Pulled this from one of the tea sites I follow. I felt it resonated a bit with some discussions we have here. In every industry there are Myths and Truths, Marketing and Reality. And in every industry - what is “best” is often in the eye of the beholder. I particularly like the suggestion to “drink the best tea your wallet can afford”. I might add - wear the Oud that best fits the moment. Don’t stress so much. Drink some tea. Swipe some Oud. After all - this stuff is about relaaaaaaxing Enjoy! JK 17 false beliefs about puerh tea. Many people whose work is related to tea faced with various false beliefs about tea in general and about puerh in particular. I would like, of course, that in the tea world somewhere there would be an absolutely true source to which it would be possible to drop in and suck truth-tea truth, but alas. And in the homeland of tea there are some delusions. Many of them are also launched by marketers and smart sellers who skillfully play on the emotions of their customers. Intimidate poor-quality tea and not properly brewed or drunk at the wrong time the wrong person? Easily, in tea publics, which I look through every day, almost a third of the texts in this spirit. To arouse in a person a thirst to have an exclusive and thereby increase your status? There is such a thing. Promise fabulous enrichment, health - please. We are all human and we all have our own buttons. I wonder how different are the tea delusions of ordinary Chinese from ours? It was interesting to us too. Therefore, we have translated one article concerning misconceptions about puers. We tried to preserve the author’s presentation of the material, but it didn’t do without some additional explanations. 1. Pu-erh are from large-leaf varieties and small-leaved varieties. Some merchants use this statement to cover up the defects of their tea, claiming that puer were made from small-leaved varieties. Truth: Pu-erh can be made only from Yunnan loose-leaf raw materials, tea pancakes from small-leaved raw materials are not called Pu-erh (as stated in GOST). Some trees seem to be small-leaved, but local botanists claim that all of these are population varieties of large-leaved trees. True, farmers among themselves designate trees as large-leaved and small-leaved. But as a matter of fact it is Big Big Leaf and Small Big Leaf. 2. The emperors drank "Guntin Pu-erh" ("Palace Pu-erh"). In fact, the emperors never drank the Gunting Pu-erh that we have under this name now. And this tea was never presented to the imperial court. In the market you can see that for the Guntins, usually very small raw materials are chosen. Truth: Shu Puers began to be produced in the 70s of the last century, and even more later, in the 90s. 3. Shen puer slowly turns into shu puer. “After how many years, has Sheng Puerh become a shu?” Truth: Actually, no matter how Shen has changed, he cannot become a shu. Over time, it turns into an old sheng. Shu Pu-erh is made using wet skidding technology. Old Sheng and Shu Puer have several qualitative differences: lack of astringency and bitterness, the color of the infusion is dark red. Time cannot be replaced by technologies, for example, if you just leave the rice, it will become old rice, but not boiled. 4. Puerny trees are divided into tall trees (qiao mu) and bushes (guan mu). In the Yunnan tea region, tea trees are old (lao shu), large (da shu), and plantation trees (tai di cha), but there are no differences in tree height, like the northern regions. Some argue that Pu-erh is only from tall trees. If you look at the root and the tea trunk, the plantation tea also belongs to the tall trees. Truth: The division into tall trees and shrubs is primarily due to sellers and their products, in order to raise the price of tea from tall trees compared to plantation teas. 5. Puer produced only in the city of Puer. All produced Puer from the city of Puer. Truth: The main areas of production are: Puer, Lincang, Xishuangbanna, Baoshan. 6. Plantation tea is worse than tea from big trees and worse than tea from old trees. Any comparison requires the same conditions, so it’s impossible to say in general that one tea is better than another, due to too many factors that can affect the growth of tea.Truth: When choosing a tea, there is no need to start from the plantation tea, or tea from large trees, or wild. Choose good tea, not expensive. 7. Tea from plantations and tea from large trees have different prices due to the quality of the raw materials. But plantation tea from Banjang (a famous tea production site) costs more than tea from large trees from many other tea areas. There are two points here, the first is the quality of the initial raw material, and the second is the quantity of this raw material. The reason for the high cost of tea from large trees is a relatively small amount of production. Truth: It is worth moving away from the idea of drinking only tea from old trees, especially if you are not too good at what it should be. Try a different tea, buy some rare tea, expand your palette and sooner or later you will drink the best tea of your wallet. 8. Initially, wild tea is better than planted wild. All the concepts of tea were established in order to distinguish between its quality and price. Due to the limited amount of wild tea, a method was developed for planting tea gardens in the wild. Generally, tea planted in the wild objectively, has a higher quality than tea growing in gardens, but this is not a prerequisite. Truth: Wild tea is good, planted wild is not bad either. The theory is not so important as the importance of drinking good tea of any origin. 9. The raw material for puerh is maocha (raw tea) which has been dried in the sun. In general terms, this statement is true, but due to the rainy climate of Yunnan, drying all the raw materials in the sun until its full natural drying is not possible. A lot of tea goes through the process of artificial drying indoors. Although GOST claims that drying in the sun is a necessary step in the manufacture of pu-erh, it is often impossible to produce tea in accordance with this. Truth: Only by understanding the technological process of producing pu-erh, one can feel the taste of the differences in each individual tea-making stage. This also shows the importance of manufacturing technology. 