Should I pitch my fishy 2014 Shu Pu’er?
I just received my order of 50g of 2014 Shu Pu’er Nuggets from Verdant Tea and immediately noticed the fishy smell. After doing some research I’ve come to the conclusion that this is due to unsanitary conditions considering that after 3 years that smell is supposed to be gone.
Is this what everyone else would recommend? It was only $5 per 25g so it was fairly cheap, plus if it’s unsanitary I don’t want to get sick from it…
I got a bunch of tangerine shu that was very fishy. A year later it still smells like salmon.
Did you taste it? Oftentimes shou continues to smell fishy long after the taste has faded. Also three years isn’t really that long. I would hold on to it; maybe put it in the back of a cupboard somewhere and forget about it for a few years. I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Verdant, but I don’t think they’d sell something that would make you sick. There is far sketchier puerh out there that people drink on a daily basis.
You said you don’t have a high opinion of Verdant, is there a place that you like to buy your tea from?
I would brew a few grams and see if the wash takes some of it away. I would then re-evaluate the tea after tasting.
Verdant has some pretty good teas, but overpriced imo. My favorite seller is Yunnan Sourcing, they have a .com and a .us site. There’s lots of good vendors out there though, it depends on what kind of teas you’re looking for.
Verdant tea tends to misrepresent tree age. That being said their tea is actually fairly good.
Puerh nuggets are the clumped puerh from the fermentation process and tends to be a bit stinkier than normal shou. I have this tea and its slightly fermenty but not fishy.
That aroma is not completely limited to unsanitary/bad shou. One thing to keep in mind is that a shou can lose its fishy aroma for years and then a sudden change in storage conditions (such as shipping) can bring it back. Allow it to air out in your house and acclimate for a month or so and then give it a try :-)
Fishy means a bacterial imbalance during fermentation. Some other bacteria is introduced during the process and gets out of hand. It might clear up years down the road. Can try soaking the tea in cold water for five minutes before brewing, sometimes that gets rid of some of the smell.
You could try to break it in smaller pieces to let it air out faster. Ideally, store it in an Yixing jar.