Appropriate storage methods and conditions are extremely important for tea, especially for raw Puerh (Sheng Pu 生普).
Why raw Puerh (Sheng Pu) is so attractive to many tea lovers? Well, the answer is quite straight forwards and simple:
- it has charming refreshing mixture of grassy, woody, flora, nuts and/or fruity flavour and it tastes sweet !
- Indeed the woody note would become more intense and the color of tea liquor is getting more richer with the aging but still it would be very charming on the tip of tongue and easy & pleasant to swallow into throat.
- Each Sheng Pu spears out amazing transformation story during the natural post-fermentation aging process. It is a drinkable antique, the older the better.
This is an old Puerh (7542 raw Puerh of 1999 according to the wrapping paper), unfortunately it apparently has been stored in a wet and humid fermentation conditions that it confused me with the flavour and taste from ripe Puerh. It was my first time tasted the wet-storaged raw Puerh; it certainly gave me a chance to re-assert the dry-post-fermentation approach for my own Puerh collections.
For this questionable Raw Puerh (Sheng Pu), I would suggest the following:
- wash it twice instead of once
- Shorten the infusion time from the first few infusions
- Drink it at the suitable temperature, i.e.. 45-60 Celsius
- Store it with the original paper in a air-flow environment, hopefully the time in dried storage manner can further evaporate the notions of strong earthy and rotten wood flavor and spicy taste.
7542 is a very famous blending receipt from Menghai Tea Factory. After checking with some Puerh experts in China and Taiwan, I understand the well aged Raw Puerh can be very expensive and often are more than what I can afford. Therefore, personally I like the idea of taking my own responsibility for the storage based on what I can afford and getting old together with my tea, instead of shopping the high priced already ‘aged’ tea.
For those who have problem with stomach should avoid drinking the freshly made Sheng Pu, too much and/or too strong. Remember, tea is only healthy if you were willing to listen to your own body.