Puerhtea.eu

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Bok
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Location: Taiwan

Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:22 am

cbrace wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:33 am
Thanks Maerskian. I'll up the RH a bit and let the Caicheng rest for a few more months.

I've just noticed something the pricing games this vendor undertakes. On Sept 1, I ordered a cake of 2005 Raw CNNP Lao Shu Yuan Cha and paid €35.92. Today it is listed at € 44,95, though apparently sold old. A jump of 25% in three months? Is this normal??
Hearsay has it that the factory cakes have indeed risen in price abruptly this year. It’s not the vendor it’s the factory.
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Maerskian
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Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:07 pm

cbrace wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:33 am
Thanks Maerskian. I'll up the RH a bit and let the Caicheng rest for a few more months.
I'm away from home now and won't be back until next sunday... yesterday however noticed that among the teas i brought with me i had - nothing more, nothing less - than this very caicheng !!!!

Just did a 1600ml session with it right now so writing under the influence:

Didn't remember the cake was this dark - almost black - by the way. The dry leaf isn't very fragrant which isn't abnormal .

For this session used ( brace yourselves ) ... 22g and a lovely 400ml Czech stoneware teapot ( not filled to the brim ); used spring water i brought with me from home - the same i always use - inside some glass jars . Did a 20 sec ( long ) rinse which resulted in a really dark brown brew that made me remember 13-15 yr old teas Guangdong stored .

The smell on the wet leaves isn't very intense... but it does have the familiar range of "old" : old coat, leather shoe ( not a brand new one, not the old kind either but one shoe that has been moderately used & aired but still has that particular smell around ) , old book ( not a heavily water damaged one, but the kind you can tell is relatively old ) .

It brews pretty dark brown and isn't incredibly tasty nor the kind to cause a great impact ( like good/high grade teas can ) but it's one point above "nice" ( really suprising based on it's real price that was $7 shipped ) and makes you wonder what could happen over the years.

The dry leaves start looking black, after a few steeps it becomes clear it's a blend with very dark leaves ( purple ) , some dark brown ones and small proportion still looks (dark) green. Around the 6th/7th steep those black leaves finally start revealing their purple nature and some of 'em look suprisingly nice ( once again, for the price it's really surprising ) .

Still, while it's not a shocking tea it has that "something" that makes you think it's better than average teas within their category and worth trying and experimenting with; the leaves used are particular which makes the aging-experiment side even more fun, plenty Dayi cakes use more plain/boring material... this one however could turn out better even if they didn't originally intended for anything special to develop over time... but such is the story behind many cakes that turned to be better than expected .


I've just noticed something the pricing games this vendor undertakes. On Sept 1, I ordered a cake of 2005 Raw CNNP Lao Shu Yuan Cha and paid €35.92. Today it is listed at € 44,95, though apparently sold old. A jump of 25% in three months? Is this normal??
Just read Bok tried to come with a rational explanation but i can confirm it's not related to it.

Already called 'em out a while ago. I placed... i think three orders total from that store, each time i bought something the prices were raised, sometimes in the most absurd & clumsy way.

There's more to it: when i first found this shop earlier this year i was particularly attracted to their CNNP cakes and messaged 'em asking for some potential information... to reach the conclusion they really had no idea what they had ( note: which is relatively normal given the black hole CNNP cakes are ) .

Their ripe/shu CNNP cake was price below 20€ , at some point they suddenly went crazy ( maybe they sold one ) & marked it as "out of stock" ( which i noticed to be a pattern ) ... and changed the price to a 3 figure number. Shortly afterwards ( not enough time to restock from HK/China ) this particular shu cake was priced around 100€ ( ?? ) and marked as a wonderful "sale" with the price crossed and the sale price being 70€ now ( same price it has now ) .

I got one T8663 shu on my first order priced around 20€ or lower, after that the price was raised; got some more on my second order, price was raised even more; got a final cake on my third order ( using reward points )... now it's even more expensive.

That Dr. Puer Nannuo was priced at 19€ earlier this year then artificially brought "back in stock" at 38€ ... now look at that price. Unfortunately i fell for this one ( aware of the heavy price-rigging, always factoring that my orders always qualified for the 20% off + reward points and doing an exercise of creative accounting to lower the price on those particular cakes ) ... because once tasted those Dr. Puer are horrible .

