For a long time, Pu’er tea has been classified as black tea, but this classification has been controversial. Especially after the artificial fermented Pu’er tea came into the market, the classification of Pu’er tea as black tea has been strongly questioned. Because from the established classification method of tea, the processing technology of various kinds of tea and the characteristics of tea products, Pu’er tea and black tea are totally different things.
In China’s two most authoritative tea works, China’s tea classics and tea dictionary, modern Chinese tea is divided into basic tea and reprocessed tea.
The basic tea category is “the category of finished tea with different quality formed through the manufacturing process of fresh tea leaves”. According to the manufacturing method and the oxidation degree of tea polyphenols, the basic tea is divided into six categories: green tea, white tea, black tea, yellow tea, oolong tea (green tea) and black tea. Black tea is made by picking fresh leaves and belongs to one of the basic tea categories
Reprocessing tea is a kind of tea product formed by reprocessing tea from basic tea. The difference is very obvious, first picking fresh leaves to make basic tea, and then using basic tea as raw material to produce and process tea.
Pu’er tea is made from sun dried green tea through special reprocessing process. Therefore, Pu’er tea is in line with the characteristics of reprocessing tea and should be classified as reprocessed tea, not black tea in the basic tea category.
In the processing technology, Pu’er tea and black tea also have obvious differences. The teaching materials of agricultural colleges and universities all over the country, such as tea making and tea processing, clearly state the processing technology of the two kinds of tea
“Black tea is first prepared (processed), which is made by picking fresh leaves, removing green, rolling (primary rolling), piling, re rolling and drying.”. The processing technology of Pu’er tea is that it is made of sun dried green tea after natural fermentation and aging or by wet pile. The pile of black tea occurs before drying, while that of Pu’er tea is after drying, so the manufacturing method is obviously different.
From the characteristics of the finished tea, Pu’er tea and black tea are also very different. “Tea making science” describes that black tea is “curled in shape, yellowish brown and oily in color, and dark brown is not allowed; the endoplasmic fragrance is pure, the soup color is orange yellow, the bottom of the leaves is yellow brown, and the red leaves are not allowed.”. The characteristic of Pu’er tea is “brown red in appearance”. Endoplasmic soup is red, thick and bright, with unique aroma, mellow and sweet taste, and brown red leaf bottom.
From the above description, it can be seen that Pu’er tea and black tea have little in common in the appearance characteristics of finished tea, and the differences are very obvious.
Therefore, black tea is black tea and Pu’er is Pu’er. It is difficult to believe that Yunnan Pu’er tea belongs to black tea in many aspects, and there is also a lack of scientific basis.