Identify my tea!


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

Re: Identify my tea!

Postby tenuki » Mar 12th, '08, 19:44

miles wrote:Is the second pu described cooked perhaps? Or just really bad?


isn't that the same thing?
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Postby Proinsias » Mar 12th, '08, 21:13

I think it's more of an art form that's very easy to get wrong, like raw it should also be left around for a while but more to air out much of the processing as opposed to improve the tea - super fast aging that needs a long time to disguise the fact it was speed aged.

There is always the chance you tastebuds are just plain silly and I'm wasting my time.
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Postby tenuki » Mar 12th, '08, 21:40

Proinsias wrote:There is always the chance you tastebuds are just plain silly and I'm wasting my time.


most likely.
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Re: Identify my tea!

Postby hop_goblin » Mar 12th, '08, 23:11

miles wrote:I recently got 2 bricks of puerh, one online and one in San Francisco. The online one isn't too different from every other puerh I've had, it's earthy but with a lot of mushroom. The second is pressed very tight into the cake (it's an effort to break off a chunk) and the taste is very sweet and it has a tendency to get really bitter if I leave it in my thermos for some time.

Is the second pu described cooked perhaps? Or just really bad? It was $9 so I'm inclined to believe that either way it's low-quality.


Sounds like shu or cooked but can't really tell w/o a pic :?:
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Postby Dizzwave » Mar 13th, '08, 11:41

Hey Miles,
Even a really good pu-er will be bitter if you steep it too long. I've tried some pretty good ones, and in general (for either cooked or raw) I get best results by steeping for no longer than 20 seconds. For the first 2-4 steeps anyway. Then I start ramping it up. Leaving a chunk in your thermos, you're guaranteed a bitter brew! Some people like it, nothing wrong with it, but feel free to experiment a bit. :)

I've gotten some decent pu for around $10 a brick/cake, so don't rule it out as a bad one yet. Whether it's cooked or uncooked, well, does it turn dark red or brown after a few seconds' steep? If so, it's probably cooked. If it's light green, it's probably raw. Don't listen to the cooked-pu haterz.... I love it, and so do many others. :)
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Postby Dizzwave » Mar 14th, '08, 12:56

I didn't know about raw pu-erh until recently either! It took some internet research, buying samples, trying a few different kinds, talking to people who have treaded the path before me, etc. :) But yeah, most stores that cater to the pu-erh layperson seem only to carry the cooked stuff. I only liked the cooked stuff at first, but now the raw is growing on me.
Another thing about aging... When they "cook" the pu-erh, they're essentially composting it, which is more or less equivalent to aging it very quickly. So aging a cooked pu won't have as big an effect as aging a raw pu (which still has all of its, umm, whatever is in there that gets processed by the microbes in the aging or cooking process). Still, it does have some effect -- I've tried some cooked pu-erhs from the early 90s that are *way* different ("mysterious" might be a good word!) from anything I've tried from the past 5 years. But I've also tried some cooked ones from the 90s that just aren't that great. I guess it depends on a lot of factors....
Anyway it's a fun learning process. I only recently got "serious" about tea, and my wife, friends, and coworkers think I'm crazy. :)
I probably misstated some things in here, so you wise ones, please correct me.
Anyway, If it's a bad tea, let it sit, get some other stuff and try it out! Good luck......
Dave
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