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poikkeus said

Aging green pu-erh: how long to wait?

I recently acquired several pu-erh I want to age: 2009 Dayi 7542, 2006 Douji Yiwu Mountain Arbor, 2005 Green City Arbor, and 2008 Premium Bingdao Arbor. When will these cakes be best to drink, and acquire the optimal color?

I’ve not had good experiences with over-young green pu-erh.

7 Replies
PeteG said

Patience grasshopper! Patience. In my humble opinion…minimum three years best 5 years…time is on your side…how did the teas come packaged? Are they loose or compressed? Remember to store them in a somewhat scent free zone. No plug in room freshners, etc,. Cool, little humidity and out of direct sunlight. Just as in a good wine or whiskey your purchase is one that will only get better with time. Enjoy! So, for now, if you can purchase some older green teas and start enjoying the wonderful life giving elixer calle puerh!

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Will said

A long, long, long time. Even if the climate is not too dry, it won’t really have any sort of noticeable “age” (dark color, smoother taste) for probably 15-30 years.

If you want something to drink now, or anytime in the near future, I would look for early 90s or earlier aged sheng, later 90s stuff with wetter storage, or else drink shu.

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PeteG said

Will, you are correct but it is acceptable to begin to test after 5 years…your correct about the shu…the early 90’s can be really out of this world when it comes to price…it all depends on what you want?

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MarshalN said

Aging shu is a waste of time, generally speaking, especially if you live in North America. Buy something two or three years old that no longer has the pondy taste and just drink it up.

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In China, we drink the new Sheng Pu Er right away. age the Sheng PU Er only means its Cha Qi becomes more mild and mellow, and the aged aroma comes up.

A useful tip for you if you want to drink the new Sheng Pu Er right away. Lower water temperature, short steeping time, to get a good cup of tea with less astrigency and bitterness. Especially for those blended tea with bush Pu Er.

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poikkeus said

I have received contradictory advice re: young sheng. It seems that some of your more experienced tea drinkers advise that waiting is the best policy; that’s is, after all, how the tea is designed.

On the other hand, a vocal group of tasters seem to feel that young sheng is fine as soon as it arrives in the mail. Some, it seems, like the bitter, “off” flavor, and very much approve of the relatively low price. It seems to depend on the tea and the taster.

After tasting, I’ve decided that young sheng isn’t to my taste – though I’ve enjoyed several ripened puerh teas.

I guess it largely depends on the preference and physiological conditions of each individuals. For example, I personally have relatively stronger than average bitterness tolerance (sometimes even love certain types of bitterness). In this sense, I may like newer sheng than some other people. But meantime I also value Chinese traditional medical advice a lot. Based on the medical theories, if my inner physiology is on the cold side (meaning I feel cold more easily than average and I occasionally get cold feet in winter evenings – simplified explanation), teas with strong cooling power (such as a new sheng) may get me even colder . So I naturally don’t want to have too much newer sheng.

Usually your intuition takes you to things best for your health – I mean, tea. But I am not talking about ice-creams or cheesecakes :-p

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