The famous fairy tale of Aladdin is a well beloved story that even movie adaptation of this story can be a money making business even to this day. We can fondly remember the royal sorcerer tricking Aladdin's wife with the 'new lamps for old' exchange so that the sorcerer (the baddie) can get his hands to own the genie that resided in that old lamp.
Older pu erh is like an old lamp that has a genie inside. This genie inside your older pu erh is called complexity. There is complexity in older puerh that is not found in newer pu. This complexity is made up of a combination of taste and aroma that is only present with 'time in storage'. The pu erh must had been stored away for a certain period and in a climate that will aged the pu erh. In my opinion, about 8-10 years for raw pu erh and 6-8 years for ripe pu erh. The tea when stored away, will age to a smooth, sweet and mellow cup of tea. You can actually taste the difference between a newly pressed pu and an old pu.
Another reason you may consider buying older pu erh is the price. Yes, older pu are and should be more expensive than newer made ones. But if you looked harder, you can actually can buy a decent older cake that is comparable in price to a new tea now available. The 1st pix shows a 2007 Xiaguan. This 12 year old tea can still be purchased for about $80 (I found several online and teashops that sells this tea for under $80 as I post this blog). For this price , you are not only paying for the tea, you are also paying for the 12 years of storage. New pu erh can be expensive. This would be due to the higher cost of production (salaries, rent, warehousing). I have seen a couple of anomalies where a previous year's production is cheaper than a current year's pu erh tea. If you are a tea drinker and wished to age some tea yourself, may I humbly suggest buying a slightly older tea (3-5 years old) that will already give you a head start in your storage adventures. Storing away a 10 year old tea for another 10 years.....you will get a 20 year old tea for your efforts.
Thats my 2 cents worth. Time to watch Aladdin. Its a whole new world out there!