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    The Ideal Storage Places and Methods for Storing Pu-erh and Other Teas

    Pu-erh tea is a delicious, mellow and earthy tea which is a post fermentation tea which is famous worldwide for its distinctly unique qualities.  Unlike other teas which degrade and lose their freshness with age, Pu-erh tea gets better with age, like a fine vintage wine.  The fragrance and flavor profiles of the tea change and improve with age throughout the Pu-erh brick, cake or bing, making older and more rare Pu-erh teas in high demand and increase in monetary value with age, and some old, rare Pu-erh teas can sell for upwards of $10,000. 

    But Pu-erh tea can only improve with age when stored properly, so let us explore the most ideal ways to store your Pu-erh tea to ensure the highest quality possible.

    Air and Humidity

    The quality of a Pu-erh tea can only increase over time by storing it in a dry place where it is out of the way of drafts and airflow.

    The Importance of Clean Air

    Tea leaves, especially Pu-erh tea leaves, will easily absorb odors or any toxins in the air such as oil or smoke.  Therefore it is extremely important when storing your Pu-erh tea that you store it in a clean place where it won't absorb odors, humidity or other impurities in the air.  Places such as a pantry or cupboard are not ideal because it can absorb the odors of herbs, especially strongly scented herbs and spices, or other unpleasant smells.

    Indocalamus or Using the Original Packaging for Storage of Pu-erh Tea


    The traditional packaging for Pu-erh tea includes using indocalamus which is a genus of Bamboo and very similar to the Bamboo plant.  It is useful for the after-fermentation of Pu-erh tea and can filter impurities and improve the quality of your tea.  If you have separated your Pu-erh and have packaged in it plastic, it will usually produce mildew and ruin your Pu-erh tea, so plastic packaging is a bad choice for storage of Pu-erh tea.

    Another good choice for most Pu-erh teas is to store the Pu-erh tea in the packaging it came in, if appropriate for storage, and the packaging normally includes the place and date of manufacturing which is very important in Pu-erh vintage quality and value.

    potter's clay container

    A wonderful choice for storage of your Pu-erh tea is to use a sand container or a  potter's clay container. These are both perfect for brick Pu-erh storage as they have good air permeability, easy and convenient storage, and their attractive aesthetic value.   These can also often improve the quality of your Pu-erh tea over the years.

    Some parts of the proper storage of Pu-erh tea apply to other teas as well, however there is a big difference between fermented teas, non-fermented teas and lightly fermented teas, and the storage of other teas besides Pu-erh tea can be slightly different, yet similar.

    The Proper Storage of Green and Oolong Teas

    Green and Oolong teas will taste lighter and lighter if stored out of the air without any protection.  For example, Dragon Well (Longjing) green tea and Dong Ding Oolong teas are best stored at approximately 5 degrees centigrade in your refrigerator or similar cold, dry and dark place. Unlike Pu-erh which needs extensive storage requirements, you can simply set your green or Oolong teas in a cool, dark dry area of your house.  Never store your light teas such as white, green and Oolong teas with a strongly fermented tea such as Pu-erh or it will degrade the quality of the lighter teas and alter the flavor permanently.

    Professional Storage of Teas

    The best advice for the proper storage of Pu-erh tea is to keep it at a consistent cool temperature, with a consistent low humidity levels, outside of direct light sources and airflow, with no strong odors or unpleasant odors in the air.  Pu-erh tea stored in this manner will result in a high quality and delicious Pu-erh tea, now or even years in the future.

    Storing any of your teas just anywhere is a bad habit because even when you have a good container for your tea which will keep the teas original flavor, it may acquire mildew or odors.  Follow the guidelines above to properly store your teas to get the best flavor and quality from your teas.

    8 comments to The Ideal Storage Places and Methods for Storing Pu-erh and Other Teas

    • zubaidah :


      I bought pu erh cake and I break it fully to pieces. Now im keeping it in a air tight glass bottle. Is it okay. Please advise

    • TeaVivre response:


      Hi zubaidah,

      Thank you for your question.
      If you've broke the it into many small pieces, it is good to keep the pieces in an airtight bottle.
      Hope this is helpful to your concern

    • Arul Rajah :



      I just recently acquired a large quantity of liu bao tea - about 50Kg. What would be the best way to store it? Keep it in the gunny bag or transfer it to a big porcelain or clay jar?
      Your help is appreciated.


    • TeaVivre response:


      Dear Arul,

      Thank you very much for writing to us.

      If the tea itself has a kind of tissue paper packed, then you can just put the tea in a dry, ventilated and lucifugal place. Or you can put the tea in a zisha or porcelain container. Hope this is helpful for you.

      If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

    • Blair :


      I am looking at displaying pu-erh in a climate controlled wine room. The humidity may be a bit high for it, but the temperature should be fine. Do you suggest vacuum sealing the cakes or is it necessary to put them in a separate cabinet that has lowered humidity. Any recommendations? Also, are there any specific brands or packaging styles of pu-erh that you recommend for aging?

    • TeaVivre response:


      Dear Blair,

      when you buy pu-erh cake. The cake itself was wrapped by the tissue paper (which is breathable). So you can keep it as it was. If your cake do not have this tissue paper or your tissue paper is broken, you can choose a clean tissue paper to wrap it. Then you cannot put it in your wine room, the humidity is too high. The cake will be affected with damp. You just need to put the tea in a cool, dry, vented, no smell and the humility is less than 80° place. It can be on a shelf or somewhere else. Hope this is helpful for your concern.

      Wish you a good day.

    • mindy :


      Will the pu er cake quality being affected with oily hand patches on it?
      If yes, where should I go and change the wrapper?
      The problem is the wrapper it seems like registered.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Dear Mindy,

      Thank you very much for writing to us.
      Usually, we use the tissue paper to pack the cake and then it will be wrapped with kraft while shipping. We do not use the oily hand patches. But, if you have bought this kind of pu-erh cake from other place, you can find some tissue paper or thin white cotton cloth to pack it.

    • Nick :


      Hello, I had a question about the storage of larger pu-erh cakes or bricks. When it's the large piece like that, what's the proper method of storage? Are there certain containers made to hold such a large item, or are you supposed to break it up upon purchase so that it can fit into a smaller container?

      I haven't yet made the jump to any of these larger bricks, but I'd just like to know ahead of time so I can store it properly once I finally do :)

    • TeaVivre response:


      Dear Nick,
      There is no need to break a whole pu-erh cake into small pieces. You can just use a piece of tissue paper to package it and then put it in this palce which the passage refered to.

    • Aurora :


      I just received my first batch of Pu erh beeng cha compressed tea. My question is how much leaf should I use to make a cup of tea?.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Approximately use 10 grams of the tea. This amount can make about 800ml to 1000ml tea liquid.

    • Debra Riddle :


      I have a tin container of pu-erh tea from Golden Moon. the date on the tin is 1994. I just had a cup this morning and I rinsed it as you suggested, the tea was delicious without milk or honey or sugar added. The leaves are shredded leaves. I know I already drank it, but is it okay to continue drinking?

    • TeaVivre response:


      Yes, you can drink it. But the shredded leaves are not better than the whole leaves.

    • Diana Lutz :


      Hi I am interested in the right kind of tea, That will not help me with my high blood pressure, asthma, to lose fat, and in crease my energy. I am looking forward to buying your tea product that you recommend for me. Oh For got to mention at times my heart rate will increase for no reason so want a tea that is not going to raise it up too much. Cause as I mention I wanted a tea that is going to give me energy. Thank you so much. I look forward of doing business with you in the nearer future. Many wishes to you.

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