Monday, May 15, 2006

Be most careful in the pu-erh world (3)

In this article no 5, Teaparker goes into more detail about the faking of old graphics and designs. He shows 2 pictures of such old trademarks and says that puerh cakes or bricks with such designs are confusing to consumers. It's because these marks are remains from the past and there is no relationship between the previous owners of the trademark and the current ones (unlike famous western brands).
Teaparker further says that he would welcome using old designs on puerh cakes if the tea would match the description on the wrapper. But he even saw a graphic saying zhuan, while the puerh was pressed as a cake! In his experience, the teas that are packaged this way are usually teas with 'problems'. Only a few exceptions can live up to the brand's reputation.

In his 6th article, Teaparker again warns against buying puerh based solely on its wrapping paper. With current advances in printing technology, it's possible to fake anything you want, provided you have just one original. During his research trips to China, he pretends to be a Taiwanese wholesale buyer when he visits factories. He says there are factories where you can place your order for whatever shape of compressed puerh you want with whatever brand and design you want on the wrapper.

3 comments:

Axel said...

I can only imagine the effect these fakes can have on the market. Since these products can stay stashed away for years before re-appearing on the market, creating further confusion as the originals become more scarce and people who were familiar with the original brand and know firsthand what such a tea should taste like are no longer around. I guess it would be fine if these "re-issues" of old brands would be like hommages to the old product (which would mean the new tea would have to share something with the old tea beside the looks of the wrapper) and if its price reflected this. Otherwise, it's like charging $500 for a concert ticket...for a Rolling Stones cover band

Bernard H said...

I am wondering, "zhuan" does mean "brick", doesn't it? Stephane, did you not mean "cake" instead?

Stephane said...

You're right Bernard. I've done the change.