There are two main ways to store tea. Natural storage means you store tea in a dry environment to let tea age by itself without any human intervention. On the second hand, tea can be stored in a wet environment, where various factors like humidity, temperature, and oxygen are controlled to artificially age tea. Wet storage can be considered an art and is an endeavour that requires a lot of skill, thus, not advised to do by yourself at home. There are masters in different countries like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, where people have been doing tea storage professionally for a long time. Back in the day, most of the well-known wet storage teas came from Hong Kong, that's why this method is called Hong Kong Storage. Storing the same tea in two different environments means you can get a unique tea as a result.
I'm happy to present to you a very nice example of a Hong Kong storage shu pu'er made from big leaves (the 8th grade) harvested from old tea trees back in 2015 and stored in Hong Kong since its production. The traditional processing and medium-level wet-pilling let tea transform over time and develop into something very special. This particular tea will show you how different some teas can taste when artificially stored in a wet environment for 5 years. A little bit rough but a very interesting and useful experience.
The dry tea leaves have a sweet, fresh aroma with notes of potato, beetroot, and corn. After rinsing, the aroma transforms into notes of wood, artichoke, and sweet potato. There will be hints of sunflower seeds and oil in the background. The taste is fresh, light, and bright with sweet notes of wood, nuts, bay leaf, and parsley. It has an oily texture and sweet mineral long-lasting aftertaste.