Where to start?


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

Re: Where to start?

Postby Salsero » Dec 30th, '07, 15:10

bearsbearsbears wrote:I'm going to assume you want a US vendor for speedy delivery and frugal shipping ... 2oz or less and affordable. The young sheng I've listed below I've chosen because they're drinkable and enjoyable now, even though they're young. Ask me for recommendations on ageable young sheng and you'd get a more expanded list.


Thanks, Jason, for suggesting the 2003 Keyixing Yiwu. This was exactly what you said it would be: Easy to order, available in a sample, an excellent drink for right now. I overcame my reluctance last night, broke a little off the cake, and brewed 6 grams in a 120 ml pot more or less to your specifications (OK, I confess, I drank the rinse!)

Like sheng puerh I've had before, it had a very light and clean taste, but I also found a delightful fruity sensation (Pez candies, perhaps?) that I’ve not encountered in sheng before. Initially it was as intense as a good sencha (is that qi, maybe?), then mellowed into something reminiscent of a light to medium TGY. Astringency was never a problem. The taste was not dark and shape-shifting like an old pu or aged oo, but it was still an attention getter. There was a nice slippery viscosity and fairly persistent aftertaste (that's a good thing, btw). It started to peter out after about 4 or 5 infusions, but I continued to an 11th more for the mushroom aftertaste enveloping my head than for the sweet water in the cup.

The spent leaves were mostly inch or more intact pieces (I probably broke them tearing them off the dry cake), thick, a bit rubbery, forest green, with lots of long stems. They reminded me of leaves from lighter tie quan yin oolongs. They were worth playing with.

I suppose the reason you recommend it for now rather than for aging is because of the light overall flavor profile, lack of harshness, and the fact that it doesn’t go for a lot infusions. This seems like a tea that was designed to drink young, but I'm glad I got a whole cake to see how it changes over time. I have a tendency to hoard my puerh, like a miser afraid to drink before the time is right. This one is just great right now!
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Postby brandon » Jan 2nd, '08, 21:05

Hop, Sal,
Today I cracked open 1998 MengHai Red-Piao YiWu Mountain Green Big Tree, Dao Piao #802.

I thought, this is about like Orange-in-Orange, very clean, nice flavor, but completely transformed from younger sheng. On my third cup, I was taken by suprise. Qi kicked in and followed through all of the second infusion. It nicely offset my sore throat for awhile. An interesting tea indeed.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 2nd, '08, 21:29

Thanks for following up.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jan 3rd, '08, 09:54

bhale wrote:Hop, Sal,
Today I cracked open 1998 MengHai Red-Piao YiWu Mountain Green Big Tree, Dao Piao #802.

I thought, this is about like Orange-in-Orange, very clean, nice flavor, but completely transformed from younger sheng. On my third cup, I was taken by suprise. Qi kicked in and followed through all of the second infusion. It nicely offset my sore throat for awhile. An interesting tea indeed.



Cool, thanks for the description. I will be digging into mine shortly!
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Hi folks (& PU experts)

Postby karlos » Jan 6th, '08, 20:55

Are there some compact informations about pu-erh anywhere (on the web)?

Then I'd like to know something about storing pu-erh (instantly if it's possible):

1. is ripening possible also with shu pu-erhs or just sheng?
2. which temperature is recommended to make pu-erh ripening? (I have wine cell. There is 8-9 celsius degrees)

Thank you for any advice....
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Postby Salsero » Jan 6th, '08, 21:17

Great questions. Unfortunately, the answers are a little slim. The shu puerhs are a relatively recent invention. The idea was to get an aged cake very quickly through a fermentation process that was already in use for other hei cha such as Liu An. That being the case, the shu is theoretically pre-aged. My feeling is that it is ready to drink right away, although others say you should let it rest a couple of years and it will taste better. I'm sure a lot depends on which specific shu you are talking about as the recipes are apparently often quite different.

