The pale Tuocha on the left of the picture is bad tea that has been mildewed, and the high-quality aged Pu ‘er on the right.
Pu ‘er tea is more valuable as a cultural relic than tea itself in the eyes of collectors, which makes many tea merchants fake old Pu ‘er tea.
The tea fermented after large leaves are planted in bulk is commonly known as Pu ‘er tea.
This is the so-called 30-year-old fake "golden marble"
Pu ‘er tea is hailed as an "antique" that can be drunk, and many people believe that the more it is stored, the more valuable it is. Illegal businessmen seize the opportunity to use various means to turn new tea into old tea at high prices. According to experts in the industry, exaggerating the year, making a musty smell in a wet warehouse and adding chemicals are the most commonly used methods in the market. In addition, by changing the packaging, non-brand old tea is faked as brand old tea.
In the past 30 years, "Golden Marbles" have won hundreds of dollars.
Uncovering the Fake: The "Golden Marbles" came into the market only after 1992.
Zou Jiaju, executive vice president and secretary general of Yunnan Tea Association, told the reporter: "A friend told me with great interest that he spent hundreds of yuan to buy a 30-year-old’ golden marble’ and invited me to have a drink. I laughed at him for being cheated."
In order to prove his judgment, Zou Jiaju told the reporter a history: in 1992, Xiang Jinshan, Geng Qingguo and Zhai Yuanhong, employees of Kunming Tea Factory under Yunnan Tea Import and Export Corporation, jointly designed a three-piece stamping machine to produce a 5-gram disposable Miniature Tuocha with the official name of "mini" (English mini) at that time. Later, it was orally renamed as "Golden Marbles" and later filed a technical patent with the State Patent Office. Later, Zhai Yuanhong designed a two-piece stamping machine and applied for the corresponding technical patent. "It can be seen that the’ Golden Marbles’ will not be available until after 1992. How can there be a’ Golden Marbles’ with a 30-year shelf life? Therefore, the’ golden marble’ that my friend said has been stored for 30 years is by no means true. " Zou Jiaju said positively.
80-year-old tea still has pectin
Expose the fake: pectin will evaporate if it is stored for more than 30 years.
Tea contains a certain amount of pectin, but with the passage of time, microorganisms will gradually decompose pectin. For old tea with a storage period of more than 30 years, pectin has long been transformed and volatilized. However, some teas on the market that claim to be decades old, if you look carefully, still have pectin. Obviously, such teas must have lied about their age.
"pectin is the main substance that constitutes the interlayer of tea cells. It is an amorphous colloid with strong hydrophilicity, adhesion and softness, which can make adjacent cells stick together. In the process of tea kneading, cells are broken and pectin comes out. " Zou Jiaju said: "During the Republic of China, there was no power equipment in Xishuangbanna tea area, and the pressed tea processing relied on human stone molds. The artificial pressure is limited, and the pressed tea in the period without electricity is relatively loose, which depends on the adhesion of pectin to a certain extent. With the passage of time, microorganisms will gradually decompose pectin. The pectin of old tea with a storage period of more than 30 years has long been transformed and volatilized, and the connection of tea pieces mainly depends on the pull of shape shaping. In addition, other impurities are often based on pectin, pectin volatilizes, and fluff or other impurities will be reduced accordingly. "
Zou Jiaju told the reporter an example: "A friend invited me to have tea, and it was agreed in advance that it was decades-old tea. Tea is packed in a well-designed paper seal, about 10 grams. He introduced that this tea has been aged for more than 80 years, and the value of a bubble is 1500 yuan. ""Well, it was in the early years of the Republic of China when tea was made. I saw that two thirds of the tea leaves were caked and one third had been scattered. After careful observation, the connecting pectin in the caked part is still working. Obviously, this is a piece of tea with false age. "
The truth of "20-year-old tea" in bud head explosion
Uncover the fake: there will be no buds in the tea in 1985.
Zou Jiaju also told an example of a 3-year-old tea pretending to be a 20-year-old tea: "In the Spring Festival of 2005, my friend’s family spent 3,000 yuan to buy two pieces of Pu ‘er cake tea that was said to have been produced before 1985. After brewing, the tea tastes bitter and has a light smell of pile fermentation. The tea soup is full of fluff and a faint smell of smoke. It can be concluded that the storage time of this tea is not more than 3 years, because only the storage life is very short.
