How do you choose pu-erh?


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

Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby JD » Jul 28th, '13, 17:11

seollasido wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Bonavita-1-0L-Ele ... B005YR0GDA

This is the kettle that I use for my daily needs! It's gooseneck and electric. Possibly give it a shot? Seems like it might save you some trouble.


I've looked at that kettle before. Some of the negative reviews claim that the kettle rusts on the inside.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby Exempt » Jul 28th, '13, 17:14

JD wrote:
seollasido wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Bonavita-1-0L-Ele ... B005YR0GDA

This is the kettle that I use for my daily needs! It's gooseneck and electric. Possibly give it a shot? Seems like it might save you some trouble.


I've looked at that kettle before. Some of the negative reviews claim that the kettle rusts on the inside.

The Zojirushi water heaters are fantastic. I love mine
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby gingkoseto » Jul 28th, '13, 17:46

JD wrote:
seollasido wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Bonavita-1-0L-Ele ... B005YR0GDA

This is the kettle that I use for my daily needs! It's gooseneck and electric. Possibly give it a shot? Seems like it might save you some trouble.


I've looked at that kettle before. Some of the negative reviews claim that the kettle rusts on the inside.

I suspect every kettle gets that sort of complaint if reviewed by enough people. Theoretically I don't see how steel could get rust if it's left dried every time after use.
I used to drink most tea at home and used a stove-top kettle and a thermos to hold boiled water (I strongly dislike the type of kettle that re-boils water). Then I needed a electric kettle for my office and read a bunch of reviews on Amazon. Then I got exhausted and picked up a breville kettle rather randomly. I noticed that it gets some oxidation color on the inside, and suspect that was the rust complained by some people. But it's not rust.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby Emmett » Jul 28th, '13, 20:50

Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I dunno. Most of these are 2009's though so maybe all 2009's taste identical.


I have tasted most of the samples you got and they all taste different to me. Separate infusions and boiling water. But I will say only maybe two of those teas are actually worth buying a cake of. You have to go to different vendors because the storage has a lot to do with the aged flavor of the teas and not just that it is a "good" tea. Try other vendors and then decide. By the time you finish trying those samples you have now you will get the teas in the mail from overseas. Of course try yunnansoucing.us first. If you still dont like any then don't drink puerh, try another type of tea that you do like.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby MarshalN » Jul 28th, '13, 21:13

Well, the four infusions in one method isn't going to kill you - the teas should still be different enough.

I'd actually suggest brewing two side by side, and drinking them against each other. That might highlight the differences more clearly. If you're mostly staring at the computer doing other things while sipping your tea, then, yeah, they're all going to taste the same
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby Tead Off » Jul 28th, '13, 22:37

JD wrote:I think I may know what I'm doing wrong now and why these teas taste similar to each other.

I don't sit at my tea area and drink only one infusion at a time like I've seen in many videos on youtube. I do 4 short infusions back to back and pour them all into one pot thus mixing them all together so that I can take them somewhere and enjoy them in front of the computer or something. I think this is where I'm messing up. I thought maybe 4 short infusions back to back wouldn't alter the taste between them too much but now I'm noticing a lot of people are saying that each infusion will taste different and later infusions will taste even more different that the first infusions. So I will do 1 infusion at a time now.

Some people routinely mix the first few infusions depending on how big the teapot they are using is. Nothing wrong with that. However, most people don't stop at 4, especially with Puerh. I've had Puerh where big changes happened after a dozen or so infusions. Learning to savor each infusion takes patience and time. This is one of the nice things about drinking tea.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby Tead Off » Jul 28th, '13, 22:40

seollasido wrote:
http://www.amazon.com/Bonavita-1-0L-Ele ... B005YR0GDA

This is the kettle that I use for my daily needs! It's gooseneck and electric. Possibly give it a shot? Seems like it might save you some trouble.

