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Intro to Pu'erh

I've been meaning to try a pu'erh for some time now (I normally drink black tea and the bigger/bolder the better). Happened to be in a small asian market for something else and this caught my eye. I picked this up for $1, thinking I can't go wrong for that price (probably a mistake): Golden Sail, teabags.
$goldenSailTeabag.JPG


Anyone familiar with this? Is this even going to resemble actual pu'erh, or is it like other tea bags in that it's the left over dust that they package up and sell? Will this at least give me enough of an idea of whether or not I should invest in a proper pu'erh tea?

Thanks
 

ouch

Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Moderator Emeritus
If there's any tea that you can go wrong with by going on the cheap or not doing your homework, it's pu'er. I don't even know what's second.

Avoid bags. Avoid mini-tuos. Avoid anything other than known quantities from known suppliers.
 
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You can go cheap and still get some reasonable introductions to puer. Like Ouch said, I would recommend avoiding bags and mini-tuos

You can check the ripe/sheng of the day threads for general advice, a lot of good recommendations and veteran puer drinkers there
 
This may be an unfair comparison to this specific tea, but imagine hearing a lot of good things about Cabernet Sauvignon wine and wanting to try it for the first time. You are looking forward to drinking it when your friend pours a glass of some random red wine found on bottom shelf of the grocery store in the part of town where the winos hang out. You don't really like it and think what is all the fuss about cabernet? There is a good chance that this will be your experience with this tea. I hope not, but don't pass too much judgement if it is not good...I had a similar experience with my first purchase of pu-erh.
 
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This may be an unfair comparison to this specific tea, but imagine hearing a lot of good things about Cabernet Sauvignon wine and wanting to try it for the first time. You are looking forward to drinking it when your friend pours a glass of some random red wine found on bottom shelf of the grocery store in the part of town where the winos hang out. You don't really like it and think what is all the fuss about cabernet? There is a good chance that this will be your experience with this tea. I hope not, but don't pass too much judgement if it is not good...I had a similar experience with my first purchase of pu-erh.
Great analogy
 
I applaud you gents that can drink this pu'erh, you are all REAL MEN.I cannot stomach this tea. There is some type of fishtank water taste to it, or what I imagine fish water would taste like.
 
I applaud you gents that can drink this pu'erh, you are all REAL MEN.I cannot stomach this tea. There is some type of fishtank water taste to it, or what I imagine fish water would taste like.
That's it. Except I almost think it's more of a fish tank smell than a taste. I thought maybe the first try was my imagination, but gave it a second chance and it has a definite fishy quality going on. Oh well, at least I'm only out a buck...

I'll go do some homework before my second venture into pu'erh.
 
There is some type of fishtank water taste to it, or what I imagine fish water would taste like.
By your description, what you definitely had was a ripe pu-erh but a poor quality one. Many people prefer ripe pu-erh when first starting to drink pu-erh. However, poor examples or young ripe teas will sometimes have a bit of a fishy smell. So, my recommendation would be to get a reputable ripe pu-erh with a few years of age on it. Here are a few recommendations:
- 2009 Menghai Dayi Gong Tuo
- 2010 Menghai V93
- 2010 Menghai 7572

Best regards,
Steve
www.JAS-eTea.com
 
By your description, what you definitely had was a ripe pu-erh but a poor quality one. Many people prefer ripe pu-erh when first starting to drink pu-erh. However, poor examples or young ripe teas will sometimes have a bit of a fishy smell. So, my recommendation would be to get a reputable ripe pu-erh with a few years of age on it. Here are a few recommendations:
- 2009 Menghai Dayi Gong Tuo
- 2010 Menghai V93
- 2010 Menghai 7572

Best regards,
Steve
www.JAS-eTea.com

This is what I had. It's a loose pu-erh. I gave it to someone on another forum who loves pu-erh and he really loved it. So, I'm not sure if it was a poor quality or not. But I don't think that I'm willing to take that chance again.
 
Get the JK Tea sampler from Jas-e Tea. I just tried it not too long ago, even though I have been drinking tea like this for a couple years. You get to sample 6 different high quality pu-erh's. I thought it was a great sampler, with enough variety to give you an idea of what you like. Pick up a cheapy gaiwan too and you are set. Definitely avoid the box of pu-erh teabags.
 
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I might be lucky, but our local tea shop has some awesome pu-erh ginger mix. I am not sure how I would react to a fish-tank tasting tea... maybe it was over-steeped or something?

I haven't tried these bags from the OP, and not sure I would as tea-bags don't work in my tumbler very well, and I hate the mess. I have been looking at JAS-eTea.com, and they have pretty comparable prices. If you want to order tea though, I really truly suggest going to find some local tea place. Chances are, in the local mall there is a Tea-a-vana. Yes, yes, they smell of desperate used car dealers, but you get a chance to smell/interact with the tea. Just don't let them push you into a purchase or do that little "<wave>.. smell it? good, buy it." routine. Actually take time to smell the tea, and try some that is there.
Order online once you find a tea you like and have something to compare it to.

And, btw, when in Asian markets, one sure fire way to tell if something if worth your purchase, ask the people working there if they would eat/drink/use it, and how. If they just stare at you funny, put it down and don't think twice. If they say, "Oh! That, that is awesome, good flavor/smell/feel, just use so and so" then put it in the cart. Some stuff you seriously want to avoid from those places. :)
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
I've been meaning to try a pu'erh for some time now ...
I have been looking at JAS-eTea.com, and they have pretty comparable prices. If you want to order tea though, I really truly suggest... Tea-a-vana.
Um ... here's a description of one of the three ... count 'em, three ... pu-erh teas that Teavanah sells.

Description

Enticing, tantalizing and truly energizing this rosy blush blend of pu-erh black and green oolong teas merge to create an intoxicating mix of sweet fruit with bright mint. Sweet strawberries and golden delicious apples swirl into peppermint and spearmint and create guilt-free, slimful beauty inside and out.


Complex flavors of strawberry, apple and hibiscus are followed by refreshingmint
I don't know what "refreshingming" is, but I do know that you will not find it discussed in the Longest Pu-erh Thread On The Internet(tm). The sell two flavoured-up-the-yingyang "pu-erh teas" and one blend of pu-erh and (regular) black tea ... all loose leaf.

Jas-e-Tea sells 94 different types of raw pu-erh cakes and bricks ... not to mention the cooked bricks as well. (There are actually 101 listings for sheng/raw, but a few are out of stock.

Methinks Jas-e-tea is a better bet than Teavanah for this particular type of tea. Now, if you want a tea that tastes like caramel, mint chocolate, or a blackberry mojito, then quite frankly, the selection at Jas-e-Tea sucks.
 
My Co-op student described some of my ripe pu-erhs as "fish leather" so you may not be alone in your reaction.


My pu isn't tea bags or dollar store tuos, either. (Although calling them high-end would definitely be a lie...)
 

ouch

Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Moderator Emeritus
quality posts from first to last ... narry a "+1" or "w00t" to be seen.
You're not kidding- it's a who's who of tea experts in there.

By the way, I still have a bottle and a half of the Canadian Aqua Velva you sent me a year and a half ago. I treat it like gold. :thumbup1:
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
You're not kidding- it's a who's who of tea experts in there.

By the way, I still have a bottle and a half of the Canadian Aqua Velva you sent me a year and a half ago. I treat it like gold. :thumbup1:

A "who's who" ... and me. :blush:

Glad to hear you like the AV ... it's cheap as chips up here ... like maple syrup.
 
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