Raw Pu

I'm obsessed with pu-erh. Thankfully I don't have the funding for it to become a real problem yet, but there's potential there. I've had some cooked pu (which is enough) and while it's nice and smooth and earthy and comforting, it's a little boring and barnyard-y. In my travels online I've learned a lot more about pu-erh (and spent countless hours trying to learn more) and have developed a sense of awe of what that entire category of tea consists of.

The Basics (very basic):
Pu-erh is an aged tea. There are two types: Raw (Green) and Cooked. Ideally you have a Beeng (cake) of raw pu that has been aged for upwards of 30 years. You can purchase this pre-aged raw pu, however that gets pretty pricey. You can also purchase young raw pu that has only been aged a few years, however it's very harsh and still needs the time to mellow out. The idea behind cooked pu is that it is emulating what aged pu would be without the time and price.

To my knowledge, cooked pu is far inferior of a product as it does not have the complexity of the true aged raw, however it is very convenient. My current dilemma is that real aged pu is so expensive that I have not tried it although I wish to desperately. I am probably going to purchase some samples of some aged beengs, but now the issue is that my gong-fu technique I'm sure is not up to par. Basically I need an old Chinese man with a pu collection to befriend me.

I have had a chance to try some relatively young pu, and while Brigitte pretty much hated it, I think I enjoyed it. It was very harsh and astringent, but after the umpteenth infusion it mellowed a bit and you could start to see the smoothness and complexity it could gain after aging for another 25 years.

So if anyone has any lovely aged pu they'd like to educate me with, feel free. Otherwise I will try and do the same once I can get my hands on some.


nada said...
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nada said...

hey toasted toads,
i'm not an old chinese man, but I do have an old pu collection that I'm happy to share some little bits of.
Send me an email blazingnada@gmail.com,