There is also a historical background to prove that the age of this tea is not 20 years. You know, from 1983 to 1985, the price of bud tips in sun-dried green tea was very high, and the market was good. When processing pressed tea of raw tea, manufacturers would use a little bud tips to spread the flour, but there would definitely be no white bud tips in the middle and back of the tea. Under normal circumstances, Pu ‘er tea cakes and Pu ‘er tea bricks are not even sprinkled.
It was not until around 1995 that the buds were proved to be too low in polyphenols to produce Pu ‘er tea, and these once noble buds and young leaves were gradually squeezed into all kinds of pressed teas with thick and big bodies. The two tea cakes bought by my friend’s family were pressed into the bud head from the outside. Obviously, it could not have been produced before 1985, at least after the price of the bud head was reduced in 1995. "Zou Jiaju said.
"Most of the old tea in the market is fake."
Zou Jiaju said that some so-called experts are completely irresponsible in writing books. If they have any "goods" in their hands, they will fabricate history and raise prices. "Some maps are too outrageous. The production of Fenghuang Tuocha in Nanjian was in the 1990 s, but it was said by some people that it was in the 1970 s." Zou Jiaju said, "Most of the so-called aged Pu ‘er tea sold in the market now is not true. Pu’ er tea consumers, especially Pu’ er tea operators, can’t buy tea only by ear, only by attractive labels, and they should be carefully identified. "
Pu-erh fermented in wet warehouse is moldy and "wet to death"
How to determine whether "wet warehouse tea" is good tea or bad tea? There are different voices in the tea industry, but they all agree that the practice of "wet warehouse tea pretending to be old tea" is to deceive consumers. In fact, some unscrupulous tea merchants moved their tea products into caves with high humidity in Yunnan, Guizhou and other places, accelerated aging and fermented mildew, hoping to speculate on the year and make old Pu ‘er tea, which not only violated the natural oxidation and fermentation law of tea endoplasm, but also made Pu ‘er tea lose its health care function, but also harmed people’s health.
Store wet caves for tea fermentation.
"’Wet warehouse’ refers to some tea merchants who store fresh raw Pu ‘er tea in places with poor ventilation and high humidity, such as kilns, air-raid shelters, earth houses, etc. In order to make fresh raw Pu ‘er tea be drunk early, which is easy to cause the breeding of Aspergillus in tea and accelerate the aging. This Aspergillus oxidation is called fermentation after wet warehouse. However, wet-stored Pu ‘er tea completely destroyed the tea fiber, changed the original essence of tea, and violated the law of natural oxidation and fermentation of tea endoplasm. " Chen Guozhang, a senior tea man and chairman of Tea Art Paradise (China) Co., Ltd., said that he always advocated storing Pu ‘er tea in a "dry warehouse", that is, the tea leaves were fermented in Fang Chen in an environment with moderate temperature and humidity, ventilation, freshness and no odor, which not only preserved the authenticity of Pu ‘er tea, but also increased the value of tea tasting.
High humidity makes tea moldy and wet to death.
In order to give reporters a vivid understanding, Chen Guozhang took out a sample used for giving lectures to members of Pu ‘er Club on weekdays-Pu ‘er tea aged in wet warehouse, and compared it with Pu ‘er tea stored in Fang Chen and well preserved. The reporter found that the Tuocha aged in the wet warehouse has been mildewed and grown hoarfrost, while another brick tea block aged in the wet warehouse is dim and yellow. The moldy Tuocha with hoarfrost smells like bran, while the yellow brick tea has a musty smell.
"Both are bad teas, which one is worse?" The reporter asked. Chen Guozhang replied: "The yellow one (different from the golden fungus" Jinhua ",which should be evaluated in a scientific and correct manner) is even worse, but the yellow one is not as conspicuous as the white one. In fact, the tea has been" wet to death "!"
Chen Guozhang explained that tea leaves stored in wet warehouses are prone to mildew due to too much water, and the tea leaves with severe mildew will grow hoarfrost. If they are not returned to the warehouse in time for air drying, hoarfrost will turn into yellow mold (Aspergillus flavus). Now, some people say that "the milder Pu ‘er tea is, the better", but it is not. The essence of moldy tea has deteriorated. Too much water encourages the growth of white, black, green and yellow bacteria. Drinking tea was supposed to help health, but drinking this kind of tea has the opposite effect.
