How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?


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

How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby BlackRoses » Mar 4th, '11, 15:11

I really do want to know how others came to find and love :D Pu'erh tea.

I started out drinking English style black teas, and a few various Oolongs. Tea form me was more about the pretty cups and the input of caffeine. Then I started trying to cook more "asian style" for health reasons.
So I got a few cookbooks and found discussions of what teas for which foods and when to serve them during each meal. I then found this little tea shop/apothecary in the nearest asian mini-mall near my home. I talked with the proprietor, told her what I was looking for and why. She looked at the foods from the fresh market in my bag and she suggested these wonderful teas. Then it was just a matter of loose leaf or cakes..............

I have bought very little other styles/types of teas for drinking enjoyment since September of last year. :D
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby moto » Mar 5th, '11, 13:18

I am sixty years old and new to pu-erh only a few weeks, but enthralled by the complexity and history. Last year someone pulled me into a Teavana shop in a local mall. While I knew immediately that the commercialism and hype was a turn off, it led me online, and I soon had a dozen or so samples of various oolongs and black teas from China in my hands. One day I hit the "Pu Erh" button on a web site menu, remembering a tea cake wrapped in paper with red Chines lettering brought to me by my boyfriend when I was 17 years old. (I wonder if that sixties cake is still in the cupboard at the family homestead!) It rolled from there, exploring pu ehr is a daily part of my life now. I know no one personally who drinks pu erh, there are no tea shops in my community who offer it, but here I am, with 25 new cakes arrived from Yunnan, happily working my way through their differences and enjoying the online resources and community.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby TIM » Mar 5th, '11, 14:47

Truly inspiring Moto! Thanks for sharing your adventure and welcome to the spirit of Puerh :D ~ T
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby bagua7 » Mar 6th, '11, 22:58

Following TCM wisdom. I needed something to invigorate my spleen and came across a cheap ripe "toucha" I found in a Chinese herbalist shop and yuck, I hated the resulting brew using a porcelain teapot (never heard of Yixing pottery before). I did an online search about this topic and you can guess the rest...Teachat forum... :)
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby Cael » Mar 7th, '11, 22:16

My finding puer, like many other's was sort of an accident. Although, I think my story isn't the most interesting. I was in a tea shop with my one of my parents. I had been drinking some tea that I don't even remember off hand anymore, and as we were leaving I was looking at all the teas that I hadn't had yet, and these black cakes caught my eye. Impulsively I bought a few small cakes. After the first sip I was in love and I never wanted to look back.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby kymidwife » Mar 8th, '11, 11:53

I wish I had a decent tea shop where I could do some tastings. My explorations with puerh haven't been very satisfying. I dont know if I just dont care for it, or if the tea or my brewing skills are to blame. I have a generally adventurous and accepting palate so its hard for me to accept I might just not like pu. I hope to be proven wrong of this at some point.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby AlexZorach » Mar 10th, '11, 16:40

For years, I had only tried Pu-erh from tea bags. I then tried Shu Pu-erh, both compressed and loose-leaf, and was not impressed.

When I first tried Sheng pu-erh, I was surprised. The first one I tried was barely aged, just about a year, and was very strong. But I loved it!

I then, shortly thereafter, tried some young aged sheng Pu-erh, about 4 years...I was really impressed, it was unlike anything I had tried before. Since then I've had older Pu-erh, including some aged Shu Pu-erh that I thought was passable, and better than anything I had tried yet (although I have yet to find any shu that I truly like as much as my least favorite sheng).

