Pu-er Drinker Wannabe

Puerh and other heicha
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aet
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Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:50 am

Stephen wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:46 pm
Personally I prefer shu pu er that is at least 10 years old, in part because of this.
Would you purchase a shu without knowing the date of production? I mean at least sample. Or strictly "sort by date" and scroll down to 09 or less?
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Stephen
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Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:57 pm

aet wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:50 am
Would you purchase a shu without knowing the date of production? I mean at least sample. Or strictly "sort by date" and scroll down to 09 or less?
I would purchase it from any year if I liked the tea. I would purchase shu in the same year as pressing if I liked it, although I might store it for a while if the dui wei was strong or the tea brewed cloudy. Some newly pressed teas have little or no dui wei depending on production. I tend to brew older teas more often though. I prefer the aged aromas and feeling of older teas.
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aet
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Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:17 pm

Stephen wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:57 pm
I would purchase it from any year if I liked the tea.
Sorry, I should be more specific. Would you purchase a no name shu puerh sample before you like it? I mean before you actually know what is it, which year is it? If yes, what would be a reasonable size and price for such a sample? (excl.shipping fee)

"I tend to brew older teas more often though." ..what is your oldest shu ? year, name and storage ? (GZ/HK/TW/MAL/KM..or other)
what is your preferred storage? ( please no "dry /wet " terminology , just the location like the above is good enough ) .

"I prefer the aged aromas and feeling of older teas." .....could you be more specific please? can you compare to something? (like notes , scent of something familiar )

Thank you for any question you choose to answer.
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Stephen
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Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:23 pm

aet wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:17 pm
Sorry, I should be more specific. Would you purchase a no name shu puerh sample before you like it? I mean before you actually know what is it, which year is it? If yes, what would be a reasonable size and price for such a sample? (excl.shipping fee)

I don't totally understand the question. When buying samples I like to read the description. I like 25g samples. Sample price is usually based on cost of the tea.

"I tend to brew older teas more often though." ..what is your oldest shu ? year, name and storage ? (GZ/HK/TW/MAL/KM..or other)
what is your preferred storage? ( please no "dry /wet " terminology , just the location like the above is good enough ) .

I have one from 1995, followed by a few from 1999-2001. I tend to like Hong Kong stored or Kunming stored.

"I prefer the aged aromas and feeling of older teas." .....could you be more specific please? can you compare to something? (like notes , scent of something familiar )

I'm not that good at identifying all the types of fragrance (xiang.) In shu pu er I tend to like aged, camphor and ginseng fragrance. Date fragrance is also nice.


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John_B
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:10 am

Sorry to interrupt in the middle of that other part; I just noticed this thread looking around here. As with lots of subjects I have plenty to express related to these themes, just without any sort of implied claim of expertise connected to that.

I've often wondered about that fishy smell theme related to shu, since I tend to not notice it. I think the cause of that comes in two parts: I don't drink much low quality shu, and I'm probably associating flavors others consider more marine or fishy as something else instead. I've tried quite a bit of shu, lots of it relatively newly produced, and tend to not notice fishiness very often at all. Tea being a bit off does come up, in different senses.

Related to one specific aged sheng recommendation, I do own a cake of that CNNP 2007 8891; that is nice, per my preference. There are different things (aspect range, character) to appreciate in aged sheng of different styles and quality levels, so it's only "good" within that sort of set of considerations, but to me it's pleasant, and a good value.

Buying good value 10 year old or older sheng gets to be a tricky business. There are always trade-offs involved, because demand is high enough for such teas, and there was a significant cost involved for someone to hold onto such a tea and store it properly. One obvious way to work through trade offs is to throw money at the problem; tea can be a good value even if it costs a lot ($1 a gram and up, for the sake of pinning some arbitrary range to that, although for some people that's still low-budget tea range).

Sampling helps, but even then you need to know what to sample. The learning curve takes long enough that preferences and interpretation of tea versions would change a lot over the first parts (few dozen samples, year or two, however that goes). It's a bit odd aiming for a moving target like that, trying to buy what you are going to like in the future, especially related to both preference and the tea itself changing, due to aging / storage / fermentation concerns.

