I hope this isn’t a repeated topic. I went through two pages of results from searching ‘puerh’ and didn’t find a discussion like this. (Which is odd because I could have sworn I had read one here before..)
Anyway, I want to try a puerh tea some time soon and have been trying to decide what one to try first. What companies/teas do you think would be good for someone who has never had puerh before?
Something that is a good representation of the type and from a reputable place.
Thanks for your help.
I am interested in this too! Thanks for asking the crew…
To be honest, I haven’t tried this one, but it looks good:
They don’t have a lot of selection, but it sounds like they are very discriminating, and that they don’t sell musty, moldy, earthy tasting pu-erh (in fact, they say those have likely been aged improperly!).
This company has tons of info. on pu-erh (see http://hojotea.com/article_e/puerh_e.htm)
I would suggest trying the Sticky Rice Pu Erh Toucha from Chicago Tea Garden. It is absolutely amazing.
The first time I tried puerh, I picked up a box of Numi Mint Puerh Organic Green Tea. I got it at Whole Foods, if you have one of those close. I kind of hedged my bets a bit with picking one that also was a green tea, but overall I liked it very much and thought it was great for a late afternoon tea. :-)
I would also recommend Numi Chocolate Pu-Erh, Golden Dragon, or Nor Sun. The later two I have found at Asian markets. Also Foojoy has bagged Pu-Erh that is quite amazing for the price…4 dollars for a hundred bags. I would glady share some of mine if you would like. Teavana’s blends are ok but that’s if you like it flavored and I favor straight up earthiness. So far my favorite is the Imperial Pu-Erh from Dr. Tea. A little more pricey but well worth it. I’ve also had a Scotish Carmel Pu-Erh that I got from a little tea shop in PA, but I think you can get it at the English Tea store, and enjoyingtea.com carries.
I’d recommend this Pu-Erh Toucha. It’s a good overall representation of Pu-Erh, and a great tea. It’s what I’m currently drinking.
For developing a taste for Puerh, my recommendation would be to start with flavored.
A couple from Rishi are excellent.
Puerh Ginger and Vanilla Mint
I, too, started with Pu-erh Tuocha (http://www.teasetc.com/details.asp?prodid=0801) and enjoy several of the Rishi Pu-erhs. Currently, I am working my way slowly through pu-erh samples sets from http://www.lifeinteacup.com/tea-samples. Next, I am planning on trying the sample sets from http://www.banateacompany.com/pages/puerh_teas.html. My strategy as a pu-erh novice is to try various sample sets (as you can tell) – this lets me sample a variety of different pu-erhs while trying to develop a taste/knowledge of them without a commitment to a large quantity.
we are about to send out our newsletter with instructions on getting free samples, we have a few good beginner puerhs to try. So you can try our puerh for free if you sign up before the newsletter goes out.
I would suggest finding 1 old sheng, 1 new sheng, and 1 shu.
Old sheng is pricy, but hey it gives you an idea. Essence of Tea is excellent for that. Maybe email them with what flavors you like and they can pick one out! As far as young sheng goes, I started out on the Yi Wu mtn bamboo roasted puerh from Norbu. The flavors are super sweet, but it still gives the astringency that younger shengs have. For shu, I personally say either the V8 or V98 from Menghai (under the Dayi label). You can find these at puerhshop.com, and other places too. Just remember with shu, look for a year or two old, otherwise the wo dui (fermentation) smell will still be there