I'm not really as excited about Pu-erh as the true enthusiasts. But I do find it interesting. And I notice a very, very strong preference for sheng over shu.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby dokpm0 » Mar 11th, '11, 10:27

I started exploring the world of loose leaf tea a few years ago, but didn't get very far back then. A few months ago I decided to give loose leaf tea another try. I ended up watching a pile of tea related YouTube videos. A few of them mentioned Pu-Erh. I turned to Google for more info. It sounded interesting so I added Pu-Erh to my "need to try one of these days" list. At that point I had placed a couple of orders with Adagio and tried several "regular" teas, some of which I liked fairly well. I decided to explore other vendors and gave Upton Tea a try. With my first Upton order I found their Pu-Erh section, and ordered a sample of an inexpensive loose leaf Pu-Erh. When my samples arrived I wasn't sure what to expect from Pu-Erh. I steeped some. Seeing how dark the liquor was I thought, hummm, this is either going to be really good or really bad. I took one sip and thought, WOW!! It was the first tea I'd sampled that I could see myself drinking regularly. I am slowly finding non-Pu-Erh teas that I really like also. I'm sipping some Lapsang Souchong at the moment.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby kasey » Jan 16th, '12, 21:53

I read about it in a book about Traditional Chinese Herbalism. It said that Pu'erh tea aided digestion and weight loss and lowered cholesterol. I was just getting into TCM and reading everything I could. I bought a cheap beeng cha in Boston's Chinatown for $5 and was steeping it in chunks for at least 10 minutes often before bedtime after a late meal.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby Bob_McBob » Jan 17th, '12, 20:18

It seems like most people (not TC members) discover puerh by trying whatever cheap nasty shu their local "tea" store carries.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby iannon » Jan 17th, '12, 20:49

Bob_McBob wrote:It seems like most people (not TC members) discover puerh by trying whatever cheap nasty shu their local "tea" store carries.

+1/..exactly how i tried it first..something nasty from the local asian market..didnt try again til getting to know it better here in teachat. Like the OTTI's
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby debunix » Jan 17th, '12, 22:14

I discovered puerh the same way I discovered real tea, being introduced to it by my father sharing some with me. I do not know what tea that was he shared that first time, but it was a touch smoky, a lot earthy, and delicious, brewed western style in a large glass pyrex pitcher and poured through a strainer into our mugs.

Some time later, I recognized the word puerh on a tin of mini tuos from Rishi, enjoyed those again, and then found my way to Wing Hop Fung, and it's intimidating array of minimally labeled beengs, tuos, bricks and bins of loose tea. I bought a mid-priced beeng, and have been happily exploring ever since.
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby JRS22 » Jan 18th, '12, 11:06

I discovered Puerh on Teachat. I participated in the Puerh OTTIs and while my crude brewing skills didn't bring out the best in those teas I set off on a quest to learn about Puerh. It's a part-time quest because it's secondary to my love of Chinese and Japanese greens. Now I have a basket full of samples from EOT, Bana and MTR, and a few larger quantities of Puerh. I don't have the space or time to purchase new puerh to store and age. I'd rather spend more and purchase tea that's already on its way.

Time to reach into my sample basket and try something new (to me).
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby Roughage » Jan 19th, '12, 08:27

I discovered Pu last year when I ordered some samples from Canton Tea Co out of curiousity. I had gone to them because they were recommended to me by an e-friend and I wanted some new green teas, which are my main tipple. My initial experiments in brewing Pu were not good but I persevered and succeeded, so now I drink Pu regularly. I also never tire of endless Pu jokes either; scatalogical humour is such good fun! :)
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Re: How did you "find" Pu'erh tea?

Postby twinofmunin » Jan 21st, '12, 10:39

At some point (I was already into loose-leaf, generally, but grocery-store or Teavana loose-leaf... to be fair, the grocery store typically had Rishi and sometimes Adagio) I bought some Rishi mini-tuos from Whole Foods whilst on a normal grocery trip (the tea aisle was always a trap, for me); I found them interesting and not bad, but I wasn't entirely sure what to make of them (brewing them in a tea ball in a mug,so). I mostly forgot about it until TeaChat entered into my life... and then I understood what Rishi was going for. :) My pu education has been largely TC-based; I've wandered off into the general intarwebs a bit, but I'm afraid of misinformation as regards pu; here, while there is sometimes dissent, most people are trying their best to be factually accurate and honest. Yay, TeaChat. :)
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