Another notable way to work around value issues is to buy dry stored tea. Really that's kind of what is going on with Yunnan Sourcing; those teas will have aged a lot slower for being stored in the Kunming area, which isn't bad but also not necessarily optimum. People feel all sorts of different ways about that. You might also check out Chawang Shop; per my experience they seem to mark up older teas less quickly than YS does. Then again there is a lot of tea on Yunnan Sourcing and it seems like the versions that get attention and are in demand are increased faster.

Shu is fine; there is no need to take a common opinion in tea forums too seriously, to be quick to change what you like in tea based on other people's preferences. I definitely get why aged sheng could be seen as clearly superior, but to some extent that's a statement about preference.

If you haven't then you should look up Liquid Proust. That vendor is based out of Ohio and he sells a lot of sample sets that are a good place to start, some of which he basically gives away, related to the cost. I think he sells based out of an Etsy profile, but Google would add the link details easily enough.
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aet
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:45 am

Stephen wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:23 pm
aet wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:17 pm
I don't totally understand the question. When buying samples I like to read the description. I like 25g samples. Sample price is usually based on cost of the tea.
I mean if for example there is a shu puerh without description of location , factory and year of production. Just simple note of roughly taste ( which can be individual of course ) . Would you dare to purchase sample of it ? For what price would u be “risking” to purchase ( if yes so ) and what sample size is enough for you to determine if the tea worth its price for you. Lets assume you don't know the price of full product before that.

I’m personally prefer KM stored shu but had few good exceptions from HK or GZ. Older ones , 90 etc from KM are usually not drinkable coz too dry . From locations like GZ Im bit “allergic ” to strong alcohol notes which might appear. I dont mind to certain level of it , but there are many with deep smoky and wet wood notes which I found heavy to drink...at least for me. I cant afford to buy genuine shu from 90’s anyway coz I live in China and not make that much money to pay 2000 - 3000CNY for cake like this. ( wholesale prices ) . But I do have occasionally opportunity drink with some collectors here. The genuine old Shu is generally less available on market ( of course tons of fakes exist ) since its made for drinking rather than storing so the prices are , in many occasions , higher than same aged sheng:-( and so they are more fakes than sheng I’d say ).
I find hard to determine age in GZ or Hk stored shengs ,let alone shu ,where there is no any aging in progress anymore ( the actual enzymes working ) , just the absorbing the environment aroma / odors which affect / changing the taste.
thommes
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:18 am

There is no self wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:56 pm
The one time people described pu'erh as fishy to me they actually meant stale. It wasn't even that, though, rather it was a 10 year old shu with a very strong storage smell. Combined with the earthy notes and a bit of fermentation smell, it gave off the impression that the tea had gone bad.
The people I'm talking about had never drunk pu'erh before and didn't know what to expect. Perhaps this is what those reviews you read were talking about?
I would not debate the expertise of the articles I read and videos I watched that talked about the fishy odor/taste. I seriously doubt that they had never drank pu before making the comment.
thommes
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:16 am

Stephen wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:46 pm
I wonder if the fishy smell you describe is the fermentation smell/flavor (dui wei 堆味) that comes from the fermentation process (wo dui 渥堆) of the pu er leaves. If I understand correctly the amount of dui wei can vary with the amount of fermentation, time since fermentation, and storage conditions. If I understand correctly even good quality tea can have it depending on those factors. Personally I prefer shu pu er that is at least 10 years old, in part because of this.
I'm not sure. I suspect it has something to do with the fermentation process that occured in the dui wei process or fermentation that started due to improper storage.