So yes... they artificially rig their prices and for some magical reasons expect nobody on the internet will notice ( took some screenshots of their stock earlier this year, shame i don't have them around here ); they even offer you teas that are out of stock and - oh the coincidence - they happened to have more around... at twice the original price .

That - potentially fake - Ban Zhang cake ... started at 89.99€ ... few days after it was listed they asked around 100€... the it was "sold out" and came back shortly afterwards at 109€ .

My overall impressions is that they just play silly games with the pricing of their teas and at some point started frothing with the current ongoing situation with EU customs, hoped to be "the place" everybody would get their puerh from and therefore rising prices artificially not based on any particular meticulous or mathematical criteria but just random feelings / impressions.... like me buying multiple cakes of this or that .

All well known shops have criterias to rise their prices periodically, TeaDB made a post about it, some - like Yunnan Sourcing - faced some criticism... still... nothing compares to the obvious greed & randomness going on with this particular store.

The worst part... is that they don't seem to understand the value of their teas... which are average factory teas at best not even the special kind or those high price/value kind or those great cakes that are fairly priced... just average factory cakes that would be a nice option to have if you need some puerh quick... given that they were fairly priced... as they should be for the quality offered... not to mention the more than obvious bad ( ultra dry ) storage conditions .

Now they seem to aim for a position they don't belong to, not on their wildest dreams... for such prices you can go already for boutique tea, good grades or even considering paying extra and jump into amazing teas. Teamania, TdC, Tea-Encounter, NannuoShan, GoodTea.EU, MoyChay, Pu-erh.SK for really high grade ( same as TE ) ... and more shops withing EU or geographical Europe territory... all of 'em offer teas with better prices, better qualities... way more reliable, way more knowledgeable ... there's no possible comparison.

They have been trying to turn their "customs headache-free" into a selling point, even advertisin on reddit that way... not realizing that for the price range they are aiming anybody would rather pay those fees for (much) better tea than pay the same price for something that is... what it is... not to mention the aforementioned hustle-free options .

In the end this kind of artificial & nonsensical pricing policy will only backfire on them.
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cbrace
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Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:26 am

You've made me keen to revisit that purple Caicheng! It could well be it was not the cake but me who was having a bad day :D

As for this vendor, I had a question about a previous order and mailed them again the other day -- still no response. Still trying to wrap my mind around the idea of a webstore vendor who doesn't reply to customer mails or has a misconfigured mailserver :?
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Maerskian
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Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:04 am

cbrace wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:26 am
You've made me keen to revisit that purple Caicheng! It could well be it was not the cake but me who was having a bad day :D
Now i remember your skepticism about short steeps combined with this... it makes me wonder: have you "challenged" the water you use ? when was the last time you tested it ? . Not sure what kind you're using but even if you buy the same bottled water there's always a chance they'll change something and not mention a thing about it. Considering how capital it is i'd say it's always worth checking if something doesn't feel right.
As for this vendor, I had a question about a previous order and mailed them again the other day -- still no response. Still trying to wrap my mind around the idea of a webstore vendor who doesn't reply to customer mails or has a misconfigured mailserver :?
The communication was good on my first orders, however on my last one suddenly also experienced the same problems. I think we ( me & the vendor ) deducted that he in fact receive messages & try to reply... but those messages aren't sent or we ( buyers ) don't receive 'em.

I know he did everything he could, reached me through the phone and ultimately emailed from his personal/private email account ... which worked, and resumed the conversation from there.

Not sure what kind of technical problems they're facing but communication never was an issue, just the pricing policy is ( for the kind of tea they offer, which is not worth the price tags they are aiming for ) .

If i had to make a guess about the potential issue ( note: this is just my vivid imagination speaking ) :

Puerhtea.eu = Teasenz ; their main offices are in Hong Kong ; maybe... and i just say ... maybe..... there's a chance that our ( buyers ) communications go through their HK servers first .. maybe there's some absurd verification process involved... then forwarded to the person in charge on Netherlands, then he replies... but his reply goes through HK servers again and maybe there something stop it .

I know it doesn't make much sense, we should spice the situation with HK communications being jammed by China and disrupted somehow ( hard to believe considering other HK vendors communicate with zero issues ) ... or they are just using some low cost solution a friend of a friend promised to take care of... time passed... the server ( some ancient computer that was around ) exploded ... was accidentally shut down while cleaning around... anything... and since then it remains like that.