As for the best conditions to age sheng, there is even less agreement about that. Here is a link to a thread at Puerh LJ where the issues are discussed:

http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/130806.html

I think it is fair to say that higher humidity (but not too high) is desirable, say 75% to 85% relative humidity. Too much humidity and you get mold and off flavors, characteristics of an unsuccessfully wet stored sheng. Temperature is not usually emphasized as much as humidity. You can find hygrometers, humidity controlling devices, and humidors at cigar stores and websites.

Mike Petro's http://www.pu-erh.net/ is a good source of basic info, as well as the chat room here at Adagio. BBB's suggestions at the beginning of this thread are also to be taken seriously. He knows as much as most anyone in the US, especially after having recently spent a year or so on a tea pilgrimage in China. He even selected his own mao cha in Yunnan and had it made into BBB brand tea cakes!
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Postby hop_goblin » Jan 7th, '08, 00:57

Sal, How can you have forgotten my meager contribution to the Puerh world!

:P

www.ancientteahorseroad.blogspot.com
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Postby Salsero » Jan 7th, '08, 01:19

No, Hop, not at all. I started to include a link to your blog, but then I thought I should also include a link to Half-Dipper and MarshalN and the post was already getting to be an information overload for poor Karlos, so I figured he would find his way to your blog via the Puerh-Net LJ. I just looked at the LJ, however, and I don't see a link to your blog!

Jason (BBB) runs the LJ. PM him and ask that he put a link to yours. That's an amazing oversight.

And, yes, Karlos, ignore Hop's feigned modesty: his blog is one of the best places to read about puerh, especially reviews of particular cakes. Exceptionally good photos and background info.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jan 7th, '08, 01:58

Salsero wrote:No, Hop, not at all. I started to include a link to your blog, but then I thought I should also include a link to Half-Dipper and MarshalN and the post was already getting to be an information overload for poor Karlos, so I figured he would find his way to your blog via the Puerh-Net LJ. I just looked at the LJ, however, and I don't see a link to your blog!

Jason (BBB) runs the LJ. PM him and ask that he put a link to yours. That's an amazing oversight.

And, yes, Karlos, ignore Hop's feigned modesty: his blog is one of the best places to read about puerh, especially reviews of particular cakes. Exceptionally good photos and background info.



Awwh Sal! You just made my night! Thanks buddy! You are certainly too kind! Thank YOU!!!
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Re: Where to start?

Postby Sydney » Jan 7th, '08, 22:57

bearsbearsbears wrote:Ask me for recommendations on ageable young sheng and you'd get a more expanded list.


For instance?
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Postby chamekke » Apr 13th, '08, 11:32

Quick question from a newbie who is working her way through the Pu Ehr threads (that would be me):

Are shu and shou the same thing?

By the way, thank you for the recommendation of Hou De... I am going to try them out (once I overcome the dizziness brought on by viewing 41 different samples of pu ehr!).
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Postby brandon » Apr 13th, '08, 12:18

Shu and Shou are indeed the same thing. You will also see it called cooked or ripe.

On the other side, we have sheng, or raw, or uncooked puerh.
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Postby Salsero » Apr 13th, '08, 12:24

chamekke wrote:Are shu and shou the same thing?
Yes. BBB tells me that shu is the correct Pinyin transliteration, but you see shou sometimes anyway.

The Hou De site, btw, is full of variations from standard Pinyin so it can be a little confusing. I think Guang is from Taiwan, and the Taiwanese are not as trained in Pinyin as the mainland, plus they have tended to use the Wade-Giles system and not really mastered that.

Sorry if we boys were a little noisy the other night when you stopped by the IM. It would have been nice to chat, but when you get a bunch of the regulars in there all at once and they are all talking at once ... well, it gets a little chaotic, about like a crowded bar. It's not aways like that.
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Postby chamekke » Apr 13th, '08, 12:52

Salsero wrote:Sorry if we boys were a little noisy the other night when you stopped by the IM. It would have been nice to chat, but when you get a bunch of the regulars in there all at once and they are all talking at once ... well, it gets a little chaotic, about like a crowded bar. It's not aways like that.


Heh, no worries. I was scanning and cleaning up some photos at the time, and had scant attention to spare, so I wasn't really able to take part beyond a few greetings anyhow. I'll come back another time!
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