Off Taste in Tea

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


Apr 19th, '14, 19:21
Posts: 335
Joined: Jul 13th, '13

Off Taste in Tea

by AllanK » Apr 19th, '14, 19:21

Upon drinking an inexpensive shu tea today I was wondering, would I describe it as having an off taste, or just fermentation flavor? It was a 2006 tea so it shouldn't have had much fermentation flavor. It was a brick from the Dehong Tea Factory. It had a discernible, heavy smoky flavor.

Exactly how do you describe off flavor? I don't know if this tea will improve. It was not, by any means, horrible, just not great. Perhaps the tea was not really a 2006 but a 2013 marketed as 2006.

Apr 19th, '14, 19:50
Posts: 1285
Joined: May 9th, '09

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by shah82 » Apr 19th, '14, 19:50

Bad shu.

Apr 19th, '14, 22:50
Posts: 403
Joined: Dec 9th, '12
Location: Seattle

Off Taste in Tea

by Exempt » Apr 19th, '14, 22:50

What shah said

User avatar
Apr 20th, '14, 21:16
Vendor Member
Posts: 512
Joined: Mar 19th, '12
Location: Frequently Moving Around
Contact: TwoDog2

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by TwoDog2 » Apr 20th, '14, 21:16

It is possible that whoever produced the ripe puer did not have a hong fang (a heated room to dry the cakes) and that they dried the pressed bricks with heat from a fire, hence the smoke. Some older bricks have a smokey character due to being dried via heat from a fire and the smoke taints the tea in the process.

A second possibility is that after the maocha was fermented they did something similar with heat to stop the fermentation process and dry out the maocha.

A third possibility is that at any stage during the tea or bricks production the tea was stored in an area that had a lot of smoke, like a room near a kitchen, and the tea or the brick absorbed this flavor and it has not gone away.

Regardless of the reason, if you don't like the tea just put it away for awhile and see if the character dissipates. Drink a different shu while you are waiting

User avatar
Apr 20th, '14, 21:48
Posts: 1777
Joined: Mar 22nd, '08
Location: Beijing

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by chrl42 » Apr 20th, '14, 21:48

Many Shus are produced in questionable or unsafe environment.

I usually go for big names (Menghai, Haiwan, Fuhai etc), what bothers in economic Shus of small factories, is a medicinal hint at the end of the flavor. They must have sprayed something! :D

User avatar
Apr 21st, '14, 01:41
Vendor Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Jan 24th, '11
Location: Yunnan
Contact: honza

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by honza » Apr 21st, '14, 01:41

Some dehong shu are extremly horrible. But some are not bad. Dehong have few factories which use similar names and package and shapes. Just the tea can be fine or really bad. Man, better buy some fine tea from menghai area. Life is so short. Not waste it

User avatar
Apr 24th, '14, 15:25
Posts: 1955
Joined: May 22nd, '06
Location: Trapped inside a bamboo tong!
Contact: hop_goblin

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by hop_goblin » Apr 24th, '14, 15:25

Shoupu doesn't really improve past 5 years in my opinion. The swampiness can dissipate some but it wont get 'refined'. The smokiness is probably a result of using wet wood in the drying process. Off flavors can be attributed to a number of reasons. Frankly, with shoupu, it is what it is.

User avatar
Apr 24th, '14, 21:04
Posts: 1777
Joined: Mar 22nd, '08
Location: Beijing

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by chrl42 » Apr 24th, '14, 21:04

hop_goblin wrote:Shoupu doesn't really improve past 5 years in my opinion. The swampiness can dissipate some but it wont get 'refined'. The smokiness is probably a result of using wet wood in the drying process. Off flavors can be attributed to a number of reasons. Frankly, with shoupu, it is what it is.
Long time no see!

hope to see you more often on Teachat :mrgreen:

Apr 24th, '14, 21:06
Posts: 1285
Joined: May 9th, '09

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by shah82 » Apr 24th, '14, 21:06

Don't care about the teachattin', care about the bloggin'

User avatar
Apr 24th, '14, 21:32
Posts: 401
Joined: Jul 22nd, '09
Scrolling: fixed

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by TomVerlain » Apr 24th, '14, 21:32

How about the 7581 brick ? Supposedly mixed sheng/shu - I also like 7262 which is not a heavily "cooked" shu - I have never had really old 7262, but I had some early 2000's that was very good, better than what I would consider ordinary shu.

User avatar
Apr 24th, '14, 23:47
Posts: 1777
Joined: Mar 22nd, '08
Location: Beijing

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by chrl42 » Apr 24th, '14, 23:47

TomVerlain wrote:How about the 7581 brick ? Supposedly mixed sheng/shu - I also like 7262 which is not a heavily "cooked" shu - I have never had really old 7262, but I had some early 2000's that was very good, better than what I would consider ordinary shu.
I have a friend who's 7581 mania :mrgreen:

Very classic/typical Shu I'd say

Apr 25th, '14, 21:42
Posts: 335
Joined: Jul 13th, '13

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by AllanK » Apr 25th, '14, 21:42

Drank an off tasting "sheng puerh" from Simpson and Vail today. I guess I can't complain because it was a free sample. It didn't taste like puerh at all, let alone sheng. It is possible that it was a improperly labeled green tea. Whatever it was it had a sickly sour taste like old green tea.

The point of this post is the aftereffect. Now every tea I have drank since tastes horrible. Has anyone had the effect of a bad tea ruining their pallet so all tea tastes awful? The only good thing about this is the taste will go away and I won't waste my money on that tea.

User avatar
May 4th, '14, 21:17
Vendor Member
Posts: 512
Joined: Mar 19th, '12
Location: Frequently Moving Around
Contact: TwoDog2

Re: Off Taste in Tea

by TwoDog2 » May 4th, '14, 21:17

AllanK wrote:Drank an off tasting "sheng puerh" from Simpson and Vail today. I guess I can't complain because it was a free sample. It didn't taste like puerh at all, let alone sheng. It is possible that it was a improperly labeled green tea. Whatever it was it had a sickly sour taste like old green tea.

The point of this post is the aftereffect. Now every tea I have drank since tastes horrible. Has anyone had the effect of a bad tea ruining their pallet so all tea tastes awful? The only good thing about this is the taste will go away and I won't waste my money on that tea.
Yes, that has happened to me before.

I can't think of an instance where a taste wouldn't leave my mouth though. Usually heavy pesticides or additives are the culprit for me. I have had some situations where my tongue can't recalibrate for a day or an afternoon.

+ Post Reply