Raw Puerh areas and taste


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

Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby bagua7 » Mar 13th, '14, 21:20

What are the most characteristic flavours of the existing puerh mountains?

Ba Da
Ban Zhang
Ban Pen
Bao Shan
Gedeng
Jingmai
Lao Man E
Mansa
Mangzhi
Manzhuan
Meng Song
Nan Nuo
Wu Liang
Yibang
Yi Wu
Youle


and others.

Maybe they should be grouped under their 'mother' area, i.e. Lao Man E, Ban Zhang, Ban Pen, etc. under Bulang.

This can be used as a quick useful guide for Puerh tea drinkers trying to understand new teas.
User avatar
bagua7
 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Jul 21st, '

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby shah82 » Mar 13th, '14, 22:29

You can't tell. Though there are lists out there describing tastes...

There are very classic flavors, but *classic* flavors are expensive!

Bada--tends to be green, grassy, aromatic, does tend to have fruit returns. I tend to believe it's not the best of aging puerh, particularly for Banna.

Banzhang--several different profiles. What I consider to be Banzhang is a relatively menghai taste, closer to Hekai, Nannuo, and Pasha, with mushroom honey taste, a certain kind of floral aroma, that's a bit closer to Mengsong, Jingmai, Youle, but not as herbal/juniper like Nannuo/Pasha. Good tea will develop a sensate sweetness with a bit of age, will have a strong fruit return that's better than Bada or Mengsong, an active cooling and energy pattern in the mouth, stores flavors with coating astringency that slowly releases after the gulp. Much milder than the stereotype.

Banpen--less exciting version of Banzhang, so as I know. Less complexity. Guang Bien Lao Zhai is probably better tea, but gushu not commonly available--stronger honey-mushroom flavor, less fruit.

Jingmai--The point of Jingmai is a really complex aroma, probably the best puerh for aroma. This is not commonly available. Does have an unmistakable aroma in general, of a kind of dry, cloth feel, almost savory floral like lavender. Typically thought of as orchid, I suppose. The taste is relatively close to a good northern mengsong, but more floral and nutty. It should not have a strong sour-molasses nut taste if you're looking for quality. Tends to age into a weakly floral tasting hongcha.

Lao Man'E--medicinal bitterness, a very chocolate focused tea, even when young, fresh, and floral. Can have some similarity to Banzhang, but probably should be considered a Bulang

Mansa--this has a diverse amount of flavors. Does tend to have a sticky rice grain aroma. Broadly Yiwu flavors. Too diverse for meaningfull discussion.

Mengsong--strong and nice bitterness, tend to be thin like Bada. Menghai flavors like Nannuo, Pasha, Hekai, Banzhang. Strong tendency to have citrus notes in the taste from southern Mengsong teas. Bread, Brulee, or otherwise foodie notes in the aroma in the north. Tends to have good aftertaste with returning fruit.

Nannuo--distinct herbal aroma and taste that tends towards junipers or other conifers. Otherwise similar to Hekai, Pasha, and Banzhang. Not much for huigans.

Wuliang--tendency to have vegetal notes when fresh. Not usually worth your while to age as the flavor will thin. Will develop some nice fruit notes at first stage. Strong aroma.

Yibang--generic sheng base with strong fruit notes. Very slightly similar to worthwhile Jingmai, but not nutty. Not a fan of age in this tea. When it doesn't do hongcha, it tends to age into a honey taste with a sort of nice aromatic tar character. Relatively boring.

Yiwu--like Mansa, way too big and diverse, and comprises of areas that really should be separate identities.

Youle--think of it as a blend between a Jingmai, Yiwu, and Banzhang. Relatively fruity, but unlike Yibang, with a more meaty sheng base. Less lively and complex taste. Issue here is that there is really only one true Youle--at Longpa (the real thang, not "longpa"). There is mostly crap otherwise. This is relatively unusual since most tea areas have more than one village capable of delivering high quality maocha. Most Youle will have a strong one-note aroma, and most of them will age into mellow teas that aren't particularly exciting, but pleasant and sweet flavored.
shah82
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: May 9th, '0

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby Teaism » Mar 14th, '14, 07:40

Good overview Shah82.

