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Storing different Pu-erhs together

About 2 or 3 years ago I decided to try sheng pu-erh and bought a decent quality bing of sheng cha. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really to my taste, so I put it aside. I found a large, inexpensive double-lidded red clay pot in a local Chinese market and put it inside. I figured that I probably wouldn’t be keeping it long enough to age it that way, but at least I’d be keeping it properly and could take it out from time to time to try it, as a sort of experiment.

Since then I’ve gotten a few shou pu-uerhs which I drink from time to time, but not all that often, and keep them each in separate metal double tins. The other day I hit on the idea of keeping them all in the same large clay pot with the sheng at the bottom and the others stacked on top, separated by paper plates.

Would doing that possibly accelerate the aging of the remaining sheng bing? Could it degrade or harm any of them?

11 Replies
Will said

I would separate sheng and shu in your storage, personally.

Even sheng from different time periods / ages should probably be kept closer to each other, though they can still be kept in the same general area.

mrmopar said

agreed sheng and shu separate storage, like a thing insence&tea built and i copied using a fridge to age teas. the freezer is for sheng and the lower fridge for shu.

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I agree with Will, keep them apart. Sheng and Shu are lost never stored together, especially for long term aging. Although they are both puerh they are still very, very different types of tea. And no, it will not accelerate the aging of the sheng bing. It may absorb some of the shu smell, but a young sheng that has been stored with shu and absorbed some flavor would probably be gross.

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mrmopar said

of course i would like to know where you found the lidded pot. i have been lookind for a couple of those to store tea in as you have.

There’s a large Chinese supermarket near me which in addition to tea, fresh swimming fish, Buddhist slaughtered chickens, frozen mock vegetarian meats and more kinds of bok choi than you can imagine, has several aisles of pots, woks and cooking utensils, dishes, rice makers, teapots, kettles. I imagine the unglazed doubled lidded clay pots were meant for pickling vegetables.

http://www.zhizhengtea.com/tea-storage-jars.html these are quite reasonably priced, just email and ask for the price of whatever size you want

And right there on the page is the answer to my original question!:

“Note: ‘Uncooked’ or Raw Puer tea should not be stored with ‘Cooked’ or shou Puer.”

The pots I bought were about 17cm diameter by 15cm deep, big enough for 3 -4 bings, and double lidded. They cost $10

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Definitely keep them apart.

The Shou Chaa will affect the Sheng Chaa much more than the other way around, so you do not want the aromas of the Shou overtaking the Sheng as it ages.

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TeaVivre said

I agree with these opinions here. Personally, I would separate Sheng and Shu pu’erh in storage too. Though they belong to pu’erh tea, and they have different flavor.

Sheng: Chestnut fragrance and buds fragrance.
Shu: Mellow and earthy flavor with aroma.

So if we store them together, their flavor will mix.

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I’m convinced.

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JC said

I agree with all the recommendations. ‘Cross-contamination’ or ‘tainting’ of the cakes will occur if you keep them together. Honestly, recently I went as far as to separate ‘smoky’ Sheng from ‘sweeter’ scented Sheng.

Clay pots are always great ways of storing Pu-erh, but I would be careful, clay out of constant temperature will have a lower temperature than the rest of the room, the same happens with heat, if near a heat source it will heat faster and retain it longer… so keep that in mind when using clay pots ;)

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