Side Effects Of Compressing Pu'er Tea

 

Today I discuss some of my experiences with compressed pu'er, especially as it related to the maocha version of the same tea. Does compressed tea need to acclimate? WIll it age differently than loose tea? Let's dive in!


Compressing Pu’er Is Optional

Despite the term maocha often meaning an unfinished tea when applied to other categories of tea, pu’er maocha usually just means the tea is still loose-leaf and hasn’t been compressed. Compression is an optional last step, that has a variety of effects on the tea itself, however slight.

Pu’er tea being dried. After which, it will be loose-leaf pu’er or  maocha .

Pu’er tea being dried. After which, it will be loose-leaf pu’er or maocha.

How Does Compressing Raw Pu’er Change It?

The most notable difference early on will be in the first few weeks/months as the tea acclimates. In this early period, the compressed tea will often be much tighter on flavor and aroma. After a few months, however, it should regain it’s flavor and aroma. The steaming and pressing will also have a small impact on the overall flavor and the integrity of the leaf. The tea will be affected in the long-term as well, since the compressed tea will oxidize at a slower rate than the maocha due to the difference in surface area.