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Pu Ehr Tea : Also Puerh, Pu-erh, Puer. . .


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#1 Jim Cotter

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 02:06 PM

I read somewhere in a book on Chinease Energy medicine that Pu Ehr tea works like grapefruit juice in your system clearing away fats etc. I enjoy this tea as a substitute for coffee . Does anyone know anymore about it? I usally buy a medium grade that my pocketbook can afford. Some of the other grades seem a little pricey.

#2 jpr54_

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 03:29 PM

what types of puerh do u enjoy drinking-
green-toucha-aged
i personally do not like the way it tastes-mais chacques a son gout

i have some puerh from imperial tea court-if you would like them reply to me privately with name and address

joanne

#3 Jim Cotter

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 07:34 AM

I buy my Pu-ehr from Harney tea. They do not advertise it in their catalog but they have it. I do not know what type it is but price wise I think it is a middle grade. I like it. The other place I found it was either the Blue Willow tea co or
www.Tentea.com

#4 DonRocks

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 08:59 AM

Pu-Ehr must be the most assertive tea in the world, and the taste is even offputting to some. Personally, I love it, and for whatever reason have always purchased it in cake form (maybe because it tastes so different, I feel that it should look different too.) They generally have a good selection at my favorite source for teas, the amazing mail-order company Upton Tea Imports. Go to their website, click on the little "Pu-Ehr" tab at the top of the page, and you can read all about it.

Cheers,
Rocks.

#5 Jim Cotter

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 11:49 AM

Heh that Upton Tea Co looks great, I am interested in trying the imperial blend or the cake form like you have, It sounds richer and darker. The dark earthy qualities are what i like about this tea. Thanx.

#6 wilsonrabbit

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 02:58 PM

from all the descriptions of pu erh tea (cake, washes away fats, pungent) it sounds like the tuocha tea I drink from the Yunnan province. There is a brand that is supposed to be the best and it comes in a big round cake (like a bowl) in a green circular paper box that has Tuocha written in red. I've now seen them come in mini cakes (still bowl shaped) and in regular boxes with the same red text. It comes in green tea, oolong and ...something flavors. I think they're mixes.

Anyhow, it is true that it washes away the fats in the body and is great to drink after an oily meal. However, be forewarned that a) it's too strong for you and/or b) it's your first time drinking, you'll probably have to run to the toilet within a half hour. A cousin of mine lost a lot of weight drinking a cup of it every day. Supposedly, he lost his belly fat that way.

The bowl brick I buy can be found in a lot of Asian markets (Chinese in particular) but not all markets carry it. They used, but of late, I'm finding fewer carry it, favoring other brands or they're switching to the mini versions in the box. Either way, I've been told the best quality comes from Yunnan province.

Happy drinking to a healthier you!

#7 jpr54_

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 03:16 PM

there are many website locations to purchase puerh tea-including
www.pu-ehr.net
www.imperialtea.net
joanne

#8 swieton

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 07:56 AM

Is there such a thing as decaffeinated puerh tea? I have quit caffeine some time back, and am quite happy without it, but it makes it hard to enjoy my favorite kind of teas.

Also, can anyone recommend a way to purchase aged puerh teas online? I've been buying from Upton Tea, but I'm sure it's younger tea at those prices, and while much of it is very good, I'd like to try the other stuff.

Thanks!

-- Mike

#9 Peter Green

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 08:29 AM

Posted Image

I love these teas.

The first time I'd bought any was in Sipsawngpanna (or whatever the Chinese call it, I'll stick with the Lao name) back in 1998 and I was intrigued by the suppository look of these little Hershey Kisses of tea.

They did draw some odd questions from Customs when I came back through, but once I proved you couldn't mainline it, those were quelled.

I took the tea home, and carefully parsed out the pots of tea I could make from them. What I found was a tea that was fabulously dark, darker than anything my mother ever poured out for Hockey Night in Canada (with lots of milk and sugar, thank you) but when I drank it there was not the slightest hint of bitterness about it. Even better, my wife, who can't take tea or coffee after lunch without being up all night can drink this to her heart (or tummy's) content.

