Hi, y’all! I’ve been gone for AGES, I hope everyone is well :)\
Does anyone have suggestions for one or two puehr teas from ONE vendor to try out?
I’ve not had any, and I just want to get started—but holy cow, there’s so much to choose from! I can’t handle anything “stomach punching”, but I’ll try most anything else.
Funds are limited though, and I can’t just buy all over the place.
Happy (late) New Year!
just but some samples from a smaller “boutique” vendor, rather than the big factory stuff right away.
get some samples of some fresh raw, some aged raw, and some ripe.
get a feel for it. learn how to brew it. then see what you think.
i know most pu heads here are fans of White2Tea, CrimsonLotus, and YunnanSourcing.
choose one vendor and sample away. samples may be priced at a premium, but until you get used to tastes you enjoy, its better for the wallet.
adding Mandala tea to that list. If you are US based it’s a cheaper shipping option over YS and W2T. edit: and if you are US based, go with yunnansourcing.us over com as the shipping is flat rate.
That’s true, but each W2T sampler comes with 400 g. of tea, which is a lot for a sampler. I hadn’t purchased either of them, but would like to now that I know that.
Or maybe I wouldn’t. I’m not sure. 100 g. of a tea you hate is a lot of that tea.
W2T sample set(s) have free shipping http://www.white2tea.com/tea-shop/product-category/tea-sample-sets/
and the stomach punching varies.
maybe because I’m Irish heritage and drink above average amounts of alcohol too, young shengs never bother me. even first thing in the morning with an empty stomach.
What Brian said, pick a vendor or two that specialize in pu’er. Buy samples. Lots of samples. Get some young stuff, old stuff to get an interesting range of stuff.
Avoid trying pu’er from vendors that just carry just a couple pu’er (example – Davidstea, Adagio) or random pu’er you find at the Asian supermarket. Those are usually really flipping awful enough to deter you from tea.
All the vendors mentioned already are really good and you can email them and they’ll help you pick out things too.
I had a bad experience with a Republic of Tea flavored puerh. It had…like…currant flavoring or something. Before I knew I didn’t like flavored tea.
What everyone said I agree. Following you. Welcome to Steepster. We have a thread sheng/shou of the day.
Welcome to the pu head support/enabling group.
You could do the w2t sampler pack of sheng or shou. Shipping is free when you purchase one of them. It’s your “basics”.
I can send you 5g of some light sheng, 5g darker sheng, 5g loose shou, 5g Green Miracle (cake shou, if I have some left), some Mandela ripe, and some ChaWang sheng. Not sure if that would help, but free tea is always a way to play around :)
Just follow/PMme and I’ll write up a note about the difference of the three sheng I send. I’ll send some different shou as well.
i wish i had some help like this when i first got into sheng, would have saved a lot of time and $$$
I was just about to start my own “Puerh Newbie” thread, but I figure I’ll just join you in yours :)
I’ve got a Dobra Tea where I’m at and they have a small selection of Puerh (raw & ripe). Of course I could make my way through some of them (and probably will), but just wondering if anyone has any experience with any of them…Here’s the site (have to click on Pu-er in the top nav, as there’s no direct link to the on the page):
My plan as it stands now is to get a bunch of samples from whom (from lurking here a bit) seem to be the usual suspects: W2T, YS, CLT, etc…
I am a little confused with what I’ve been reading about the young raws…it’s obvious that people buy and drink them (I see all kinds of good reviews of the above mentioned vendors 2014 this, 2015 that), but are they just tasting it to see how it might be as an aged tea 7 years from now, or do folks actually buy these young ones to drink now. I’m guessing it’s probably both (for those who like the young raw profiles), but still trying to get a handle on it all! Would I be better off skipping the young ones, and buy samples of more aged shengs if that’s where the tea is supposed to be heading towards anyhow?
Anyhow, not trying to thread-jack you RoriRants, but figuring I’d save us newbies from having too many threads :)
My comment applies to you as well now. In case you are trying to figure out if you like dark or light sheng, I can provide some of both.
