FiveStar wrote:I would appreciate some recommendations on middle of the road, reference Pu-Erhs both uncooked and ripe. I'm a single-malt scotch lover, and a fan of in-your-face whiskeys, cigars, and pipe tobaccos, so I would appreciate any "Aggressive" suggestions as references toon
Also, if anyone has any good references they could point me to online that could help me decode the naming process of Pu and other teas, I would love you forevere! So many names, I can't seem to make heads or tails of what they all mean!
Sounds like you are a good candidate for younger raw puer, since you love in-your-face, aggressive, tobacco, etc.
You might want to start with some productions from Xiaguan factory. The younger teas will have smoke and be pretty burly.
As for where to shop, you can poke around the forums here (even on the first page several people have asked about favorite online retailers and the like) or look around at blogs and see if a certain review or tea sounds interesting.
I say start with Xiaguan because it is inexpensive and seems to fit the profile of what you describe liking. It's a good way to get your feet wet. As for ripe, I think Menghai factory productions (also called Dayi/Taetea) are good and standard. For something less expensive than that, poke around at smaller factories. For something cheaper, look to brands like Tiandiren.
Bullet points on what to avoid:
- No mini-tuos (small 5g-10g chunks of puer)
- Nothing flavored ("orange and apple puerh blend", or what have you. The tea will be garbage)
- Avoid anyone who tries to tell you how rare something is, and avoid buying expensive teas until you get your bearings to limit your "tuition". There is plenty of decent and inexpensive puer out there
Several members on here have blogs, including me, some links below:Marshaln - Tea Addcits BlogJakub T
(The guy who replied above me)Hobbes - Half DipperTeacloset
(Hster's blog)Two Dog Tea Blog
There are a bunch of others - have a look, plenty of reviews online, often with conflicting opinions. Best to sample for yourself and make your own judgments. Everyone likes a different cigar and different brand of whiskey. Tea is no different.