Best "Starter" Pu Erh?
I’m very interested in trying pu erh tea, but some descriptions I’ve heard about it such as the word “fishy” keep me hesitant about it, and I know many people are squeamish about pu erh in general. However, I want to try all the tea I can and I’ve now had every type of tea except for pu erh. This might sound strange, but when I hear descriptions such as “earthy” and “reminiscent of autumn leaves” it actually invites me in, I want something that just imparts that natural feeling. Are there any particular brands/kinds that you would recommend as approachable for a newbie? Thanks.
I would look at Verdants pu’er. Before trying Verdant I had a lot of bad experiences that made me stay away from pu’er. My favorite from them is the Silver Buds Yabao, and the Diyi Cornfields Shu. Before the Cornfields Shu I never wanted to try another pu’er again. I’m sure there are many other places but since I am still in starter territory with pu’er I only buy from them. “Fishy” also makes me run the other way, but their descriptions are on mark for the pu’ers. I have 4 others, but the two I listed are my favorites from them…
I have found that “fishy” aroma in young “ripe” or shou pu-erh but not in sheng pu-erh. I don’t much like it, but I have found some shou pu-erh that I enjoy for its earthy richness. Yunnan Sourcing carries some nice pu-erh’s of both types. Some of the Xiaguan tea factory shou pu-erh has been good to my taste (especially the round green box type). I haven’t tried the Verdant tea pu-erhs yet, but they sound interesting.
The Teavivre mini touchas have gotten some pretty good reviews. These are ripe or shu puerhs. I preferred the rose toucha. Most, I think, like the plain ripe ones. I actually prefer sheng or green puerh. Its taste is closer to green tea than earthy shu. Don’t really have an example to recommend.
I agree with BTVSGal – Verdant Tea has some remarkable Pu-erh. The Peacock Village Pu-erh is very nice as is the Diyi Cornfields Shu. Also, I’d recommend the Single Mountain Yiwu Wild Arbor Sheng.
Yes, I highly recommend Verdant Tea.
I began my affair with puerh through flavored brands such as DAVIDsTEA Chocolate Orange Puerh (was called Oh Christmas Treat) and Coffee Puerh. After those I was brave enough to begin venturing out reading first the ratings on Steepster.
Sometimes a flavoured pu-erh can do the trick too – like Numi Tea’s Chocolate Pu-erh which I particularly enjoyed.
I would advise staying away from Davids Tea’s flavoured pu-erhs – They are the reason I won’t try pu-erh again. The taste wasn’t that objectionable, but the aroma was heinous. Wet dog and fish. :(
If you’re just starting out on the road to pu erh, I often recommend our Dian Hong, which is a very mild version: http://www.cloudwalkerteas.com/product/PUR-003 (it also happens to be on sale just now).