Yunnan Puerh Tea Knowledge
Puerh Quick Start
What is Puerh? Where is it produced? How to choose a better Puerh? With lots of complex concepts and terminologies, it is so hard to start for a rookie who learns Puerh at the beginning. This article was written for a help to know Puerh quickly.
What is Puerh? 【Sometimes it is also written as “Puer”/”Pu’er”】
普洱茶，得名于普洱市，原产于滇南、滇西澜沧江流域，是以云南大叶种晒青毛茶为原料，经过后发酵加工成的散茶和紧压茶。 Puerh is named after the Pu’er City and produced in Lancang River Basin of southern and western Yunnan. There are post-fermented loose tea and pressed tea, all using leaves of Yunnan large-leaf subspecies (scientific name: Camellia sinensis var. assamica ) as raw materials.
What is “Raw Puerh”? 【*Raw Puerh, which refers to “ShengCha” or ”ShengPu” in Chinese Pinyin.】
云南生长的大叶种茶叶经过日凋（晒青）直接压成饼、沱、砖，称为生饼、生沱、生砖。不压制的就叫毛茶。 After the large-leaves go through “Sunlight Withering”, they are processed into semifinished tea (maocha), they can be shaped in cake, tuo, brick, and those are what we call raw cake, raw tuo, raw brick. *Tuo Cha (沱茶in Chinese) is shaped into a bowl or a nest, size in different weights.
什么是熟茶？ What is “Ripe Puerh”? 【*Ripe Puerh, which refers to “ShuCha” or “ShuPu” in Chinese Pinyin.】 云南生长的大叶种茶叶经过日凋（晒青）再经过发水渥堆最后压制成型，称为熟饼，熟沱、熟砖。 If maocha goes through piling and then is pressed into cake, tuo, brick, those will be called ripe cake, ripe tuo and ripe brick.
How to distinguish the raw puerh and the ripe puerh?
区分生熟普洱茶方法很多，一般从外观方面，生普洱年限10年以下颜色是墨绿色，熟普洱是深褐色，其次是闻气味，生普洱闻起来有股淡淡的清香，而熟普洱闻起来有股陈香味，最后是汤色，生普洱汤色是桔黄色，熟普洱是褐红色、暗栗色。 Many ways can be helpful to distinguish raw puerh and ripe puerh. Firstly, judge from appearance: raw puerh within 10 years has a dark green color while ripe puerh is dark brown. Secondly, identify according to the smell: raw puerh smells a faint fragrance while ripe puerh smells a stale fragrance. Finally, discriminate by the liquor: the liquor of raw puerh is green-yellow and bright, yet the ripe puerh has dense, red-brown color liquor.
Which kind of tea that puerh belongs to?
普洱茶既不属于黑茶也不属于红茶。因为普洱茶的制作工艺和本质特点与六大茶类各不相同，所以云南茶叶协会向中国茶叶界呼吁，并将认真同全国专家学者商榷：将云南普洱茶称为再加工特种茶，重新排列其在中国茶谱中的位置。 In China, Yunnan Tea Association holds that puerh is neither dark tea nor black tea. It is because that the processing of puerh differs from the six teas. So they appeal to classify puerh as “Reprocessing special tea” which means puerh has its own place in Chinese tea.