Ok. So I'm a gardener. The reason I garden is so that I have material to compost. That's what I say at least. I love to compost. Backyard composting but I mean if I could make a living by making quality compost and selling it, well I would. :) The reason I say this is because from what I've read and watched about Shu pu, the process is basically composting the tea leaves and then stopping at a certain point. And that all makes sense now. It's kind of like pu fits into my life so perfectly. The earthy smell and flavor. I won't say the odor is the same as compost, but still as sweet. So if compost gets too wet, the process changes to an anaerobic process which smells like pond scum or worse. I actually like the smell of both aerobic and anaerobic processes. I'm wondering if the fishy aka bad odor and taste of pu might be due to part of the pile transitioning to an anaerobic process from being too wet or not turned enough. Just my thoughts.

I sort of want to taste the pu that has the fishy taste and at the same time hope I dont get any....
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Victoria
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:52 pm

thommes wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:16 am
I'm not sure. I suspect it has something to do with the fermentation process that occured in the dui wei process or fermentation that started due to improper storage.

Ok. So I'm a gardener. The reason I garden is so that I have material to compost. That's what I say at least. I love to compost. Backyard composting but I mean if I could make a living by making quality compost and selling it, well I would. :) The reason I say this is because from what I've read and watched about Shu pu, the process is basically composting the tea leaves and then stopping at a certain point. And that all makes sense now. It's kind of like pu fits into my life so perfectly. The earthy smell and flavor. I won't say the odor is the same as compost, but still as sweet. So if compost gets too wet, the process changes to an anaerobic process which smells like pond scum or worse. I actually like the smell of both aerobic and anaerobic processes. I'm wondering if the fishy aka bad odor and taste of pu might be due to part of the pile transitioning to an anaerobic process from being too wet or not turned enough. Just my thoughts.

I sort of want to taste the pu that has the fishy taste and at the same time hope I dont get any....
Nice how these two worlds are coming together for you. I agree the process of fermentation with pu’erh is similar to piling used in composting. There’s a guy, the Compost Tea Guy, at our local farmers market who makes a special composted tea brew. Maybe you could start selling that :) it’s a combination of micronutrients and bacteria, that stimulates microorganisms to supper infuse the soil and feed plants.

I suspect the fishy smell in that pu’erh would be coming from excessively humid storage conditions, so maybe it is going through anaerobic process and just needs to be aired out for a few months. On a different track, with Japanese greens I sometimes get notes of seaweed and sea air and have wondered if that’s coming from soil possibly fertilized using plant and fish from the ocean. Maybe not, but wonder how that aroma and flavor is occurring.
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Tor
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:23 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:52 pm
On a different track, with Japanese greens I sometimes get notes of seaweed and sea air and have wondered if that’s coming from soil possibly fertilized using plant and fish from the ocean. Maybe not, but wonder how that aroma and flavor is occurring.
“Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is a compound with chemical formula C2H6S. It’s generally described as having a smell of cooked cabbage, asparagus, sweet corn, and seaweed.”

https://www.myjapanesegreentea.com/why- ... ke-seaweed
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Stephen
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:23 am

aet wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:45 am
I mean if for example there is a shu puerh without description of location , factory and year of production. Just simple note of roughly taste ( which can be individual of course ) . Would you dare to purchase sample of it ?

I’m personally prefer KM stored shu but had few good exceptions from HK or GZ. Older ones , 90 etc from KM are usually not drinkable coz too dry . From locations like GZ Im bit “allergic ” to strong alcohol notes which might appear. I dont mind to certain level of it , but there are many with deep smoky and wet wood notes which I found heavy to drink...at least for me. I cant afford to buy genuine shu from 90’s anyway coz I live in China and not make that much money to pay 2000 - 3000CNY for cake like this. ( wholesale prices ) . But I do have occasionally opportunity drink with some collectors here. The genuine old Shu is generally less available on market ( of course tons of fakes exist ) since its made for drinking rather than storing so the prices are , in many occasions , higher than same aged sheng:-( and so they are more fakes than sheng I’d say ).
I don't think I'd sample that way unless I trusted the seller and liked their taste in tea. I do like the 25g size, enough for a few tastings.

