Tea performing arts, tea terminology and translation, promote tea studies and innovations. *Contact ,icetea8@gmail.com, Trad. and Simp. Chinese used. Blog since 6/23/2005
Name: Steven R. Jones; Link: http://teaarts.blogspot.com/
名字:瓊斯史迪芬Steven R. Jones, 網址: http://teaarts.blogspot.com/


Puer Teas(often revised sorry)

Puer: pronounced  (pronounced: poo-er)
I love drinking it but I have avoided writing about the tea called Puer Tea, there is so much misinformation…There is so much confusion about defining and even spelling of it in English, as well as Chinese... Many people are now calling a “puer tea” any post fermented tea that comes not only from Puer city but all of Yunnan as well. I have had to revise this simple little article(now larger) because much of my info/resources were writing --pu'er pu-er and pu er Pu'Er and PuEr puer... so I decide to keep with the translating logic we have agreed on which is tries to make it readable in REAL English, in this case it was easy writing an I say majority rules (or at least you can keep more people happy) "puer puer pu'er pu er pu-er pu-erh puer puEr ,,,,,,enough I think you get the point.. this spelling frenzy causes problems for non-Chinese readers when doing searchers for information about @@PUER TEA@@, and I am also talking about in Asia there are discrepancy in classification and terms also, . We need a standard in English for terms(puer)I plan to write a paper on puer teas one day. But let me share with you what I feel as of today on the topic. I talked to some guys that have a puer aging warehouse slightly heated with open water containers and closed environment, in upstate New York and they were saying that they were not noticing any aging effects on their green puers, chemistry-wise; it is too cold most of the time therefore slowing or halting any (oxidation and fermentation). Also I have heard from most collectors, the importance of circulating of fresh air, what this means is there has to be a reasonable amount of gas exchange from the aging puers. But remember if you are aging "non-puers", oolongs for example, you don’t want external gas exchange because there is enough oxygen in the sealed container. Because you only want oxidation not microbe fermentation. If you do air out your aging oolongs you need to lightly heat them again to make sure the moisture level stays around 3% and then sealed and put away, in average home living temperatures, no air and no light. Now puers are another classification of tea and the moisture optimal is around 12% . Most of my puers stay wrapped in calligraphy cotton paper and never for aging ...keep green puers with dark puers because the teas are different in composition dark puers are piled (1week to over a month) again depending on the macro and micro environments the length the pile is kept under 60 degree Celsius (°C) degrees [140'F]by rotating and churning the pile which is about a meter high and long as the room or piling room, leaves need some added water (sprinkle not flood) and after the entire dark puer processing then are packaged and can be sold. When you buy and take the dark puers home and want to store/age them in an area, remember to keep the darks from the greens ...... green puers which are non-piled puers both can be aged so you can have young dark puer and aged dark puer, and the same logic follows for the greens, young green puer can be kept with aged green puer. Ideally only the same age/type/quality/variety should be kept together; but that’s too complicated. For the average collector just have two places one for greens and one for darks. I live in a humid(sub-tropical) hot environment which they love and I don’t, but they outnumber me, heheheh…Remember Puers like some humidity but if stored in tropical areas of 80 to 90's RH, there is the possibility of molds and bacteria that will adversely alter the Puers over time, the goal of aging is to let the puers oxidize not harvest mold. Also you can’t make gold out of lead, so if your green puer is young and of bad leaf quality (weak and without potential raw material being the Yunnan puer fresh leaves), don’t expect miracles. Some of my young aged green puer stock I can sample in about three to four years and it’s nice, not great "yet" but I am happy with the amber/light red color. But green puers should age at least 10 years, 20 is better, and 30 is great. When you buy a new green puer, you need too try it, it should have what I call an ornery taste or spicy-sharp taste. And dark puers don’t change much in character from aging, but I have had some with tea flavor notes of ginseng(no added or scented ginseng). But the green-meanies do change, I should say the potential might be there,, again remember you get what you paid for, and take good care of them!!!!

Classification and primary process of the two main types of Puerh

As of 2008 only large-leaf variety from Yunnan can be called a Puerh. Specific primary processes required: Puerh needs sun fixation and sun drying.

Green Puer青普: sun fixation曬青 > rolling揉捻 > sun drying曬乾

Dark Puer熟普: sun fixation曬青 > rolling揉捻 > piling 渥堆 > sun drying曬乾

Added processes: green Puer and dark Puerh can be compress into cakes and aged.
Recipe number of puer teas "xxxx", Factory numbers (fourth digit in recipe):
1.Kunming Tea Factory
2.Menghai Tea Factory
3.Xiaguan Tea Factory
4.Lan Cang Tea Factory[30] or Feng Qing Tea Factory
5.Pu'er Tea Factory (now Pu'er Tea group Co.Ltd )
6.Six Famous Tea Mountain Factory
7.unknown / not specified
8.Haiwan Tea Factory and Long Sheng Tea Factory

future topics to cover are--arbor, wild, ancient, old, plantation--according bush or tree state, and propagation of single leaf cuttings method vs. natural propagation of indigenous wild tea trees and slight variations due to slight mutations.

----steven --(revisions sep27,'08; feb,'09; apr2010,2010.8)-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------