14 May 2011

A Marshaln-style Guessing Game

I've been meaning to do a post comparing various kinds of sheng pu'er teas and shu pu'er teas.

Marshaln, master of tea guessing games, has suggested I ask you to identify these five teas based on the appearance of the dry leaves.

The five teas below are:
  • Young sheng
  • Young shu
  • 90s sheng, dry stored
  • 90s shu, wet stored
  • 90s sheng, wet stored
Which are which? Comment with your answers and, if you like, give your reasoning.

Five kinds of pu'er
(click photo for large view)

10 comments:

buzz said...

Top row, left to right: Young sheng (shadows make it hard to tell from color, but larger leaves make this a good guess,) 90's sheng dry stored (I see basically aged leaves of questionable size, this was more from elimination,) young shu (smaller leaves, with that "new" look to them.)

Second row, left to right: 90's shu (smaller leaves, a little bit of crusty look to them due to aging,) 90's sheng wet stored (leaves are larger and look "distressed" from damp storage conditions.)

If I'm as bad at this as I am at other match games, I expect I probably got only one right!

Philippe de Bordeaux said...

From left to right

Young sheng First

Young shu : Fourth

90s sheng, dry stored : third

90s shu, wet stored : last

90s sheng, wet stored : second.

Best Regards.

. PHILIPPE .

Renegade said...

Okay, I'll bite.

I'm curious if you somewhat randomly selected the samples or specifically chose examples that would be difficult to tell apart. In any event, this is a fun exercise.

In no particular order...

-- (Bottom Left) I think this is the young shu. The leaves seem a bit oilier, which is a trait that seems common with the young Menghai shu I own. It also has smaller leaves, which also seems to be a common trait for young shu.

-- (Top Right) I originally thought this to be the 90s shu, simply due to the size of the chopped leaves. However, it seems that the leaves have the most color variations of all the samples, so I'm going with young sheng. This reminds me of a recent Xiaguan offering.

-- (Bottom Left) The color suggests shu, but there's definitely some large, decent quality leaves there. This looks like the "oldest" in appearance which the wet storage would naturally accelerate. I'm going with 90s wet stored sheng.

-- (Top Middle) I think this one is the 90s dry stored sheng. There's been a definite change of color, but you can still make out what it once was.

-- (Top Right) This one was the most difficult. I think that this sample was a little blurry in the photo and not as much light. That being said, I'm going with 90s wet stored shu. The leaves are awfully dark and there appears to be some frost on the leaves.

How'd I do? (And what do I win?) :-)

Thanks for doing this exercise. I'm curious if I've actually learned something over the past few years drinking puerh, or if I simply think I have.

Anonymous said...

Looks like in the order of your list from left to right top row first. Cheers. Chris

Anonymous said...

bottom left:Young shu
bottom right:90s shu, wet stored
top right:90s sheng, wet stored
top in the middle:90s sheng, dry stored
top left:Young sheng

Anonymous said...

In order as per list, from left to right top rown first, the from left to right bottom row.
Regards, Chris

the_skua said...

Your blog seems to have come back, so I'll post my guesses.

Top Left - Young Sheng
Top Center - 90s Sheng Dry Stored
Top Right - Young Shu
Bottom Left - 90s Shu Wet Stored
Bottom Right - 90s Sheng Wet Stored

Jakub Tomek said...

Nice :-) Ok, I'll start, the worst thing that may happen is that I will make a fool of myself.

I think the young sheng is the top right (greenest, youngest looking).

Young shu could be the bottom left tea, because...ummm...it looks like a young shu :)

My guess at the aged, dry stored sheng would be the top middle tea.

Wet stored aged shu being the bottom right.

The last one, wet stored sheng would have to be the top left then.

Edward said...

Going left to right:

First Row: 90s sheng, dry stored; Young sheng; 90s shu, wet stored.

Second Row: Young shu; 90s sheng, wet stored.

The Tea Urchin said...

What a fun game, hats off to Marshaln & yourself!

I think the top row is all sheng (judging by the loose compression & colour of the leaves), and the bottom row all shu (uniformly dark brown, machine compressed & decomposed).

Sheng leaves darkens from green to dark brown as they oxidise over time. The top right definitely looks the lightest & cleanest to me so I'll guess that's the young sheng.

Top Middle looks like it has a few specks of mould so could be wet stored 90s sheng, but the top left is looking suspiciously darker.

I'll take a stab and say the top left is the wet stored 90s sheng and the top middle is the dry stored 90s sheng

Bottom left has all the hallmarks of young shu (reminds me of my winter staple menghai 8592), and bottom right is almost certainly 90's shu wet stored (looks like huang pian?)

Look forward to the results!