Is this Pu?


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

Is this Pu?

Postby Victoria » Mar 3rd, '08, 00:07

Humm sitting in front of me is a little packet of possible pu. It is from Hou De and called - 2007 Autumn Xi-Zhi Hao "Da Shui Shan" Sun-dried Mao Cha.

I see Mao Cha listed under the category of Pu, so I am assuming.

So I am asking for wisdom and guidance here. Is this indeed pu? If so it will be my first. What does Mao Cha mean? Was this once a cake? It is in loose form now.

And ... how do I brew this?

Thanks in advance!
Victoria
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Postby Salsero » Mar 3rd, '08, 02:00

Yes it is.

Mao cha is the raw material of sheng puerh tea cakes. It is essentially puerh that has never been compressed. Because it is not compressed, the usual thought is that it will not age too well, so plan on using it up some time in the next 5 to 10 years.

http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.c ... se=mao+cha

You can see some other HouDe Mao Cha offerings at:
http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php? ... x&cPath=47

It sounds good. Enjoy!
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Postby Salsero » Mar 3rd, '08, 02:12

Course, you DO know the difference between cooked (shu) and raw (sheng) puerh? The cooked puerh is the one they make jokes about. The raw (if it is 20 or 30 years old) may also be a little jokeworthy in some respects but most people are too awed by it to josh.

Mao Cha is raw (sheng) and sheng puerh is generally very agreeable tea that is easy to get along with. You might want to keep the steep times short if it shows much astringency. Don't expect a big powerful flavor -- young sheng is rather light tasting and all about aroma and innuendo. If it were a perfume you might think the person hadn't even applied a scent on purpose, but just walked through a garden.

As in all things, it is wise to check bearsbearsbears before proceeding:
viewtopic.php?t=3551
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Postby Victoria » Mar 3rd, '08, 02:13

Thanks! Wow, learning a lot today!

Very interesting, Pu that is not compressed,
I thought that was the very definition.

So since this is sun-dried, would it be considered cooked?
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Mar 3rd, '08, 02:16

No, it's not cooked. The "cooking" process is an accelerated wet aging process, independent of any drying step. Leaves are piled up, heavily misted, and covered by thermal blankets.

Also, just to add further confusion, there are several types of compressed teas that aren't puerh, such as other black teas and even some oolongs.
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Postby Salsero » Mar 3rd, '08, 02:24

What Scruff said.

So, just give up ever trying to understand anything and just turn to us for advice.

shu, cooked, hei cha = dirt, mud, rubber, fermentation (I'm drinking some right now, in fact!)

sheng, raw, uncooked = green-like tea that ages naturally over ten years or more (10 to 12 yrs is sometimes called adolescent) I personally like the young perhaps more than the aged, but I haven't had much truly old.
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Postby Salsero » Mar 3rd, '08, 02:26

Mao cha = sheng, specifically designed to drink young, lovely, light, delicioso, floral, and maybe some pungent aromatics
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Postby Victoria » Mar 3rd, '08, 03:15

Thank you both so much! "light, delicioso, floral" sounds more promising than, "Dirt, mulch, mushrooms, wet bark". I'm anxious to try this tomorrow. I'll report back with my findings.

scruffmcgruff wrote: ... there are several types of compressed teas that aren't puerh, such as other black teas and even some oolongs.


Where can I find this type of oolong, what are they called?
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Mar 3rd, '08, 03:19

Victoria's Own wrote:
scruffmcgruff wrote: ... there are several types of compressed teas that aren't puerh, such as other black teas and even some oolongs.


Where can I find this type of oolong, what are they called?


Here are the two I know of:

http://tinyurl.com/27pfmx

http://tinyurl.com/yqkkjh
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Postby Victoria » Mar 3rd, '08, 03:27

Oh thanks! I did see that first one at Hou De, but didn't realize what it was.
The reviews are not very compelling for the price, yet it is interesting.

I might spring for the smaller sample size piece at TeaSpring though. "Minty aftertaste", intriguing.
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Postby Victoria » Mar 3rd, '08, 21:27

Ok, I had it!! My first Pu!

I didn't get much aroma from the leaves, maybe a very slight chocolate?

The first infusion color was very different from anything I've seen, a lovely light apricot. The second infusion was up to 4 shades darker.

The flavor was light and delicate, but tasty nonetheless.

The aroma too, very delicate. Maybe just a slight hint of mushroom? Or maybe I am imagining things.
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Postby Salsero » Mar 3rd, '08, 21:41

See, whadI tell ya? Very typical young sheng puerh.
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Postby Victoria » Mar 3rd, '08, 21:50

So you did! Thank you! As I was telling Scruff, this is a very good first time Pu, but hardly representative. But that's ok. I enjoyed it. And Hou De sent a generous sample, so I'll be enjoying it again.

Thanks for your help, as always.
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Postby Salsero » Mar 3rd, '08, 22:06

Victoria's Own wrote: ... this is a very good first time Pu, but hardly representative ...


Salsero (that's me) wrote: ... Very typical young sheng puerh ...
Sheeesh, this younger generation just doesn't listen!

:lol:
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