Interested in black tea!

I’m relatively new to the tea world and have tried green, white, oolong, herbal, maté, and rooibos. I have yet to try a black tea and I’m gonna try it once I run out of my current tea. I’m thinking of trying the Yunnan Golden Pu–erh from Teavana (the most convenient store near me). Compared to other teas, what does Pu-erh taste like?

22 Replies

earthy

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Emily M said

Pu-erh is very earthy (almost tastes like soil/dirt) and is a taste that some love and some can’t seem to handle. I don’t mind Pu-erh, but my mom can’t even stand the smell. It’s hard to really describe it’s taste. And it varies in complexity and taste across kinds/ages, which makes it harder. Pu-erh is also strong. I hope I’ve helped at least shed a little light on it.

It.. tastes like dirt? Hm.. now I’m a little hesitant haha

Emily M said

It’s not a bad taste…I hesitate to even call it that (dirt, I mean). I just seem unable to describe it correctly. But what a lot of people are saying here is true. Pu-erh can vary in taste, can be flavored, can have fruity notes or toasty notes. Sometimes it doesn’t even taste like a pu-erh! But it does, especially unflavored, have an underlying earthiness unlike other teas. If you are looking for a black tea, I’d go with something else. Pu-erh is not what I’d consider a black tea… it’s got a different flavor profile. Not bad, just different. Maybe get a sample of pu-erh to try first? I wouldn’t buy a whole 2 oz until you know you like it. Upton Tea has some nice sample sizes.

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Lala said

I’ve had a lot of flavoured pu’erh that, to me, doesn’t even taste like pu’erh. I do find that it has a thicker, heavier feel to the tea liqour.

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Follow me and I can send you some Pu-erh I have from Nature’s Tea Leaf. I don’t like pu-erhs very much but I have some in my collection and that’ll save you from having to buy 2 whole ounces from Teavana.

I would also agree with ashmanra down below that you might not want to start off with a pu-erh if you’re looking for a typical black tea. A Yunnan black (like david said) or an Assam or Darjeeling would probably be more ‘typical’.

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it is very earthy, woodsy, sometimes sweet and fruity sometimes yummy like pie crust, it’s very interesting, this teavana puerh should be a nice one to start with.
some puerh can taste like dirt or soil but not always, I like a dirty tasting Pu sometimes.
If you get a flavored Puerh Chocolate,Caramel or Toffee goes really nice with a puerh :)

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ashmanra said

If you want to try black tea, I would pick another! I love puerh, but I put it in a class by itself. I believe it is technically considered a green tea by its oxidation level, though it is fermented or aged/ripened. And sheng and shu puerh are so totally different from each other.

If you are in the US, I would be happy to send you some black tea and puerh tea samples.

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david said

I find pu-erh to be very tricky. They are often compared and discussed as a coffee alternative, but I find their flavor to be (at times, not always) too earthy for many new and non-tea drinker palates.

Personally, I prefer a delicious Yunnan black tea. My second favorite to Da Hong Pao.

da hong pao is oolong though!

david said

Agree with that yappy, just saying – it’s my fav. :)

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fcb said

I think you are getting the right info here. pu-erh is it’s own category. White, yellow, green, pu-erh, and then black.

Go for a Yunnan black of some kind. Delicious

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sandra said

I am a green tea lover, but love, love, my bailin black.
I’d go for samplers when going pu-ehr for the first time, taste is very different from anything green or black, or oolong.
pesonally, i cannot even stand the smell of pu-ehr, drank it once. never again.

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Angrboda said

As others have said pu-erh isn’t actually black tea. Black is black and pu-erh is pu-erh. The processing of the two types are quite different.

If you want to try black tea, however, I suggest you start out taking a look at the biggest producers of the type. India, China, Sri Lanka and Kenya probably deserves a mention here as well. Try to avoid flavoured stuff at first, because while it can be very nice indeed, it won’t teach you very much about the type as such. So begin with some samples from these regions. I would say get some Assam, some Darjeeling, perhaps some Nilgiri or maybe Travancore from India, some Yunnan, some Keemun and some Bailin or Panyong from China (perhaps even some Lapsang Souchong if you are feeling brave, but smoky tea is not universally liked and it’s not really a beginner must-try), a couple of samples from Sri Lanka, a high grown and a low grown. I’m not sure which exactly would be the best ones to suggest here. Likewise from Kenya. I haven’t got much experience with it really, so I would just see what’s available where you shop. When you try these pay attention to which ones you like best, and then focus on exploring that area further.

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Angrboda said

Thank you. :)

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