Natural wet storage can age tea, and artificial fermentation will destroy tea products.
In addition, some tea industry experts do not deny the practice of wet storage, but it is difficult to master the technology of aging good tea products in wet storage. If the humidity is too high or inappropriate, the goods are prone to black mold and green mold and become bad tea. At present, many people in the market use bad "wet warehouse tea" to pretend to be old tea and dry warehouse old tea.
When the humidity exceeds 85%, tea will become moldy.
Shi Kunmu, a senior tea man in Taiwan Province and one of the top ten outstanding figures of Pu ‘er tea in the world, said: "If there are two pieces of dry-stored tea and wet-stored tea in the 1950s, I will definitely choose to drink dry-stored tea, but it doesn’t mean that wet-stored tea is not good, but my personal taste is different. In fact, the existing old tea is basically wet warehouse tea, and even the old tea with a cake of 200,000 yuan is wet warehouse tea. We must know that when the relative humidity of the air exceeds 85%, the stored Pu ‘er tea will be moldy. For example, the annual average relative humidity in Guangzhou is 88%. In the past, Guangdong and Hong Kong, which were important places for storing tea, were actually’ natural wet warehouses’, and there were basically no dry warehouses for old tea. "
Shi Kunmu told reporters that in Hong Kong, the so-called "warehousing" means that the environment of Pu ‘er tea is artificially controlled without natural storage. In Guangdong, there are similar ways to accelerate the aging of Pu ‘er tea, such as building a tin house and entering an air-raid shelter. "As long as the tea produced by these artificial methods is not too outrageous, there is no direct evidence of adverse effects on the human body according to the standards of modern medical inspection. Sometimes, the temperature, humidity and time are properly handled. However, it is not only immoral, but also harmful to people’s health to use the year of speculation and use fraud to mislead consumers.
It is difficult to age tea in wet warehouse.
Regarding the problem of "wet warehouse", Zou Jiaju, executive vice president and secretary-general of Yunnan Tea Association, also said that the prerequisite for microbial fermentation is a certain amount of water, temperature and oxygen. Without water, it will not ferment, just like there will be no life on the planet without water.
For example, he said, "I got together with the Hong Kong and Kowloon Tea Chamber of Commerce and said that some people sealed raw tea cakes with plastic paper decades ago, but it changed little after opening them. The reason is just like what we usually call a dry warehouse. The less moisture in the dry warehouse, the slower the aging speed of tea. Many Pu ‘er tea books hold the dry warehouse to the sky, but they don’t know that there is no certain moisture and humidity. Where can microorganisms survive and multiply? "
"I often observe in the fermentation workshops of Kunming Tea Factory, Xiaguan Tea Factory and Menghai Tea Factory. I have a good grasp of technology and normal white hair, which is good tea; The temperature of the pile is high, the tea embryo is burned, the temperature is low, and black hair appears on the surface of the pile, which is bad tea. " Zou Jiaju believes that these are due to improper technical mastery, too high or inappropriate humidity, and black mold and green mold appear in some goods. Because of the technical difficulty, how can we produce such a large batch of aged tea?
Year of speculation of tea merchants borrowing warehouses
"After rapid aging, raw tea products have the advantage of immediately reducing the bitterness, turning the soup red and making it smooth and sweet. The cooked tea can quickly remove the smell of the pile (new taste and fishy smell), and the soup is smooth and has obvious old fragrance. What they have in common is that the pungent taste of new tea can disappear quickly when they enter the warehouse. " Although Shi Kunmu affirmed the "wet warehouse", he said that there are five negative effects in warehousing: the storage process is costly and the possibility of mildew is greatly increased; Appearance and cake surface gloss disappear; The smell of warehouse will never disappear; The same batch of tea has great differences in aroma, taste and appearance; Compared with the tea that has not been put into the warehouse, the smell of the warehouse is stringy and the aroma of the taste is lost.
"It is not necessarily bad to enter the warehouse, but entering the warehouse is often used by tea merchants as a means of hype year to mislead consumers into wrong ideas." Shi Kunmu said that individual businessmen, driven by profit, poured a lot of water on the finished Pu ‘er tea or cast other color-changing substances, or put it directly on the wet ground to make it grow mold. After aging, it not only lost the charm of storage, but also did not have the health care effect of Pu ‘er tea.
