Buying Aged Puerh Tea can be confusing, especially given all the choices in the marker. The year of Pu-erh tea, in particular, be a significant factor for enthusiasts and collectors. However, for regular tea consumers, it’s more important to trust your taste preferences than focusing solely on the year. Here are some points to consider regarding the year of Pu-erh tea.
Aged Puerh Tea Buying Guide
The most crucial factor in enjoying Pu-erh tea is its taste. If you find a tea that you enjoy and it tastes clean and good to you, it’s worth buying, regardless of the year. Taste should be your primary consideration.
Understanding the Year
- Raw Pu-erh Tea: Pu-erh teas that are 1-2 years old typically have a bitter taste with a sweet aftertaste. Good Pu-erh teas have a faster and longer-lasting sweet aftertaste. If you prefer a less bitter taste and a quicker transition to sweetness, consider buying raw tea that has been aged longer.
- Ripe Pu-erh Tea: Ripe Pu-erh tea undergoes manual fermentation and can be consumed immediately. Newly fermented tea may have a fermentation smell that needs time to dissipate. Typically, after 2-3 years, the fermentation smell disappears, and the tea tastes its best. Longer aging usually results in better taste. Note that, compared to raw tea, same-year ripe tea is often cheaper.
Consider the Tea’s Origin
- The region where the tea trees grow can affect the taste of Pu-erh tea. Some sellers may claim that Pu-erh tea from a year with drought in Yunnan is sweeter and has lower production. While this claim may sound plausible, it’s essential to remember that the taste of tea depends more on the type of tea tree and the region than on the specific weather conditions in a given year.
Aged Puerh Storage Duration Matters
Many Pu-erh tea enthusiasts buy tea for aging. Storing Pu-erh tea for a couple of years can enhance its flavor. By waiting for a few years to drink it, you can experience the flavor transformations and increase the tea’s value. If you intend to store tea, consider buying newer tea or tea within the first year or two after production. These teas are more affordable, and after a couple of years of aging, they often taste better and become more valuable.