Does this kettle actually handle well with such a long and narrow neck?
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby seollasido » Jul 28th, '13, 23:55

Tead Off wrote:
seollasido wrote:
http://www.amazon.com/Bonavita-1-0L-Ele ... B005YR0GDA

This is the kettle that I use for my daily needs! It's gooseneck and electric. Possibly give it a shot? Seems like it might save you some trouble.

Does this kettle actually handle well with such a long and narrow neck?


IMO, it handles quite well -- it gives you quite a bit of control. It's pretty helpful for things like DCs and Yancha. I don't think this is as useful for Puerh since I haven't seen any Puerhs that were that finicky, but it's still nice to play around with pours.

As for the "rust" complaints, I don't think it's actually rust. I do have something that's like stains (but can be confused for "rust") but I'm fairly certain that's build up from minerals in the water when the water boils completely off when there's too little water.

JD wrote:I think I may know what I'm doing wrong now and why these teas taste similar to each other.

I don't sit at my tea area and drink only one infusion at a time like I've seen in many videos on youtube. I do 4 short infusions back to back and pour them all into one pot thus mixing them all together so that I can take them somewhere and enjoy them in front of the computer or something. I think this is where I'm messing up. I thought maybe 4 short infusions back to back wouldn't alter the taste between them too much but now I'm noticing a lot of people are saying that each infusion will taste different and later infusions will taste even more different that the first infusions. So I will do 1 infusion at a time now.


Could I also suggest that you don't take it to the front of the computer, but to take the time and enjoy it on the spot without distractions? I think to a certain extent it might help you remember the teas better when you don't take it somewhere to drink but rather enjoy the tea (smell the leaves, the cup, and each infusion as it progresses).

I also second the opinion that you should do side by side "tastings" (cuppings?) -- for things that I'm often not too familiar with, I found that I've only started to understand the subtleties much more only when I had them side by side. I'd hold that opinion for scotch if I hadn't gone to enough tastings to have seen the differences right next to each other!
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby BioHorn » Jul 29th, '13, 00:28

JD wrote:I think I may know what I'm doing wrong now and why these teas taste similar to each other.

I don't sit at my tea area and drink only one infusion at a time like I've seen in many videos on youtube. I do 4 short infusions back to back and pour them all into one pot thus mixing them all together so that I can take them somewhere and enjoy them in front of the computer or something. I think this is where I'm messing up. I thought maybe 4 short infusions back to back wouldn't alter the taste between them too much but now I'm noticing a lot of people are saying that each infusion will taste different and later infusions will taste even more different that the first infusions. So I will do 1 infusion at a time now.

You do understand people are sayig you should use water at a full boil? (212F/ as hot as possible)
That will make a big change.
God luck and please let us know your results.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby AllanK » Jul 29th, '13, 00:52

JD wrote:Here's a list of samples I chose from Pu-Erh Shop. I chose everything made from before 2010 that wasn't American Hao or MGH. Hao and MGH have only been in production for 4 years so I don't trust them. Especially with how cheap their cakes are (under $20 for sheng cakes). I also didn't get their 1998 because I doubt I could afford the cake.

I bought the first 10 on this list last night. I'll do 10 at a time. There's 28 listed here.

2008 Menghai Spring Yun - Link
2009 Yunnan Dayi - Link
2009 Old Man'e - Link
2009 Yiwu - Link
2007 Mengku Hao - Link
2008 Yuannian Mengsa - Link
2009 Bangmu 'Root Aroma' Old - Link
2009 Mengku Arbor - Link
2009 Early Spring Wuliang - Link
2009 Little Yiwu Mahei - Link
2005 Changtai Bulang - Link
2007 Changtai Nannuo Wild Arbor - Link
2007 Youle Ancient Tree - Link
2003 Yiwu Ancient Tree - Link
2003 Yiwu Zhengshan Old Tree - Link
2005 Yiwu Zhengshan Ancient Tree - Link
2006 Yiwu King of Kings Ancient Tree - Link
2006 Guoyan Youle Ancient Tree - Link
2009 Old Cang Family - Link
2007 Changtai's Lingbao - Link
2007 Rongzhen Tribute - Link
2007 Menghai - Link
2005 Songpin Hao - Link
2005 Tiandiren - Link
2006 Bulang Yangshan - Link
2006 Mengku Old Tree - Link
2004 CNNP Small Yellow Mark - Link
2004 CNNP Small Green Mark - Link