When I was back in Beijing a couple of years back, I found an excellent tea shop and immediately asked for pu erh. I was confronted with the question of suppositories or cakes? I ended up buying both. They weren't exactly cheap, but they provide a drink that is hard to compare to anything else for depth of colour and clarity of taste.

I must make a pot tonight!

#10 "T"

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:33 AM

Ahhh Pu'erh teas. One needs to aproach this tea the same way the wine world embraces properly aged wines. Good Pu'erh tea is most often aged. Anywhere from 5 years to well over 100 years old. I am by no means an expert on these teas but I have had much 10, 18 and currently drinking 25 year old Pu'her's. I was once at a tasting where I was served 100 year old Pu'erh from a client of mine who was interested in my opinion on this tea.
Pu'erh is a tea to sit down with and examine the path of ones life. Such is Barolo to wine drinkers. A beverage to contemplate.

I know. Blah, blah, blah.
slowfood/slowwine

#11 jpr54_

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:53 PM

Mike sells great pu'erh-

#12 swieton

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 01:54 PM

Is there anywhere to buy aged Pu-Erh in small quantities? I see a number of 10 or 20 year aged bricks from Imperial Tea, and wouldn't even mind paying the premium for older and smaller quantities, if I could try it and compare to the $5/oz. stuff I'm currently drinking before I pop for a $200 brick.

Also, I'm thinking about picking up some young Pu-Erh and trying to age it myself. Maybe 20 years from now I'll sell it, or maybe just drink it myself. Does anyone know about the optimal conditions for aging it? Do I just leave it in a dark corner until I retire?

-- Mike

#13 mikepetro

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 02:50 PM

Is there anywhere to buy aged Pu-Erh in small quantities? I see a number of 10 or 20 year aged bricks from Imperial Tea, and wouldn't even mind paying the premium for older and smaller quantities, if I could try it and compare to the $5/oz. stuff I'm currently drinking before I pop for a $200 brick.

Also, I'm thinking about picking up some young Pu-Erh and trying to age it myself. Maybe 20 years from now I'll sell it, or maybe just drink it myself. Does anyone know about the optimal conditions for aging it? Do I just leave it in a dark corner until I retire?

-- Mike

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Beware of anyone who is selling a brick for $200 and claiming it to be 20 years old or older, the odds are very great that your are being ripped off. Truly old and well stored pu-erhs will sell for $3 per gram and up. Truly great puerhs that are 30 years plus can sell for thousands per bingcha (~357g) at auction.

There are a few places to buy aged puerh in small amounts. Be careful though as there are many who sell forgeries. While the Imperial Tea Court tends to have very good teas overall, ITC is not the best place to buy vintage puerh, they seldom list the vintage, factory, and other important info on their listings. If you want true vintage puerhs try one of the links below.

I personally recommend the following sites as being trustworthy, but remember that truly aged pu-erh is not cheap!

http://www.houdeasianart.com
http://www.sunsingte...024/welcome.htm
http://www.teahub.com/puerhtea.htm
http://www.grandtea.com

Edited by mikepetro, 15 November 2006 - 03:01 PM.

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#14 jpr54_

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 06:59 AM

I have only purchased tea from www.houdeasianart.com-from your list

The other sites look very interesting as well-have you ordered from them?

joanne r.

#15 mikepetro

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 03:44 AM

I have only purchased tea from www.houdeasianart.com-from your list

The other sites look very interesting as well-have you ordered from them?

joanne r.

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Yes, I have ordered antique Puerh from all three. Sunsing probably has the best selection of vintage puerhs and they sell by gram.
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#16 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 09:51 AM

I am fairly new to Pu-erh, not having tried any of this Chinese tea from the Yunnan province until 2 -3 years ago. The complexity of Pu, similar in many ways to the comlexity of wine, increasingly attracts me. My impression is that Pu-erh knowledge and enjoyment is at the point today in the US that wine was in, say, the late 1950s - early 1960s.

