OK because of all this discussion, I have actually spent some time reviewing Jim’s offerings of Puerh samples at PuerhShop. They are all tempting so I will go along with whatever the group wants to do, but here is how I see it and what I suggest for now:
There are five samplers offered. One of those is shu
puerh (Taste of Mellowness
). While I love shu, I am a little worried that some of our group might be put off, since shu puerh is the one that gives rise to the stereotypes of muddy, fishy, rubber tasting, swamp, etc. While a good shu doesn’t always exhibit a lot of such flavors … Well, let’s just say it doesn’t seem like the best place to start. I think of shu as a sort of specialty, a niche puerh that would be good to move on to after getting some of the more standard, sheng
puerh under our belts.
That leaves four samplers of sheng
puerh (all referring to the same style of tea). These will have a lighter flavor, closer to oolong than cow pie, and will be candidates (if we like them) to buy, collect, and age. Three of those four -- Pride of Menghai
, Spirit of Yiwu
, and Best of Puerhshop
-- sample the most expensive offerings or the offerings from a specialized area. I certainly do want to taste those eventually also, but that wasn’t my original interest in this project. I wanted to find out if there is cheap pu I can buy now in quantity to age and drink now without breaking the bank. That leaves Year of Green Puerh
sampler, which emphasizes the best of the cheap ones. We also get the most samples for the money in Year of Green Puerh.
All this leads me to say: go for the cheap ones first, then we can move up to the fancier ones and we may be in a better position to appreciate them. Does anyone feel otherwise? Let's go with that.
Andy825 is right, however, that we may as well order more than one if we are inclined, so maybe we should lay out the sequence for those who want to order at once to keep shipping down.
Just to put an end to the conversatiion I propose we do, in this order:
1) Year of Green
2) Taste of Mellowness
3) Spirit of Yiwu
4) Best of Puershop
5) Pride of Menghai
Of course, no one is required to buy all of them or buy in that sequence. New members can jump in any time that Puershop still has the sampler in stock and post their observations. No experise of skill is required. Reviews can be a couple words or several paragraphs. I find often the shortest reviews are the most helpful but some of us have trouble keeping things short. Mmmm this is rather a long post...