We could all try and play r/WritingPrompts with this situation alone, whatever the case they seem to have a black hole on their chain and suspect the guy on Netherlands it's not the issue ( there was some early glitches on their system, steps that should be automated like applying reward points to your next order... since this didn't work i had to request a partial refund for the equivalent amount of those points; the process was slow... because this person had to request permission from HK headquarters first... each & every time, so it feels like he just receive orders & follow the protocol as instructed ).

For all the faults i pointed about this store the person handling things on NL strike me as a very normal & friendly person to be honest.
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cbrace
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Location: Amsterdam

Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:08 am

So I finally got a reply from this vendor. Apparently my earlier mails, going back to September, all ended up in his spam folder.

Just like everyone, I hate spam too, but overly-aggressive spam filters break in the Internet. I really really really wish people wouldn't dial up the spam filter to 10, or whatever they do. I have a spam filter (of course) on my mailserver; it's properly configured, and the false positive rate is like 0.00009. This is not rocket science.
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Maerskian
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Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:41 pm

cbrace wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:08 am
So I finally got a reply from this vendor. Apparently my earlier mails, going back to September, all ended up in his spam folder.

Just like everyone, I hate spam too, but overly-aggressive spam filters break in the Internet. I really really really wish people wouldn't dial up the spam filter to 10, or whatever they do. I have a spam filter (of course) on my mailserver; it's properly configured, and the false positive rate is like 0.00009. This is not rocket science.
Funny enough i just received a customized "we miss you" message so i would notice the latest additions ( they certainly expanded their offerings a little bit... still not very tempting but good to know ) only this time was signed by a woman ( up until now only communicated with the one guy on Netherlands ) ... from Teasenz ( not Puerhtea.EU , which is a first... even though they never tried to hide they are one & the same ) .

Other than that: indeed, it's certainly infuriating. The vast majority of people isn't much into reading manuals, tinkering with their systems, apps, options ( the low percentage of linux users - while there's more reasons for it and a larger subject of debate - is self-explanatory as well ) ... which on a personal level is just that ... their preference and thus must be respected. Running an online business on the other hand and stepping on such an ancient rock- given this is not a silly excuse to cover something else - doesn't make 'em look good, which for a new venture with some dark corners in place already is pretty dangerous, hopefully not deadly.
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cbrace
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Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:36 am

This morning I brewed a sample of 2007 Tian Fu Xiang Yu Bing Wang that I obtained earlier this fall from this vendor. Like several other shengs I've tried from them, it has a certain tobacco-like aroma. @Maerskian, you've tasted this vendor's cakes: is this what they refer to as "wet-storage" flavor?
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Maerskian
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Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:55 am

cbrace wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:36 am
This morning I brewed a sample of 2007 Tian Fu Xiang Yu Bing Wang that I obtained earlier this fall from this vendor. Like several other shengs I've tried from them, it has a certain tobacco-like aroma. Maerskian, you've tasted this vendor's cakes: is this what they refer to as "wet-storage" flavor?
It's completely unrelated; i did mention at some point that all teas i got form puerhtea.eu are among the driest cakes i've received but we must keep in mind puerhtea.eu = Teasenz, therefore there's some initial Hong Kong storage while they remain on their warehouse ( conditions unknown ) it's a different thing to have those cakes stuck on the Netherlands under what seems to be ultra-dry conditions ... which can affect the tea.

Looks like we agree... as i've mentioned before ( on reddit & think i did here as well ) that one common denominator of all their teas is smokiness ( rather than tobacco, although some certainly leap toward that profile ) which usually isn't a good sign ( not necessarily a death sentence either, plenty Xiaguan productions can be very smoky/bitter when young and then age beautifully... although many of these puerhtea.eu teas supposedly have some years on 'em and have suspiciously equal levels of smokiness ) .

I got around 130 cakes from KingTeaMall - Guangdong stored - , different sources and different degrees of storage... one cake was openly sold as coming from extremely wet storage & not for everybody but after drinking from several of those cakes it certainly doesn't have any relation to this constant smokiness on puerhtea.eu selections, although it might be a matter of preference on their side maybe ... although given the way they handle their stock/pricing it's most probably related to the prices they can get ( as low as possible ) .