I have gotten some samples and a tuocha tong from Yunnan Sourcing LLC on eBay, two bricks from Puershop.com, and samples and a cake from Norbu.com. Some shu (cooked) and some sheng (raw). I have tasted only a couple dozen pu-ehr and am just starting to learn what to expect and what to look for in shu and young and adolescent sheng.

Have you tried Pu-ehr? If so, what Pu-erh have you found interesting, and what vendors do you like?

#17 jpr54_

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 12:59 PM

I tried pu-erh one time-
i was not impressed but thst was only one time-

i would suggest www.houdeasianart.com for samples-
u dont have to buy the whole cake, etc.

ask guang to help u select the tea-

have u read the art of tea magazines-not the best but it has good info and help

houdeasianart has magazines for sale- alittle expensive but the pix r beautiful


joanne

#18 mikepetro

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 03:55 PM

Puerh is a world unto itself. As is common with Chinese culture it is enveloped in mythology and mysticism. I fell in love with the tea many years ago and got quite frustrated when I tried to find reliable information about it. The US Market at the time was quite ignorant, with most vendors simply reselling it while knowing nothing about it. I embarked on a quest to learn about this fascinating tea and out of of my journey a website was born. I have done little to maintain the website in the last year or so, due to personal issues I have been dealing with, but nonetheless my site is still arguably one of the most complete references on Puerh that exists in English.

In the last few years years the Purh market in China has been extremely unstable. With the enormous new middle class emerging in China they sought out status symbols and ways to indulge their newly found wealth. Puerh became quite the status symbol in China and the prices shot through the roof to ludicrous highs, consequently many new smaller less experienced companies started making puerh to cash in on its new popularity. This is one of the reasons that good Yunnan Golds have been so hard to come by recently, it comes from one of the same large leaf varietals that puerh comes from and the raw leaves were all being diverted to puerh production. Fortunately this overzealous hording of puerh in China has leveled off and started to diminish, however be wary of purhs from lessor know companies after about 2003.

The real delicacy in the puerh realm is in a well aged raw (sheng) cake. One about 20-30 years old. Much like a fine wine it develops with age. The pleasure in these old puerhs is immense. Do beware though, with the price of some aged cakes going for as much as $30,000 each at auction :blink: , there are many counterfeits being passed off. :hmmm:

Anyway, check out my site for the basics about this tea. I also list many of the vendors and my own personal review of them. I cover the various types, the shapes, and much of the lore. The link is in my signature.
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#19 mikepetro

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 04:00 PM

BTW, a real nice video on the subject can be found at:

http://www.cctv.com/...31/100672.shtml
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#20 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:05 AM

Puerh is a world unto itself. As is common with Chinese culture it is enveloped in mythology and mysticism.  I fell in love with the tea many years ago and got quite frustrated when I tried to find reliable information about it. The US Market at the time was quite ignorant, with most vendors simply reselling it while knowing nothing about it. I embarked on a quest to learn about this fascinating tea and out of of my journey a website was born. I have done little to maintain the website in the last year or so, due to personal issues I have been dealing with, but nonetheless my site is still arguably one of the most complete references on Puerh that exists in English.

Yes, Mike's site is a store house of info on pu-erh and worth checking out.

In the last few years years the Purh market in China has been extremely unstable. With the enormous new middle class emerging in China they sought out status symbols and ways to indulge their newly found wealth. Puerh became quite the status symbol in China and the prices shot through the roof to ludicrous highs, consequently many new smaller less experienced companies started making puerh to cash in on its new popularity. This is one of the reasons that good Yunnan Golds have been so hard to come by recently, it comes from one of the same large leaf varietals that puerh comes from and the raw leaves were all being diverted to puerh production. Fortunately this overzealous hording of puerh in China has leveled off and started to diminish, however be wary of purhs from lessor know companies after about 2003.


Given the current economic conditions, do you think the price of new Puerh will be dropping significantly over the next year? How about the adolescent or older Pu?

#21 mikepetro

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:56 AM

Given the current economic conditions, do you think the price of new Puerh will be dropping significantly over the next year? How about the adolescent or older Pu?