I hear you on the cost of older tea. The good thing is that young tea becomes old tea! I have a few that I probably wouldn't purchase again at current prices. It's surprising to me sometimes how the years can go by.
thommes
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:42 am

DailyTX wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:34 pm
YS sells a CNNP 8891 is a good entry to Sheng Pu. It has aged long enough to lose most of the green. Price went up for about 10 bucks in 2019. I think it will go up more given how forgiving this tea is.
https://yunnansourcing.us/products/2007 ... c7d6&_ss=r
The description for this tea states that the wrapper could be bug bitten and warns consumer not to buy if squeamish. Not me, but wife. Have another recommendation?
.m.
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:49 am

thommes wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:42 am
DailyTX wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:34 pm
YS sells a CNNP 8891 is a good entry to Sheng Pu. It has aged long enough to lose most of the green. Price went up for about 10 bucks in 2019. I think it will go up more given how forgiving this tea is.
https://yunnansourcing.us/products/2007 ... c7d6&_ss=r
The description for this tea states that the wrapper could be bug bitten and warns consumer not to buy if squeamish. Not me, but wife. Have another recommendation?
I have a cake of the 8891 somewhere in a storage (with a perfect wrapper); to be honest, i've found it a bit boring, like there is nothing wrong with it, but nothing great either (but that might be expected for the price). The best is to try samples (25g) of several teas of different ages. Try some from their home brand (this one in particular got some interesting review on mattchasblog: https://yunnansourcing.us/collections/y ... h-tea-cake).
You may also try email Scott (the owner) and ask for his recommendations.
thommes
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:29 am

.m. wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:49 am
I have a cake of the 8891 somewhere in a storage (with a perfect wrapper); to be honest, i've found it a bit boring, like there is nothing wrong with it, but nothing great either (but that might be expected for the price). The best is to try samples (25g) of several teas of different ages. Try some from their home brand (this one in particular got some interesting review on mattchasblog: https://yunnansourcing.us/collections/y ... h-tea-cake).
You may also try email Scott (the owner) and ask for his recommendations.
Yeah. I'm pretty surprised by the samples I've been trying from Crimson Lotus. I might have tried 5 so far and at least 2 just have no taste to me. I've tried different steeping methods, timings, etc.

I actually sent Scott a message about sheng samplers. I couldn't find any and he sent me a link to a page that was filled with sheng samplers. That was the .com site and not the .us site. I should specify next time. I'd like to get it from the .us site so I get the tea faster. LOL

Dunno. I spent several hours this morning watching Yunnan Sourcing videos and searching both the .com and .us sites as well as other sites. Just so much out there. I'm thinking of going with the more favored factory favorite recipes that I've found threads on in the forum but some of those are even hard to find.

I did find a Meetup group in central Ohio for tea lovers. By coincidence they are having a pu-erh tasting this weekend. Might be able to check that out.
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tealifehk
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Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:42 am

thommes wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:29 am
.m. wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:49 am
I have a cake of the 8891 somewhere in a storage (with a perfect wrapper); to be honest, i've found it a bit boring, like there is nothing wrong with it, but nothing great either (but that might be expected for the price). The best is to try samples (25g) of several teas of different ages. Try some from their home brand (this one in particular got some interesting review on mattchasblog: https://yunnansourcing.us/collections/y ... h-tea-cake).
You may also try email Scott (the owner) and ask for his recommendations.
Yeah. I'm pretty surprised by the samples I've been trying from Crimson Lotus. I might have tried 5 so far and at least 2 just have no taste to me. I've tried different steeping methods, timings, etc.

I actually sent Scott a message about sheng samplers. I couldn't find any and he sent me a link to a page that was filled with sheng samplers. That was the .com site and not the .us site. I should specify next time. I'd like to get it from the .us site so I get the tea faster. LOL

Dunno. I spent several hours this morning watching Yunnan Sourcing videos and searching both the .com and .us sites as well as other sites. Just so much out there. I'm thinking of going with the more favored factory favorite recipes that I've found threads on in the forum but some of those are even hard to find.

I did find a Meetup group in central Ohio for tea lovers. By coincidence they are having a pu-erh tasting this weekend. Might be able to check that out.
Some of the tap water in Ohio is shockingly hard: are you using tap water?
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