Sunday, August 14, 2005

Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Pu-erh Collection

With Pu-erh gaining mainstream attention outside of Chinese community, many western tea drinkers start to love this mysterious tea. The high prices that some well aged Pu-erh demand and the hyper about collecting Pu-erh as an investment have pumped many western Pu-erh drinkers into collecting Pu-erh. However, before you spend your hard earned money on this investment, you need to know more about Pu-erh. Simply put, not all Pu-erh that produced nowadays are worth collecting.

First of all, those famous Pu-erh factories are no longer your quality assurance. A good example is Meng Hai Tea Factory’s 2004 production. The company was struggled with funding problem and could not afford good raw materials. As a result of that, most of the company’s 2004 productions were of poor quality. Many Pu-erh collectors shunned away from those products.

Secondly, vast amount of faked brand name products can even deceive professionals’ eyes. In a recent online discussion on Xia Guan Te Ji Tuo Cha, many people voted the faked one as the real one! That is a very disturbing fact! Without carefully examing, can you tell the differences between the real and faked ones from pictures from two Xia Guan Te Ji Tuo Cha wraps?

Thirdly, with many new tea factories evolving now, factories are introducing many untraditional Pu-erh to the market as an answer to the severe competitions. Unfortunately, some of those newly introduced Pu-erh have started to show that they can not stand the test of time. One good example is the young green Pu-erh that is made of only tea buds. This type of Pu-erh can not last long time aging. Therefore, is not suitable for collection.

When making Pu-erh collection decisions, tea leave quality should be your first consideration, followed by recipe and production techniques.

Linda
www.teahub.com

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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

why does a pu er made only of tea buds can not last long time aging ? what are the criteria of quality on the leaves ? size ? color ? how they are compressed ? Thank you...
Lionel

TeaHub said...

Tea buds are tender than tea leaves and are carbonized faster than tea leaves. Therefore, a young green Pu-erh made of 100% tea buds will not be able to last long time aging. Tea buds taste sweet when they are young. However, they won’t turn into the mellow taste that seasoned Pu-erh drinkers seek in aged Pu-erh.

Linda

david said...

I really enjoy your website. I find the information useful and educational. I especially like the detailed explanations of tea regions, trees, processing methods...Thank you for providing all of this great information.

Nico said...

I have obtained some samples of younger pu-erh that is supposedly produced by small factories. Some of these are truly excellent, but I don't know if they are worth keeping for aging.
How does one judge the aging potential of young pu-ehr?

TeaHub said...

Well, this can be a rather lengthy discussion. Unless you are a seasoned tea drinker the discussions of spring vs. fall leaves, natural sun-dry vs. other drying technique may not make any sense to you. A quick way to tell if a young green Pu-erh worths aging is its taste. "Pungent with strong sweet aftertaste" are the words we use to describe good young green Pu-erh. If your young green Pu-erh tastes as pleasant as your other green tea, chances are it will lose its flavor during aging. In another words, you better drink it now.

Linda

Anonymous said...

I am traveling to Yunnan in March. I'd like to have suggestion where to go and what to buy. I'm nearly a novice , learning to enjoy.Pu-erh.

TeaHub said...

You are more than welcome to visit our tea house in Kunming.

Linda

David C said...

Teahub said: "Tea buds are tender than tea leaves and are carbonized faster than tea leaves. Therefore, a young green Pu-erh made of 100% tea buds will not be able to last long time aging."
http://www.teahub.com/puerhtea.htm advertises " This top grade Pu-erh is made of tea buds and has been carefully aged for 28 years."

Is this just hype or what? The more I read about Pu-erh the more confusing the subject becomes.

David C

TeaHub said...

It was a very nice aged Pu-erh (we have sold out of it). It was very smooth and sweet. However, because it was made of only buds, it was weak on Qi. Otherwise, a Pu-erh of that age would demand a much higher price.

Linda