Pu-erh tea is a distinctive type of tea that originates from China's Yunnan province, selected from fresh leaves of the large-leaf subspecies arbor tea trees that are over a century old and grown at high elevations in the mountains. Unlike other types of tea, Pu-erh tea goes through a unique fermentation and aging process that tea enthusiasts highly value for its ability to develop complex and nuanced flavors over time.
If you are interested in trying pu-erh tea for the first time, here are some tips on where to start:
1. Experiment with different types of Pu-erh tea
Pu-erh tea can be classified into two types: raw (sheng) and ripe (shou). Raw Pu-erh tea is made from unfermented tea leaves that can be aged for several years. Ripe Pu-erh tea, on the other hand, is made from tea leaves that have gone through a microbial fermentation process, which speeds up the aging process and gives the tea its distinct earthy and musky flavor profile.
2. Consider your taste preferences
Different types of pu-erh tea have distinct flavors, so think about what types of teas you enjoy. For example, If you prefer a smoother and milder taste, you might prefer a shou (ripe) pu-erh tea. It is more accessible for beginners.
If you like earthy and robust flavors, you might prefer a sheng (raw) pu-erh tea. Sheng can also has different flavour, some are fresh, sweet, slight bitter and astringent. Like our “Chen Sheng #1” Raw Puerh tea, it is full and balanced, and the bitterness and astringency are lower than that of the young tea, the floral and honey aroma is rich and long-lasting. It is a good choice if you are a new Pu-erh tea drinker.
CHEN SHENG #1 Raw Puerh Tea from Chen Sheng Hao
Na Ka Raw Puerh is another good choice for Puerh tea new drinker due to its a noticeable floral, fruity flavour and strong sweetness in the later steeps. Both of these puerh have samples for sale on our website.
Naka Raw Puerh Tea from Chen Sheng Hao
While others are powerful, more bitter and astringent but with quick sweet-after-taste that can satisfy some long-time tea drinkers’ preference for strong tea. For example, our “Emperor” has strong bitterness upfront, penetrating aroma, pronounced salivation and sweet-after-taste, long cooling, and powerful Cha Qi. It can last for 15 steeps and still have good taste.
Emperor selecting tips: If you're collecting, it's recommended to choose this year's young tea. Anything stored after this will just be the passing of time. If you're planning to drink it now, it's recommended to choose tea that's been aged for 2-3 years. The bitterness will fade away, and sweet-aftertaste will follow!
3. Read reviews and descriptions
Read reviews and descriptions of different pu-erh teas to get an idea of their flavor profile, aroma, and other characteristics. This can help you narrow down your choices and find teas that match your preferences.
4. Start with a small amount
Pu-erh tea can be expensive, so it's a good idea to start with a small amount, such as 15-50 grams. Trying tea samples is a low-risk method of finding new teas and discovering one's preferences without committing to large quantities. Sampling tea from a brand is an effective way to assess its quality, taste preferences, variety, and cost-effectiveness before making a larger investment.
Chen Sheng Dictionary Sample Box (with Lao Ban Zhang), Yi Pin Chen Sheng Sample Box
Our two best-selling sample boxes are perfect for tea lovers who want to try our most representative puerh teas.
5. Choose a reputable tea vendor
Look for a vendor who specializes in pu-erh tea and has a good reputation for selling high-quality teas. You can also read reviews and ask for recommendations from other tea enthusiasts to find a reliable vendor.
6. Practise and master your brewing skills
Each steps including the amount of tea leaves, water ratio, water temperature, brewing time, and the way you brew can significantly influent the taste of puerh tea. You can refer the guide on our blog post (https://cspuerh.com/blogs/tea-101/how-to-brew-a-good-cup-of-tea)
7. Consider the age of the tea
As a beginner, it's a good idea to start with younger puerh and work your way up to older ones as you become more experienced with Pu-erh tea. Pu-erh tea can be aged for many years, and older teas tend to have a more complex and nuanced flavor. It is highly valued for its unique flavor, aroma, and health benefits. Its rarity and value also make it a prized possession among tea collectors and enthusiasts.
The tea liquor colour and infused tea leaves of 2009 Emperor Raw Puerh and 2018 Emperor Raw Puerh
Remember, pu-erh tea is a complex and nuanced type of tea, so it may take some time to fully appreciate and understand it. Start with small steps, experiment with different types of pu-erh, and enjoy the journey of discovering this unique tea.
Here is more information for you to step in Puerh tea (https://cspuerh.com/blogs/tea-101/pu-erh-tea-101) .