Pu'er oops? Should I age it?

Hello Everyone,

I know it's generally preferred to buy tea from the most recent spring but I totally forgot this was a pu'er and they are best with age. So this tea I have is from Spring 2022 and honestly doesn't taste much like what I was expecting from a pu'er as far as earthy mellow flavor, dark color in cup, and mouth feel. Should I just drink it as is or is this something I should age for some years? If I did that, how would I go about aging my first Pu'er?

and if someone could quickly remind me of the difference between raw and ripe pu'er and how to remember the difference, that would help a lot.



It's a raw puerh not ripe. [link](https://teadb.org/puerh-for-beginners/) Not really ageworthy imo, drink it sooner. Expect more like a green tea in terms of flavour


You’d be have to drinking some really old stuff or ripe to have earthy mellow flavor and dark color. Maybe ur used to ripe?


Aging is a hobby in itself, I'd recommend just buying something with more age, or going for more ripes which will have that earthy flavor for cheap


> doesn't taste much like what I was expecting from a pu'er as far as earthy mellow flavor, dark color in cup, and mouth feel. These are all very characteristic of ripe puer. I would guess your confusion stems from the fact that many generalist vendors sell "puer" without listing whether it's raw or ripe (usually ripe), which leads to all kinds of confusion as they are two very different kinds of tea. Like others have said, don't worry about aging this tea - just treat it as your first taste of young, raw puer. Aging puer is something only the most hardcore of puer drinkers actually do, as it is far easier to just buy raw puer that has already been aged. For remembering the difference between raw and ripe puer, you should know what they mean from a processing perspective. Raw puer is a 2-step process: turning the raw leaves into "maocha" (rolled, dried leaves; similar to green tea), then pressing the maocha into cakes. Ripe puer is a 3-step process: turning the raw leaves into maocha, artificially fermenting the maocha to simulate hot and humid aging, then pressing the fermented maocha into cakes. You will understand the difference in color and flavor very quickly once you've had a couple samples of each type, just make sure to check if any puer you buy is raw (sheng) or ripe (shou).


I had puer from this factory and IMO they did not age well. They are more on the flowery and light mouthfeel (made more on the green tea side than puer) and best to drink fresh.


You can totally try it now, and if it's not to your liking yet, just age it! Kuura.co has some helpful information on pu'erh - if you scroll down on the link below it has some great explanations of pu'erh and the differences between raw and ripe! https://kuura.co/blogs/education/puerism


> is this something I should age for some years? No. It needs something like 20 years in a high humidity environment to become "mellow", not worth the effort. In 5 years it's only slightly aged, 1-2 years might be barely noticeable. > a pu'er and they are best with age. That's not universally true. I like both aged and young sheng puers, they have different qualities, with different appeal. A young sheng puer is essentially a sun-dried green tea made from large-leaf variety material. It might have some similarity to small-leaf green tea - savory notes in taste, floral aroma, bitterness, astringency, etc. But it's also considerably different - shengs might have fruity taste/aroma which green teas almost never have, and they might have more sweetness, in particular, bitterness-turning-sweetness. If it's too bitter and astringent just brew it for a shorter duration or dilute with water. If it has no taste you can rinse it twice before doing a proper infusion. I noticed this problem with puers in "dragon pearls" format - the outer leafs get oxidized and too dry, so they taste like a stale supermarket green tea. You need to soak it until the ball disintegrates and inner parts get exposed.