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 » Aug 3rd, '13, 23:52

Nevermind what I said here. It was childish.
Last edited by JD on Aug 7th, '13, 17:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby debunix » Aug 3rd, '13, 23:55

When a topic goes on for pages, it is unreasonable to expect every person replying to have freshly reviewed the entire topic before posting.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby William » Aug 4th, '13, 08:43

debunix wrote:When a topic goes on for pages, it is unreasonable to expect every person replying to have freshly reviewed the entire topic before posting.

+1


Regarding the main discussion, I'd be curious to read what are the most important parameters, regarding the selection of one or more Pu Erh, which are followed by the members of TC. There will be those who prefer such as Pu Erh stored in a certain way before being purchased, those who still prefer to buy only from a certain region or at least a small area, who still only a certain tea factory etc.. etc..
Thanks to all those who will respond!
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby TomVerlain » Aug 4th, '13, 10:16

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [" good pu'er"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I taste it" [Paraphrased]
—Justice Potter Stewart
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby JD » Aug 7th, '13, 17:35

So I went ahead and purchased the Bonavita variable temp goose neck kettle ($111 total with shipping and tax). The cheaper one ($60) was nice and all but it didn't have the same features. For instance, the hold button allows the kettle to stay at a consistent temp for an hour. So it can continue boiling for upto an hour. It also has variable temp so I can set the temp for teas that should not be brewed with boiling water like sencha/shincha. I think it also has a reboil feature that continues boiling the kettle every time I set it back on the stand.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby shah82 » Aug 7th, '13, 18:12

You don't want your tea at a constant boil. Kills the water and ups the electric bill. The constant temp thing is for greens and lighter oolongs.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby JD » Aug 7th, '13, 19:00

Constant boil is something I want for a 5 minute gongfu tea session.

It takes me 5 minutes to brew tea gongfu style. I do 3 brews back to back in my gaiwan or teapot and pour into a single large cha hai.

During those 5 minutes I'd like my water to stay at a boil because everyone in this thread has suggested to me that my water should be at boiling (208-214F) degrees when brewing pu-er tea.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby shah82 » Aug 7th, '13, 19:26

I cannot drink three cups of tea, even 60ml or so in five minutes. That stuff is hot!

Can understand the blending of different brews. Thought I think substantially less than five minutes would be required.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby tst » Aug 7th, '13, 19:32

I don't understand, why not just boil a little water, pour, brew and drink ... ? Then, when you're ready for the next brew, boil a little more water and repeat the process. Why must all the water be kept boiling the entire session?
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby mr mopu » Aug 7th, '13, 19:47

tst wrote:I don't understand, why not just boil a little water, pour, brew and drink ... ? Then, when you're ready for the next brew, boil a little more water and repeat the process. Why must all the water be kept boiling the entire session?

+1 :idea:
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby debunix » Aug 7th, '13, 19:53

Sometimes I like to drink infusion after infusion when drinking a powerful young sheng, working with small volumes, and enjoying the flash-infused liquor as fast as I can sip it without scorching my tongue--waiting for it to cool, the tea starts to get bitter.

I find my Pino kettles do quite nicely for that, although they won't quite keep the rolling boil, but they do keep it 203-207 long enough for me to sip as many infusions as I want to before taking a break.

It's not a necessity, but sometimes it's very nice to have that capability in my kettle.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby JD » Aug 7th, '13, 19:57

Nevermind what I wrote here.
Last edited by JD on Aug 10th, '13, 17:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby TIM » Aug 7th, '13, 21:53

brandon wrote:You might lack the patience for this hobby!

+1 Master B
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby JD » Aug 10th, '13, 17:23

Alright, let's recap here:

I've got all of my samples. So now it's just a matter of trying them all. I'm getting them from Pu-erh Shop, Yunnan Sourcing (both Chinese and US sites), and any other sites selling pu samples.

Stick to shu that costs a minimum of $20 for a 375-400 gram cake/brick, and sheng that costs a minimum of $30 for a 375-400 gram cake/brick.

Water needs to be at a boil when brewing pu, so I ditched my old kettles and bought a goose neck electric variable temp kettle that allows me to boil the water and keep it at that temp while gongfu'ing tea.

And apparently it's okay to mix 2 or 3 brews into a single pitcher, so that's what I'm doing in my larger cha hai.

Did I miss anything?
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Re: How do you choose pu-erh?

Postby Exempt » Aug 10th, '13, 17:57

JD wrote:And apparently it's okay to mix 2 or 3 brews into a single pitcher, so that's what I'm doing in my larger cha hai.?


Personally, I like to drink lots of individual, quick steeps. I feel like I miss some subtle nuances of a tea when combining infusions.
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