Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

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


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Aug 14th, '11, 22:15
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by HifideliTea » Aug 14th, '11, 22:15

Thanks for the offer, I'll have to give this trip a miss if it's not worth it.

Jun 11th, '14, 22:06
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by AllanK » Jun 11th, '14, 22:06

What internet tea shops do people use for old tree tea that is reliably what they claim it to be? Yunnan Sourcing? Tea Urchin?

Jun 11th, '14, 23:14
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by shah82 » Jun 11th, '14, 23:14

Teashops do not solely sell top end tea because that stuff is more than most people can shop for. Here are examples of possible top stuff:

http://www.white2tea.com/tea-shop/2014-last-thoughts/

http://www.bestteaonline.com/store/cata ... cts_id=104

http://www.royalpuer.com/Cha-Wang-Shu-Bing-Cha.asp

http://www.banateacompany.com/pages/pue ... _cake.html

Hopefully, that gives you an idea of the situation. I can't honestly even just recommend tea to you because they are all so expensive. Ultimately, you still don't know if it's "pure" for sure, or even if it's good in a way you like or lasting, as the tea ages. For example, I would never think that this: http://chinaflairtea.com/black_1996_zhenchunya.html is worth remotely that sort of money. It's good but it's so...underwhelming for the truly high price. And it's not that bad compared to how much lao banzhangs costs, or even the simple '06 Dayi banzhang, which isn't super-elevated gushu magictea.

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Jun 11th, '14, 23:23
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by tst » Jun 11th, '14, 23:23

I may be wrong and would love to get some thoughts on this, but my impression is that many of these higher end teas are not HK stored ... is this incorrect?

I tend to prefer wetter-stored, malaysian stored, HK-style teas. What options are there for that stuff.

I loved buying from YS early on, but feel Scott does not stock very many wetter-stored teas. Most are the dry, Kunming-style stuff that I just can't enjoy.

Any pointers? :D

Jun 11th, '14, 23:52
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by shah82 » Jun 11th, '14, 23:52

I have been drooling after this tea: http://www.white2tea.com/tea-shop/1990s ... -raw-puer/

can't promise that it's any good, since there are plenty of godawful '90s tea and every teashop owner thinks their tea is the bee's knees. But the cake looks sort of good to me, and the chance that it's early '90s, really makes me want to try a sample and see if it's any good. $150 for '90s tea, so long as it's not crap, is an awesome deal.

Origin Tea has a number of explicitly late '90s tea.

This is a similar situation http://www.origintea.net/pu-erh-tea/mid ... g-red-mark

The '95 mengku, doesn't really look right, in leaf size or how carbonized it looks. Also, by review, will not give deep earth taste.

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Jun 12th, '14, 00:41
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by the_economist » Jun 12th, '14, 00:41

I've had the Mengku 95, it's a solid tea. The processing was done differently, that's why it looks different. The leaves were not rolled but pressed flat.

The Bazhong that shah suggested sounds right up your alley tst.

Jun 12th, '14, 01:16
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by shah82 » Jun 12th, '14, 01:16

Not rolling and pressing flat is pretty much not kosher. May as well be Tibetian bricks!

Jun 12th, '14, 18:52
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by AllanK » Jun 12th, '14, 18:52

It must be possible to find old tree tea for less than $500 a bing? Any suggestions for Gushu in the $150 to $200 range. The teas mentioned by Shah82 in his post look incredible and I might buy a sample but whole cakes are out of my current price range.

Jun 12th, '14, 19:36
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by shah82 » Jun 12th, '14, 19:36

It's just that old trees are an exaggeration, you know? Of both the benefits and the actual purity of which. Plenty of old trees are not very good. Oftentimes a 200 year old tree easily beats a 500 year old tree. It is difficult enough just to get tasty tea that has everything it should with a theme you can follow. Paying $200/357g generally seems to get you a good tasting tea with old tree material, pure or blended. Say, Bangwei33 at Essence of Tea. However, that's all. You should spend most of your time trying to find older, forgotten tea. Gushu is very unlikely there, too, but a fair price is pretty possible if you search hard enough. Also, remember that gushu disappoints just as much as regular puerh. It will have great days, and not so great days. The cakes will lapse into non-tasty phases for years on end and all of that.

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Jun 12th, '14, 22:30
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by kyarazen » Jun 12th, '14, 22:30

AllanK wrote:It must be possible to find old tree tea for less than $500 a bing? Any suggestions for Gushu in the $150 to $200 range. The teas mentioned by Shah82 in his post look incredible and I might buy a sample but whole cakes are out of my current price range.
it is more than possible to find old tree tea that is unblended that is less than $500 a bing off the shelf.

if you're exploring gushu you should get samples from friends whom are experienced with pu-erh and less from merchants. friends would have screened some of the teas already and allow you to encounter less of the bad ones.

