Indie teas for the small label newbie?


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

Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby futurebird » Mar 14th, '13, 19:59

I have tried one small label:

"2010 EoT - Manmai puerh tea - 250g bing"

I liked it a lot! Not only is it just heart-achely beautiful but it tastes just as lovely s it looks. It's not even that "young" anymore. The point is I'd like to get one or two more cakes of a similar type, so some slight variety but not too much.

Any recommendations? I think I'll get one more from EoT since everything Ive bought there has lived up to what I wanted from it.

But, I'd like to be more adventurous! Shopping at EoT is like playing it safe...
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby brandon » Mar 14th, '13, 20:54

From the artful, indie department, I like

http://teaurchin.com/shop-for-tea/puer/ ... y-gao.html
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby futurebird » Mar 14th, '13, 21:36

oh dear that's expensive. I guess I should set a $50 price limit... though I don't mind buying less than 375g. I just don't want to have that much money sunk in to one kind of tea. not yet.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby shah82 » Mar 14th, '13, 21:56

The Manmai is actually a very well rounded tea, and among the best you can get per gram since it's on sale. It is cheaper and still around because it's a Bada tea and that it's a relatively friendly tea without easy perception of outstanding characteristics.

Aside from the no fireworks, its main flaw is that eventually, there maybe some choke-throat deep in the session. I think it's an astringency that's like the Banzhang astringency, but bigger and deeper in the throat, and it's not the choke throat that comes from chems or bad processing.

Try the Mansai, for me it's not a consistent performer, but when it's in a good mood, it's extremely tasty. Doesn't have any qi, though.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby shah82 » Mar 14th, '13, 22:05

I really should say, you cannot buy very many good teas for less than $50. If you can handle $65-$70, then Houde has lots of out of fashion but good teas. This should also encompass all of the decent YS teas (2010-2012) that aren't totally expensive. Yibang ChaMaSi @ Royal Puer might have a few that might interest you, like Naka or a Kunlushan. Also scrutenize the Finepuer/Sampletea offerings. You'll have to ask for cake prices from Sampletea. Origintea has some interesting teas as well, but you'll have to settle for big chunks of their older cakes, since they are usually around $100, which is cheap for cakes of their age, assuming good storage.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby ChengduCha » Mar 15th, '13, 10:51

Yunnan Sourcing has plenty of housebrand cakes to offer for less than $50 but I have never had anything from EoT, so I can't really really compare them.

I recommend sampling wide before committing to cakes that you'd otherwise think of as mediocre when you have had 10-20 samples of various shengs.

If you don't mind shipping times from China, you could also check out white2tea which is run by teachat member TwoDog2.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby futurebird » Mar 15th, '13, 13:02

I've had some very good results with TwoDog2! I totally forgot that he has cakes. Since I have some samples already that might be the best bet.

I have so many sample to try, I'm still working my way through 'Banna Tea's" Puerh samplers.

Getting a very good education though in the process.

I guess my initial post here was not clear. I'm also very curious about these small-sized bings. The Manmai puerh tea is only 250g, it's a very nice size for individuals. I wonder of any others are making cakes that size.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby shah82 » Mar 15th, '13, 13:17

Yunnan Sourcing house brand in 2010 and 2012 has lots of 250g bings. Try the Gedeng, Yakou Nannuo, etc...

Houde has Xizihao 100g tea amounts.

Mandala teas also has 100g teas from lincang, not that I'd necessarily vouch for them.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby JakubT » Mar 15th, '13, 13:43

This is a lovely, easygoing tea: http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=1308 I think that Shi Kun Mu may be still considered small label.

This is probably the best younger Jingmai I know. It's more old tree tea than "classical" punchy fruity Jingmai, but it's good: http://www.chawangshop.com/index.php/pu ... -200g.html

I thought this one quite decent: http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=1589

And this one excellent, if a bit over the limit (for me, it's one of the best post-2010 teas):
http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=1524

I enjoyed this one, it's below $50:
http://teaurchin.com/shop-for-tea/lao-m ... ummer.html

I'd back up what Shah says about Finepuer/Sampletea. Maybe it's not always small label, but there are some really pretty teas. The 2009 Daxueshan is quite good, if you're into younger tea.

And I also agree that it is not always easy to find higher-class pu below $50. There is plenty of teas below $50 which taste good or even very good, but when one starts looking for general bodyfeel and qi, compromises often have to be made.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby TuoChaTea » Mar 27th, '13, 10:00

Also Teaurchin has some 200 g beengs on sale

http://teaurchin.com/xin-shengli-hao-ta ... -2011.html

But I haven't tasted them yet.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby iGo » Mar 29th, '13, 00:12

brandon wrote:From the artful, indie department, I like

http://teaurchin.com/shop-for-tea/puer/ ... y-gao.html



Brandon,

Have you actually had this cake? If so, might you care to comment?
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby brandon » Mar 29th, '13, 09:35

Yes, I have the cake. I like it. Will have to see where it ends up in 5 years, but right now it is clean, focused - the intent of the maker is immediate and artistic, not puer by numbers. There is a place for tea from factories, but this isn't one of those.

(If I had to pick just one, I think the GFZ might be a better long term bet, but the OP here inspired me to make a more 'expressive' selection.)
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby futurebird » Mar 29th, '13, 09:51

How is it different? Is it in some way extreme?

I don't think buying such an expensive young cake is for me. There are too many questions about aging in temperate climates. (though I don't think it's impossible)

That said I just tried 2005 Dayi Spring of Menghai sheng, which is still very young in taste, and I didn't like it that much.Don't gget me wrong it was not bad. But, for what I spent on the samples, it'd make more sense to just buy something older with a less famous name. It was not bad, it was just not much better than this. And I thought it would be since it was described as "One of the best tea cake ever produce by Menghai tea factory." Really?

(the cake I linked is one that I think is fake, but I bought it anyway... it's *something* from 2006, and nice to drink with good mouth tingle. That said younger sheng can blend together for my pallet, I find it easier to distinguish old teas)

But I did like the 2012 cake from EoT (as I mentioned) it seemed more complex, there was more to it than just the taste of young sheng... so I'm wondering why some young sheng can be complex, and others lass so.

I'd love to taste that cake. Can sample be had?

Then there is this issue which I can hardly comprehend of teas that taste good when they are young not being the ones that age best. "Oolong puer" --I've been reading all that I can, but only my mouth and time can tell me some things.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby brandon » Mar 29th, '13, 09:59

Hi Futurebird -
I would be happy to give you a sample some day at a Flushing tea meet up?
Maybe we can start thinking about the 6th for something like that, if anyone is into it.
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Re: Indie teas for the small label newbie?

Postby futurebird » Mar 29th, '13, 11:03

Thanks!! Sounds like a good idea. I'll give you one or two of these samples of 2005 Dayi Spring of Menghai 501 in return... not that that's an even trade, I just want to see if I'm crazy for not be impressed with this.
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