Hello everyone, I'm a new poster but have read many of the threads here
because you guys just have so much good information. I figured you guys
would be the ones to ask for pu erh recommendations as I have very
little experience with it. I've tasted a couple black and one green pu
erh which I liked a lot. I'd really like to start aging some green
cakes and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about where to
get them from online, as there are no tea shops around here. I'd like
to taste the differences in ages but I'm not looking for 30 year old
stuff. Is a 5 year old cake much different than a new one? Would it be
worth paying more for the few extra years, or should I just get it
fresh and enjoy it as it ages? I AM willing to pay a little more for pu
erh because it feels more like an investment to me, just gets better
and better. That being said, if you know any cheap good ones let me
know! Any help/comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated, thanks.
On 18 Dec 2004 07:11:03 -0800, "Josh" cast
caution to the wind and posted:
To find online vendors check out my site at
you navigate the menus to "Puerh Links > Puerh Vendors" and then
choose USA or International. I have listed every site that I know of
that sells more than 2-3 varieties. A good place to start looking for
, there is also
but watch their shipping prices as they are high, all
of these three vendors are located in China but they cater directly to
the US market.
You will find that authentic aged puerh is quite expensive, as much as
a thousand dollars a pound for 30 year old cakes in good condition.
Yes it is worth a little extra to get a 5 year old cake versus a new
one, but it is also interesting to age it yourself and taste it every
However I would caution you to learn a bit more before spending any
serious money. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation about
puerh and often very honest vendors are misled by their distributors
and don't know enough to know it. I have seen more fake aged puerh for
sale in the USA than real aged puerh. It is similar to the antique
furniture market in that there is a tremendous amount of fakes out
there and you really have to KNOW what your doing or else you will
definitely get deceived.
Hope this helped,
Hey Mike, I have to ask something here...when you say we have to know
something about what we're doing when we buy puer I want to say that it
seems to me like I can't possible learn enough through reading online forums
etc. to really know what I'm doing. My point being that if someone really
wants to fake a puer cake and pass it off to ME as fake they wouldn't have
to do much since I have no benchmark tastewise to go by. That's why I, as a
mostly newbie too, can only think to myself "well, I hope my vendor really
knows what he's doing". Because his/her experience is going to be my first
and best line of defense against something like that. It's even more
disturbing to me to be hearing about how all these other famous types of tea
are possibly being faked in various places, but it makes sense. China is
rampent with all kinds of knockoffs, makes sense tea would be another one
only in that case they're making a knock-off of their own product...(Not
just China of course..there's the cases of questionable darjeeling)
So I guess my question is, how do I as a newbie get the taste experience I
need to know a fake puer from a good one? All I can come up with is to try
lots of it from reputable dealers and hopefully if I run across a "bad" one
somewhere I'll taste the difference. Comments?
Thanks for your puer page again, it's such a great resource!
Actually what I said was "before spending any SERIOUS money". The
point being that you need to work your way up to the premium stuff or
you will certainly get burned.
The ONLY way to learn about puer is to personally taste as many
samples as you can. Now how you do that depends on your situation. The
ideal way is to find a Brick and Mortar tea shop that knows puer and
let them guide you through the process of learning. For example people
in New York can seek out the Tea Gallery, people near San Francisco
can seek out ITC, people near Tucson can seek out Seven Cups, etc etc.
If you are like me and not near such an establishment you will need to
use online or mail order resources. This is a much more difficult way
to go and I strongly suggest you do your homework and seek out a
vendor who truly knows puer. Write them a few emails and get a "gut
feel" for how much they really know. Look for things like that shop
out West who is trying to sell 40 year old black puer (not possible as
the process wasn't invented until the early 70s). Use online resources
like my page and others to learn about the history and culture of
puer, use that information to judge your vendors knowledge. Once you
find a knowledgeable vendor allow them to guide you through the
tasting process. Slowly work your way up from inexpensive puers and
take notes along the way. Then once you have a foundation of taste
memory branch to some other vendors and try their offerings. In the
process you will learn which vendors are trustworthy, these are the
ones that you want to use when you decide to venture into the more
It is also very helpful if you can find a group of tea drinkers with
similar tastes and each of you buy a different puer and then share
them with each other. Which ever way you choose you need to taste as
many as possible.
The truth is that it takes years to learn, and you can only learn
through tasting. There is no truth in advertising guarantees or even
quality control assurances in this business. That's is why I recommend
that people new to puer slow down and not seek out vintage puer until
they learn the difference between good and bad, young and old, etc.
The biggest mistake I see people make is trying to jump straight to
the old stuff.
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear but it is the my
On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 14:12:52 -0800, "Melinda"
cast caution to the wind and posted:
I have fairly limited Puerh experience, so take this for what it's worth.
I've been enjoying ITC's Aged Green Puerh tuo cha. It's around $5. I'm
sure there is better, but it fits my budget and taste. Not that I'm not
going to keep trying others.
Thanks a lot Mike, it did help. I pretty much decided to try a fresh
green pu erh from mandjs and another one maybe a few years old, just to
see the differences age makes. Maybe eventually I will try older ones,
and like you said work my way up and get to know pu erh better.