10. Shu Pu-erh and Sheng Pu-erh are completely different teas. Shu Puer and Sheng Pu-erh are different concepts regarding their technology. Often they are assigned to different groups of teas, based on the difference in their processing. Truth: Though the processing of shu and sheng is different and results in products differing in taste, aroma and appearance, these are all representatives of one large group. Moreover, much of the processing is the same. 11. Large plants are better than small enterprises. This is a very dubious statement, it can be said that large plants have the capacity and equipment to produce good tea, however, these conditions will not necessarily lead to the production of good tea. Only after the introduction of quality standards, the production of large plants began to be appreciated, and the number of small enterprises was reduced. Small businesses that want to continue to exist, you need to make a lot of effort and improvement to bring matters in order, to meet modern standards. Truth: Traditionally, Pu-erh was made entirely by hand or in small enterprises, but nowadays, according to food hygiene standards, it is necessary to create a hygienically clean working environment. When viewed from the standpoint of product quality, large production is unlikely to have superiority over small ones in this respect, the main thing here is where and from whom the plants purchase raw materials, how they are stored and processed. In this connection, when choosing a tea, you should not look only at the cover and the name of the brand, you need to look at the tea itself, drink and appreciate. 12. Pueras are divided into a dry warehouse and a wet warehouse. The place of storage of tea has a direct impact on its aging. Traditionally, Pu-erh was only stored in a dry warehouse. The wet warehouse was created by unscrupulous merchants who need immediate benefits. Such a warehouse is a kind of artificial sovereign, which violates the natural rules of aging.The best conditions for aging pu-erh is a clean, dry, ventilated place. Truth: It is better to choose cheap tea from a dry warehouse than expensive tea from a wet one. 13. Good raw materials for Pu-erh are in great demand; many manufacturers cannot purchase it. Pu-erh is not a commodity that has just begun to develop in the market, it cannot be difficult to access, except for premium-grade raw materials, which really does not reach all industries. In an era of economic prosperity Puerh is not an indispensable tea, so there is no shortage of it. Truth: Speculating on the scarcity of raw materials is nothing but an attempt to raise the price of your tea, you should not ignore the rarity of raw materials, but you should not give it too much importance. 14. Pu-er becomes more aromatic with age, becomes more expensive with age. Investing in stocks is not as good as investing in puer. Pu-erh is the only tea that has no shelf life. Truth: Puer, due to its processing, may become more fragrant with age, nevertheless it remains a drink and sooner or later its best time passes. It should not be used as a tool for making money. Some people can earn extra money on collecting puers, but this does not mean that any tea is suitable for this. 15. For a long time, the Puer did not correspond to its real value, so now it has soared in price. There was a time when a good Puer was considered low-grade tea, but now just began to return to its real cash value. Truth: Like unrecognized talents, the price of a commodity depends not on something specific, but on the balance between supply and demand. Previously, Pu-erh was consumed by a small number of people, the market was oversaturated with supply, as a result of which it was sold cheaply. To date, Pu-erh has gained unprecedented popularity and a small number of scarce teas are sold for good money, but this cannot serve as an indicator of the importance and high cost of tea as a whole. 16. The health benefits of puer are associated with high quality raw materials. Good ecology and good growth conditions of Pu-erh affect quality. Wet staining and post-fermentation ensure the exclusivity of the puer, including its health benefits. Truth: Any fermented tea may contain beneficial substances. Reduce blood lipids, blood pressure, promote weight loss, have a cosmetic effect, prevent atherosclerosis, etc., all of these properties are inherent not only puerma. At the same time, one should not expect the effectiveness of the drink to a comparable level with drugs. 17. The older puer, the stronger its beneficial properties. The longer Puer is stored, the better it becomes, and every old tea has a healthy effect. Truth: Experts believe that old teas, which are more than 40 years old, lose all active elements. Currently, there is enough old tea on the market. Teas from the 30s, 40s, 70s and 80s are available everywhere. At the same time, a very large part of these teas is a frank fake, and some of them are completely spoiled by teas of other types. So this tea is more harmful than useful. Be careful, do not give in to the desire to get everything from tea - pleasure, health and prestige from drinking supposedly very old tea. Here is one of the Chinese pueru experts who shared such considerations (his name is not indicated in the article, but you can contact him at We Chat and discuss your concerns). And what does your experience tell you, how many false or incomplete beliefs have you encountered? Or maybe you disagree with something? Source: 茶叶知识网, https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/GGVzvWPaGHC_FXCA0Feuzw Translation: Dmitry Karatanov. Adaptation: Anastasia Ofitserova. Photographer: Roman Zakrevsky.