Friday, 30 October 2009

Simple pu erh maths..

This morning's tipple Bi Luo Chun

I have spent a lot of money on tea this month and it's troubling me. Included in my purchases has been Gyokuro @ £17.50 per 25g, Oolong sampler @ £11.50 per 50g and Da Hong Pao @ £8.15 per 18g.

Let's look at the average cost of these teas :

Total weight : 93g
Total cost : £37.15
Cost per gram : 40p per gram

I have also bought some pu erh, 1999 Menghai 7542 @ £7.90 per 25g, 1993 Menghai 7542 @ £10.50 per 15g, 1980's wangzi @ £3.40 per 20g, 2009 Yi Wu @ £3.93 per 25g and 2009 Banzhang @ £3.93 per 25g.

Here's the maths :

Total weight : 110g
Total cost : £29.66
Cost per gram : 26p per gram

It's not that there is too vaster quality difference between the two sets of teas either. Neither choice of tea is too low or too high, it's just a nice selection of decent teas.

Let's have another look shall we at Yunnan Sourcing's 2009 Menghai 7542. A full bing costs £6.65 per 357g.

Total weight : 357g
Total cost : £6.65
Cost per gram : under 2p per gram!

Not convinced? How about Nada's Bulang bing? It's a serious tea with awesome qi, really quite scary if not handled properly.

Total weight : 357g
Total cost : £24
Cost per gram : under 7p per gram

That's not even 7p for something that could be described as a 'boutique' tea.

Ok, so pu erh can go a little crazy. Nada also sells a 1980's Da Ye bing.

Total weight : 357g
Total cost : £750
Cost per gram : £2.10 per gram

One final consideration too is that pu erh can normally be brewed more times than green or oolongs and in my opinion pu erh provides far more interesting qualities in the taste of the tea. Giving the 2009 7542 as an example, what sort of green tea would you be expecting that costs £7 for about 400g?

Everyone goes on about the cost of pu erh being high and silly but from where I'm sitting (at my tea table) the maths seems to suggest otherwise. Thoughts?


  1. My thought is that Puerh is cheaper when shipped direct from Yunnan by any of the good guys who make it available to us here in America or across the pond. I'm already disenchanted with the local resellers since they have such an outrageous markup. There's plenty to choose from direct from China. --Spirituality of Tea

  2. Being a simpleton I'm sticking to a lot of samples from as many different sources I can find. I guess I'm trying to figure out what sort of thing floats my boat, as it were..

    At the end of the day I can't physically consume huge amounts of tea so it seems to make sense to stick to 25gram portions.

    Waiting for tea in the post is a major frustration though..

    Thank you by the way for being my first non robotic commenter!