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OfflineOutsideOfMyMind
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Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it?
    #27113291 - 12/29/20 01:44 AM (2 months, 7 days ago)

I ordered 3 different types of puerh tea samples from my favorite Taiwan online tea shop. (Taiwan Sourcing). A ripe puerh from 1996, a raw one from 1999, and another raw one from 2002.

It's definitely a tea that you need to reserve time for a tea session with rather than just a daily tea that you drink on a whim. If I were a Buddhist monk in Tibet then I would be able to have enough time to drink it on a daily basis and enjoy it...In a perfect world..

I first tried the ripe one and I'm glad I tried the ripe before trying the raw because ripe is way better in my opinion. The flavors go so deep and layered and so rich with a very pleasant and long lasting aftertaste that fills your entire mouth. The deep layers of flavors made me think about analytical chemistry and being able to separate all of the phases of each chemical, but only with taste flavors. Very very deep and lots of layers of flavors. If you've ever had a super rich gyokuro green tea, this ripe puerh reminded me of that gyokuro but gone black. Just very rich and smooth with deep layers of flavor with a nice full aftertaste.

The wet leaves and liqueur smelled like wood and dried fruit. Think about opening a drawer on a new wooden piece of furniture and smelling inside. That, mixed with the scent of opening a bag of dry fruit and sniffing. The more times you steep it, the more the dry fruit flavor comes out.

The raw puerh teas reminded me of oolong tea but more rich and full bodied feeling in the mouth. The wet leaves smelled like mild camphor and dry fried.

All in all, ripe is best in my opinion. It's a tea class in it's own. Raw sort of just reminds me of a more full bodied oolong. I'm glad I only got 10 gram samples, I wouldn't spend my own money on raw puerh but would totally accept it as a gift and could enjoy it. I did buy myself 2 aged ripe puerh cakes.


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Edited by OutsideOfMyMind (12/29/20 02:14 AM)


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InvisibleLeafRaker
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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: OutsideOfMyMind]
    #27120922 - 01/01/21 08:34 PM (2 months, 3 days ago)

I like it and have had it on occasion from Chinese restaurants.

One of the last times I went to my local Great Wall I picked up a box of it in bagged form. It's been on my mind since the closest animal virus to the pandemic one is basically sourced from Pu'er. I'm honestly kind of disappointed with this stuff I bought, but you get what you pay for!


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OfflineOutsideOfMyMind
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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: LeafRaker]
    #27121061 - 01/01/21 10:09 PM (2 months, 3 days ago)

Try Yunnan sourcing.


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InvisibleLeafRaker
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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: OutsideOfMyMind]
    #27121090 - 01/01/21 10:22 PM (2 months, 3 days ago)

Yunnan Sourcing definitely seems hardcore, much more so than Taiwan Sourcing! Sounds like they're shipping from Yunnan, prolly Kunming. Something to file away for the future when online ordering seems less nuts.

Where did you pick up your taste for Pu'er?


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OfflineOutsideOfMyMind
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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: LeafRaker]
    #27121142 - 01/01/21 11:03 PM (2 months, 3 days ago)

I got my first 10 grams samples of a few different puerhs from the Taiwan sourcing website. Taiwan sourcing is actually the same company as Yunnan sourcing. They are both owned by a dude named Scott. I think Taiwan sourcing is just the upscale brand name. they both have similar things but the same product on Yunnan sourcing is cheaper than the same product on Taiwan sourcing. for example the "assamica ruby" oolong is cheaper on Yunnan sourcing but more expensive on Taiwan sourcing. It's the same exact product. the puerh cakes on Yunnan sourcing are a lot more affordable than the cakes on Taiwan sourcing but I think that is because the age of the cakes. Yunnan sourcing has tons of newer cakes whereas Taiwan sourcing cakes are all at least 15 years aged. The newer cakes you can age yourself with proper storage. The sample sizes from Yunnan sourcing are also more generous. 25 grams for a puerh sample versus only 10 grams.


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Edited by OutsideOfMyMind (01/01/21 11:04 PM)


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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: OutsideOfMyMind]
    #27123625 - 01/03/21 12:48 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

There's a obviously a very, very deep and equally wide rabbit hole you can descend into with this stuff. It's very spendy and prolly will only get more so with the continued growth in Chinese incomes and concurrent increases in Pu'er cha's global popularity. But given that I enjoy it as a tea, that I love the idea of aging changing biological products(done it for decades with my Cubensis...cigars! and certain wines), that I am fascinating by ethnobotany and that tea as a native of Yunnan, one of the planet's great craddles of linguistic- and likely bio-diversity, gives Pu'er an OG-quality, I'll at some point spring for a cake or three for aging. I'm guessing Scott at Yunnan Sourcing adds a surcharge for dealing in English. It might be worth it to work with one of the Chinese-run websites to save some coin.

