Pu-erh tea is a renowned post-fermented tea, famous for its unique flavor and aroma that improves with age. In contrast to other teas, which lose their flavor and freshness over time, Pu-erh tea gets better with age, making it a highly valued and sought-after beverage. However, to ensure the highest quality possible, it’s essential to store Pu-erh tea properly.
Where to Store Pu-erh Tea?
To maintain the quality of Pu-erh tea, experts recommend storing it in an environment with a humidity level between 50% to 70%, at a temperature range of 20 ℃ to 30 ℃, and away from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can speed up oxidation, resulting in changes to the quality and color of the tea leaves.
It’s also crucial to store Pu-erh tea in a clean place that’s free from strong odors, humidity, or other impurities in the air. For example, pantries, kitchen cabinets, or areas around items with strong odors are not ideal for storing Pu-erh tea.
How to Store Pu-erh Tea?
Traditionally, Pu-erh tea is packaged in Indocalamus, an East Asian genus of bamboo that filters impurities and improves the quality of the tea during post-fermentation. However, plastic packaging is not recommended as it can produce mildew and ruin the flavor.
For loose and brick Pu-erh teas, a pottery or zisha container is an excellent choice for storage. Zisha containers have good air permeability and can help to improve the quality of the tea over time, while also having aesthetic value. For compressed Pu-erh tea, cartons are the most practical and accessible storage option, but they must be clean and free of any odor. Additionally, raw and ripened Pu-erh should be stored separately to avoid any cross-contamination.
Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the quality and value of Pu-erh tea. Although some storage tips may apply to other teas, there are significant differences between fermented teas, lightly fermented teas, and non-fermented teas like green tea. By following the recommended storage methods, you can ensure that your Pu-erh tea stays delicious, mellow, and earthy for years to come.