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I think the price will drop gradually, I think we are on the downside of the bubble. I believe the market will equalize and right itself over the next few years. Keep in mind though that prior to 2003 puerh was probably undervalued when you compare the amount of labor to produce it versus the amount of labor to produce other teas which sell for considerably more. In other words I think the old price of puerh was lower than it should have been. So while the prices will drop as the puerh fad fades, they will not drop to 2002 levels.

Old puerh will probably never drop. While the prices for 20 year+ puerhs got outrageous I think it will remain so as there are enough wealthy Chinese (and Taiwanese) who will continue to create the demand for it as old Puerh is very much seen as a status symbol. It is very much a matter of supply and demand. The demand for aged puerh will always exceed the supply. The value is so assured that many wealthy Asians invest in aged puerh in lieu of the stock market.

BTW, the "Art of Tea" magazine was mentioned by Joanne. It is a very good resource but be aware that it is owned by a Taiwanese Puerh Mogul, and many of the articles are very opinionated. These differences of opinions are actually very interesting and will give you some insight into the often contradictory wide world of puerh. It is very akin to the opinions of wine and all of the discussions thereof. This magazine is very notable as being the first publication written in English coming from knowledgeable (even if opinionated) Asian sources.
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#22 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:08 PM

Thanks, Mike. I also think that many people have a distorted impression of the cost of Pu-erh. If you compare drinking most young to adolescent Pu-erh with wine, Pu usually comes out well ahead in the affordability department. It's the very old stuff that stops me in my tracks. Even compared to good Oolong, which can easily run $150 to $300/lb and more, exploring Pu is relatively inexpensive.

I think one problem is that people tend to assume they have to buy a whole 375 gram Pu-ehr cake to begin exploring. But, as joanne pointed out upthread, Guang at Hue De -- as well as Scott at YSLLC and other Pu dealers - usually offer small samples of Pu for $3 and up. At this point in my Puducation, I am mostly trying samples of shu and sheng from various dealers.

#23 mikepetro

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:57 PM

Thanks, Mike. I also think that many people have a distorted impression of the cost of Pu-erh. If you compare drinking most young to adolescent Pu-erh with wine, Pu usually comes out well ahead in the affordability department. It's the very old stuff that stops me in my tracks. Even compared to good Oolong, which can easily run $150 to $300/lb and more, exploring Pu is relatively inexpensive.

I think one problem is that people tend to assume they have to buy a whole 375 gram Pu-ehr cake to begin exploring. But, as joanne pointed out upthread, Guang at Hue De -- as well as Scott at YSLLC and other Pu dealers - usually offer small samples of Pu for $3 and up.

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Yes, puerh, again much like wine, can be very inexpensive or obscenely expensive. A good cake of young puerh can be had for $15 or less, on the other hand I have some rare 1950s Red Label that I got for $50 per gram and that was actually a VERY good price for this particular vintage/factory/blend, I even got to see the cake get unwrapped and sampled it it with a lucky group up in NYC. One of the things about good puerh, if properly brewed, is that it will yield several excellent steepings, thereby reducing the actual cost per cup. Well aged puerhs in particular have yielded me as many as 20 steepings per pot and even more.

YES, sampling is the way to go as you zero in on the genre of puerh that appeals to you. Many more vendors are starting to get hip to this need and the selections are getting better. Guang at Houde is one of the few who will offer sample sizes of aged puerhs. Scott at Yunnan Sourcing is an old friend and quite trustworthy. Another source for samples is http://www.jingteash...w_puerh_tea.cfm Seb and Jing are very knowledgeable about puerh in particular and they have access to one of the biggest Tea Markets in China. Another site that has impressed me lately, though I have never dealt with them, is http://www.royalpuer.com and they offer 25g samples of most of their cakes, quite a nice selection too.

Cheers,
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#24 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 10:57 AM

Here's one strong recommendation I can make.

