Results of my recent puerh sampling.


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

Results of my recent puerh sampling.

Postby tenuki » Mar 12th, '08, 19:33

Result? Order from puershop for

1 x 2005 Green City Peak Arbor Pu-erh Tea Cake (Green City Peak - 4020)

Turns out I really like some puerhs, but just like with oolongs I go mostly for the 'tea quality', interesting and balanced comlexity and long lasting pleasant aftertaste, with aroma, etc secondary. I found the puerh above to be much milder and 'smoother' than the others with a very strong tea qi and solid, understated and evolving complexity (the sort of thing I like). Even the bitterness was crisp and interesting, which the bitterness in most of the other samples wasn't. Pretty nice. However, I'm not a Pu head, I'm a oolong drinker, so I wouldn't take this as a recommendation that means anything in the puerh world or really anything in any world except mine. :D

That's it, one cake.

From the following samples:
  • 2007 Imperial Concubine Aroma hmn, I recognize that aroma... Interesting at first, but got boring fast.
  • 2000 Bulk Mini Pu-erh Tea Brick (1 Ounce) brew this quick, its strong and gets nasty fast, not my taste, does anyone actually like cooked pu?
  • 2005 Private Reserve Yiwu rough, not much interest to me but very educational
  • 2004 Yuan Ye Xiang Pu-erh boring
  • 2005 Green City Peak Arbor yes, a puerh I can love! I had to force myself to stop drinking this and go through the rest of the samples
  • 2006 Mengku Arbor King Pu-erh wild ride, rough as hell. this has interesting complexity but is too rough for me. also lacking the strong tea quality I always look for
  • Plus 3 other samplers including 2007 purple leaf that they threw in for free which were all unremarkable.


I don't have enough puerh knowledge to bother you with my full tasting notes, but suffice it to say I was educated in a far rougher manner than I'm accustomed to. :) Oh, and young puerh must have a helluva lot of caffeine, I was up all night... more rough education.
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Re: Results of my recent puerh sampling.

Postby augie » Mar 12th, '08, 19:46

tenuki wrote:[*] 2000 Bulk Mini Pu-erh Tea Brick (1 Ounce)brew this quick, its strong and gets nasty fast, not my taste, does anyone actually like cooked pu?


My first order was from PuEhrShop as well. B/c they're here in Indy. I got the above mentioned brick and didn't care for it at first. Set the sample aside. Ran outa tea, decided to try again. I like cooked Pu Ehr now, and I don't know why. Honestly don't remember the other 6 samples I got. I think I was more confused than anything afterwards. And I labeled everything: cooked/raw & yum/yuk

The 2005 Sheng cake I got from HouDe is just too green for my taste. I know it needs to go into the closet to age a while. At first I enjoyed the raw samples from PES.

I also got some amazing Oolong rolled in licorace and ginsing from PES that they don't offer anymore. I'm going to have to email them and beg. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, then the bag was empty. . .
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Postby tenuki » Mar 12th, '08, 20:08

Interesting. I got all green premium, mostly big tree wild or arbor so I was comparing oranges to oranges. I know from past experience that that is what I like so I was focusing. Never liked a cooked pu, maybe one day something will change my mind.
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Re: Results of my recent puerh sampling.

Postby Victoria » Mar 12th, '08, 22:01

tenuki wrote:... However, I'm not a Pu head, I'm a oolong drinker, so I wouldn't take this as a recommendation that means anything in the puerh world or really anything in any world except mine. :D


Or maybe mine. I'll have a look around.

augie wrote:... I also got some amazing Oolong rolled in licorace and ginsing from PES that they don't offer anymore. I'm going to have to email them and beg. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, then the bag was empty. . .


TeaCuppa had a blend called Lady Orchid that is licorice and ginseng, I think it's pretty nice.
Last edited by Victoria on Mar 12th, '08, 22:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tenuki » Mar 12th, '08, 22:07

oh, and another thing I noticed. I like puerh better brewed from my britta filtered tap water than my usual fiji. Interesting, it's softer water.
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Re: Results of my recent puerh sampling.

