Loose shu vs. brick shu?


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Loose shu vs. brick shu?

Postby omegapd » Aug 16th, '08, 07:35

I'm sure it would depend on the company making it, but is there a noticeable difference in quality between one or the other? Would they normally use better leaves to make a brick or cake or how does that work?

Another question, can somebody recommend a very stout, earthy flavor/aroma shu for me? I'd like to try something very strong in aroma to compare to the others I've tried so far...

Thanks a bunch,

EW
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Postby brandon » Aug 16th, '08, 08:44

I don't think you can draw any conclusions at all. The worst shu I have ever had has been loose, but so is the best. Likewise, I have had fantastic and horrible bricks.
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Postby brandon » Aug 16th, '08, 10:18

I don't have much to say in the way of aroma, but here is a list of shu products that I can vouch for. My general preference is for a thick and malty cup with natural sweetness and no off flavors.

http://cgi.ebay.com/2005-White-Dragon-G ... dZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/2006-Haiwan-Ripe-Pu ... dZViewItem

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... 185206d437

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... 185206d437

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main ... 185206d437

http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-Menghai-Factor ... dZViewItem < I have this one, but haven't tried it yet. It is a substitute for a similar product from Haiwan that I loved.
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Postby omegapd » Aug 16th, '08, 14:16

Thanks B! I can sure use those recs. So far in my Pu journey, I'm all about trying new shu. The raw green stuff just hasn't caught my eye yet, although I'll admit to having bought a brick to see what it was all about. I guess you gotta start somewhere, though, and maybe by next year it'll be all about the sheng. :wink:

Thanks again,

EW
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Postby shogun89 » Aug 16th, '08, 14:21

omegapd wrote:Thanks B! I can sure use those recs. So far in my Pu journey, I'm all about trying new shu. The raw green stuff just hasn't caught my eye yet, although I'll admit to having bought a brick to see what it was all about. I guess you gotta start somewhere, though, and maybe by next year it'll be all about the sheng. :wink:

Thanks again,

EW


I'm glad you are enjoying your shu, but I'm telling you, you have got to get into sheng, thats where the real fun starts and of course, the depletion of your wallet. :D
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Postby heavydoom » Aug 16th, '08, 14:42

brandon wrote:http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-Menghai-Factor ... dZViewItem < I have this one, but haven't tried it yet. It is a substitute for a similar product from Haiwan that I loved.


that menghai brick is good. it's strong, black, and thick and soupy. i loved it so much, it's all gone. :cry:
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Postby shogun89 » Aug 16th, '08, 15:10

heavydoom wrote:
brandon wrote:http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-Menghai-Factor ... dZViewItem < I have this one, but haven't tried it yet. It is a substitute for a similar product from Haiwan that I loved.


that menghai brick is good. it's strong, black, and thick and soupy. i loved it so much, it's all gone. :cry:


Pace yourself my friend. If you love something drink it only once a year or less. Not only will you love it more but you will always have it. Thats what I do with all my pu, and that's why I need to find a cheap cake that I like so I can get a couple of them a drink them all the time.
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Postby orguz » Aug 16th, '08, 16:11

omegapd wrote:you gotta start somewhere, though, and maybe by next year it'll be all about the sheng. :wink:

Thanks again,

EW


i just had to recommend this one for trying a sheng for a first time. it was mine and i think is a good benchmark for comparing other shengs. try it i think you'll grow to like it. for me it took a couple of brews to get used to this sheng, now it's one of my favourite. i pasted this link for lack of other links, but try and find other laobanzhangs. the laobanzhang has a thick nectar pungent smell sort of like concentrated honey left to dry in a cup.

http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-Mengku-Lao-Ban ... dZViewItem
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Postby Dizzwave » Aug 16th, '08, 17:53

orguz wrote:the laobanzhang has a thick nectar pungent smell sort of like concentrated honey left to dry in a cup.
Hey Orguz, would you mind telling me about your brewing parameters for this one? I've made about 7 pots of it.. 2 were outstanding; and the other 5, I couldn't quite get that amazing flavor from the other times. I should be better about remembering how I brew it.....
amount of leaf? type of pot/gaiwan? water temp? steep times?
thanks! -dave
p.s. heavydoom, you too -- I know you're a fan of this one. :)
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Postby heavydoom » Aug 16th, '08, 18:22

the trick to me is to be careful with the infusion times. it's different with each cake. some i can infuse longer to get my desired strength, some need less time since you will know that some tea will get bitter very fast with the same amount of time.

it's really getting to know your tea.

in general, i flash rinse my pu twice for 5 seconds. the first brew i infuse for 10 to 15 seconds, this first brew is usually not that strong. it's the second brew that is the best imo. this i infuse for about 20 to 25 seconds. i also personally like to drink my pu strongly. i like the punch it delivers. the water i bring to a boil each time i make a brew. when the water comes to a boil, i let the water cool down till i see crab eyes. nice and hot for my pu.

oh, the pot i used was a very fast pour one. not a zhu ni one. i don't know what the hell it is but it works for me. ideally, i would use a real zhu ni one.
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Postby orguz » Aug 16th, '08, 20:08

Dizzwave wrote: would you mind telling me about your brewing parameters for this one?


i use less leafs and i use my (have to be careful now) zhuni xishi pot from teamasters, or gaiwan , something denser i suppose, and steep longer than usual at least 3 mins. try it, i use 2/3 grams for the 120cc pot/gaiwan. I found that too many leafs will make for too strong a brew, just my opinion here. perhaps others can offer their parameters. I don't even rinse anymore. yes, another point flake the leaf piece by piece that's something i forgot to add, made a huge difference. i took about a good 40mins to flake my brick. I've been using my swiss army knife rotating with a dart(dart throwing) works exceptionally well. the brick is pretty easy too flake, but it's like performing surgery on a gnome. :twisted: :twisted:
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Postby Dizzwave » Aug 17th, '08, 00:46

Excellent, thanks guys.. Usually I use my yixing pot (dedicated to sheng) at work, but today at home I used a glass pot, used more leaves than usual, and I think I oversteeped it on the first steep. This one wasn't as good as usual, I think a) because the yixing seems to deepen the flavor (I think), and b) because of the oversteep. I've heard that oversteeping in the beginning can throw off the whole session, and that might've been what happened... so starting light, like heavy said, 10-15s sounds about right... Wow orguz, 3 minutes! I'll have to try that once.....
One thing though, I'm on about the 12th steep now, and it's sweet and gentle, like honey... so good, tastes as if it's already 5 years old.
Funny how we just invaded a shu thread with this. :D
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Postby Space Samurai » Aug 17th, '08, 01:14

It's been my experience that no one bothers to put quality pu leaves in those mini tuo cha. Other than that, I agree with what Brandon said.
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Postby omegapd » Aug 17th, '08, 04:27

Space Samurai wrote:It's been my experience that no one bothers to put quality pu leaves in those mini tuo cha. Other than that, I agree with what Brandon said.


That's kind of why I was thinking a cheap brick may be made with lower quality stuff than a cheap loose shu. In the cheap bricks I've bought, there's a bunch of sticks and stems etc. inside and I don't think they'd be as visible in loose shu (at least if the manufacturer cared even a smidge about his product).

Thanks again for the other recommendations!

EW
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Postby brandon » Aug 17th, '08, 08:23

Sweet!
Scott at YSLLC just picked up some of this delicious lao cha tou brick from Haiwan -- just as I was getting near the bottom of mine. Highly recommended, but probably pretty similar to the Menghai lao cha tou brick above.

http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-Haiwan-Lao-Cha ... m153.l1262
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