Saturday, January 29, 2005

Talks about Black (Shou/Ripe) Pu-erh (2)

This may be one of the most interesting topics to many Pu-erh Lovers – How is Wo Dui conducted?

In massive Wo Dui production, loose Mao Cha are first piled up into 1-1.5m high piles, then spilled on water and covered with wet cloths. This is called Wo Dui. The tea piles need to be turned over (Fan Dui) on the second day, and then piled up again. After that, the tea piles still need to be turned over a few more times. Humidity and temperature are keys to the success during this Fan Dui process. Fan Dui process decides quality of Wo Dui processed Pu-erh. This process may take 30-40 days. When tea leaves turn into brownish red color, it is time to set the leaves naturally dried with good air flow. After leave water content reduces to below 14%, the leaves are ready for further process.

Tastes of Wo Dui processed Pu-erh will improve with aging. They can be later compressed into different shapes. Producers sometimes also mix up Wo Dui processed Pu-erh and new Mao Cha to create mixed compress Pu-erh.

As you can see, Wo Dui is a highly scientific process. Those cheap wet storage tricks are no way close to it.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Talks about Black (Shou/Ripe) Pu-erh (1)

There are many black Pu-erh in the market. Some are Wo Dui processed and some are wet stored (we do not recommend drinking this type of Pu-erh). Wet stored Pu-erh tastes horrible and makes some first time Pu-erh drinkers believe that Pu-erh is a terrible tea. Although we have discussed the difference between Wo Dui Pu-erh and Wet Storage Pu-erh in our We Reveal the Mystery of Pu-erh page, we feel the need to discuss this topic even further.

When Wo Dui technique was first introduced?
The general consensus is that Kunming Tea Factory first started Pu-erh speedy aging technique research in 1973. According to Qiying Wu, former president of Kunming Tea Factory, 1975 was the first year that Wo Dui technique was used in massive production.

What is Wo Dui technique?
Wo Dui technique only applies to loose black Pu-erh production. Compressed Pu-erh are later processed using Wo Dui processed loose black Pu-erh. Afer a pu-erh is compressed, the only way to speed up its aging is through wet storage. Ways like cave storage are types of wet storage.

We will discuss how Wo Dui is conducted next time.

Tea Lovers from JinYuXuan Tea House