Topic: "Guangyun Gong is no Longer Pu'er" translation

Translation of: "广云贡饼“再不称普洱 … 675s.shtml
accessed 11/09/2008

Guangyun Gong is no Longer Pu'er
National standards regarding pu'er tea, namely "Local Specialty Products: Pu'er Tea" will come into effect on December 1. This was announced recently by Yunnan Province Government Information Office, the Agriculture Department of Yunnan Province, Yunnan Province Quality and Technical Supervision bureau  at a joint press conference, which caused a big shock in the industry. This reporter has learned that the national standard once implemented, will strictly limit the definition of pu'er tea. In the future using a particular technology to make pu'er outside of Yunnan will not be permitted to be labeled as pu'er; for example, once celebrated specialty of Guangdong, "Guangyun Gong" .

Pu'er must come from Yunnan

According to the definition given in the "Local Specialty Products: Pu'er Tea" Pu'er tea must be made with large-leafed sun dried maocha grown within the designated area of Yunnan. The production must be completed within the geographical area indicated and make use of a specific process. According to standards set by the National Administration of Quality Supervision, the geographically protected Pu'er tea local specialty product must be made within places such as the city of Pu'er, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Kunming City. There are a total 639 townships spread through 11 prefectures and cities that may grow and process pu'er.

According to this standard, tea not produced within the above-mentioned geographical area can not be called Pu'er, and the Yunnan tea enterprises which purchase maocha outside the above-mentioned area can no longer call cakes produced with this tea pu'er. Therefore "Guanyun Gong" may be excluded from the scope of tea.

Has already changed its name to avoid disputes

"In fact, we have been mentally prepared for awhile," says Ji Hongtao, deputy general manager of Guangdong Tea Import and Export Corporation. He also told reporters that because Yunnan has been active in the development of standards that in order to avoid unnecessary controversy, the company has been doing some hard work and preparation. Although the raw materials are from Yunnan, and processing has not changed, now the tea is no longer called pu'er, but directly called "Guangyun Gong cakes" or "Guang Yun Gong bricks" in order to avoid patent infringement. "We avoid the word pu'er in order to circumvent unnecessary trouble."

In fact, Yunnan has always been promoting the development of standards. Two years ago, there was controversy within the industry. With regards to Yunnan's application for protection of its local specialty product, many in the industry think it is too restrictive. One man in the industry who asked not to be named told reporters that while Yunnan's tea production accounts for 80% of the country's pu'er, and that application for protection of local specialty products is a form of protection of intellectual property rights, history and reality of great importance too. Guangdong has historically been part of tea production, and responsible for transportation and distribution, not to mention development and innovation.

"Pu'er tea is just a term for the production process, there is no cultivar or varietal of tea called pu'er," he pointed out. If protection of local specialty products is carried out, won't the even more famous Tieguanyin, Longjing green tea, etc. have to apply for it as well?

■ terminology

What is a "Guangyun Gong" 广云贡茶 (Guangdong & Yunnan Tribute Tea)

In the 1960s, Guangdong Tea Import and Export Corporation used the finest selection of sun dried Maocha for raw materials, and original technology to press tea cakes for export to Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. These tea cakes are primarily made of maocha from Yunnan and Guangdong blended using an original formula from Guangdong Tea Import and Export Corporation and processed with said factory's unique methods, therefore it has a distinctly Cantonese character or 'yun.' Taiwan and Hong Kong tea lovers call it "Guang Yun Gong cake," or Guangdong-Yunnan tribute tea cakes, and has become a representative of Guangdong's most famous teas.

Reviews/ experiences with Guangyun Gong can be found on weblogs: The Half-dipper and A Felicific Life.


Re: "Guangyun Gong is no Longer Pu'er" translation

According to Taiwanese professor Jiang Yu Fa 姜育發 (who heads Korean Puerh research), it was 73 when Yunnan stopped exporting leaves to Guangdong. So that makes Guang Yun bing after 73 a fake, or Guangdong Puerh. Also added, it is tea that requires attention both for its quality and fake-originality.