Jun 13th, '14, 01:55
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by shah82 » Jun 13th, '14, 01:55

I'm pissy about this because the focus on old tree is entirely excessive. It's really worth it to have true and good quality old tree puerh, but such tea is just not very cheap at all. More than that, we all have to wade through misguided impressions of what gushu LBZ or gushu Jingmai is like (and their diversity), etc, and it makes it hard for anyone to understand such tea from publications and websites.

Let's be frank, there just isn't that much old tree tea out there. There's a lot, compared to the amount of high quality tea from other regions, like Anxi or Li Shan, but compared to the actual demand? Absolutely nothing. There's roughly two tons of spring first flush Bingdao. That's about five thousand proper cakes. Looking at Linda Louie's facebook page and the pages of others who are pretty...exclusive, you can see that a lot of it doesn't even really make it into bings, and plenty does go into bings, quietly, for the wealthy. How many bings of anything like real stuff do you think makes it to the like of Baohonyinji and their internal distro run? The one white2tea and origintea sold samples of? ( http://www.marshaln.com/2014/03/priced- ... he-market/ ) In comparison, how many fresh 2013 and 2014 "Bindao" tea do you see out there? For horrendously high prices? Far too many for what could exist!

We see Bindao and Xigui, but how many chances do you see to buy top flight JingGu teas, from Yangta, Wenshan, Osanzhai, aside from Sanhetang? How many chances do you see of buying the really nice Bada stuff? Jingmai produces a lot of tea, yet a prolific drinker like Hobbes can "miss the point" http://half-dipper.blogspot.co.uk/2013/ ... arsis.html until a revelation. Yet most people pay a lot of money, for not particularly good Jingmai. And Jingmai produces quite a bit of tea, gushu and otherwise.

And in the likes of Xishuangbanna proper, it's pretty much chaos. Virtually every place is pretty difficult to buy really good gushu tea, and much of the stuff that's available, like http://www.marshaln.com/2013/07/two-new ... -wisteria/ costs about $200 or so--and the non-Wangongzhai is only a "pretty good" example of gushu (Yishanmo). Pay $200 freakin' dollars for "pretty good" gushu tea. And this last year? Every boss and his secretary was going like: http://www.twodogteablog.com/2014/04/07 ... tea-table/ and they're having to wade through hoards of wealthy tourists buying crap gushu from the farmstands: http://www.twodogteablog.com/2014/05/06 ... -puer-tea/ .

If you are honestly ambitious enough to buy young and fresh gushu tea, then yes, you should expect to pay $200 at a minimum for basic (especially in 'banna) gushu. You probably should NOT be unfair to your teas if you buy them at $60 or $80 per 357g bing by pretending that they're gushu. Even if they are, it's probably not good gushu. You should buy the tea that you can afford, and enjoy them for what they are. While gushu definitely is magic, it's actually a pretty subtle one, for the most part. (And you didn't buy that Rolex from a guy in Times Square, that's gotta count for something, too)

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Jun 13th, '14, 05:51
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by Balthazar » Jun 13th, '14, 05:51

AllanK wrote:It must be possible to find old tree tea for less than $500 a bing? Any suggestions for Gushu in the $150 to $200 range.
TeaUrchin's Gua Feng Zhai 2012 Spring costs $199, and is supposedly made from 300-500 year old tea trees. I've only had a sample myself, which I liked a lot.

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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by kyarazen » Jun 13th, '14, 06:03

no need to get pissy at all actually. everyone have their preferences on teas, there's no need for anyone to live by my definition of good pu-er, nor your definition either..

i forgot how much plantation tea i had drunk in the past, now playing with gushu and nice materials is another phase of enjoying the hobby.



shah82 wrote:I'm pissy about this because the focus on old tree is entirely excessive. It's really worth it to have true and good quality old tree puerh, but such tea is just not very cheap at all. More than that, we all have to wade through misguided impressions of what gushu LBZ or gushu Jingmai is like (and their diversity), etc, and it makes it hard for anyone to understand such tea from publications and websites.

