I was in Hong Kong last year and I wanted to brew a late night tea in my hotel room. The Xiaguan sales manager recommended me to buy this ripe tuo, telling me that this 2015 pu erh tea was actually much older and that Xiaguan had produced this tea 2 years earlier and had stored the tea away before releasing this tea in 2015.
I had noticed that the bigger pu erh tea factories like Xiaguan, Taetea and even Haiwan are actually 'storing away' pu erh tea (the finished product) and releasing this tea after a few years of storage. This applies to both raw and ripe pu erh tea. This makes a lot of sense. As a pu erh tea drinker, you will attest that newly produced pu erh tea is a bit rough and astringent especially for raw pu erh. You can also detect a fermentation smell in newly made ripe pu erh tea as well. If you had stored away these new pu erh tea away for 3-5 years, you will discover that the tea is much easier to drink. The aroma and taste is more smooth and mellow.
I think in this age, people demand 'instant gratification' when they buy and consume goods and services. It will be tough to sell/buy a product knowing the product is better 3-5 years down the road. I suppose these pu erh tea factories are making their new pu erh products a ready to brew/drink tea. In a way it is like buying older pu erh tea.
Back to this 2015 Xiaguan tea. I actually did not brew this tea when I had returned to my Hong Kong hotel room. I had went for late supper instead. I only opened this tea last week. This tea, to me, is still young, but I enjoyed the strong aroma and taste of this ripe tea. This tea would be a good candidate for aging for another 8-10 years.