In my previous post, I shared how storing Chinese tea in your kitchen can be a bad idea, especially if it gets hot, humid and fragrant when you cook there. Also, a good seal is important to keep the teas fresh and pure. Like for wine, an odor free, well tempered place is best.
Some friends of Chinese teas, especially half fermented teas like oolong and green teas, feel that storage is just a way to keep the tea from deteriorating as it looses its freshness. The have truly good news from Master Tse, Chung Hsien. There is the process of 'pei huo' (i.e. warming the dry tea leaves with light heat, like roasting coffee beans). Don't push the heat to hard or the tea will have a taste of coal. Tea masters roast their old tea themselves. Oolong teas can then be preserved for over 20 years and have added flavor, just like old Bordeaux.
There is a particular Chinese tea that will taste better with age: (sheng) Pu Erh. But contrary to wine, raw Pu Erh is not afraid of some humidity and higher temperature. Taiwan is a perfect place to store it. Humidity and heat will accelerate the natural post fermentation process. But here again, don't store it around other food or in your kitchen. Best is to create your tea cave in a dedicated place.
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