BTW, part of the reason I checked into this topic was my long interest in Yunnan. I first went there a quarter-century ago and went again about 15 years ago. Since it is a large region with many micro-regions it has a great variety of peoples and wildlife. Of note here is that it is typically regarded as China's best source of edible wild mushrooms (and where most of China's annual mushroom poisonings happen!). I have wondered about its population of actives, but since the discussion here is in English, all that I've found discussed here is a Ps. cubsensis strain named 'Yunnan'. I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that there are dozens of actives there that have yet to be cataloged for the English-speaking world.

When I win the lottery I might head to Yunnan and to work on building my tea cellar and cataloging their actives!


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OfflineOutsideOfMyMind
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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: LeafRaker]
    #27124159 - 01/03/21 05:06 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

I bought a couple of ripe cakes from eBay. One is supposedly aged from 1980 and the other is supposedly from 1996. It was $20 and $13 respectively. I haven't received them yet but I heard from a guy from China that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get a decent puerh cake. I know for oolong tea, you can get really decent tea from an asian grocery store. Just make sure it's inside of a vacuum sealed bag. The same guy says that the reason why there are so many really expensive puerh cakes is because a lot of people just use them as collectors items and they like to show off the value. Sort of like an antique car collector who never ever drives any of his cars but just has them to show them off. I know there are people who like to frame the puerh cake wrapper and hang it on their wall once they are done with the cake.


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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: OutsideOfMyMind]
    #27127610 - 01/05/21 08:30 AM (1 month, 30 days ago)

Yeah, I can definitely imagine that luxury cakes are often for showing off or as stores of value (and that can mean *many* things!). All that info kind of makes me want to focus on the good, but not supremo, cakes while scratching my itch for provenance, both regions and also the produce of the oldest tea trees.

I've been watching Scott Wilson's (from Yunnan Sourcing, props to you for introducing me!) and learning more about factories and such it seems that the aging might be less demanding than I assumed. My knowledge of cigar aging had me assume it took a big Coleman cooler and some boveda packs. I saw one of Scott's talks where he had a cake in the shape of a mushroom (yes, really!) that was from the older trade with Tibet. According to him, some of those cakes had been returned to Kunming after a few decades in Tibet and should have been quite the stuff! Tibet is very much not a high-humidity environment, so aging might be fairly forgiving, even if it proceeds more slowly at lower humidities.


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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: LeafRaker]
    #27161646 - 01/21/21 04:52 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Ok so I received the 2 puerh cakes from eBay. The 1996 cake that was $13 and the 1980 cake for $20. They are very comparable to what yunnan sourcing offers. The 1980 cake is more rich whole the 1996 cake is less rich and thinner in the body.

I also just recently tried a PURPLE tea raw puerh sample which I absolutely feel in love with. So I purchased a brand new cake from yunnan sourcing for the purple tea and I also bought a $14 purple tea cake from eBay that has been aged since 2005.


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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: OutsideOfMyMind]
    #27192086 - 02/07/21 05:25 PM (28 days, 8 hours ago)

Nice! I was looking at eBay sellers, I've got a soft spot for seat-of-the-pants businesses and I've been mulling over where to pull the trigger.

How's that purple 2005?

BTW, do you drink western style or gongfu or????


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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: LeafRaker]
    #27192594 - 02/07/21 10:52 PM (28 days, 3 hours ago)

Quote:

LeafRaker said:
Nice! I was looking at eBay sellers, I've got a soft spot for seat-of-the-pants businesses and I've been mulling over where to pull the trigger.

How's that purple 2005?

BTW, do you drink western style or gongfu or????



I have not received the 2005 purple cake yet from ebay. But knowing what I know now, you can totally get affordable cakes from yunnansourcing.com or .Us. I wouldn't bother with eBay as there are lots of counterfeit cakes on there and they might taste pretty good but you really don't know what the quality is.

I use a French press for my tea. I have never used it for coffee, strictly tea.  I get the water to 205° F and I steep it for 3 minutes. I do a 20 second hot water wash and then dump the water out before I brew any cups.


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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: OutsideOfMyMind]
    #27193139 - 02/08/21 08:45 AM (27 days, 17 hours ago)

Keeping separate tea and coffee equipment is always a good idea. They mess with each other when mixed.That being said, I was impressed with gongfu methods in China when I was there in the 1990s. But committing to another whole set of kitchen stuff just doesn't work for me. Your french press idea might just be a good middle way here.


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Re: Who has tried Puerh tea and LOVES it? [Re: LeafRaker]
    #27194293 - 02/08/21 09:41 PM (27 days, 4 hours ago)

I chose a French press because it is very simple to prepare and then clean out. I like the smaller 12 fluid oz French presses because they take up little space. I have three presses and sometimes I will save tea in a couple of them to drink later. You can find really cheap prices on eBay for $15 or less. I never wanted to invest in a gong Foo or other Chinese teapot because they are expensive and they take up too much space. They are also a little more work to clean out.


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