Finding pu'er is like discovering a new type of art. The more you consume it, the more intrigued you get by its complexity. You might say it's an acquired taste. The fact that so many distinct variations and not all of them may appeal to you presents another difficulty. In other words, there isn't a lot of consistency when it comes to Pu'er tea. A little bit of an adventure can be had when learning about pu'er because this is one of those few cases where various experiences mean different things.
But with all that said, tea lovers should keep their teas well-stored to extend their drinking life as long as possible without compromising on flavour or aroma. Storing pu'er is a little easier than storing other Chinese green teas due to its neutral taste and relative lack of oils and fats that may attract pests or rancidity over time. However, there are still some things we should keep in mind before we start experimenting with our pu'er collection at home:
What to do when you find pu'er?
First of all, pu'er is not a tea you drink often. It will most likely be served as an apéritif or a dessert. The more pu'er you brew and drink, the less flavour there will be. So, when you find pu'er, it should be at its freshest and flavorful peak. It means storing your newly discovered stash in an airtight container with no light exposure.
Second, let your tea rest on the surface of the leaves for some time before brewing it. It allows you to enjoy the aroma that rises from the leaves while they are still fresh and crispy. It also preserves their integrity and gives them more time to soak up flavours that can quickly fade over time.
Third: store your pu'er in a cool, dark place (ideally below 50F) away from sunlight and heat exposure. Exposure to these elements will quickly degrade pu'er's flavour quality, leading to bitterness or unpleasant aftertaste if left untreated for too long.
Fourth: keep your pu'er tightly sealed in an airtight container with a lid that keeps light exposure and moisture (don't worry about filling with plastic).
When to store pu'er?
When storing pu'er, there is a window of time in which you can store it before it starts to degrade. That window may vary depending on weather conditions and other factors, but the general rule is that the tea should be stored away from sunlight when possible. Storing pu'er can also be difficult due to its unique taste and aroma. Finding a good storage solution that keeps your tea tasting fresh while preserving its rich aroma can take some trial and error.
Avoid storing pu'er in the fridge.
The first thing to remember is to store Pu'er tea in a cool, dark place. Many people store their tea in the fridge because they think it will preserve the flavour and aroma of the tea better than other places. However, this isn't always the case. Some oils that give pu'er its distinctive taste can go rancid if stored too long.
An airtight, opaque container is best for storage. The best container is glass since it lets light in a while shielding your tea leaves from bugs and moisture. When using plastic wrap, make sure there are no openings if you don't have any glass jars or containers on hand.
The best way to store pu'er
Pu'er should be kept in a sealed container for the best storage. By doing this, you can be confident that your tea will continue to be pest- and odour-free. Additionally, it stops any oxidation that can cause rancidity or flavour loss.
Using an oxygen absorber, such as silica gel, activated carbon, or diatomaceous earth, in an airtight container is a further alternative for storage. Without absorbing moisture, these substances absorb gases and aromas from the tea. They also have considerably shorter periods of effectiveness than silica gel or activated carbon because they don't absorb moisture.
However, how should loose leaf pu'er be kept? However, there are many different solutions, such as bags, jars, clay pots, or even putting it in the refrigerator or freezer! However, we generally advise securing your loose-leaf Pu'er tea in an airtight container using any of these materials if you want to keep its flavour and aroma for as long as possible.
Although it may seem like a lot of effort, it needn't be so challenging! Use common sense while buying teas to keep your collection healthy and the teas tasting as good as they did on the first day.
Wrapping and sealing Pu'er Tea
To start, make sure your Pu'er tea is wrapped in absorbent paper. Use a paper towel or a thin cloth if you don't have any. To securely hold the wrapper together, use a rubber band.
Next, pick a container with airtight closures on both ends. Glass jars with lids are preferable since they should be able to keep out dust and water. Plastic containers can also function well if securely covered in paper or linen.
Third, stay away from storing your Pu'er tea next to light sources like windows or doors because doing so would expose the tea to sunlight, which could lead to oxidation, which over time would damage the tea's flavour. Finally, it is recommended to keep pu'er separate from other teas with intense aromas because of their oils and fats.
Spending money on tea, you might never drink waste. However, storing your tea in an airtight container will dry it out and become dust. Use the following advice to prevent either of these occurrences:
1. Purchasing loose tea in a resealable bag is the best option.
2. To maintain the quality of your tea, keep it in a cold, dry location.
3. Pu'er should avoid refrigerated storage because it accelerates the ageing process of Pu'er tea.
4. To prevent it from going bad or collecting dust, wrap or seal your Pu'er tea in a resealable bag.
5. Look for an opaque, airtight container, such as a Tupperware container or a vacuum-sealed tin, to keep your tea moist.