Postby TexasTea » Mar 13th, '08, 08:36

augie wrote:I also got some amazing Oolong rolled in licorace and ginsing from PES that they don't offer anymore. I'm going to have to email them and beg. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, then the bag was empty. . .


Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I've recently run across two oolongs - Blue Spring, which has a licorice-like flavor, and Ren Shen/Ginseng oolong. If you google these you should be able to find them from multiple vendors; a quick search found both here: http://www.holymtn.com/tea/oolongtea.htm
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Postby Salsero » Mar 13th, '08, 09:07

Thanks for sharing your tasting notes. That's an enormous amount of information you are sharing, and some pretty serious tea drinking in a short period of time!

As for shu, the usual approach is to rinse it a couple of times before infusing. I find with some I can give it a couple of flash rinses but others need a little longer rinse. Without the rinse, most shu can taste of swamp, pond, rubber, or other unpleasant things. After the rinse, good hei cha will taste of roasted grains or sometimes sweet and cocoa-like or sometimes a little malty like an Assam.
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Postby ABx » Mar 13th, '08, 11:42

The other thing to remember about shu is that there is some good stuff, great stuff, horrible stuff, and stuff that needs age (anything particularly "pondy") out there. There's also a fair amount of them that aren't stored well and need some air before drinking. I've got a pretty good range of them myself. The best I've had so far is one that cost me $60 for a beeng, brought over from the store owner from China himself, and it has just as many dimensions as a good aged puerh but with the smooth, thick, and sweet foundation of a shu.

I'm generally not a fan of the mini-bricks/tuos out there, they generally just aren't quality.
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Postby GeoffK » Mar 13th, '08, 20:13

I did a similar order with Pu Shop... So far have only tasted 3:

2007 Imperial Concubine Aoma Pu-Erh - green, slightly floral, VERY astringent. Not to my liking at all. Really couldn't find anything to like about it.

2007 Silver Thread Pu-Erh - first steep was green, slightly vegital and mildly astringent but it softened after the fist steep and a nice undercurrent of sweet started to come through.

Tangerine Wrapped Pu-erh Cake - low expectations, and that's just about right. I did enjoy it on some level, but can't see re-ordering it again.

In terms of tocha's I picked up a Silver Tip toucha (not sure what year) from the Tea Zone here in Portland, and have absolutely fallen in love with the tea. It's fantastic.


To be tasted:
2006 Golden Melon Tribute
2000 Bulk Mini Brick
2003 Keyixing Yuwi Pu-erh
2001 Yuwi Pu-erh
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Postby Salsero » Mar 13th, '08, 21:49

Great thread. For what it's worth, here's my 2¢ worth and my entire experience with PuerShop:

Sheng
2003 Keyixing Yiwu Pu-erh uncooked
most recent session: 6.25 g in 120 ml pot, off boil: no rinse, infusions: 15 s, 17 s, 20 s, 30 s, 45 s
I got this because Bear x3 recommended it and have been very happy, although I wouldn't want to pay much more than the $36.00 it cost me for a 400 gr cake.

2007 Purple Leaf Puerh uncooked
most recent session: 5.00 g in 120 ml pot, off boil: no rinse, infusions: 20 s, 25 s, 30 s, 45 s, 60 s, 1:15 m, 90 s, 3 m
I got this because they sent a sample and I enjoyed it enough to shell out $12 for a whole cake. It is the price/quality ratio I find attractive here rather than the quality alone.

Shu (if you don't already like shu, none of these are likely to change your mind)
2000 CNNP Bulk Mini Puerh Tea Brick cooked (single serving bricks)
With a good rinse I have found this adequate to drink at work when my attention is really focused elsewhere. Satisfies the need, but I probably will not buy again.

2002 Tangerine Wrapped Puerh cooked (one or two servings each)
Image
These are just so cool! I love the look and feel of the little citrus skins stuffed with cooked puerh! Actually I think the rather mediocre quality shu is stuffed into a calamodin rather than a tangerine. It has a nice citrus aroma from the dried peel, which you brew right along with the tea. In fact, the citrus may be the highlight, rather than the tea!