The mountains are only for interest, eventually we still need to look at the quality. Like wine, there are $20 or $2000 bottle coming from the same region.

Cheers! :D
User avatar
Teaism
 
Posts: 706
Joined: Jan 5th, '1

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby the_economist » Mar 14th, '14, 12:31

Wow Shah that's really detailed. It might be fun to try identifying pu regions by taste, I wonder if you've tried?
User avatar
the_economist
 
Posts: 668
Joined: Sep 4th, '1

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby shah82 » Mar 14th, '14, 12:47

I try all the time. It's really hard for me to tell, so it's definitely a project of vanity to write all that out.

Some places do have a very classic taste/aroma. If you have a real one, you can't mistake Jingmai, Nannuo, Banzhang, for example. Most of the rest have quite a bit of generic qualities that change a lot from specific very local causes.
shah82
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: May 9th, '0

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby the_economist » Mar 14th, '14, 17:20

Reporting one's tries is a project of either vanity or humility depending on how correct one's guesses are!
I should try it too in a systematic way at some point...
User avatar
the_economist
 
Posts: 668
Joined: Sep 4th, '1

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby chrl42 » Mar 14th, '14, 21:59

shah82, that'd be spectacular! thanks a lot. :)

Just as to comment on one of students here,

would you be possible to 'verify' the tastes of tea I've had, which I like?

Mahei - grassy and weak. a weak hint of astringency but very clean. I just know this tea is not for aging. It's among the quietest and the weakest tea I've had.

Bingdao - cucumber-like rhythm with cleanness. The soup is a bit yellow-ish but transparent. There's a certain rhythm that no other Puerh tend to have.

Xigui - ages better than especially Mahei. Very weak or none of bitter/astringent. Somewhat like those autumn-harvest..(not sure if THEY were picked up in autumn)..can't describe this tea better than being nutty.
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby shah82 » Mar 14th, '14, 22:08

Mahei is not a weak tea. It's insipid, but it's not a weak tea. It should bend towards heavier honey flavors (that you'd find within Yiwu proper), and be less floral (also more towards honeysuckle rather than meadows) than Gaoshanzhai or LSD. Has more qi There can be caramel notes, and some leather. Issue here is pretty much like it is everywhere where the leaf is popular...you have a tough time getting a good example of Mahei. Shouldn't be too hard to get a decent plantation tea with decent hints, though. It tends to be a bit overrated because it's a very friendly taste, much in the way that Mengdai Bingdao is. However, a good one is more potent in qi and all that than other nearby Yiwu.

I have little certainly as to what Bingdao or Xigui is like other than that they are probably similar to the good Jinggu area teas I've had.
shah82
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: May 9th, '0

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby chrl42 » Mar 14th, '14, 22:31

shah82 wrote:Mahei is not a weak tea. It's insipid, but it's not a weak tea. It should bend towards heavier honey flavors (that you'd find within Yiwu proper), and be less floral (also more towards honeysuckle rather than meadows) than Gaoshanzhai or LSD. Has more qi There can be caramel notes, and some leather. Issue here is pretty much like it is everywhere where the leaf is popular...you have a tough time getting a good example of Mahei. Shouldn't be too hard to get a decent plantation tea with decent hints, though. It tends to be a bit overrated because it's a very friendly taste, much in the way that Mengdai Bingdao is. However, a good one is more potent in qi and all that than other nearby Yiwu.

I have little certainly as to what Bingdao or Xigui is like other than that they are probably similar to the good Jinggu area teas I've had.

It really is relative thingy as to define the examples of good/bad. And I don't think Mahei is overrated (I've seen more negative opinions), although I do think they are friendly taste.

I think 11 Mahei tended toward 'honey' but 12 Mahei was certainly grassy and astringent. The latter one I am sure it's not 100% Gushu, which I don't expect the purity in Yiwu (lots of plantations, very little Gushu except GFZ)

I just have regular stores I visit, and Huishenghao is the only reputable factory I know of on Mahei (would you consider as a 'good standard'?)

