May 8, 2014

RIP, Lu Yun, father of modern puerh

Last week, a very important figure in puerh history, Lu Yun, passed away, at the age of 57. The name of Lu Yun is less mentioned in recent years, although he was one of the most recent and one of the youngest "godfather" of puerh.

To a lot of younger tea drinkers, Lu Yun may not sound a familiar name. However, many people are very familiar with his lifetime work, without even realizing it. He was the head of Menghai Factory, and then CEO of Dayi. He was the leader of the developing team of Dayi 7262. He was involved in research and development of some of Dayi's most popular products including 7542, 8582, 7572, etc. He was the founder of Dayi trademark. He was a co-author of Puerh Yunnan Province Standards, which were the bases of the current Puerh National Standards. He was respected as "father of puerh" by many puerh gurus. 

Unfortunately, in the last stage of his career, Lu Yun became a controversial figure. He was involved in some big financial scandal (mixed with personal life scandals) in 2008. Many of his friends see him as an "innocent offender", and many believe the incidence was a tragedy outcome of the 2007-2008 puerh crisis. He was also condemned by many people. He disappeared from the social scenes, and his name was rarely mentioned since then.

But at the end of his life, when the news of his death spread, it turned out he is still very well known and well remembered. With good wishes, many tea drinkers choose to remember the best part of his life and let go the dark side. Personally I feel a lot of sympathy towards him. His career was not perfect, and most of the rest of us aren't perfect either. Thinking of all the tea he created, I just can't get mad at him. Sometimes I say, we are in an era of too many masters. In today's tea world, there are many tea masters and tea celebrities. Most of them will be forgotten by history. This one will be remembered as part of puerh history, as he created a big chunk of puerh history.


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