Pu-erh Classic

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Hay, Fish Broth, Malt, Nuts, Seaweed
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Edit tea info Last updated by cretcre
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 7 oz / 214 ml

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35 Tasting Notes View all

From Rishi Tea

Earthy, rich and smooth with the comforting aroma of autumn leaves.

About Rishi Tea View company

Rishi Tea specializes in sourcing the most rarefied teas and botanical ingredients from exotic origins around the globe. This forms a palette from which we craft original blends inspired by equal parts ancient herbal wisdom and modern culinary innovation. Discover new tastes and join us on our journey to leave ‘No Leaf Unturned’.

35 Tasting Notes

2215 tasting notes

I gave this tea one last chance today. A few months ago I cut up a vanilla bean and stirred it into the tin, hoping it would help this tea overcome the meh’s. it didn’t work. I can’t even taste the vanilla and the puerh still has no sparkle. No élan. No….appeal.

I am passing this on to my friend who likes puerh but isn’t as finicky about the taste since she is usually drinking it on the go.

I will say that I love the Rishi double lidded tins, and sometimes buy the empty tins for storing other teas. (They sell the same tin at A Southern Season.) The tins from Republic of Tea are terrible! They are not very airtight, as demonstrated when I tried to soak one for re-use, left it on the counter full of soapy water, and came back to find water on the counter and the floor and none in the tin. No wonder my Wuyi Oolong went stale! At twenty bucks a tin, I want better storage.


I can’t get that vanilla bean trick to work either! I’ve had thoughts about adding vanilla essence to the leaf as well, but I haven’t got a base tea at the moment which is mediocre enough that I don’t mind if it ruins them.


Put this one in the RoT tin so it can breath and use the Rishi tin for something that needs an air tight tin. My understanding is that for puerh to age properly it needs air – the nemesis of most other teas.


Excellent idea, K S. I have longed for the little puerh baskets on purepuer.com, and have considered taking a regular tin and punching some decorative holes in it for puerh storage. Your idea sounds great! You are right – I have heard that puerh can benefit from a little air.

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148 tasting notes

I found myself thinking today that I really “should” drink this tea. It’s still okay, not bad, but just ok. Little bit of earthy musty flavor, still kind of fishy. I might try to give this away…

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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64 tasting notes

So I ground and sifted it. The nutty quality really comes through and lingers with hints of walnuts and sweet almonds. MMMMMmmmmm…

205 °F / 96 °C

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84 tasting notes


Moldy basement? Did you guys brew your tea with lake water?

Serve with a milk chocolate chip [insert your favourite nut here] cookie. It will compliment the unique nutty qualities of the tea!
And it will make the tea more appealing for a first-timer or the average American palate. :)

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

Moldy basement and lake water? Phew!

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175 tasting notes

I’ve heard some people describe pu-erh as tasting like a moldy basement, so I’ve been hesitant to try it. I’m somewhat happy with this pu-erh as it thankfully does not remind me of a basement. I suspect that this moldy taste is from brewing a little too long, I was instructed to steep for only a minute and a half. It does have a tangy/savory taste and I see where people can taste almond and mushroom notes, but I feel the flavor is a little more complicated than that. Supposedly pu-erh is similar to oolong in that it is intended for multiple brews, and is the best tea for weight-loss.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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201 tasting notes

We made our first visit to the semi-new local Whole Foods store on Saturday. It was an interesting place with more “wholesome” food choices than your average major chain. However, if you are looking for many varieties of the good stuff, i.e., chips, cookies, and other wonderful junk food (like I ALWAYS am), Whole Foods will disappoint you.

What I liked most about Whole Foods was that they had a modest selection of loose leaf teas that I hadn’t tried yet. For this trip, I decided to purchase Rishi’s Pu-erh Classic.

My only exposure to Rishi teas up to that point was with Rishi’s Earl Grey, which is my absolute favorite Earl Grey. I was therefore quite excited to try their pu-erh selection.

When I opened the sealed freshness bag, a rich and familiar leathery aroma was released from inside. Side note: Rishi nicely provides a piece of strong tape to reseal the bag after opening.

Following Rishi’s instructions, I steeped the brown earth-colored leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed liquor was a deep chocolate brown. There was no obvious aroma emanating from the brew.

My first sip produced an earthy, leathery, and wood-like flavor in my taste buds. The taste was smooth and defined but not strong. I did not detect any bitterness or unpleasant lingering artifacts. I also did not experience the presence of cocoa in this tea. The flavor remained at this level throughout two cups.

This is a nice pu-erh tea with good flavor. The less than robust strength of taste in my first try was my fault. I steeped my usual one TEASPOON of leaves per eight-ounce cup of water and I just noticed that Rishi’s instructions called for one TABLESPOON of leaves per eight-ounce cup of water. (I must have still been asleep at the tea maker.) I have no doubt that the flavor I experienced times three will be more than sufficient for me next time. If I remember (and that’s a HUGE if), I’ll update this tasting note after I boost the amount of leaves in my next brewing of Rishi’s Pu-erh Classic tea.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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59 tasting notes

This is quite a decent, middle of the road pu’er.

It’s great, because it’s so widely available and there’s definitely nothing offensive about it.

I would not be compelled to stock up on this or age it, however, because it just seems so flat and uninteresting for the price. I don’t find anything to explore or think about or watch grow.
I would, however, use this for blending. It forms pretty basic, thick base for blends, and will stand up even if you put in lemonade for a twist on the Arnie Palmer.

Well, you might say, why not just have this around to drink in big mugs on cold and stormy nights? I’d say, good point, except that I find this tea really heavy. I can feel it weighing down in my mouth. It’s not at all weightless, like really fine exciting pu’er, and that heaviness starts to make me feel sick after a while. I never make it through more than half a mug before I quietly say…blehck…to myself and make something else.

For me, it’s just not worth spending the money unless I’m using for a blend. And even with blends, I have to work to cover up the inescapable heaviness in the mouth.

So all in all?
Good for blends
Very widely available (getting pu’er to the people!)
Not offensive
Pretty darn boring
Ultimately leaves a heaviness in the mouth that makes want something else to wash out the aftertaste

Nathaniel Gruber

Agreed. Well put.

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144 tasting notes


The best shu puerh I’ve had yet. All of the good flavors are here without any of the gross ones! Very clean and straightforward yet not at all shallow. No unpleasant oily fishdirt aroma or taste yet still very thick and substantial. Well all right, then. Definitely a go to from now on.

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8 tasting notes

This is my first review. Yay for being a tea newbie! I picked this up yesterday as am impulse buy while doing some last minute Valentine Day shopping.

I followed the directions on the bag for the most part, bringing the water to about 200F. I was surprised by how dark this tea brewed up (5 minutes steeping time). It can easily be mistaken for coffee! I closed my eyes and took a deep inhalation. Kombu, kelp that’s part of the base broth for miso soup, instantly came to mind. The taste is quite nutty, like toasted sesame seeds. I’m not blown away by this tea, but I find it to be quite savory and good with an afternoon snack.

Flavors: Fish Broth, Malt, Nuts, Seaweed

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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9 tasting notes

I work with woman from China who loves Pu-ehr and this is her daily cup of tea.

I can see why someone might compare this tea to a damp basement, but, to me, I got more of a clean damp dirt smell – earthy and reminiscent of mushrooms and fresh forest soil. The brew itself is very DARK, like over brewed tea.

Have to say, not my favorite tea. My tastes run more towards the malty and bright teas. Didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it, but would give it a try again sometime. Might be an acquired taste.

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