Fishy smell?

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

Fishy smell?

Postby Robertwolf1 » Dec 15th, '08, 19:00

I received 7 samples today from puerhshop.
The first I am trying is ... cts_id=295
I did two rinses and on my first infusion am getting a fairly strong fishy type smell.
Any ideas why? Or is this normal. Two infusions later the smell had disapated for the most part. The flavor was well, I guess I'll have to try this again because I was so preoccupied with the smell.
The other samples were
Shu- ... cts_id=521 ... cts_id=341
Sheng- ... cts_id=468 ... cts_id=342 ... cts_id=653 ... cts_id=273

I'll try my hand at some reviews after some practice brewing.

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Postby shogun89 » Dec 15th, '08, 19:46

Looks to me like you picked out some great samples. The fishy smell is absolutely normal for a shu. After drinking it for a while you will eventually get used to it. The Songpin is a wonderful shu, just had some a week ago, I got about 10 infusions from it. How are you brewing yours, out of curiosity?

Take a gaiwan or yixing, put 5 grams in, do one rinse with boiling water. first steep I usually go for 15 seconds, then 20,30,50,50 and so on. Keep adjusting to your style, and eventually you will get it.

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Postby bearsbearsbears » Dec 15th, '08, 20:26

I found some pond/fish in this tea occasionally, but using softer water made it disappear.

My review is here if you're curious. I thought the songpin was pretty good shu.

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Postby Salsero » Dec 15th, '08, 21:55

You will find several reviews of the Songpin and a summary chart in the Taste of Mellow thread as well as reviews of a few other shu.

You can access the thread by clicking the link above, but here's the summary chart of the 5 samples there were then available in a sample kit.


    My own interpretation of the ratings:

    5 - I loved it
    4 - I liked it
    3 - It was OK
    2 - Didn't care that much for it
    1 - Hated it

There is a whole thread devoted to the Keyixing cake at viewtopic.php?t=5992&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=keyixing&start=0 and many other references in the forum, starting with BearsBearsBears suggesting it as a good starter puerh earlier this year HERE.

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Postby omegapd » Dec 16th, '08, 03:20

I've had one "fishy" Shu that was compliments of Salsero (we both noticed the odd aroma). If they were all like that, I wouldn't drink any more...

*Just checked my notes. Ours was a 2003 Xiaguan. Guess it was the year of the fish? :lol:

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Postby beecrofter » Dec 16th, '08, 04:49

Fishy smell?
Break it up and air it out, it goes away.

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Postby tony shlongini » Dec 16th, '08, 16:10

As the blind man walking past the shu store said,

"Hello, ladies."

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Postby edkrueger » Dec 16th, '08, 16:38

tony shlongini wrote:As the blind man walking past the shu store said,

"Hello, ladies."

Um. No.

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Postby zipflint » Dec 16th, '08, 16:49

I know the aroma you're talking about. I've only tried one shu so far, a 2007 Rongzhen 9878 that I got from puerhshop a few months back. I love it, and the aroma is usually rather leathery. But every now and then when I'm breaking off chunks for infusion, I do get a fishy whiff. It's absent once brewed.

The only other time I've run across this smell was with Republic of Tea's cherry blossom green tea. Yes, I know better now. But in its defense, it tasted much better than it smelled.


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Postby vibrantdragon » Dec 16th, '08, 18:44

I imagine that the fishy smells is from mold or mildew? I know some tea does get mold on it, but if you keep it at the right humidity and storage that should be minimized. You must ship and store the tea properly to minimize this. Plus, Pu'er should be kept in areas with no smell and decent air flow. It is easy to get a bad smell in Pu'er or to make it grow mold.

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Postby tony shlongini » Dec 16th, '08, 19:07

edkrueger wrote:
tony shlongini wrote:As the blind man walking past the shu store said,

"Hello, ladies."

Um. No.

It would have been funnier if this forum had a proper strikethrough feature.

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Postby Drax » Dec 16th, '08, 19:33

Huh, I guess I have not run into fishy shu yet.

It's weird, because even with my limited pu-erh experience (okay, now I admit I do have a good collection going at this point, though), it seems to be the sheng that has the stronger, more offensive odors. . .

I guess I'll keep sniffing.

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