Also, on a side note I will not be purchasing anything from outside the states due to how long it takes to get delivered to me. I've bought things from China and it took a month to get to me. And most of that wasted time was customs' fault. I'm not patient enough to wait a month for any kind of package regardless of the quality.


How did you have it shipped, using Express Mail, I got one order to NY state in 8 days and another in 9 once the company shipped? Did you go by slow mail?
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby AllanK » Jul 29th, '13, 01:01

Exempt wrote:
JD wrote:When I tried ordering from Yunnan Sourcing the shipping choices were all Chinese air mail or Chinese standard shipping or whatever. I doubt that's a warehouse in the US.


That's because you were on yunnansourcing.com not yunnansourcing.us

Also I wouldn't order anything aged from puerh shop. Many people, along with myself, received a faked aged cake and the issue was unresolved.

While I don't know enough about Puerh to tell a fake aged cake from a real one and like Puerhshop, thanks for the info on Yunnansourcing.us. I just bought from Yunnansourcing.com because I did not know they had a US location that ships UPS! Your post has made my day.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby Exempt » Jul 29th, '13, 01:25

AllanK wrote:
Exempt wrote:
JD wrote:When I tried ordering from Yunnan Sourcing the shipping choices were all Chinese air mail or Chinese standard shipping or whatever. I doubt that's a warehouse in the US.


That's because you were on yunnansourcing.com not yunnansourcing.us

Also I wouldn't order anything aged from puerh shop. Many people, along with myself, received a faked aged cake and the issue was unresolved.

While I don't know enough about Puerh to tell a fake aged cake from a real one and like Puerhshop, thanks for the info on Yunnansourcing.us. I just bought from Yunnansourcing.com because I did not know they had a US location that ships UPS! Your post has made my day.

No problem. I've found that if you are ordering large quantities, like more than $300-$400 of tea, then sometimes the .com shop is cheaper but with smaller amounts the .us site wins every time.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby JD » Jul 29th, '13, 01:48

Using water at 212F boil:

How is this even possible? Are there electric kettles out there that will continue boiling each time you set it down after each pour?
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby Exempt » Jul 29th, '13, 01:55

JD wrote:Using water at 212F boil:

How is this even possible? Are there electric kettles out there that will continue boiling each time you set it down after each pour?

The Zojirushi keeps water at 208 all the time and most people reboil the bonavita every couple infusions.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby AllanK » Jul 29th, '13, 02:32

Exempt wrote:
AllanK wrote:
Exempt wrote:
JD wrote:When I tried ordering from Yunnan Sourcing the shipping choices were all Chinese air mail or Chinese standard shipping or whatever. I doubt that's a warehouse in the US.


That's because you were on yunnansourcing.com not yunnansourcing.us

Also I wouldn't order anything aged from puerh shop. Many people, along with myself, received a faked aged cake and the issue was unresolved.

While I don't know enough about Puerh to tell a fake aged cake from a real one and like Puerhshop, thanks for the info on Yunnansourcing.us. I just bought from Yunnansourcing.com because I did not know they had a US location that ships UPS! Your post has made my day.

No problem. I've found that if you are ordering large quantities, like more than $300-$400 of tea, then sometimes the .com shop is cheaper but with smaller amounts the .us site wins every time.

Having seen your post I put in an order for four different sheng cackes, although I was wrong about them shipping UPS, they ship USPS.
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