Why does some Pu erh tea taste like fish?
Many tea lovers have noticed that certain types of Pu erh tea have a fishy taste. Where does this taste come from and is it an indication of the quality of the tea?
The origin of the fishy flavor
The fishy taste is often noticed in Shou Pu erh, especially if the tea is younger than three years old. The cause of this taste lies in the artificial fermentation process this tea undergoes. This accelerated fermentation process can sometimes result in a flavor profile reminiscent of fish.
Is it a sign of poor quality?
Not necessarily. While a pronounced fishy taste may be considered unpleasant by some, this taste often disappears as the Pu erh tea ages and matures further. Therefore, many connoisseurs choose to age their Shou Pu erh to improve its flavor profile.
Although the fishy taste can occur in some young Shou Pu erh teas, it is not a definitive indication of poor quality. With patience and proper storage techniques, this taste can diminish and produce a richer, more layered flavor.