I have that particular cake you mention and it's particular on its own way. Necessary context: not a smoker and in fact... can't stand tobacco, can detect the smell from a long distance and constantly avoid any place with people smoking ( which where i live... can be anywhere and it's a daily battle ) . That said:

This cake doesn't have smokiness although it does have the strongest tobacco notes i can remember... raw tobacco, the "good kind" some people use to make their own cigarettes ( i guess there might be different grades; have seen people handling bags of tobacco leaves, remember the particular smell ) .

Necessary context part 2: Keep in mind i tend to use unusual amounts of leaves for my sessions, don't own any tiny teapot... i do have 150ml gaiwans & some 60ml cups that feel like toys each time i use 'em ( regular/normal/average height myself, not "the mountain" ... still that's how it feels )... but my regular cups are 200ml and some 150ml cups i love for their simple aesthetics .

I remember this particular cake very well because it caused a particular obnoxius/enjoyable effect; the tobbacco notes were so incredibly strong it almost made me vomit... was forced to - in a way - butoh my way out in order to get rid of those early demons ( paint my face white, dress properly... for a while i looked like Tatsumi Hijikata performing ) ... for a while all i wanted to do was throwing this tea-disc through the window... see if it'd reach the bay... but then i experienced a really strong hui gan, very pleasant, lasted until next day. Now i don't really know what to do with this cake... maybe try again next year... maybe it'd be better to do so 10 years from now.

This cake and their 2013 autumn Foyuan were the only ones that didn't have any smokiness ( with this 2007 Tian Fu Xiang being straight tobacco ) .

Funny enough i ended up on this store after reading TeaAdventure's review of the 55 year anniversary CNNP cake but found strong smoky-tobacco notes that made me store it back and forget about it for the time being, has nothing to do with the notes from that review however... ... it's a 2006 CNNP cake with all that it's implied, there's zero guarantees i tasted a remotely similar product . For what it's worth, after tasting their 2005, 2006, 2011 CNNP cakes... liked the 2011 better, even though none of 'em are the kind i'd want more of.
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cbrace
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Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:26 am

@Maerskian, thanks for the explanation. Yep, that's what I was referring to: that smell of fresh tobacco, like the stuff they hand-roll cigarettes with. The first time I tasted it, I found it quite fascinating and exotic, but the novelty eventually wore off. I can't say now I crave it. Earlier this autumn, based partly on your recommendations, I ordered some samples and small cakes from Terre de Ciel, and I think I prefer that general style. I think TdC will be one of the vendors I will come to rely on if buying directly becomes too problematic here in the EU.
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Maerskian
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Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:21 pm

cbrace wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:26 am
Maerskian, thanks for the explanation. Yep, that's what I was referring to: that smell of fresh tobacco, like the stuff they hand-roll cigarettes with. The first time I tasted it, I found it quite fascinating and exotic, but the novelty eventually wore off. I can't say now I crave it.
You're welcome. On this particular case can't stress enough it was not just smell... but a strong taste too, it was like drinking a lighter version of what a tobacco infusion could be :| .
Earlier this autumn, based partly on your recommendations, I ordered some samples and small cakes from Terre de Ciel, and I think I prefer that general style. I think TdC will be one of the vendors I will come to rely on if buying directly becomes too problematic here in the EU.
Went through almost their entire catalogue and all their shengs are good to excellent. Love particularly their 2014 Mengsong ( autumn harvest ), got one cake as a sample first then got a tong of it, will probably need another one... although in all honesty... the list of good teas from there would be too long. In a way picking sheng there is so risk free it might be boring for some... i guess their experience ( 11 years ) is showing on their selection.

On thing that always surprised me is the good look of their cakes & leaves ( throwing their loose leaf teas on this category as well ); happens with plenty TE teas as well... in a way these are "supermodel" teas, always ready for a nice picture :D . For this very reason there's one of their teas ( "jardin de huang ba" aka Wuliang ... writing from memory ) that felt off because the leaves/material looked rough compared to what i was used to from TdC ... in fact my first session with it wasn't memorable... but it opened later on the second session, was better than i thought in the end .

Their loose leaf teas are also worth trying every once in a while, although they move their stock so much i don't know any of their current offerings O__o ... looks like they might sell a lot in loose form. A clue is paying attention to particular loose leaf teas they might least, in my experience it's always worth the risk. Must confess i bought a loose leaf white tea based on the spectacular pictures alone ( do as i say, not as i do ) and not only the leaves looked ( and still look ) amazing, the tea is incredibly delicate & fragrant. Also have around one particular black tea from them that is really deep & particular made of gushu leaves from Mannuo, had a couple sessions already and still feel like i didn't get to the end of it yet.

