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Why I got into Puerh Tea

2006 Feng Qing The Tea Guru Tea Adventures

I let my thoughts wander off again during today’s morning session to come up with another topic to write about. After thinking about some random topics, it finally hit me. In the last few months, my tea habits have changed quite a bit. Instead of mostly drinking oolong and green tea, I now prefer Puerh tea. I thought it was interesting to see why this change happened because I wasn’t really aware of the fact that my drinking habits were changing. Without thinking about it, I slowly switched to Puerh and started drinking it more often.

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Why Puerh Tea?

When I started out, I really liked green tea because of the freshness it offered. Even though the flavours were good, I felt something was lacking. I also brewed oolong teas and enjoyed them, even though I had the feeling something was missing here as well. I didn’t think any more of it and thought I needed to buy better tea to get the full experience.

Fast forward a few months and after trying some higher quality oolong teas, I still felt I was missing something when drinking these teas. I had drunk the occasional puerh, but didn’t really get into it that much. It was only after reading some more about it and learning more about the history that it got my attention. Step by step I discovered more and more about this mysterious tea.

As mentioned above, I had already drunk some Puerh tea, but nothing too serious. After looking for stores that specialise in Puerh, I hoped to finally fill the gap I had experienced before. I bought several samples of higher quality Puerh and was blown away. When drinking the first one, I felt a click and knew I couldn’t go back to times before Puerh tea. The flavours were richer and a lot more was going on. I could keep drinking the same tea over and over again and always discover something new. I purchased some cakes and put them in a simple storage solution to drink them over time.

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What Makes Puerh Tea Special?

I think everyone has their own reasons to like something and I also have mine why I prefer Puerh now over any other type of tea.

The first one is the feeling you get when holding a full teacake. When I’m holding a cake, I feel that it will last a very long time. It’s weird, but this feeling of having tea for a lot of sessions is assuring for me. Knowing that I won’t run out any time soon is a good feeling. I know that you can also purchase 300-400g of green tea, for example, but that is a lot of tea. If you buy a cake of Puerh, you can store it and also drink it in 5 years. This is not something that you can do with a lot of other teas.

This brings us neatly to the second aspect I like about Puerh tea: its ageability. If you’re living in the West and you want to keep storage conditions for Puerh as ideal as possible, you need come up with a kind of storage in which you can control relative humidity and temperature. Once you have this, you can put your cakes in there and slowly drink them over time. Usually, Puerh tea only gets better with age. It doesn’t only get better, but flavours change as well. They become deeper and more complex, which offers such an amazing experience when you decide to brew one of your aged Puerhs.

A final aspect that I like about Puerh tea is its longevity. If you have decent quality Puerh, it can keep going and you can easily do 15 infusions. Each infusion is different and offers a unique experience. Green tea, for example, also changes a bit during the session, but it is far from the changes that happen when brewing Puerh tea. I’ve had sessions when I didn’t really like the early infusions, but once those were over, the flavours were amazingly sweet! I find it fascinating that you can have such a big change in flavours from the same leaves during the same session! Truly magical. 

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4 Responses

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