White Pu-erh Tea
Maybe with high demand of pu-erh tea or just because it’s fashionable these days to drink pu-erh , maybe just catching up with keywords for search engines…who knows?
Some pu-erh tea sellers call White Pu-erh simply the white tea pressed into the 200-357g cake or small “long zhu“ Dragon Balls
. In some tea stores can be also seen a loose white Da Bai Hao
, Yue Guang Bai or even tea tree flowers Ya Bao sold as “White Pu-erh“.
Pu-erh tea is specific for it’s way of processing which part of it is “kill green” process. ( see full processing in our blog )
Although white tea can also age like pu-erh so the pressing it makes sense ( old white tea if properly stored is very nice ).
But since it doesn’t go through this step of processing (kill green), there is no reason to call it pu-erh at all.
Black tea or green tea – same tea leafs can be used , but different form of processing makes this final product being appropriately named.
Basically in our understanding , the tea is categorized by the way of fresh tea leafs were processed ( withering, kill green, rolling, fermenting etc. ) and not by way of the dry tea leafs being stored ( loose, pressed into the cake, brick , tuo cha etc. )
It would be like putting a grape juice into the long green glass bottle with cork and call it red wine then.
For example : the black tea Shai Hong is sometimes pressed into the cake ( due to it’s partially similar ripening characteristic with puerh ) and this tea is not called “black / red puerh” either.
So ,if you press oolong tea into the cake , would you call that “oolong pu-erh tea” ?
Anyway, the way the tea business is going in China, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that on tea market soon.
There is only one type of tea what could be called as White Pu-erh tea.
It’s a tea leafs come from old white tea tree ( which is not exactly the same as regular tea trees. ) and processed as pu-erh tea ( so inc. kill green step ) . The front taste of tea is like regular white tea but it has also “hui gan” sweet aftertaste and “shen jing” sweetness on sides of your tongue.
This type of tea is very rare and mostly never get into the Chinese tea market not mentioning the foreign pu-erh tea stores. This kind of tea is just being shared between the tea farmers and their close friends.
We are lucky to get some of it to try.
Other possible option for such a name would be just switching the position of the words. As the majority of Yunnan white tea comes from Puer area , the producer / vendor can call it Puer White Tea , same as for example Menghai Shu Puerh Tea , Fengqing Black Tea …etc.
This article was written just for information purposes. The aim is to try make the things a little bit straight in such a chaotic and commercial world of tea business.
Hope it helps.