80′s Wild Arbor Raw Pu’erh Origin Tea [Episode 56]

In episode 56, Denny and James review a great intro tea to aged raw pu’erh, Origin Tea‘s 80s Wild Arbor Raw Pu’erh. A reasonably priced, well-aged pu’erh.

EDITED: Some additional notes after chatting with Tony. The earlier steeps are more affected by the storage rather than the tea itself (in this case the storage was natural Taiwanese). The ripeish notes that Denny gets are likely from this storage. The later steeps (which we didn’t really get to) speak more to the tea’s character. From my experience, this tea was able to easily go for 10+ steeps.

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8 Responses to 80′s Wild Arbor Raw Pu’erh Origin Tea [Episode 56]

  1. MengChiu Lim says:

    Just curious, who is the manufacturer of the puer in this posting?
    I have not tasted raw puer this old. I have tasted one that was made in the 90s, it has a strong earthy taste to it, kind of sweet and smooth. While the general belief for raw puer seems to be the older the better, for some reason i kind of like the flavor of the puer that is less than 15 years old. I also wonder if you guys have any preference regarding the age of raw puer for what you guys have tasted so far.

    • James says:

      Hi Mengchiu,

      Thanks for the comment. The manufacturer is marked as Unknown on Origin Tea. Teas like this are very difficult to determine the manufacturer with any reliable amount of accuracy.

      Anything with a brand behind it (i.e. Menghai) would be far more expensive ($/g+) and not even necessarily very good! This tea is a great benchmark because it is decent enough and is very affordable. As for teas older than 15 years, there are good teas and bad teas. At that point storage is extremely important. At this moment, I personally prefer older pu’erh over drinking ripe pu’erh (probably the easiest comparison). That being said I still have so much to learn and don’t have nearly enough experience to speak as any sort of authority on aged pu’erh.

      Hope this helps to clarify and cheers!
      -James

  2. cwyn says:

    Coming from a medicinal herb background, I have to treat puerh as a body experience, let’s face it, puerh is not a wimpy beverage. The younger it is just adds to the challenge. Because I have had some pretty intense herbal infusions I can sorta say “bring it on” because I know what I am doing with regard to my body and how to moderate dosages. Some teas, whether it is a really raw sheng, or maybe a risky storage issue, might be best as a tasting experience with a small sipper cup. Puerh and other dark tea drinkers can often get too compelled to steep out the leaves, and drink all those infusions, either out of habit, out of ritual, or to not waste an expensive tea. I am reminding myself of this by typing it out, lol, having come up from a heavy experience with a puerh cake recently!

    • James says:

      Hi cwyn, thanks for the comment! Good point. I do agree with your point of moderation. Indeed it is far to easy to just to drink pu’erh more or less indefinitely when it is aged or even ripe.

      Cheers!
      -James

  3. Peter says:

    Thanks for the video! Great to learn something about puer’s and aged teas.

  4. Daniil says:

    Nice episode, guys!

    I don’t have any comments regarding the episode itself, but, because I am currently buzzing from several good cups of sheng that I just drank I wanna tell you a story that happened to me in my local tea shop/club.

    So it was monday and I had a great day and decided to go to my favourite tea shop to get some interesting green oolongs. When I went there (it was late in the evening) I saw several people sitting there tasting tea, which is not an unusual situation. What was unusual is that the tea was *boiled*, not brewed. The tea at question was some good aged Shu puer that was brought in by one of the members of the teaclub. I’ve joined the circle and joked that the liquid looked rather demonic. The guy brewing the tea grinned and joked that he was in fact brewing oil (the liquid was densely black, you just couldn’t see through it). Once he finished brewing the tea we sat there drinking it and chatting. Holy crap. It was the best ripe puer I’ve ever tasted (and probably will ever taste)! Very black, thick -and mineral, even sour-ish. With each cup the aftertaste was getting more and more intense, Sa Dingding was singing in the background, the shop owner was cracking jokes as usual, everything was amazing. After finishing the teapot (which was like 3 standard sized chahai’s) of black ripe pu-er, the owner of the shop has told us that we will be brewing Sheng pu’er now. He took the place of the guy who was making the previous teapot and started preparing some (not very old) raw pu-er using the same method (boiling). And that was when it got weird. He brewed the tea, poured it into the chahai, from there he poured it into the cups. I could barely taste the raw puer itself, but every cup was somehow intensifying the aftertaste of the previous ripe puer. By the end of the session I got a very intense sourish mineral taste in my mouth, and I was *completely* teadrunk. I left the teashop with a huge smile on my face and a number of small bags of various light oolongs and a bad of green tea. All in all, was a good evening. I want to recreate that shu -> sheng session at home now :)

    Puer rocks!

    • James says:

      Hi Danilil, Thanks for the comment and sharing! Sounds like a very cool experience! I’ve heard of people boiling high-quality tea-leaves at the end of a session to get the most out of them. It extracts just about every little thing out of the leaves and is a good way to finish them out (as an alternative to grandpa style). That being said, boiling leaves from the get-go sounds super intense, especially young sheng! Perhaps on a quiet day I will have to experiment with this method of brewing.

      Cheers!
      -James

      p.s. There’s even special teapots that are sold for this specific purpose (http://www.sampletea.com/catalog/teawares/pot-for-boiling)!

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