Tong qing Hao cooked
Recent session: 4.40 g in 100 ml gaiwan, 208° F, no rinse, infusions: 10 s, 10 s, 20 s, 25 s, 30 s, 40 s, 50 s, 1:10 m, 2 m, 6.5 m (in hindsight: the first 2 infusions tasted "pondy" so it would have been better to consider those rinses and discard them.)
I've only had a sample of this one, but I'm tempted to get a whole cake. At $16 the price is right, and the shu itself seems fairly mild without much of the off flavors shu can so easily have. Maybe I got carried away that night but my notes include the observation: "4th infusion rich, maybe smokey maybe dark ripe cherry maybe cocoa." That's a lot of maybes!
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Postby hop_goblin » Mar 14th, '08, 09:18

What a great job guys! I have only purchased a few items from PuShop for the reason that I couldn't make up my mind. You sure did help narrow the field!

Thanks! :D
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Postby GeoffK » Mar 14th, '08, 18:36

Drinking the 2003 Keyixing Yuwi Pu-erh today. It's tastey. Stars off a little green but that dissipates after the first pot. Some slight sweet notes, fairly balanced and nice. Stood up to a number of steepings (I'm on Pot 6 now and it's got no signs of slowing down).
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Postby augie » Mar 14th, '08, 21:32

Victoria & Texas: Thanks a bunch! I need more tea right now like I need a poke in the eye . . . I just finished a stressful week of closing our office so I can work from home and I had quite a tea collection at work!

RE: The orange Pu Ehr a few months ago there was a thread about this very subject and the general consensus was it wasn't worth the $$$. I was looking at it again and noticed y'all talking about it again Salsero, how much was that orange PU? Would it simply be better to get a better quality pu ehr?
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Postby Salsero » Mar 14th, '08, 22:59

Augie, sounds like an exhausting week for you, and an enormous accumulation of tea in one location at the house now.

I suspect you are confusing two very different teas:
    1) 1996 "Orange in Orange" Menghai Tea Factory 7532 sheng (raw) puerh which bearsbearsbears recommended in his post at viewtopic.php?t=3551&start=0. That one was $12.50 for a tiny 20 gr sample at Hou De. Presumably the high price is due to its age. I think it is sold out now anyway. Several people have really liked it, but I myself was underwhelmed. The word "orange" in the nickname refers to the color scheme of the packaging of this tea: there is not actual orange fruit or flavoring involved. It's one of those tricks they use to keep the rest of us confused.

    2) 2002 Tangerine Wrapped shu (a so called "cooked" puerh, though it isn't really cooked) sold by PuerhShop at http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... cts_id=336. That one costs 90¢ for a 5 gr unit (one actual little tangerine or calamodin stuffed with shu puerh). I love this stuff because it is so cute, but as tea it is probably at best mediocre -- though the aroma of the mummified tangerine peel in the tea is kind of nice. Many people would probably not care for this one at all.

My opinion of the two is that the Orange in Orange (which I think is sold out) is not worth the $$$ (and maybe no tea is worth that much!) and that the Tangerine Wrapped is worth the $1.80 for two: one to taste and one to show off to other people so they can see how far off the deep end of the tea boat you have gone.
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Postby augie » Mar 16th, '08, 09:38

Salsero: You're right, I sometimes read over posts quickly and I am not a speed reader. Then I go back if I have time and *really* read or go to the link. I did see the tangerine several weeks ago at Pu Ehr shop. Then I brought my work tea stash home and realized I do NOT need to purchase any more tea for a while! Every Holiday season our family makes pomanders with oranges and cloves. They last forever and the tangerine wrapped shu reminded me of that warm, fuzzy Christmas memory :D .

ALSO: I do own an appology about the rude comment regarding steeping ginger for a cold . . . It works! Moving creates copious amounts of dust and I have been suffering from dust in my nose, eyes and mouth. All my tea brewing stuff was gone and I hate tap water. I came home and tried making "ginger tea" for a horrible sore throat. I woke up and felt perfectly fine. My DH makes cashew chicken frequently and I associated that ginger tea with getting a huge slug of bruised ginger that didn't get tossed. It is actually very good with a tsp of honey.
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