Let's be frank, there just isn't that much old tree tea out there. There's a lot, compared to the amount of high quality tea from other regions, like Anxi or Li Shan, but compared to the actual demand? Absolutely nothing. There's roughly two tons of spring first flush Bingdao. That's about five thousand proper cakes. Looking at Linda Louie's facebook page and the pages of others who are pretty...exclusive, you can see that a lot of it doesn't even really make it into bings, and plenty does go into bings, quietly, for the wealthy. How many bings of anything like real stuff do you think makes it to the like of Baohonyinji and their internal distro run? The one white2tea and origintea sold samples of? ( http://www.marshaln.com/2014/03/priced- ... he-market/ ) In comparison, how many fresh 2013 and 2014 "Bindao" tea do you see out there? For horrendously high prices? Far too many for what could exist!

We see Bindao and Xigui, but how many chances do you see to buy top flight JingGu teas, from Yangta, Wenshan, Osanzhai, aside from Sanhetang? How many chances do you see of buying the really nice Bada stuff? Jingmai produces a lot of tea, yet a prolific drinker like Hobbes can "miss the point" http://half-dipper.blogspot.co.uk/2013/ ... arsis.html until a revelation. Yet most people pay a lot of money, for not particularly good Jingmai. And Jingmai produces quite a bit of tea, gushu and otherwise.

And in the likes of Xishuangbanna proper, it's pretty much chaos. Virtually every place is pretty difficult to buy really good gushu tea, and much of the stuff that's available, like http://www.marshaln.com/2013/07/two-new ... -wisteria/ costs about $200 or so--and the non-Wangongzhai is only a "pretty good" example of gushu (Yishanmo). Pay $200 freakin' dollars for "pretty good" gushu tea. And this last year? Every boss and his secretary was going like: http://www.twodogteablog.com/2014/04/07 ... tea-table/ and they're having to wade through hoards of wealthy tourists buying crap gushu from the farmstands: http://www.twodogteablog.com/2014/05/06 ... -puer-tea/ .

If you are honestly ambitious enough to buy young and fresh gushu tea, then yes, you should expect to pay $200 at a minimum for basic (especially in 'banna) gushu. You probably should NOT be unfair to your teas if you buy them at $60 or $80 per 357g bing by pretending that they're gushu. Even if they are, it's probably not good gushu. You should buy the tea that you can afford, and enjoy them for what they are. While gushu definitely is magic, it's actually a pretty subtle one, for the most part. (And you didn't buy that Rolex from a guy in Times Square, that's gotta count for something, too)

Jun 13th, '14, 12:38
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by shah82 » Jun 13th, '14, 12:38

Balthazar, I've had a couple of tries with that tea, and with due caution for condemning tea on such light acquaintance, experiences with that tea provide much incentives for my rants about people thinking that they can get great tea for cheaper than what millionaires would pay for. TU '12 GFZ tastes like heavy version of GFZ, and is an okay tea, but it just didn't have the kind of greatness that good tea from the area does. Bottom line, $200 is a lot of money to pay for such a tea, and there are better values in TU stocks as well as elsewhere.

This make me have a strong urge to remonstrate to potential tea buyers--There are lots of really rich tea drinkers in East Asia, a number of them are fools, a number of them only drink aged proper puerh, but still plenty more who have good tastes and bottomless wallets. It's a pretty good rule of thumb to find out what the latest prices are to give you a good idea of just how much money it would take to buy a good example of a tea from the area--keeping in mind that the lower end of the range likely is better plantation rather than actual gushu.

Those of us in the West with all sorts of other things we could be buying and enjoying (and not trying to impress anyone) need to have a great deal of caution about the enthusiasms of the East. Plenty of things will be said to be possible at such a price, but are really not, unless you are very lucky or connected. Be realistic, understand that the star areas is just...$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and full of fakes, local plantation, or nearby not-as-good-gushu. Think about the traits you want to pay for (bleep, I can't even distinguish any area by blind sample), and specifically pay for those traits, and not the name. Don't expect much of the gushu labeled teas out their to truly retain value in the long run--when the fever is gone...

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Jun 13th, '14, 13:08
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Re: Pure Old Tree Pu Erh Tea

by Tead Off » Jun 13th, '14, 13:08

Here in Asia, there are more and more Puerh converts everyday. It is growing by leaps and bounds. I'm not sure anyone in the West who doesn't visit Asia regularly and see what is happening, can make any statement about its future. We all hope for better pricing but inflation in Asia is high. Food prices alone have gone up dramatically if you live in any big city.

If this 'bubble' is going to burst, we see no sign of it here. Only the top, top, teas might take a tumble if the rich buyers decide to stop. Alas, they are not stopping. I don't see any remission in pricing of most of the teas that get discussed here.

$200 for 400g gives you 100g/$50. Many tea drinkers routinely pay this for other types of tea. With Puerh, you can usually double the amount of brews you get plus some. It's only in comparison to its own market that it seems expensive now. It's out of the closet, so to speak. No going back.

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