I chose four puerh teas for Christmas from my hubby. Three were shu puerh, and one was a sheng.
Furthermore, this is a very young sheng. I chose it because I thought it would have tons of potential for aging based on its origins, and I confess also because the paper wrapper is beautiful and I love that a friend of Garret lent her talents and designed it!

I think the papers wrapped around puerh are beautiful. Perhaps they also look exotic to me because the language is completely mystifying! There are no letters we can pick out similar to ours, so no hope of finding a word or two similar to English or other languages we may speak. The message on the wrapper is a complete mystery to me! I save my wrappers because I hope to one day cover a tea chest in them.

Concerning wrappers, I also will probably never qualify to be a puerh con artist. You know, those people who buy expensive puerh, keep it, and wrap the nice wrapper around a cheap puerh and sell it for a lot of money? Well, I wouldn’t, but I also couldn’t, because I can never get the wrapper back on the cake with the beautiful tight pleats that it had to begin with! Deft and nimble hands wrapped these cakes! Maybe with practice….

I took Garret’s suggestion and poured some boiling water into my little pot. After the pot had warmed a moment, I poured out the water and added the leaf to the empty pot. I put the lid on for a few seconds and then lifted it and sniffed. Root vegetables! Rutabagas, I think! I am going to try this with a lot of my teas.

I gave the leaves a thirty second steep. There is still the root vegetable aroma, but it is milder and it isn’t “biting” at all. The liquor is a pale golden yellow. The flavor matches the aroma rather well. I am drinking the third steep now and there has been no diminishing of flavor. I think this would also be great with food.

I am really excited to be moving forward in my puerh journey. I hope to live a long time so I can try this tea over many years and see how it matures. I must say it is a well-behaved child, though. :)

Thank you, Garret and mrmopar, for helping me choose my Christmas tea!

Bonnie

Glad to read your notes Puerh Sis’tah! Such an interesting part of the tea world so we’ll have to share more samples and notes. Garrett should do a live chat!

ashmanra

I feel like we should have a place like one of those hep cat poetry bars! Heehee!

gmathis

Save those wrappers when you’re through…there’s got to be a pu-erh-gami crafty thing you can do with them!

MsWhatsit

Grinning at your pun.

I have a bit of puerh in my sample box but haven’t gotten up the nerve to try it yet. I probably need to. My big sis is really into it and I suspect she’ll be sending more samples. It’s nice to know there are friends treading the path ahead of me.

ashmanra

MsWhatsit: Try it! I bet you will like it! I started with a fishy smelling tuo Cha from A Southern Season, a shu puerh that smelled bad but tasted okay and it did wonders for the tummy. Their loose puerh was better, but then I tried Teavivre’s Puerh and went WOW! The loose and the mini Tuocha I have had from them are very good. I like these from Garret a lot, too!

Garret

I am happy you enjoyed this tea! The experience of being at the farm where this was grown was truly satisfying. Super remote area, very high-altitude. It is exciting to see what has already happened to the flavor in just a short time since its pressing! Most customers are brewing it up as a green tea with lower water temps – 175,185… when in China we were brewing it up with a full boil and that makes for a whole other experience from the same leaf.

As far as “fishy” and “mushroomy, briny” smells issuing from some ripe pu’er, that can happen…. though if the leaf is well produced, that smell goes away not long after production. If tea is poorly ripened (as well as stored improperly) that smell may never dissipate.

@Bonnie – a live chat? How about a LOVE chat :) ? As in I’d love to do a live chat!!! How to do it??

Bonnie

I’ve done it with another group in Google Chrome Live Chat where there’s a time set and invite sent. You just join in and everyone can see each other at the same time. The topic was selected ahead of the meeting. People joined in from around the world. All free! We did this on Sunday at 3pm because of time zones.

Bonnie

Ok Garrett! Now everyone knows that you have a thing for Puerh lovin older women! (or maybe just me) Ha! Make the rest of you jealous!

Garret

Hmmmm… Bonnie, I’m not sure if I know of any older women on here!! Y’all seem young and spry to me!!! Happy New Year to you!! May 2013 see you feeling great and experiencing all the joy you can stand!!! Many hugs and bright blessings!!

Bonnie

Happy New Year Garrett!

gmathis

Mswhatsit, I’m still a pu-erh rookie too, but I’m wimping into it by leaning toward flavored pu-erhs. Sort of like training wheels.

ashmanra

That’s right, Garret! We are bright and sassy like a young sheng, but smooth and mellow like a mature pu! :D

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Comments

Bonnie

Glad to read your notes Puerh Sis’tah! Such an interesting part of the tea world so we’ll have to share more samples and notes. Garrett should do a live chat!

ashmanra

I feel like we should have a place like one of those hep cat poetry bars! Heehee!

gmathis

Save those wrappers when you’re through…there’s got to be a pu-erh-gami crafty thing you can do with them!

MsWhatsit

Grinning at your pun.

I have a bit of puerh in my sample box but haven’t gotten up the nerve to try it yet. I probably need to. My big sis is really into it and I suspect she’ll be sending more samples. It’s nice to know there are friends treading the path ahead of me.

ashmanra

MsWhatsit: Try it! I bet you will like it! I started with a fishy smelling tuo Cha from A Southern Season, a shu puerh that smelled bad but tasted okay and it did wonders for the tummy. Their loose puerh was better, but then I tried Teavivre’s Puerh and went WOW! The loose and the mini Tuocha I have had from them are very good. I like these from Garret a lot, too!

Garret

I am happy you enjoyed this tea! The experience of being at the farm where this was grown was truly satisfying. Super remote area, very high-altitude. It is exciting to see what has already happened to the flavor in just a short time since its pressing! Most customers are brewing it up as a green tea with lower water temps – 175,185… when in China we were brewing it up with a full boil and that makes for a whole other experience from the same leaf.

As far as “fishy” and “mushroomy, briny” smells issuing from some ripe pu’er, that can happen…. though if the leaf is well produced, that smell goes away not long after production. If tea is poorly ripened (as well as stored improperly) that smell may never dissipate.

@Bonnie – a live chat? How about a LOVE chat :) ? As in I’d love to do a live chat!!! How to do it??

Bonnie

I’ve done it with another group in Google Chrome Live Chat where there’s a time set and invite sent. You just join in and everyone can see each other at the same time. The topic was selected ahead of the meeting. People joined in from around the world. All free! We did this on Sunday at 3pm because of time zones.

Bonnie

Ok Garrett! Now everyone knows that you have a thing for Puerh lovin older women! (or maybe just me) Ha! Make the rest of you jealous!

Garret

Hmmmm… Bonnie, I’m not sure if I know of any older women on here!! Y’all seem young and spry to me!!! Happy New Year to you!! May 2013 see you feeling great and experiencing all the joy you can stand!!! Many hugs and bright blessings!!

Bonnie

Happy New Year Garrett!

gmathis

Mswhatsit, I’m still a pu-erh rookie too, but I’m wimping into it by leaning toward flavored pu-erhs. Sort of like training wheels.

ashmanra

That’s right, Garret! We are bright and sassy like a young sheng, but smooth and mellow like a mature pu! :D

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Bio

I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

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North Carolina

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