Some people like young raws, others won’t touch them.
You need to sample and see what you like. Though young shengs can range – some are drinkable now (and generally cost more money) or not as drinkable needing to be aged.
@Liquid Proust: thanks – I’d love to take you up on that offer! I missed your big recent group buy as I just found Steepster this month, but I’m following its progress :)
@AS/OO: yeah, figured that was the answer…like most things in life, gotta actually try them and see…but I guess it does mean there are people who buy the young ones to have just as they are, not for the future, which is interesting! Thanks for the reply!
@10 Thousand Things: I’m curious about this too. Also, I thought steeping parameters were the same for all the teas, but now I’m realizing they’re not. How should I steep sheng vs. shou? Does age make a difference for this? Which one am I supposed to open so it’ll “air out” before I drink it? It’s all so confusing. I have 10 new questions every time I think I might be getting a handle on it.
depends on the age of the sheng or how crazy you are. Many drop young sheng to as low as 175f to avoid bitter. Others just YOLO boil to get full flavor. Older stuff and shou is boiling. ratio is important too, i think most noobs under leaf a lot.
@kristinalee: agreed, the questions keep coming. Part of the journey! I’m still not clear on the airing out…if I get some 5-25 gram samples…I assume they’ll come in a bag. Do I keep them with the bag open, out of the bag? For ripe and raw?
@AS/OO: re: ratio…I think I’ve read 1g to 15ml…does that sound about right?
I have a tiny bit of experience with Dobra Tea and Pu’s. I got the Qing Bing Cha sheng from the store in Vermont. It did not blow me away and actually turned me off to puerhs for a little while when I first started out with them. It was harsh in a way that was really unpleasant. Of course this was puerh just from the Vermont store and only one of the cakes they sell so the other stores/other cakes may be better than this example. I do like Dobra though, and in fact received a $50 gift certificate there for xmas that I will not be unhappy to use, just not on puerhs.
In general though, I just stick to the Yunnan Sourcing/ Crimson Lotus/W2T/ Mandalas that really focus on having high quality puerhs. I think Dobra may be too much of a generalist to rely on for a good example of solid puerh, but again, I only tried one cake. Still, I do generally go to specialist shops for almost all my teas now. Unless I just decide to get everything from Yunnan Sourcing.
@ 10 Thousand Things, open the bags and let a little air in after you get them and let them rest about a week that way before drinking.
@Matt Warren: thanks for the Dobra reply. I really like Dobra – it’s been a great way to introduce me to many teas that I can see and talk about in person, which is nice. It’s also a nice atmosphere to get tea drunk in and pretend I’m supposed to be doing work! I’m sitting there right now actually, and went with the Lao Shu Bing Cha, “Wild Tree Pu-er”. So now officially now longer a Puerh virgin. I like it, kinda sweet and sour at the same time. Not very bitter at all which surprised me as I had read the young ones were (I’m assuming this is young, it doesn’t actually say on the menu EDIT: just asked: 2011). 3 steeps in and it’s changing already…a bit more sour, and bit thicker. I don’t know, I’m so new to this that I don’t have all the words / palate to accurately describe it. But so far, so good!
@mrmopar: thanks, and if it’s a large enough sample that it’s not all gone in one sitting, and it may be months before I get back to it for instance, do I store those samples (ripe and raw), with the bag open too?
Yes you can store them open but just separate from each other. Away from odors and sunlight as well.
@10 Thousand Things: The atmosphere in Dobra really is awesome. Burlington happens to be partway between where I live and some relatives and Dobra serves as a perfect place to relax, break up the trip, and have a nice pot of tea.
It’s good to know that some of their other Puerhs are good. I should really give them another shot. Every other type of tea I’ve had from them has been pretty solid. In fact, I also was introduced to many different teas by them. I’m pretty sure Dobra’s where I had my first High Mountain Oolong, a life changing event :)