Avoid the mini tuocha offered by many Puerh dealers as an easy way to experience Puerh or to travel with it. I have tried a few of the better ones. And even for them, one is much better off exploring with an inexpensive sample of a 2 - 3 year old cooked (Shu) Puerh cake. These things at their worst can discourage anyone from trying Puerh a second time.

#25 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 11:25 PM

Article by Andrew Jacobs in the New York Times on the speculative bubble in Pu-erh tea and the impact on farmers, manufacturers and merchants in Menghai China.

A pleasantly aromatic beverage that promoters claim reduces cholesterol and cures hangovers, Pu’er became the darling of the sipping classes in recent years as this nation’s nouveaux riches embraced a distinctly Chinese way to display their wealth, and invest their savings.


The article notes that at least 1,000 of the 3,000 tea manufacturers and merchants have gone out of business, and farmers have begun planting more profitable crops like rice and corn.

The article is uneven. A mixture of interesting reporting, weak research and what appears to be a marginal understanding of tea in general, not saved by what is either a marginal understanding of wine or a wine dis-afficianado attitude. There also is a not too subtly disparaging attiude toward the idea of medicinal and health benefits of pu-ehr, while ignoring the possibility that there might be research available, but the bulk of it just might be in Chinese rather than English.

The writer also compares Pu-ehr to "the Western fetishization of wine" and then goes on to list various factors that "enthusiasts" consider in Pu-ehr tea: older plants vs younger, "wild "trees, oxidations levels, loose-leaf vs compacted, spring vs fall harvest. The idea that knowledgeable wine and tea producers and consumers think that differences in types of plants make a difference, that differences in proccessing make a difference, that time of harvest makes a difference is reflective of "fetishization"?

Curiously, the paper reports that "From 1999 to 2007, the price of Pu’er, a fermented brew invented by Tang Dynasty traders, increased tenfold, to a high of $150 a pound for the finest aged Pu’er, before tumbling far below its preboom levels." And then a little later in the piece, "Prized vintages from the 19th century have sold for thousands of dollars a wedge." If I am not too far off, I think it was (and still may be) in four and perhaps even five figures per pound for the finest aged Pu-ehr.

Perhaps an editor will clean it up before you read this.

#26 Naftal

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 08:54 AM

Article by Andrew Jacobs in the New York Times on the speculative bubble in Pu-erh tea and the impact on farmers, manufacturers and merchants in Menghai China.

A pleasantly aromatic beverage that promoters claim reduces cholesterol and cures hangovers, Pu’er became the darling of the sipping classes in recent years as this nation’s nouveaux riches embraced a distinctly Chinese way to display their wealth, and invest their savings.


The article notes that at least 1,000 of the 3,000 tea manufacturers and merchants have gone out of business, and farmers have begun planting more profitable crops like rice and corn.

The article is uneven. A mixture of interesting reporting, weak research and what appears to be a marginal understanding of tea in general, not saved by what is either a marginal understanding of wine or a wine dis-afficianado attitude. There also is a not too subtly disparaging attiude toward the idea of medicinal and health benefits of pu-ehr, while ignoring the possibility that there might be research available, but the bulk of it just might be in Chinese rather than English.

The writer also compares Pu-ehr to "the Western fetishization of wine" and then goes on to list various factors that "enthusiasts" consider in Pu-ehr tea: older plants vs younger, "wild "trees, oxidations levels, loose-leaf vs compacted, spring vs fall harvest. The idea that knowledgeable wine and tea producers and consumers think that differences in types of plants make a difference, that differences in proccessing make a difference, that time of harvest makes a difference is reflective of "fetishization"?

Curiously, the paper reports that "From 1999 to 2007, the price of Pu’er, a fermented brew invented by Tang Dynasty traders, increased tenfold, to a high of $150 a pound for the finest aged Pu’er, before tumbling far below its preboom levels." And then a little later in the piece, "Prized vintages from the 19th century have sold for thousands of dollars a wedge." If I am not too far off, I think it was (and still may be) in four and perhaps even five figures per pound for the finest aged Pu-ehr.

Perhaps an editor will clean it up before you read this.