Quickly make "aged tea" by boiling water and insolating.
Make old tea with chemicals
In fact, it is even more abominable to make money by pretending to be old tea than by using wet warehouse tea, and even using chemicals to make old tea. Chen Guozhang said that "aging" at high temperature has become the latest counterfeiting method. They put plates of raw tea sprayed with water and containers filled with water into iron boxes, and then exposed them at high temperature, thinking that the iron boxes were not high enough in temperature and humidity, and then poured water into the hot iron boxes, and repeated operations, in order to quickly "age" Pu ‘er tea. "In summer in the south, such a rapid Pu ‘er tea can achieve the effect of three months to five years. Besides, after such high temperature baking? The Pu ‘er tea made is ruddy in color and has a high selling price. "
Moreover, "making water old" is an upgraded version of "wet warehouse Pu ‘er". Chen Guozhang told reporters that they not only stored Pu ‘er raw tea in Fang Chen in underground kilns, air-raid shelters, earthen houses and other places with poor ventilation and high humidity, but also artificially sprinkled water on the tea to make the fermentation speed faster after wet storage. "I have personally been to the old kiln, and some sanitary conditions are very poor. The tea has been moldy for a long time."
A month and a half ago, the reporter tasted this kind of wet barn to make old tea at a friend’s home. This so-called brick of Chinese tea cultural revolution (250g/piece) with a storage age of more than 20 years has a retail price of more than 4,000 yuan/piece in Fangcun tea market. It looks neat on the surface and doesn’t smell musty. However, experts from the same industry knew at a glance that it was "wet goods". When the soup was opened, it tasted bitter and musty, and the bitterness persisted in the mouth for a long time, which was difficult to fade. Experts say that the appearance of old tea made in this wet warehouse has been well handled, which has deceived many people. The tea artificially stored in the wet warehouse has a pungent smell after opening the soup, and the soup is black and mixed, and the throat is locked. The dry tea sees green, black and red mildew spots, and the bottom of the leaves is sticky after brewing.
Soaking tea with potassium permanganate
Zheng Bingji, chairman of Yunnan Pu ‘er Tea (Group) Co., Ltd., said in an interview that some fake Pu ‘er teas are even more "horrible". They steamed the prepared and processed tea again. After steaming at high temperature, they threw it into those brick kilns and tile kilns that were already closed for ants to bite. The tea was rotten and the paper was rotten, and then dried again. The Mongolian said, "We are rotten."
Zheng Bingji gave an example to reporters: "One day in 2005, a friend came to me mysteriously and handed me something. I took my friend’s’ baby’ and carefully opened it layer by layer. A big musty smell came to my nose, and the whole thing had rotted away. There were traces of insects crawling on it and Baba pulled out by insects. I felt sick. People who might not understand it thought it was a century-old tea, but people who knew tea felt sick. This is not tea, this is garbage! "
Key points of tea age identification
First look at outsourcing paper and printing: the printing color of paper in every era is irreplaceable, and its particularity is even more impossible to counterfeit because of the weathering of paper and printing history. In addition, the internal flying paper is also related to printing, which is the same as outsourcing paper and printing. What is more special is that the internal flying paper is embedded in tea products? Yes, under normal circumstances, you can’t change it.
At the same time, molds, including stone molds, iron molds, wood molds, etc., have their special appearance and process in each era, which has a profound impact on the aging of tea products. However, the matching technique of tea cyanine varies with the background of each era. A comprehensive judgment with the pressing mold can be used as an auxiliary condition for the identification of Pu ‘er tea year.
Dry-stored Pu ‘er tea is tightly knotted, evenly fermented, glossy and moist. When you tap the tea cake with your hand, the sound is crisp and neat, and the tea soup is clear and bright, sweet and refreshing, and has no odor. Wet-stored Pu ‘er tea is loose and dull in color. If there is too much water, the surface of the tea leaves will be covered with frost, or the tea leaves will breed mold from the inside out, which has a strong pungent taste, alkaline taste and musty taste. The tea soup is turbid like cooked tea and tastes like acupuncture.
The Times asks you to tell the story of fried tea.
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Editor: Shi Guanghui