If you’re not familiar with pu-erh, it’s a type of post-fermented tea that’s generally produced in the Yunnan province. The output can be loose teas, or these beautifully compressed dark cakes which many people collect and age like fine wine.
photo credit: abstractduck
Like wine, each tea factory, field and year appears to have a unique quality which depends on its vintage. Since each individual cake is quite large and can be a substantial investment, it’s fortunate that one of the reputable Internet tea shops carrying pu-erh tea, Yunnan Sourcing, also has many sample sizes.
I sent them a note asking for recommendations on a wide variety of pu-erh teas that would be suitable for a beginner to sample ranges, and got a prompt and friendly reply from Scott.
Here’s some interesting raw and ripe teas. Each title is linked to the product listing on our page. Each has a sample available. I think these would be good way to start.
2011 Yunnan Sourcing “Silver Needle Cake” Raw Pu-erh tea * 250 grams (Note: Even though Scott listed this one, I didn’t see a sample size for it — unfortunate, looks very interesting!)
Anyone want to join in? I just completed my order today, and I’m excited to try some pu-erh teas!