.


A well stored aged raw puerh won't taste earthy, it is will taste woody (camphor, eucalyptus) but if it tastes earthy it is due to humidity.

If you are interested about pu erh, you can chat with us on msn messenger, just look for the email address sebastien@scanlin.com (email address only works for messenger)

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Postby SEb » Jul 24th, '05, 03:40

teachat wrote:May i suggest sample plenty of pu-erh cakes before you find ones u want to store...cause it would kindof suck if you aged a cake a plus 5+ years...and the day comes where u try it ..you dont even like it haha.


HAHA, it would indeed sucks if you don't like how the pu erh you bought and stored has turned.

One thing though, if you buy a raw pu erh that is new and store it for 5 years (which is a very short storage for raw pu erh) the taste of it might change a lot according to the tea and the storage. Of course, it is better to store a tea that you have tasted but if you are going to store pu erh it is best to ask someone knowledgeable about how to choose a pu erh to store. And, if you don't know someone knowledgeable then establish a good relationship with a pu erh vendor that knows what he is selling.

SEb
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Postby SEb » Jul 24th, '05, 03:45

teachat wrote:Once my roommate moves out, I'm going to be using her room as a computer/sewing/craft/costume/spare bedroom. I'll be buying some pu-erh bricks to decorate the room. Because it's away from the kitchen and the main bedroom and any bathrooms, I think it will be a good place to store and age my bricks. What to you all think?

Marlene


Remember to store your tea away from light. Otherwise, it will develop a non pleasant fragrance - SEb
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Postby Marlene » Jul 25th, '05, 20:21

Hi SEb,
I've gotten most of my information for Puerh on the rec.food.drink.tea news group. Any errors are my own! :) I don't claim to know everything, I just try to present what I understand in a condensed manner. Any extra info is greatly appreciated! I'm always learning, and I do like it when someone helps me along.
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Medicinal?

Postby lynnehanson7 » Nov 18th, '05, 11:03

Five courses paired with five wines last night left me in need of a tonic this morning so I pulled out the pu erh dante. Regardless of what category this tea falls into, it sure does the trick!
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Ye Sheng Pu erh

Postby jakor » Nov 28th, '05, 03:21

Guys, I'm a new member from siberia - and yesterday I had a great experience of communicating wil Ye Sheng Pu erh Cha 12 ears old before and one year at my collection. And i can definitely state that it got better since i have drunk it half a year ago. It is a very long lasting tea - i had a gaiwan session and a small amount of water and tea (about 50 ml water and 6-7 gr of tea) and it gave about 15 beatiful brewings - I think it is a good idea to keep sheng puerh in a collection.
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Postby Stefen » Dec 6th, '05, 19:17

I've had other versions of pu-erh, not mentioned here. Pomelo pu-erh, where it is stuffed into a pomelo fruit (relative of a grapefruit) and aged that way. The citrus acid actually cuts into the earthiness and yields a sweet and very mellow flavor. I've also had pu erh stuffed into a bamboo shoot that was lightly fired. That also had a great taste. Not that woody, more eucaliptus and less earthy. Hoping to get some bricks from 97 in a few. A commemorative pu-erh tea made for the handover of
Hong Kong to China.

Oh and speaking of different "color" pu erhs. I've heard of the green variety but also the white where they take buds to make it. Any information on that. Too bad some of the best pu erh is illegal in this country due to the mold(bacteria) that grows on it. Such a silly thing.
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