How to Preserve Pu-erh Tea?
Good perservation of Pu-erh tea requires appropriate tools, clean environment, ventilation and light.
1, Environment for preserving pu-erh tea
Tea absorbs the smell of its surroundings easily. The surroundings must be free from strange odor. Ventilation and light are also necessary. Home-preserved Pu-erh tea should avoild being polluted by the smell of soo, cosmetics and medcine. If possible, set up a special storage room with wooden shelves.
Ventilation and light: light and air can speed up the fermentation of tea leaves and formation of the mellow fragrance and red color of Pu-erh tea liquid. But Pu-erh tea should not be exposed to strong sunlight or stored in damp and dark environment. Open windows keeps the air fresh and helps ventilation.
Natural humidification: the tea leaves only ferment at specific temperature and humidity. The tea can be placed near some water source or a humidifier to speed up its fermentation. Such methods may be used in the dry areas but not recommended.
2, Containers for preserving pu-erh tea
Pu-erh tea can be preserved in broad bamboo leaves, clean bamboo or grass boxes, in cotton-paper packaging or other containers, but take care to:
Use containers that breathe, such as pottery and purple clay ware. It is better to use one container to store only one kind of tea.
Avoid strange odors. Never use plastic or glass.
3,Suggestions for selecting Pu-erh tea for storing as a collector’s item
Choose high-quality Pu-erh tea (raw tea). The following suggestions are for Pu-erh tea lovers to select Pu-erh tea as a collector’s item:
First, choose pu-erh tea of quality raw material. Quality raw material is the precondition for quality Pu-erh tea.
Second, choose special Pu-erh tea, for example wild ancient arbor tea, raw tea made of old sun-baked green crude tea leaves or tender shoots or crab pincers,etc. Such special types are relatively small in quantity, from special areas and processed technology or of rare raw materials. They are all worthy of collection and expectation.
Third, choose pu-erh tea with special memorial significance, for example memorial Pu-erh tea tailor-made for a special occasion
4, Preservation length for pu-erh tea
“the older, the more fragrant”is a catchphrase describing pu-erh tea and also its most intriguing feature. But what is its maximum storage limit, 10 years or 50 years? This is difficult even for an expert to answer. Pu-erh tea (raw tea) is more valuable as it grows “older” and is better in quality with age. But like everything, it is governed by certain laws. After full maturity,the fragrance of the tea will start to deteriorate. So “ the older, the more fragrant” would not stand good. The Jingua (golden melon) tribute tea on display at the Forbidden City is about 200 years old, and its tea liquid is said to be wonderful but the flavor is not fragrant or tasty.
There is no definite time limit for the best preservation length of Pu-erh tea. Opinions vary according to the tea quality, processing techniques, preserving environment, taste of the drinker and so on.
With pu-erh tea, does it really matter if fermentation is perfect or not? A true tea lover need not necessarily drink only the best fermented tea, rather appreciate the various types of tea.Consider “the older, the more fragrant” to be a spirital pursuit and longing for the special taste of Pu-erh tea.