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19/06: 'Fake' Pu-erh

Many asked what's defined as a 'fake' Pu-erh.

The 'fake' tea in Pu-erh tea circle is considered as follows:

1. A tea was made by a small factory, but packed in a famous brand so it would be an easy seller at a higher profit. The tea could be a lower grade, but in some cases, the tea could be a higher grade. This is pirating in making teas. However, the tea is still a tea, but it's not the same tea under the original name. It can be bad, sometimes very bad, but it could also be good.

2. Non Pu-erh raw material was used or mixed in to make a compressed Pu-erh tea. The example of this is to mix some green tea into a green Pu-erh tea cake, or some Oolong tea into a ripe Pu-erh tea cake. The resulting product is still a tea, but most considered it had little aging value, meaning the tea would not age well, it might still taste good when you drink it new.

3. The process of making Pu-erh tea is 'changed', say to ferment a tea for a short period of time, and make it appear to be an aged tea. It is reported that newer tea is tasted very much different than these traditional ones.

Some factories do this on purpose, for example, Guoyan's Classics 98 cake was made by mixing raw materials from multiple years - we won't consider it as a fake, because the factory released all info on it. The fake here means what you got is not something you should have, but appeared the same in appearance.

Even the most experienced could be fooled by the 'fake'. The only way to aviod this is to taste it on the spot or get samples first, trust your taste bud, consult your friends and tea experts. If it tastes really good and appears to be your liking, no matter it's fake or not, get it anyway and enjoy.

There are so many tricks and traps in this wonderful world of Pu-erh tea.

Comments made

Recently, my brother has brought me some Pu-erh cake tea and bowl tea. They are very expensive (10,000 yuan per cake). They look nice and take very good, too. But they don't have any numbers on them. Are they real or fake? How do I know? Amy I in any danger drinking it? I do have pictures I can send to you if it helps with identification.

Thank you much for your help!
21/11 11:18:31
Old teas do not have a time stamp. If it's not expensive, and If it tastes really good and appears to be your liking, no matter it's fake or not, get it anyway and enjoy.
18/07 07:46:28
Thanks for sharing, I will be on the lookout now. I am new to pu-reh teas.
14/08 13:35:24

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