Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?


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

Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby MEversbergII » Dec 4th, '13, 12:09

SO the point of pu'er is some degree of aging. The only sheng I've got is a 2004 loose one, and I'm nearing the end of my supply. It's 9 years old, which from what I can discern is old enough to drink.

So when buying sheng, what's the youngest it's really able to be considered "pu'er", in the aged-tea sense of the word?

Further, is there any difference between loose and compressed in where that line falls?

How's sheng before the "youngest technically drinkable" point usually fare?

M.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby Catfur » Dec 4th, '13, 12:24

Fresh off the press cakes (sale to two years) are perfectly drinkable, just not very pu-esque. It's just a harsh, but rich, green tea, really, at that point.

I think most stuff under 5 years or so tends to taste awful similar, even if you can taste the differences, they aren't well developed yet.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby NPE » Dec 4th, '13, 13:58

You might find this blog post from MarshalN interesting about just this topic: http://www.marshaln.com/2013/09/really- ... lly-puerh/
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby MEversbergII » Dec 4th, '13, 14:14

Ah, yes! That was exactly what I was looking for.

So MarshalN seems to think about 3 years is a good starting point for really calling it pu'er, insofar as Sheng is concerned.

Alright, I will begin looking for cakes around 2010 vintage and work from there.

Cheers,

M.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby Catfur » Dec 4th, '13, 15:03

The point where you can call it Pu isn't necessarily the point where it's drinkable, just the point where it starts to take on those characteristics.

I agree with Marshall on calling it Pu, but it can still be perfectly drinkable right off the press.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby debunix » Dec 4th, '13, 16:24

I fell in love with my Lao Ban Zhang 2009 sheng from Norbu when I first encountered it in 2009. I've enjoyed it in its first, second, third, and fourth years so far.....hoarding and brewing teeny bits in teeny pots/gaiwans each time.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby gasninja » Dec 4th, '13, 17:07

Good Quality Puerh is perfectly drinkable shortly after pressing. It is just vastly different from puerh that is aged.while It is not the smartest Idea to stock up on cakes until they are a couple years old. untill then it is hard to tell how they will progress when that young. Fresh puerh has its own appeal I don't think that it is fair to lump it in with green tea. The large part of the beauty of puerh is its evolution.
Last edited by gasninja on Dec 5th, '13, 18:50, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby chrl42 » Dec 4th, '13, 23:44

gasninja wrote:Good Quality Puerh is perfectly drinkable shortly after pressing. It is just vastly different from puerh that is aged.while It is not the smartest Idea to stock up on cakes that are young as it is really hard to tell how they will progress when that young. Fresh puerh has its own appeal I don't think that it is fair to lump it in with green tea. The large part of the beauty of puerh is its evolution.

Agreed.

Puerh at first time, was not for aging. Because back then (to Qing dynasty) many teas came from Yiwu. Many tea trees in Yiwu (or other famous areas during Qing~ROC) are Small-Leaf-Type. Similar to green tea than Indian huge tea trees.

Coming to Yin-ji period (after 50s) Puerh mostly came from Menghai area, which is west to Yiwu..they were mostly Big-Leaf-Type and cultivated types. The idea of 'Puerh needs 10yr to age' started from there I think. Cultivated Big-Leaf-Type tea trees are very bitter when young.

But after 90s, afacionados started drinking the old tree bushes (as opposed to the cultivated) again...tracing the old days. So it has to do with cultivated/old tree or Big-Leaf/Small-Leaf I think...correct me if I'm wrong :)
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby apache » Dec 5th, '13, 17:51

MEversbergII wrote:Ah, yes! That was exactly what I was looking for.

So MarshalN seems to think about 3 years is a good starting point for really calling it pu'er, insofar as Sheng is concerned.

Alright, I will begin looking for cakes around 2010 vintage and work from there.

Cheers,

M.


I notice that a number of my EoT 2010 cakes have changed quite a bit since and lost quite a bit of its grassy taste when they were just off the press.

Three years is a good starting point as MarshalN said.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby chrl42 » Dec 6th, '13, 12:42

Also a rubbing process is done differently from green tea. It's done slower and weaker, hence gives Puerh longer time to brew. In other words, it's processed to age better.

So I agree Puerh needs to be sit for 3~5 years to be a starting point...but good-quality gu-shu are very drinkable after just being pressed still.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby MEversbergII » Dec 24th, '13, 11:54

Making myself an order at pu'er shop and remembered I was after a green compressed pu. Does this look like a worthwhile deal?

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... ts_id=1217

Pretty inexpensive, but I went cheap on a shu pu cake once and it was not so great.

M.
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby Exempt » Dec 24th, '13, 16:42

MEversbergII wrote:Making myself an order at pu'er shop and remembered I was after a green compressed pu. Does this look like a worthwhile deal?

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... ts_id=1217

Pretty inexpensive, but I went cheap on a shu pu cake once and it was not so great.

M.


It will be drinkable, but it certainly won't be anything great or special
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Re: Youngest Sheng Technically Drinkable?

Postby MEversbergII » Dec 24th, '13, 20:35

I'll let you guys know; threw it on to my last order. First sheng cake!

M.
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