Anyways thanks, your English is certainly better than I (in descrbing flavors) :D
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby shah82 » Mar 14th, '14, 22:54

Practically, there isn't much actual quality gushu in Mahei. I'd be dubious of most claims.
shah82
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: May 9th, '0

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby Tead Off » Mar 15th, '14, 00:00

Mahei is insipid? This is not my experience. I find trying to talk about each tea, in general terms, a futile practice. Too many variations within one region. Different processing, etc.

Aging Mahei? I have a 2010 and I've tried the 2007. The older one was farther along in aging and had that fermented gushu quality that I like. The younger is very tasty and developing along the same lines. Different makers. Not weak at all. Gets better during the session. Will it compete with LBZ, etc., probably not, but the costs are quite different and still very enjoyable tea.
User avatar
Tead Off
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 3591
Joined: Apr 1st, '0
Location: Bangkok

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby chrl42 » Mar 15th, '14, 00:45

Tead Off wrote:Mahei is insipid? This is not my experience. I find trying to talk about each tea, in general terms, a futile practice. Too many variations within one region. Different processing, etc.

Aging Mahei? I have a 2010 and I've tried the 2007. The older one was farther along in aging and had that fermented gushu quality that I like. The younger is very tasty and developing along the same lines. Different makers. Not weak at all. Gets better during the session. Will it compete with LBZ, etc., probably not, but the costs are quite different and still very enjoyable tea.

My intention was to compare or lead to agreement, as to purity of each areas. There should have some agreements or the discussion is just useless.

Insipid or weak, can vary depending on one's interpretation, or one's ability of choosing words. Mahei also might have branches. But the root of category shouldn't go too far as Lao Man E or DXS.

I've also had 'strong' Maheis, but I disregarded that cases, the judgement was of course purely carried on by me, was to calculate reputation of sellers, price of Bings etc


One day I was drinking with tea fellows (some were sellers), 'cucumber' was how I selected to describe the taste of Bingdao, many nodded. Of course there are many Bingdaos with its tastes similar to Nannuo (or whatever), too. But again, the judgement was *only* my range of understanding. Don't buy it, it's ok. My mere wish was to lead the discussion with some development. Then agreements should follow. Otherwise, the discussion is useless. :)
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby shah82 » Mar 15th, '14, 02:18

When I say insipid, I mean that it's sweet flavors without much balance in other sorts of flavor like wood, bitterness, savoriness, etc. Not generally a fan of how Mahei ages, though it does do well enough, I suppose. Is the '99 Song Character'ed a Mahei? That's what I've always thought it was...

As for Bingdao, I have trouble thinking of it like cucumbers. I read so much about how it's supposed to be like rock sugar all the time...Cucumbers makes me think of something like Osanzhai or maybe Wisteria Tea House Taihe. Teas that I know are close to Bingdao, such as YS '10 Bangma has a pretty strong spicy/medicinal character to it. Of course, Bangma isn't that close, and things change pretty fast with distance.
shah82
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: May 9th, '0

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby bagua7 » Mar 15th, '14, 03:14

Thanks for the write-up, shah82, very impressive effort. :)

Are Lincang and Lancang mountains or larger areas like Bulang or Baoshan?

How would you define the taste of those two...I never had any Lincang but some people here (and a couple of blogs providing tasting notes) report their teas as not being any good.

Lancang...strong, tobacco, meaty, astringent.
User avatar
bagua7
 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Jul 21st, '

Re: Raw Puerh areas and taste

Postby Tead Off » Mar 15th, '14, 03:15

shah82 wrote:When I say insipid, I mean that it's sweet flavors without much balance in other sorts of flavor like wood, bitterness, savoriness, etc. Not generally a fan of how Mahei ages, though it does do well enough, I suppose. Is the '99 Song Character'ed a Mahei? That's what I've always thought it was...

As for Bingdao, I have trouble thinking of it like cucumbers. I read so much about how it's supposed to be like rock sugar all the time...Cucumbers makes me think of something like Osanzhai or maybe Wisteria Tea House Taihe. Teas that I know are close to Bingdao, such as YS '10 Bangma has a pretty strong spicy/medicinal character to it. Of course, Bangma isn't that close, and things change pretty fast with distance.

I can relate to the cucumber reference, but I would not characterize all Bingdao with this.
User avatar
Tead Off
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 3591
Joined: Apr 1st, '0
Location: Bangkok

Next

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation