Opinions on my choices of pu please


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

Opinions on my choices of pu please

Postby drumhum » Aug 19th, '08, 22:26

As a releatively new convert to puerh (7 or 8 months) I need to expand my horizons and try some new stuff. I've been drinking a couple of ripes and an expensive raw up till now.
I think the only way I can truly learn about pu is to try it! So I'm prepared to spend :-)

I've been searching through Yunnan Sourcing LLC for a variety of "experiences" and come up with this list:-

1998 Lincang "CNNP Green Wrapper" Raw Pu-erh tea * 250
Its (a bit) looks nice and is described as "a real pleasure"

2000 * Long Yuan Hao * Yi Wu Shan Pu-erh * 25g SAMPLE
To compare to CNNP green wrapper above.

2007 Mengku * Spring Tips * Raw Pu-erh Tea cake 400 gr
Its young and "challenging"

2008 Menghai Tea Factory * 7532 * Raw Pu-erh Tea cake
To see what a fresh new high quality sheng one is like.

2004 Xiaguan Bao Yan "Tibetan Flame" Raw Pu-erh Brick
'cos I've always wanted to make tibetan butter tea properly

2008 Lao Ban Zhang Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea cake * 250g
compare to 7532 - and it sounds banging

2006 Mengku Lao Ban Zhang Pu-erh Tea cake * 100g Loose
To compare to 2008 Ban Zhang

2000 Langhe Tea Factory * Aged Ripe tea of Menghai 357g
'Cos I love shu too


A wide variety I hope. Expensive in total but affordable.
I realise I could buy more samples instead to save money, but I have found that I usually need more tea to learn and appreciate.

So any comments on my choices (and approach!) ?


(ps the tea titles are the exact heading from YS pages so google should find them easy if anyone wants to read more)

Happy cha
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Postby teakid » Aug 20th, '08, 00:39

You gotta try the:

2004 Jing Mai Millenial Stone- Pressed Pu-erh tea cake 25 grams

It's high quality pu (clean, crisp & smooth). Very enjoyable as well. It's aging well and should give you a good idea of the transition from 2008 --> 2004 --> 2000 --> 1998 in your selections.
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Postby Dizzwave » Aug 20th, '08, 00:46

Hey drumhum!
I recommend the Mengku Mu Ye Chun Old Tree Green Cake over their Spring Tips cake. It's a couple dollars more, but worth it, I think.
As for Menghai.. In my very humble opinion, their sheng is good but not the best. I have the 7532 you mentioned, and it's certainly good.. but doesn't wow me like the Mengku I mentioned above. Although, I'm a newbie, so, take my words with a grain of salt. :) Menghai's shu is great though.. I love the
2008 Menghai "Yue Chen Yue Xiang" Ripe Pu-erh tea 357g
and their Golden Needle White Lotus is good too..
another shu I like a lot:
2005 Langhe Tea Factory * Menghai Ripe Pu-erh Tea 250g

And, I'm impressed with the Xiaguan tuochas, especially the 2008 "Happy" and "Dali" tuochas.

Let us know what you think of whatever you get!
-dave
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Postby shogun89 » Aug 20th, '08, 09:43

Looks pretty good! I must say however that I have not had good luck with buying loose mao cha. I dont know why but it always lacks complexity and flavor compared to a cake, but thats just my opinion. But anyway it looks good, hope you enjoy them!
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Postby shogun89 » Aug 20th, '08, 10:07

This is what I think I will get for my next order.


2007 Mengku * Wild Arbor King * Raw Pu-erh tea 500 gram $23.80

2008 Mengku "Old Tree, Green Cake" Raw Pu-erh * 400g $12.00

2008 Mengku "Sage Verse" Premium Raw Pu-erh tea * 400g $14.00

2007 Mengku * Mu Ye Chun * 001 * Raw Tea Cake of Yongde $18.50

2008 Mengku * "Ming Qian Spring Tips" Raw Tea Cake 400g $10.70

2008 Mengku * Bing Dao Spring Cake * Premium Pu-erh tea $23.50
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Postby Wesli » Aug 20th, '08, 13:07

The only flaw I see is that there's no real aged sheng. The 98 Lincang and the 00 Long Yuan Hao were both stored in Kunming. So, even though they do have some years on them, they've been stored in a very dry climate where pu-erh ages very slowly. From what Kunming-stored pu-erh I've had (one of them is a 98 Lincang), the tea tastes like it's been aged less than half of what it would be were it aged in a more suitable climate, like Hong Kong.

Also, whenever I consider myself new to some type of tea (or anything for that matter), I always start off with the cheapest and work my way up. This is a good idea because before you have a trained palate, it can be hard to distinguish between the cheap, low-quality teas and the better ones. In short, when you start out, you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

If you decide to take my advice on getting some aged pu-erh, you can find some cheap ones at HolyMtn. The ones I've tried from HolyMtn are "Aged Long Leaf Pu-erh," "Large Leaf Aged Pu-erh from Old Trees," and "Yunnan Pu-erh, Very Old." You gotta love the ambiguity of the names . :D So those are alright, the Large Leaf wasn't so good, so you might want to skip that one. And if you decide you want some nicer stuff, take a look at Houde.

Other than that, good choices! And good luck!
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Postby Dizzwave » Aug 20th, '08, 13:26

I second Wesli's Hou De recommendation. I recently got a sample of their 2000 Cheng Guang-He Tang "Yi Wu Yieh Sheng" Brick, and liked it so much that I got a brick. It's a very nice example of an "adolescent" sheng.
I haven't tried much older sheng, but I'd go to them for sure.
-dave
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Postby orguz » Aug 20th, '08, 15:53

stay away from the 1998 lincang green wrapped. i have it and it's nothing special for the price. my advice is to spend the money on one top premium grade green raw cake , and one aged raw that's at least 15 yrs old stored in a humid hotter climate. You'll enjoy your tea more and saved yourself alot of money.
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Postby Salsero » Aug 20th, '08, 16:27

I agree with all the statements made so far about aged and about buying samples. ABx suggested Stéphane's 1990 Fang Cha Zhuan as an example of a sort of benchmark, average aged sheng at a reasonable price. I just got a whole brick (probably more than I need!) and agree that it is a nice example, though not stunning. The last price list I got from him listed it at $8.00 US for 30 gr.
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Postby brandon » Aug 20th, '08, 18:11

After much sampling, I have yet to have a 90's sheng that I have found stunning, or even considered worth its much inflated price tag. I would love for someone to point out the error of my ways.
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Postby Salsero » Aug 20th, '08, 19:31

brandon wrote: I have yet to have a 90's sheng that I have found stunning
Me too. That's why I stick with the pre-1950 stuff. Image

Seriously, I have many times thought that I like younger stuff better than aged ... at least slightly aged more than well aged. The older things I have had are interesting and pleasant, but stunning just has never applied. Maybe it's a trick of exaggerated expectations and minimal experience.
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Postby drumhum » Aug 20th, '08, 19:48

teakid wrote:You gotta try the:

2004 Jing Mai Millenial Stone- Pressed Pu-erh tea cake 25 grams
<snip>

Tea added to list - no doubt I'll love it and then feel frustrated I can't buy a full cake anywhere!
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Postby drumhum » Aug 20th, '08, 20:16

Dizzwave wrote:Hey drumhum!
I recommend the Mengku Mu Ye Chun Old Tree Green Cake over their Spring Tips cake. It's a couple dollars more, but worth it, I think.


<snip>

Cheers for the pointer. That Old Tree stuff is actually $1.70 cheaper than the Spring Tips! Its also a 2008 (If this is the one you mean).

I wanted to try a 2007, just to see if I could tell what a year of aging does to a puerh. If its "too much" for me (being "challenging" and all that!) I thought i'd just see it as my first bing in storage :-)

If it tastes bad though...
you've got me thinking... (hurts!)

Interestingly I see TouchaTea.com have a Mengku Spring Tips 2006 for $12.80 by the Hongtaicheng factory. Different factory to the YN LLC cake (Shuanjiang) so now I'm wondering how these would compare. Jeeze you could end up buying a ton at this game!
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Postby drumhum » Aug 20th, '08, 20:31

Wesli,

I'm aware there's no proper old stuff but then (and as you carefully point out) its hard to choose which old stuff to buy when one is inexperienced.

If I knew for sure that I'd love a particular old tea, I'd get it. I just don't think I'm quite up to finding/choosing it yet. I've read a fair few reports of ancient tea not living up to expectation (or their price) too and thats pretty frightening to a newb ;-)

I've taken note of your suggestions at Houde and Holymtn though. I'd be very interested in more of your thoughts on those teas. Are HM's short descriptions accurate and fair to them?

I'll consider these once my wallet has recovered after this YS llc buy :-)

cheers
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Postby drumhum » Aug 20th, '08, 20:35

Salsero wrote:I agree with all the statements made so far about aged and about buying samples. ABx suggested Stéphane's 1990 Fang Cha Zhuan as an example of a sort of benchmark, average aged sheng at a reasonable price. I just got a whole brick (probably more than I need!) and agree that it is a nice example, though not stunning. The last price list I got from him listed it at $8.00 US for 30 gr.


I've seen Stéphane's Blog - great stuff.

I have a price list from him but I'm wondering how I order exactly. Do you just email a request and take it from there?
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