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Hello-Pu'erh is indeed similar to wine, but I think it is wrong to use the word "fetishization". Age and growing conditions have an effect on both as does the method used in processing.I think the writer of the article is showing his lack of interest in both wine and tea by using such a word.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)


#27 gfron1

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:39 PM

I received this puerh from Ming at Vital TeaLeaf in Chinatown SF during the Fancy Food Show. He has gifted me with many great teas before (including a nice sized portion of an $800/lb tea on this visit also), and knew I didn't really care for the 6 or 12 year puerhs he has given me before. This one is aged inside of a tangerine skin and it was much less odoriferous, but had much of the positive tastes of the other puerhs. I could see myself drinking this more often.
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#28 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:44 PM

I received this puerh from Ming at Vital TeaLeaf in Chinatown SF during the Fancy Food Show.  He has gifted me with many great teas before (including a nice sized portion of an $800/lb tea on this visit also), and knew I didn't really care for the 6 or 12 year puerhs he has given me before.  This one is aged inside of a tangerine skin and it was much less odoriferous, but had much of the positive tastes of the other puerhs.  I could see myself drinking this more often.
Posted Image

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Lucky you! I have had tangerine pu-erh and liked it very much. Bamboo pu can also be a smooth alternative.

#29 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 01:38 PM

In an aside in another topic, v. gautam posted:

[btw, Yunnan has a dramatic Pu-erh glut these years owing to overplanting, $3-4 kg for new & for many years to come, so the astronomical prices here seem astonishing].

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mikepetro has posted about the pu-erh market uptopic, but does anyone have any additional info on the economics of pu and the current situation?

#30 Gregory Glancy

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 05:16 PM

Mike Petro pretty much covered all of this in previous posts, but here is my take on the current situation:

Until the "price bubble" broke, many plantation tea growers in Yunnan diverted their usual production to mao cha (the "raw material" tea used to make finished Pu-Erh) simply to take advantage of higher market prices. Most of this crop used to be used to make excellent green and red teas before the price spike, and, much to my delight, Yunnan's tea growers are back to producing excellent green and red teas again now. A large portion of the glut of raw materials came from these "new" sources of mao cha.

Pu-Erh tea is really just like any other commodity. None of this is exactly high economic theory. Supply and demand dictate the prices of the raw materials between producer and factory, and the market dictates the prices of finished products on the consumer side.

High prices (on the high side for Yunnan teas anyways) will still remain for the more highly sought after source materials from the famous Pu-Erh growing mountain areas simply because there is a limit to the amount of material produced there, although the price for these raw materials has basically fallen over the past couple of years. (mao cha prices in 2009 are higher than they were in 08, but still lower than 2007)

To touch on a topic that Mike Petro brought up above, Pu-erh teas are labor intensive to produce, and the production of the loose mao cha is still done on a smallish scale. The best mao cha used in manufacturing Pu-Erh is still largely hand picked & processed in small batches. There is an art to processing the mao cha, and an art to selecting and/or blending it for a good finished product. All of this contributes to the price of the final tea released on the market simply because a lot of highly skilled people are involved in Pu-Erh production, and this doesn't even take into account pressing, packaging, transportation, etc.

Another thing to keep in mind about Pu-Erh tea is that a lot of people got into the Pu-Erh tea business back in 2003-06 buying high priced mao cha and starting their own new brands, and a lot of people completely lost their asses. Yes, there is a lot of not super high quality tea out there that nobody can sell at the prices that they paid for the raw materials. I think at this point a lot of people who decided to buy in late are starting to try to sell their tea for as much as they can get to mitigate their losses and move on to their next get-rich-quick scheme.

That doesn't mean that all the tea produced in that time period by small factories is all bad though! The important thing is to taste whatever it is you buy before buying it. Most vendors offer sample portions of their Pu-Erh, so buy some samples and see what you think. If you like it, buy a cake or a tong and enjoy it over the months or years to come. If it sucks, don't buy it again and let the rest of us tea drinkers and collectors know!
Greg
www.norbutea.com