thinking about trying pu....
hey all, long time no see. life sucks like that >.>
anywhoo, like the title sais, im thinking about taking my first steps into pu erh sometime in the future, but im really picky about the flavor profile in my teas… so im looking to you all for advice :) my first question is this, what is the main underlying taste of most pu? like white, for me, is straw/hay, green is grass/spinach, ect. this matters to me, as im kinda picky when it comes to the base flavor of a tea.
i can tolerate the base taste of white teas, straw/hay, as long as it has a nice balance of sweetness to it. I prefer blacks with a nice honey and chocolate taste, but i dont like a smokey flavor. i find that i dont like oolongs, all i taste is old spinach and in some a fish flavor. i dont like most darjeerlings either, something about the spice and kinda fermented mulch taste turns me off. greens i like as long as the grass/spinach taste isnt too overpowering, and has something to go along with it.
so, basically what im looking for is a nice sweet tea, no smoke, spice, nut, or mulch. i can enjoy a earthy flavor if its in balance, but i prefer to stay away from sweet potato.
i know, im being difficult lol, but, hey, a challenge for you that are in the know? :)
thanks for any advice you can shoot at me.
white2tea.com beginner puerh set. Excellent deal for the money.
An underlying flavour profile for pu is hard to define until you make a quick distinction: sheng pu and shu pu.
For puer, shu pu is the stuff that has been “post-fermented”, so it brews almost black if you oversteep it and is the deeply earthy, mulchy, dirt to chocolate tea. If it hasn’t been aired out (sometimes happens if it’s been broken up and then stored in a tin forever…) it can get fishy, though I’ve gotten all of one fishy pu.
Sheng pu is the ‘raw’ pu tea, that is meant to age naturally until it gets to the same point as a shu. Mostly you’ll find younger shengs, less than ten years; it’s very green, some very young ones can be a bit sharp or astringent, but they smooth out with age. They’d probably fall closer to your grass/spinach than straw/hay, but some can be like that as well, especially since some places also compress white teas into bricks for aging.
I’d also point out that it seems like you’ve only tasted one type of oolong (the greener or new-style oolongs), and I’d suggest trying wuyi (rock) oolongs (such as da hong pao), phoenix oolongs, and a more traditional-styled tie guan yin (versus the new-styled ‘green’), which is roasted. None of these are spinach-y, because they’re much more heavily oxidized than greener oolongs.
u just gotta go after it.
and also. the diff between sheng and shou is important
I was right there a few months ago. If you are willing to wait: I’ll be purchasing my first few cakes for my birthday in August and would be delighted to stab some pieces off for you :)
thanks all for your replies :) and sorry it took a while for me to get back her and check. and aj, thanks, those are some good points i will keep in mind, and i will give the oolongs another chance :) and proust, i would be honored and grateful if you would be willing to share some more tea with me :) im grateful of the last batch of tea you sent my way. You are truly a Gentleman :)
I’m no expert, and I have no idea what brand of tea it was that I tried, but I’ve encountered a cafe near me that does a caramel chai pu erh, and it was really nice. Of course, you’ll probably intending to do with straight pu erhs, but heck, if you know chai well enough then you could probably pick it out of the flavors and sense the pu erh going on. Just a suggestion for your shopping!