Pu-erh Spring Tea
Posted by naturalpuerh on November 29th, 2019
Pu'er or puerh tea is a variety of fermented tea produced in Yunnan province, China, and named after the town of Pu'er.Fermentation in the context of tea production involves microbial fermentation and oxidation of the tea leaves, after they have been dried and rolled.This process is a Chinese specialty and produces tea known as heicha, commonly translated as dark or black tea. This type of tea is different from what in the West is known as black tea, which in China is called hongcha i.e. red tea. The best known variety of this category of tea is pu'er from Yunnan Province, named after the trading post for dark tea during imperial China.
With the popularity of Pu-erh tea in recent years, some tea friends will habitually apply other tea concepts, such as "spring tea", "autumn tea", and "rainy tea", to the puer tea. How should these definitions of different teas according to seasonal seasons be interpreted in the field of Pu-erh tea?
Spring tea in the Jiangnan tea area is harvested from February to April in the solar calendar, and the spring tea collected within 15 days after the Chingming Festival is top grade. Yunnan should have no spring, summer, autumn, or winter seasons, only the dry rainy season. Due to the influence of the Central Plains culture, there are four seasons of tea. Due to the special climate of Yunnan, the seasons of the so-called spring tea and the general Jiangnan tea area are slightly different. The so-called spring tea in Yunnan refers to the spring tea after the Lunar New Year and before the rainy season, that is, the fresh leaves picked from February to mid-May belong to spring tea leaves.
Kariya flower tea:
On the third day of the third month of the lunar calendar, the Jiangnan tea area reached the beginning of the millet blossom, and the rice fields were in a golden season. Following the spring tea and Ershui (summer tea), the third tea picked was called "guhua tea". Yunnan calls autumn tea "guhua tea".
For the same reason as spring tea, there should be no so-called "guhua tea" in Yunnan. Because the so-called autumn tea in Yunnan should be harvested after the rainy season stops, that is, it should be from late September to the end of November, and it is very different from the "Valley" season in the Jiangnan region. From a personal point of view, according to the climate characteristics of Yunnan, the third season tea of Pu-erh tea should still be the tea in the rainy season, and the last one picked in the fourth season, which is called "autumn tea".
Tea before the rain:
There are no four seasons in Yunnan, only dry and rainy seasons. During the dry season from October to the end of May next year, spring rain will occur around early April. The tea greens picked before this time are called "the tea before the rain". Due to climatic factors, low temperature and low rainfall, "Before the Rain" is characterized by thin and short leaves, strong aroma, slightly bitter taste, and strong sex.
Some people think that the quality before the rain is better, this concept is derived from the concept of Jiangnan tea area. In Yunnan, because of the relatively low temperature and dryness in February and March, it has a negative impact on the growth of tea trees and the quality of tea cyanine. In Pu-erh tea area of Yunnan, from the end of February to May, before the rainy season, there are 3 to 4 times of picking. The best time for the tea quality is the second picking after the spring rain in early April, which is the third picking after the spring. Because it helps to transport nutrients in the soil after the rain, the temperature rise and the sun are good for the growth of tea trees, and the leaves are relatively thick and flexible.
Rain Water Tea:
Strictly speaking, it can only be called "rain tea", not "rainy tea". Yunnan's climate is divided into dry season and rainy season, but it does not rain every day during the rainy season, and the dry season is not the sun every day. The spring harvest in April is also called rain tea. The so-called "rain water tea" refers to the collection and production of tea when it rains. The characteristics of rain tea are usually dim and not bright, the tea soup is green, the taste is bitter, light and not thick, the aroma is not strong, and the leaf stalk is easy to rot and not flexible.
The process of Pu-erh tea is divided into two stages. The first stage is from picking to completion of sun-cured green tea, and the second stage is from sun-cured green tea to compacted finished product packaging. In the first stage, if it encounters rain, it will face the problems of tea cyanide raw materials, greening temperature, and dryness of wool tea. In the second stage, it will face the problem of how to dry the pressed product. With modern concepts and technology, we can overcome most problems and maintain a certain level of tea quality.
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