Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

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

Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 23rd, '12, 19:20

Hi tea sippers,

I am pretty much a complete newbie to Pu'er. I've tasted 4 pu'ers recently: 3 ripe and 1 raw. The ripe pu's tasted to me light, fishy, and dusty (bad quality?). I liked the 1 raw pu but thought it tasted too young. Now I think I'm craving to sample some decent pu's. I've been looking at Yunnan Sourcing (us), CantonTeaCo, TeaSpring and Jing-Tea.

Can anyone suggest a few good pu's to sample?

Much appreciated

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby MarshalN » Mar 23rd, '12, 20:28

Where did these teas come from?

I think Yunnan Sourcing is not a bad place to start. You may want to consider trying something that's a few years older. Ripe can be good, but you need to buy stuff from Menghai factory - otherwise they're very likely to be bad (not always, but often enough).

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 23rd, '12, 20:32

Two of the ripe pu's were the only two pu's available in Edmonton (as far as I know). They were just called golden pu'erh. The other was a vietnamese ripe pu from CantonTeaCo. The raw pu was a Song Lao Ban from ZhiZhengTea. Do you have any specific pu you would recommend? Also, since I'm looking to buy samples, my price range is pretty flexible.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby MarshalN » Mar 23rd, '12, 20:41

Zhizheng, I think, has pretty decent tea.

Telling you what to get is hard, when you haven't tried much. I think sampling wider is a good way to start - it gives you an idea of the range of possibilities.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby G-off-re » Mar 23rd, '12, 20:56

Since you haven't really tried much i'd say just pick out some that interest you. I don't drink young sheng but i think YS branded cakes get good reviews so those might be worth checking out. They also have a good selection of DaYi shu that are worth adding a few standard recipes to your order. Add a couple non DaYi shu just so you can see the difference.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby TomVerlain » Mar 23rd, '12, 20:57

one of the ripe was probably golden sail - which you can find in supermarkets / chinese shops. Not the best, not the worst.

I agree menghai dayi is pretty safe for beginners. Also - if you own the teas you have tried, experiment with brewing and toss out the first couple of infusions.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby gingkoseto » Mar 23rd, '12, 21:27

TomVerlain wrote:one of the ripe was probably golden sail - which you can find in supermarkets / chinese shops. Not the best, not the worst.

I vote for this too. It's a typical Cantonese style shu, not stinky. Besides, it costs only few dollars and serves as a good price benchmark. If you don't enjoy another tea much more than it, then you know you don't want to spend much more money on another tea than that.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby shah82 » Mar 23rd, '12, 22:12

Do be advised that Zhizheng tea tend to have Maison De Trois Thes pricing. They are aiming at a pretty wealthy clientèle.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 23rd, '12, 22:26

I see, I see. I haven't tasted many pu's but I'm definitely looking for the rich, strong but smooth pu, and not fishy. I'm rather confused about the difference between aged ripe and aged raw :roll:

I found some Menghai Dayi Shu on YS that look interesting. Is Menghai's sheng/raw worth trying out? Or do I look to other factories for raw?

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 23rd, '12, 22:28

shah82 wrote:Do be advised that Zhizheng tea tend to have Maison De Trois Thes pricing. They are aiming at a pretty wealthy clientèle.


Thank you very much for the advice....the prices on Zhizheng are :shock: ...

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby G-off-re » Mar 23rd, '12, 23:05

Wow their prices made me laugh. $300+ for a smaller cake seems like way too much money for something so young. I'm open to the idea of truly amazing young tea being pricy but some of their teas just seem over the top. They have a cake from 2007 in their "aged" section. :lol: I wonder if the Gedeng 2003 Raw Puer Cake is going to be in the antique/vintage section next year.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby shah82 » Mar 23rd, '12, 23:19

Don't laugh too hard...

LBZ from before 2008 is absolutely crazy. A proper cake is approaching $1k.

Old? What's old, these days?

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 24th, '12, 02:16

Hmmm...YS seems to charge roughly 2 dollars extra for the samples whilst Jing-Tea does not.

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 24th, '12, 12:37

SilentChaos wrote:I see, I see. I haven't tasted many pu's but I'm definitely looking for the rich, strong but smooth pu, and not fishy. I'm rather confused about the difference between aged ripe and aged raw :roll:

I found some Menghai Dayi Shu on YS that look interesting. Is Menghai's sheng/raw worth trying out? Or do I look to other factories for raw?


Any opinions? *makes puppy face :roll: :roll: :mrgreen:

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Re: Complete Pu'er Newbie Looking for Help

Postby tst » Mar 24th, '12, 14:20

Pretty much, the consensus advice for anyone new to tea is to sample.

I think others probably have already said it, but from what I've gathered (Im in a similar position as you), you need to just start buying tea samples.

Read blogs and the forums for teas that others like or review. Then buy those teas and see if you find what they do. Not everyone likes the same characteristics in tea, so in a sense, there is no "one tea that everyone will love and everyone should buy right now".

You need to sample many, many teas in order to find out what tea you like. That being said, it is important to purchase tea from reputable dealers. I use teachat to find dealers other people have found tried and true. Read through the forums to find out which dealers others have found satisfactory and then just start sampling.

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