Pu Erh advice?

Well, like I've said before, I'm new to tea, so I've got lots and lots of
questions.
I want to try some good pu erh. I've had some twice before, with different
results. The first time, it smelled of fish. Very strongly of long dead
fish. I couldn't get past that. I didn't even drink the stuff. The second
time it smelled of forest loam. Tasted like it too. I'm not to fond of dirt,
so here I am.
I've heard so many good things about pu erh, (thanks to mike's site)and I'd
like to like it. So, what are your suggestions? I'm not wealthy (not by a
long shot) but I do have some fun money. I don't want to spend all of it in
one shot though, cuz what if it turns out I just hate pu erh? I've blown my
tea money for the next two weeks.
Thanks in advance!
Reply to
Marlene
site)and I'd
Well, I'm no pu erh expert but it sounds to me like you had black pu erh. I've noticed a little bit of this fish smell in a black pu erh I had once, and the loam description reminds me very much of black pu erh. If you haven't already, I would recommend trying a green pu erh cake. I drink black pu erh occasionally but to me, nothing can match the unique and incredible taste of green pu erh. If you're looking for specific recommendations, I'd have to recommend the green pu erh beencha from
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I think it's something like $25 for a 350 gram cake, cheaper and tastes better than ones I've had from other places.
Reply to
Josh
Indeed as Josh mentioned it sounds like you tried Black aka Cooked pu'er. This doesn't sound like your cup of tea. Try a "young" green puer next. The older ones, aside from being very expensive, also have earthy characters. If you have access to a brick and mortar tea shop that knows anything about puer I would start there and let them guide you. If you don't then pick an on-line vendor that stocks at least 12 or more "Green" aka "Raw" pu'ers. Ask the vendor if they would be willing to put you a sampler assortment together, many vendors will frown upon this but the ones who WILL do it are the ones to build a relationship with.
Be careful as green pu'er is easily oversteeped and can result in putrid nasty brew. Until you acquire a taste for it I would start with lower temperature water, like 160-180 range. If it is bitter shorten your steep time. If brewed properly it wont be bitter and will exhibit lots of flavor.
One particular green puer that many people who are new to puer often find tasty is what is often called "Silver Needle" pu'er. These tend to be expensive so shop around. They are sweeter and milder than other young green pu'ers and many people who like other green teas will immediately like these. They are not generally thought of as a puer to age, but rather something to drink right away.
Mike
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Reply to
Mike Petro
If you're new too tea puerh is a tough place to start. I'd recommend starting with Ceylon,African,Indonesian,Indian,Japanese,Chinese teas in that order. Also I would recommend any English commercial blend at anytime. There is nothing wrong with what the rest of the world thinks is a good cuppa. If you have access to a Chinatown see if you can find 100g tuochas in green or black for about a buck. You'll spend the same price point on the $4\300g cakes. I find the black puerh is good with any meal versus green for fish, oolong for poultry and black with meats. You'll never appreciate a green puerh till you cut your tastebuds on other green teas. Puerh is one of a kaliedoscope of teas in which you can find something you like without having to like everything. If push comes to shove you can always pretend too like puerh.
Jim
site)and I'd
Reply to
Space Cowboy
One of my favorite websites for buying tea is The British Express at:
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They have some pu-erh teas under Single Estate Teas. I have not tried any of these, so I can't vouch for them. I have bought their UK and Irish commercial blends several times. The customer service is excellent and the prices are the best online prices I've found anywhere to date.
Rob
Reply to
Rob
Hi Marlene--
I feel pretty happy with the prices Teaspring.com and Jingteashop.com sell their green tuochas at--usually $5-$10, closer to $5. It's possible I don't know from what I'm buying, but I feel like those guys are pretty good folks, and I like the tea.
