First Taste of Pu Erh

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


Sep 13th, '07, 22:34
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First Taste of Pu Erh

by Theo Sinensis » Sep 13th, '07, 22:34

I just tried my first Pu Erh today: a sample of Ancient Pu Erh Maiden, from Upton. I did not rinse the leaves, and brewed it for about 2-3 mins., with about 1 tsp per 8 oz of water.

It did not become bitter, and had the kind of earthy taste I have been told to expect. My wife said she noted the fruity quality, saying it tasted a bit like raisins.

My question now is, did I get it right? It's hard to communicate the sense of taste on a computer, but I wonder if I didn't let it brew enough, or should have used more leaf. I got the colour I expected based upon photos of what it should look like, and it seems like the exceptional taste was there. I've seen posts here which indicate that the taste maybe should have been stronger or more bizarre? What we found was definitely a unique taste, but not off-putting in any way.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Sep 13th, '07, 23:22
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by Mocha Wheels » Sep 13th, '07, 23:22

if you liked the end result then you got it right :D

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Sep 13th, '07, 23:37
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by Space Samurai » Sep 13th, '07, 23:37

I've had Rishi's puerh maiden many times, and your description sounds about right. It wasn't the most complex puerh I've had, it seems to me, in my opinion, the shengs have more complexity than shus do.

Sep 13th, '07, 23:39
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by Theo Sinensis » Sep 13th, '07, 23:39

I just tried it again a few minutes ago, rinsed the leaves this time and let it steep for about 6-7 minutes (I've seen different recommendations from 2 to 7). The taste was more or less the same, without any bitterness at all. My first thought is that I have a high quality of tea here, and I'm very pleased with it. But I can't really know until I've tasted enough variations.

Tomorrow I will try the Tuo Cha, and see how that comes out.

Sep 18th, '07, 14:24
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by Dolly » Sep 18th, '07, 14:24

Yep, that's pu-erh.

If it is a cooked pu-erh, or shu, it won't get bitter. I have various cooked varieties, and some I have left steeping in a thermos overnight. None of them have ever gotten bitter. That is what I like about a cooked pu-erh. I can put it in my filter cup, pour in my hot water and go! No chance of the tea over-steeping and getting bitter.

Sheng is a little more temperamental. Most react highly to over-brewing and things such as that. I do have some shengs that I drink, though, when I have time to monitor it and take my time with what I am doing.

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Sep 18th, '07, 15:38
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by ABx » Sep 18th, '07, 15:38

You might try using a little more leaf and steeping for less time. I too use an infuser mug, but I add more leaf and in the time it takes me to walk from the kitchen to my desk it's done. I generally then get a good 5 or more cups from it.

It's the earthy aspect that tends to put some people off. The way they describe it would make you think that it's strong to the point of being overpowering, but it's really not. It's generally very smooth and creamy, with a flavor that isn't particularly in-your-face.

My father doesn't like it because he thinks it's bland. Then again he also adds enough sugar that I don't think a person could really taste anything else.

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Sep 26th, '07, 21:02
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Re: First Taste of Pu Erh

by augie » Sep 26th, '07, 21:02

Theo Sinensis wrote: My question now is, did I get it right? It's hard to communicate the sense of taste on a computer,

Any thoughts? Suggestions?
The other problem I've found is that some pu ehr smells earthy, some doesn't. Some tastes very earthy, some doesn't. I've also tried some samples that smell earthy, but taste differently which is very perplexing because much of the taste information you get comes from your nose!

some pu ehr enthusiasts may flame me for saying so, but I usually brew a first infusion and discard. Especially with cooked pu ehr. Even with a good rinse, that 1st brew is just sensory overload for me.

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Sep 26th, '07, 22:41
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Re: First Taste of Pu Erh

by ABx » Sep 26th, '07, 22:41

augie wrote:some pu ehr enthusiasts may flame me for saying so, but I usually brew a first infusion and discard. Especially with cooked pu ehr. Even with a good rinse, that 1st brew is just sensory overload for me.
I don't think anyone would flame you for it :) Some people prefer up to 3 good rinses before they consider it palatable. Some are indeed cleaner than others, but most have some level of earthiness.

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Sep 27th, '07, 20:07
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Re: First Taste of Pu Erh

by hop_goblin » Sep 27th, '07, 20:07

ABx wrote:
augie wrote:some pu ehr enthusiasts may flame me for saying so, but I usually brew a first infusion and discard. Especially with cooked pu ehr. Even with a good rinse, that 1st brew is just sensory overload for me.
I don't think anyone would flame you for it :) Some people prefer up to 3 good rinses before they consider it palatable. Some are indeed cleaner than others, but most have some level of earthiness.
Exactly ABX I personally enjoy the 3rd and fourth the best.. However, it varies with every pu :)

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Oct 1st, '07, 18:07
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by augie » Oct 1st, '07, 18:07

Good, then I'm not a baby for wasting the first infusion?
I've noticed it doesn't get good until the 2-3rd cup.
I also only infuse for 30 seconds. I've tried using less tea, but it doesn't have a good flavor.

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