How to Age Pu-Erh Tea

The aging process of pu-erh tea is beneficial and the longer it goes on, the better. Like some types of wine that age better than others, the processed pu-erh tea leaf called mao cha is not a good example. Mao cha can be either green or ripe, and is available in a wide range of grades. The end product is either loose-leaf or pressed into a variety of shapes. Green mao cha pressed into cakes is the ideal candidate for a long aging process. It is a very rare pu-erh that is ripe. Most ripe/cooked tea of average quality is consumed immediately after it is processed, as aging is not much help to the taste. There is a lot of controversy over the aging process.

Pu-erh leaves are turned into mao cha by a short process. The leaves can be aged by a six-month to a year-long process called wo dui, which can be used to make cakes. The better quality leaves are pressed into cakes and then aged in that form.

A short aging process can benefit most mao cha. In the case of most ripe or cooked teas, this might be for a few months to make up for the negative effects of the fermentation process. Some people think that pu-erh should not be aged over ten years. When pressed into cakes or begchas, green mao cha can be put into storage for anywhere from five to 40 years before diminishing returns.

Tea ages will be affected by environmental factors. The tea should be kept away from strong odors. Air flow regulates the amount of oxygen in the tea. The faster the tea age, the higher the humidity buy tea online is. Water on the tea can cause the growth of mold or cause it to lose its flavor, so it’s best to avoid it. It’s best to have humidity in the range of 60 to 85%. Tea becomes bitter and dries out in the sun. High heat should not be used on tea since it will make it taste bad. The aging of pu-erh tea at low temperatures will be much slower. Tea quality is affected by temperature and humidity.

It is possible to enjoy raw pu-erh tea when it is stored. The tea leaves are green initially. It will change from yellow to amber. After being kept for a few years, the flavor changes considerably, and it often produces a sweet smell. The pu-erh tea which was stored for one to three years produces a flowery-honey flavor whereas the three- to five-year-old tea has a fruity characteristic which with further storage will evolve into a dried-fruity flavor.

One needs to sample the tea to figure out how much cake is benefiting from the aging process. Wrap the tea in shrink-wrap or plastic, store it properly, and enjoy drinking it at your leisure.

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