12/01: A Flat Pu-erh Tea

A flat pu-erh tea is observed when the tea has stored for a period of time, when brewing it, it losts its aroma, and it even tastes awful.

I had talked about this a few years back.

Some tea experts have found that this is a must-have phenomenon for a tea to age, most of the time. Let's say we place our tea into a storage environment with somewhat ideal conditions: say the humidity about 70%, and the temperature in the range of 22-30 celsius. It is said that a tea made with big tree leaves would enter this state after 5 and half year, while a plentation tea takes a bit longer, about 6 years.

You might be shocked when a pleasant tea used to be so wonderful, now became so bad you simply wanted to toss it into the trash.

In a much similar situation, when you bought a 'semi-aged' tea that was about 5-8 years old from a vendor, and it tasted so bad, you felt being cheated on.

You must hated the guys whom sold you the trash.

But don't despair, it is the end of tunnel!

Why? Some researchers reason that with over 60 elements and compounds existed in a Pu-erh tea, some very complex chemical/physical/biological changes cause this 'slum' condition, and it is short lived.

If the tea is good, soon enough the 'trash' tea would start to change after one year or so, after that everytime you try it, it becomes better.

So don't jump to a conclusion so fast, and go easy on these flat Pu-erh teas, you might be surprised in a long run.

It is that complicated in a wonderful Pu-erh tea world.

Comments made

How would you describe the taste following the 'slum' period? What is it one should go for in a 7+ year old semi-age puerh?
13/01 09:35:55
After the slum period, a tea tastes like a normal tea again, it may not be better than you expected, but it is improving. A 7+ year old semi-age puerh is most likely out the slum period, so it's easier to figure out.
14/01 06:58:58
Once it reaches this state I've found that breaking up the cake (if I'm only doing one) and re-vivifying it in a basket or open glass jar for a year or so, often longer, really helps. It at least shortens the time. When a 5 to 7 year old tea has behaved as Jim describes, I've had great results. Double rinsing for those wetter cakes helps too.
02/03 19:20:06

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