The Ideal Places and Methods for Storing Pu-erh Tea

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. So let us explore the most ideal ways to store your Pu-erh tea to ensure the highest quality possible.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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

      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.

  • Dear
    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

      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.

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

    • TeaVivre

      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.

  • 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

      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.

  • 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

      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

  • 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

      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.

  • 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

      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

  • Hi,

    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

      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.

  • 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

      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.

  • 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

      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.

  • 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

      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.

  • 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

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

  • 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

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

  • 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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