However, the easiest-drinking green pu'erh I've had so far is the green pu'erh from Tributetea.com. Sorry to shill for a bunch of retailers, but I can't get pu'erh locally myself, so mail order is the way I have to go as well. The beengcha is something like $38--maybe a little steep? I dunno--but they sell a nice-sized sample. I brew mine in a very small Yixing pot, so I was able to get many "sessions" out of one sample. If you check out the site, this is not the same as the cake with the flower pressed into it--I got one like that from Holy Mountain once and IMO it's something to pass on by.
Hope that helps--I'm far from knowledgable, but I know what I like. :)
Jennifer
Reply to
The Laughing Rat
in your case I'd say screw the pu.
I like it, but I liked it from the get-go. If you haven't liked it by now, then why waste your money and your time?
Reply to
Falky foo
You're not alone. I don't like it either. So heed Falky's advice.
My suggestion would be *not* to buy any yourself. If you've got places that can prepare it and let you sample it, keep going for samples. If you never find a sample you like, then you've never wasted your money on a stash of tea that goes wasted.
Think of the poor tea-starved children in the world who would love to have that pu erh. Won't you feel guilty depriving them of it and not using it?
;)
Reply to
Derek
Last Dec. 9, I posted about my first experience with pu-erh. It was a sample
"There was an extremely fine dusty feeling that made me understand why some say that it's like drinking dirt. It didn't have a bad flavor, just different. In fact, I enjoyed it. It was more robust than delicate, reminding me of Irish Breakfast in some respects, but with better flavor and surprisingly sweet."
If you want, you can google to read the rest, subject: "My First Pu-Erh." But, if you don't think you can get used to "drinking dirt," you may want to pass on pu-erh. At the very least, I strongly recommend that you buy only sample sizes until you find one you like so that you don't blow your tea money on something you don't.
Reply to
Bluesea
I'd try the calling In Pursuit of Tea and telling him your dillemma. Order some stuff you will like, and ask for some samples.. He was very accomodating to me when I did this. Granted, I ordered alot of tea from him at one time...
Reply to
Steve Hay
Also, I am surprised no one has mentioned that sometimes black pu-erhs deserve a rinsing.
All of this talk of Pu-erh tasting of dirt is similar to my first experience with the stuff (Specialteas' Tuo Cha) but what I found is there is also an aquiring of the taste that can happen. There's dirt and there's dirt, and surprisingly to me, dirt can taste good if it has complexity and interesting flavors. Unfortunately, dirt that smells and tastes like it came from a tire factory in New Jersey isn't very interesting, and neither, I suppose, would be dirt from the floor of a tuna processing plant. :) The Green Pu-erh from IPOT I found to be very good, as well as their Silver Needle.. There was a certain amount of earthy spicyness to the tea, which made it interesting and enjoyable, and made it possible for me to actually go back to the Specialteas Tuo Cha and get some enjoyment out of it.
Steve
Steve
Reply to
Steve Hay
Falky foojXRQd.660$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com2/16/05 19: snipped-for-privacy@bonksbcglobal.net
Screw the pu, eh? Good one. Now, I beg to differ. After all, we've pretty much established that Marlene drank some dank dark pu, and that leaves the entire universe of green pu unexplored. Mike suggested a Silver Needles Pu'erh with which I whole heartedly agree because they are so friendly and so easy to enjoy, not to mention beautiful in their whole dry cake incarnations.
Could somebody here come up with a couple web sites? My major source is from a vendor without a web site. I would suggest IPOT, but theirs is $80., a bit steep for getting your feet wet.
Michael
Reply to
Michael Plant
I think Teaspring's is now in the $40-50 range. Used to be $29 but they changed manufacturers, apprently. That's about the cheapest I've seen it for mail-order.
Jennifer
Reply to
The Laughing Rat
My local tea shoppe owner decided he isn't going the carry the 10g mini silver bud tuochas which I was lucky to get a couple of samples awhile back. He thought they would be too expensive at $5. I thought it reasonable because you don't have to invest a check to buy one. I can peel the individual bud off one at a time and looking at what I saw in the pot and taste I can stick with silver needles and feel I'm not missing out.
Jim
friendly and
Reply to
Space Cowboy

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