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    The Ideal Places and Methods for Storing Pu-erh Tea

    Pu-erh tea is a post-fermented tea that tastes delicious, mellow and earthy and is very famous worldwide for its distinctive qualities. Unlike other teas which degrade and lose their flavor and freshness with age, Pu-erh tea gets better over the years. Like a fine vintage wine, the fragrance and flavor of the Pu-erh tea will be improved and its monetary value will increase with age. Now, pu-erh tea is in high demand and some top graded Pu-erh tea can sell for $10,000 or even more.

    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.

    Fengqing Wild Tree Yesheng Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake 2014

    Where to store Pu-erh tea?

    Air and Humidity

    The quality of a Pu-erh tea can only increase over time when stored properly, according to experts, the ideal humidity of the storage place is around 50% - 70% with a temperature range between 20 ℃ to 30 ℃. Meanwhile pu-erh tea should be keep away from direct sunlight, for it will accelerate the oxidation of phenolic substance and chlorophyll, resulting with the change of tea leaves’ quality and color.

    Away From Odor

    Tea leaves, especially pu-erh tea leaves, have a tendency to absorb odors or harmful substances in the air. Therefore it is extremely important to store the pu-erh tea in a clean place where pu-erh tea won't absorb odors, humidity or other impurities in the air. Places such as pantries, kitchen cabinets or around other items that emit strong odors are not ideal for storage of pu-erh tea.


    How to store Pu-erh tea?

    Indocalamus,an East Asian genus of Bamboo, is a traditional packaging for Pu-erh tea, it can filter impurities and improve the quality of Pu-erh tea during the post fermentation. On the contrary, plastic packaging is a bad choice for storage of Pu-erh tea, for it will usually produce mildew and ruin the flavor.

    Indocalamus Traditional Packaging for Pu-erh Tea

    Another good choice for the storage of pu-erh teas is using its original package, on which, there’re the place and date of manufacturing which is very important in Pu-erh vintage quality and value.

    Carton is the most practical and accessible method for pu-erh tea storage, especially for compressed pu-erh, but the carton must be clean and with no odor. And the raw and ripened pu-erh should be stored separately.

    Clean Carton Box for Storing Pu-erh Tea

    Zisha Tea Container A wonderful choice for storage of Pu-erh tea is to use a pottery or zisha container, especially for brick and loose Pu-erh teas. Zisha container has good air permeability and can also help to improve the quality of Pu-erh tea over the years. What’s more, the containers themselves have aesthetic value.

    Some tips of the proper storage of Pu-erh tea apply to other teas as well, however there is a big difference between fermented teas,like black tea, lightly fermented teas and non-fermented teas,like green tea.

    Teavivre’s Chinese Painting ZiSha Tea Caddy

    15 comments to The Ideal Places and Methods for Storing Pu-erh Tea

    • Gerelee :


      Hi there,

      I've just bought pu-er tea in Beijing and its small cubes and circles wrapped in golden wrap (like a chocolate wrap). It has 2003 date on it. They sales girl told me it's 10 years old. How do I know if it's good quality or not. But they smell like fishy when I brew them. Is it normal and safe to drink?

      Many thanks.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      For pu'erh tea has a feature, which is "the aged the better". We can judge the quality by following aspects:

      1. Appearance: the good pu'erh has evenly, bright color of its appearance, without obvious mold on it.

      2. Smell: Bad pu'erh smells irritating and musty, while the good pu'erh smells fresh, fragrant. The ripe pu'er usually has a earthy smell while the raw pu'erh usually has pekoe and fresh leaves scent.

      3. Tea liquid: the liquid of good pu'erh is red (ripe pu'erh) or yellow (raw pu'erh), bright, clean and transparent. While the liquid of bad pu'erh is turbid.

      You can also taste that if the tea is fresh with out any other bad odors or flavors.

      Hope it helps, and if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

    • PeyFang :


      I bought pu-erh cake few years ago and I've broken it into small pieces. I put them in a plastic container and store in refrigerator. Can I still comsume it or should I just throw away?

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      The best storage way for pu erh is keep it in cool, dry place away from sunlight, and keep ventilated. On the contrary, the tea may mildew, or aborb other odor.

      Here I suggest you take the tea out of refrigerator smell whether there is strange odor, and you can brew them to confirm if it is good.

      Hope it helps.

    • Rashed Ahmed :


      Some people says storing Green Tea in a cold room (using sandwich panels for the walls & ceiling and cooling system with compressor) if most important to keep its quality, flavor & test. I intend to know your opinion. Thanks, Rashed.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      Firstly, since green tea has good ability of absorbing odor, so we need to store them in airtight place. Second, because green tea is non-fermented tea, and its leaves are tender, so it is better to keep them in cool enviroment, such as refrigerator.

      Usually, if the amount of your tea is not so large, you can just store them in airtight, opaque packaging, and keep refrigerated. But if you have large amount of tea, then the storage way you mentioned is professional.

      Hope it helps.

    • John :


      Could you tell me best way to store loose Pu-erh tea in a cardboard container or one of your tea tins

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      Carton is the best choice to store compressed Pu-erh tea.

      And the tea tin is the best choice to store loose Pu-erh tea.

      Hope it helps.

    • David :


      Hi TeaVivre,
      Back to my 1st question,

      As there are many articles and you mentioned as well that Pu Erh is allowed to age (i.e. the longer the better if conditions are right, am I correct to say this), than why there is an expiry date? Is it common to have expiry date as I have never purchase such tea before. If conditions are right, can store longer than the stated expiry date? Can we store say another 10 yrs passed the expiry date?

      Tks again.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thank you for the question.
      This question involves the knowledge of laws and regulations.
      The shelf life of food must be indicated in most of countries. Such as China, It just allow tea factories indicate "the aged the better" as shelf life in last few years. If the tea made before that, there should be an expiry date for that tea.
      Hope it helps.

    • David :


      Tks TeaVivre for responding to my earlier question.

      My next question is how much (how many ml) can we drink per day. I read from some article it can cut down high cholesterol which I have it. So I like to consume the allowable qty per day without overdosing. Tks

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thank you for your question.
      The drinking amount is vary from person to person.
      Generally,the best drinking amount should be about 1 or 2 times each day, 5g to 8 g each time.
      Eat too much greasy food or take a large amount of alcohol and tobacco may be appropriate to increase the amount of tea. While pregnant women, children and the person with neurasthenia, tachycardia should be appropriate to reduce the amount.
      Hope it helps

    • David :


      Someone gave me 2 cake of Pu Erh tea about 2.5 yrs ago and I don't know the good value of such tea as I don't drink chinese tea. Now I know its of good value but expiring in end nov 16. So it left me about 5 weeks and I'm the only person to drink it and certaining can't finish all in 5 weeks. I estimate may take me at least another yr or so to finish both cake if I drink 3 cups a day.

      Can I still keep it.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thank you for your question.
      The shelf life is closely related to the store condition of tea. Under suitable conditions, pu-erh tea is the aged the better.
      You should store you tea in cool, dry place away from sunlight; keep ventilated.
      And if the tea taste seems mildew and smell strange. You'd better stop drink it any more.
      Hope it helps.

    • 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

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