It's also one of the very few sellers with a shu catalogue ( there's more around... with just 1-2 cakes... usually overpriced IMO ) and so far only bought two ( bricks ) , their "parfum de jujube" & "2015 Menghai young trees" and while they are "good" ... and would rather keep trying here than any puerhtea.eu offering... they still aren't that good or not surprising in any sense. Also, i think shu prices should be lower... lower than sheng ( as it can be seen on chinese stores with wider catalogues ) ... or at the very least... there should be better shu offerings at affordable prices ( and they do exist, only not within EU territory right now ) so i always feel uncomfortable paying to much for it, for such prices i'd rather invest on sheng or even on particular loose leaf of any kind ( like the WuyiOrigin teas Teamania sells ) .

Let's see how it goes with MoyChay in the end. It looks even worse than what you mentioned ( on their NL website ) ... now they went from December to 22 December to ... "january" , fingers crossed >__> ... MoyChay could be a great source for affordable yet decent shu.
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cbrace
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Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:52 am

Maerskian wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:21 pm
to ... "january" , fingers crossed
Indeed. We are in full "lockdown" here until 19 January, and that includes cafés and restaurants. I don't want to be the proverbial skunk at a picnic, but the timing to open a so-called "tea club" could not be worse.

Have you never considered ordering some of their affordable shou directly from Moscow?
Last edited by Victoria on Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Mod edit: referenced quote
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Tea Adventures
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Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:31 am

Maerskian wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:21 pm
Let's see how it goes with MoyChay in the end. It looks even worse than what you mentioned ( on their NL website ) ... now they went from December to 22 December to ... "january" , fingers crossed >__> ... MoyChay could be a great source for affordable yet decent shu.
They already have some teas available, but not on the website. They posted on Instagram recently that you can message them and buy it like this for the time being. I also saw they received a new batch of puerh cakes. I hope the teas are of the same quality as the ones they sell in the Russian shop. Have not tried tea from their new shop, but I've had some from Mochay.ru/com.
Last edited by Victoria on Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mod edit: referenced quote
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Maerskian
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Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:15 pm

cbrace wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:52 am
Maerskian wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:21 pm
to ... "january" , fingers crossed
Indeed. We are in full "lockdown" here until 19 January, and that includes cafés and restaurants. I don't want to be the proverbial skunk at a picnic, but the timing to open a so-called "tea club" could not be worse.
You aren't wrong... at all. The concept + place were a dangerous enough combination on its own, the 2020 flavor is a poisonous ingredient. At this point looks like one of those ventures the vast majority knew it was doomed from the very start... or the unique kind that will succeed because they were the only ones that dared to do it against all odds, couldn't hope more it's the latter.
Have you never considered ordering some of their affordable shou directly from Moscow?
With the kind of characters controlling the customs process over here and their connections certainly wouldn't dream to risk it. Still no issues with US parcels, but at this point in time and from what i'm seeing ( growing number of complaints, parcels of any size & value stopped ) i'd rather play it safe. For my Teamania orders would rather wait some extra weeks and have it shipped from Germany as well since that's a real option.

In fact: thinking about what renegadetea does ( shipping from Estonia ) & looking at MoyChay locations within Russia it's what prompted me to contact 'em back then and that's when they told me about their NL store. As long as it's possible to order from there should be fine... plus i have the time.

Tea Adventures wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:31 am
They already have some teas available, but not on the website. They posted on Instagram recently that you can message them and buy it like this for the time being. I also saw they received a new batch of puerh cakes. I hope the teas are of the same quality as the ones they sell in the Russian shop.
You're absolutely right !! Just checked now and saw a pic of this shu :

https://moychay.com/catalog/chaj_proizv ... 2020-357-g

Now i wonder how they'll handle the pricing parity.

Don't have any socials and fortunately not exactly in a hurry so i'll wait for them but this is really good news, was starting to convince myself they'd just go with loose leaf teas for this concept store.

Have not tried tea from their new shop, but I've had some from Mochay.ru/com.
I know ^__^ , silent reader here. Thanks a gazillion for finding the energy & discipline to keep going, that's how i ended trying puerhtea.eu , that's how i discovered Goodtea.eu in the middle of that extensive list you made and also prompted me to try "Parfum de jujube" from TdC as well .
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