29/07: Fermenting Thought III

What's wrong with the modern cooked tea production?

As you know, the cooked version of Pu-erh tea started in 1975 when Kunming Tea Factory produced its first 7581 Pu-erh tea brick.

Sure, we all want a young tea tasted as old as over 40-50 years, but you have to ferment it like hell. So the trend was set, all 'Cooked' teas were fermented up to 85% to 90% to its full matureness, leaving little room to improve. During the bubble year of Pu-erh, that was 2007, we actually had a few to try to ferment a tea in a degree of less matureness, say 60-70%. I myself met with a fellow with Ph.D in Chemistry whom claimed that he could deliver a tea in any age you wanted in a lab. Well, most people still wanted their teas to be the oldest, who wanted to touch a tea in between, so my Ph.D friend did not find many fans.

Is 7581 the standard we all shall follow? I doubt it.

Secondly, the whole industry was making a huge mistake by using the materials in the lowest grade for their cooked tea. Even the so called 'Imperial/Gongtin' class was made of the tips from 'Rain Water Tea'. As a matter of the fact, I heard a horror story: some tea factries went as far as blending some old green teas that should go to the dump with their Puerh before the fermentation, because they thought people hardly noticed it after the tea was fermented. But they were deadly wrong.

The economics in Pu-erh tea was played out like it should be. Money talks.

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