16/11: On ripe Pu-erh tea, Part I

My daily tea drink nowadays, believe it or not, is mostly a ripen/cooked/shu/fermented Pu-erh tea.

I will try some green/sheng/raw Pu-erh teas from time to time, as I did in my early tea drinking years, but these days my choice is always a good cooked/ripe tea.

Currently in my cup: 2007 Boyou Grade 7 Pu-erh Tea Brick, a wonderful tea.

There are reasons for this to happen. In the early days of tea drinking, a ripe tea would quickly turn myself off for its strange smell, the tea tasted earthy, fishy, pondy, it goes without saying I would rather not to drink this stuff.

Gradually, I was getting into some aged green/sheng/raw Pu-erh teas, everyone beside me said it was so good so I had to learn to understand it, thus I was getting used to that special aroma an aged tea offered. Then I returned to some decent ripe teas to try, and began to fall for them. Still, I felt most ripe Pu-erh teas tasted about the same, sweet, with a kind of smell only found in an aged green/sheng/raw Pu-erh tea.

Today my understanding on ripe Pu-erh is much more advanced. There I was in Kunming, searching for the next killer product like our American Hao 1005 or MGH 1104.

I learnt a few things in the process to make a new MGH ripe tea.

1. A pure Lincang ripe Pu-erh tends to develop some sourness in a long term (as observed in some Xiaguan Ripe Tuocha).
2. In a short term fishy and pondy smell comes from Menghai ripe Pu-erh (Try your new Menghai 7572, you would know).
3. Simao (Puer) ripe tea can be bland and bitter (I don't buy much Simao teas anyway, green or ripe)

The secret:
What I found is that if I have a Mengku (belongs to Lincang) tea fermented in Menghai, I would get a ripe tea that its smell is NOT fishy/pondy in a short term, and also it would not become sour in a long term.


Comments made

What a joy to see a new post from you!

I was surprised to hear you say that you are drinking "cooked" shu over green sheng tea. This challenges me to revisit the ripe teas with a new mind and fresh taste buds.

Is it that taste is a perspective of mind or the tongue?
16/11 21:47:17
Thanks. I knew I should post more.

I drank so many green sheng teas when I was in Yunnan, in an attempt to find the good ones. But there were so many good oily foods to sooth my stomach so I did not feel bad at all.

In US, however, I am on a 'diet', so a green sheng tea is rough on me, it makes me hungry so fast ...
17/11 21:00:18
Just tried an expieriment that went REALLY well!
I have a 1990's 500g Shou Tuo and the 1990's Spring Buds Sheng. I think you used to sell the Spring Buds ShengCha.
Just using a sprinkling of the aged sheng completely altered the tea and enriched it with full mouthfeel and long huigan
Just a touch of natuarally aged pu brought out the best in the shou.
I've heard of teas that mix the two before compression, which sounds kinda awful, but this was very nice. Perhaps those who are stuck with a good, but not great, shou could try.
29/11 17:24:47
I have been recently looking to try pu-reh teas for the great health benefits, I hear they have more antioxidants than green teas which is a great thing. Thanks for sharing.
14/08 13:50:07

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