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29 August 2009 @ 04:53 pm
Proper Pu'erh Storage for Best Results  

A good Pu’erh tea for brewing and consumption requires a quality base tea, careful pre-processing and well-designed post-processing.  Pre-processing refers to the preparatory steps to produce the “raw materials” (green mao cha) and post-processing refers to the storage condition under which Pu’erh teas are aged to enhance proper fermentation. In other words, it is not necessarily true that the older the Pu’erh tea, the better.   A superior Pu’erh tea for brewing requires that one start with a good quality “raw tea,” that is carefully and properly pre-processed, and then aged under optimum storage conditions.

 

Tea Master Vesper Chan, a pioneer in Pu’erh dry storage, states that the ideal conditions for storage are an environment with between 50%-60% humidity and a temperature range between 60-70 degrees. As different parts of the world vary in their weather and humidity, Pu’erh teas stored in different environments yield different results. For example, Pu’erh teas stored in relatively dry places like Beijing or Los Angeles will age to become more aromatic, but they will take longer to achieve the smoothness that teas aged in more humid places like Hong Kong or GuangZhou will exhibit.

 

To prove his point, we brewed two pots of the Bana Tea Limited Edition, one from a cake brought back to Hong Kong from Los Angeles and one that Tea Master Chan kept in Hong Kong. As we tasted the two concoctions, it becomes clear that the brew from the cake aged in Los Angeles retained the original tea aroma and freshness while the brew from the cake aged in Hong Kong was darker in color, deeper in flavor, and less aromatic.

 

Pu’erh tea should not be exposed to excessive humidity for prolonged periods of time, or it will become flat and dull.  Pu’erh tea should be stored well above the floor level and be given good ventilation.  If you have a large amount, the tea should be rotated once every six months to even out their exposure to fresh air. Extreme variations in temperature should be avoided.

 

Regarding the use of a humidifier in dry places, Master Chan suggested that it would be fine to use one a few hours once a month to promote faster fermentation. He further stressed that the storage environment must be clean, free of odor and away from direct sunlight. If you are storing a large quantity, always store the raw Pu’erh and ripe Pu’erh separately.

 

 

 
 
( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
lethargus on August 30th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Merci, mais......
Few people at the beginning of the nineteenth century needed an adman to tell them what they wanted.
J K Galbraith
Linda Louiellouie on August 30th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Merci, mais......
You're right. But people at the beginning of the nineteeth century who stored Pu'erh teas were probably tea vendors themselves and they stored the tea in warehouses. Ordinary people at that time (primarily in China) bought tea for immediate consumption. In GuangZhou (formerly called Canton), people loved to drink Pu'erh tea with Dim Sum at teahouses. Pu'erh tea as a collectible did not start until the 1980's.
soupnoodlessoupnoodles on September 1st, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)
Far be it from me to contradict someone with "Master" in his title. But I think some caution about dry storage is warranted. 30 year Beijing stored cakes I tasted in Maliandao had lost most of their character and flavor. 15 year cakes still retained a certain ethereality, but had definitely lost something important. 10 year old cakes stored in the Bay Area have, by taste and aroma and look, barely aged. Anyone want to host a Bay Area meetup, where I can present these examples?

I grant that Hong Kong storage is often excessively wet, although that may be less the climate than the common practice of using "Steam warehouses" to accelerate aging (even in such a humid climate). But desert storage is not the solution. At least not based on what I have tasted. The first famous dry storage I heard of was the famous '88 Cheeng Beeng. And that was merely Hong Kong (or similar climate) storage with some extra air circulation, according to the information I saw.
Linda Louiellouie on September 1st, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
The famous "88 Cheeng Beeng" is stored by my tea master, Mr. Vesper Chan, AKA Chan Kwok Yee. Hong Kong's weather is very humid, but only during the spring and not year round. In fact, fall and winter are comfortably dry there. During the season when humidity is high, Master Chan suggests that you open the window to allow more air circulation. The natural change of humidity during the four seasons actually is conducive to the aging of Puerh. Places where humidity is high and the weather is hot all year round are not ideal to age Puerh. Puerh that is aged in those countries are usually flat in taste, according to Master Chan.
soupnoodlessoupnoodles on September 1st, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
I go to Hong Kong every year, typically in the fall or winter, and am familiar with the Hong Kong humidity pattern, especially in the dry season. It is certainly dryer than Hong Kong in summer, but Hong Kong in fall or winter is very significantly more humid than it gets in the Bay Area at any time of year, not to mention Los Angeles, with which I am less familiar, but which is, I believe, practically a desert. Beijing, to judge by what I've read, and what I tasted, is also likely significantly dryer than Hong Kong at its dryest.

The point of view about Hong Kong maybe being too wet, and arguing for a 50-60% humidity is an interesting and unconventional stance, a worthy point of advocacy that may well have merit. Maybe Yunnan would be more like it? But the specific locations mentioned seem sugnficantly dryer than that recommendation, and therefore likely to disappoint.
Linda Louiellouie on September 1st, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
The point I was trying to make is not to say that Hong Kong is too wet to store Puerh. Hong Kong and Guangdung are relatively perfect places to age Puerh due to the humidity in the environment. I have always had the believe that dry places like L.A. (although we do have neighborhoods that are close to the ocean)are not conducive to age Puerh. Master Chan did not contradict that stance; however, while he feels Puerh tea ages much slower in environment with less humidity, the tea stored in dry places tend to retain its initial aroma as compared to the tea stored in places with high humidity. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the changes in the tea's chemical compounds are slower.
I think there are many other variables to consider besides the places where the tea has been aged when evaluating a tea. Unless we compare the same tea, the same storage condition, except stored in different environment, it is difficult to judge what variables affected the tea. It would be a good experiment to undertake.
jeffoman on September 1st, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
What do you mean by good ventilation? You don't mean something like a fan in your storage cupboard right? Like if I keep my teas in a cupboard which I open daily or every few days that's fine?

Also what has been the experience of people in the Midwest, where we have dry COLD winters and reltively more humid (not wet) warm summers?
Linda Louiellouie on September 2nd, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Good ventilation means the tea should have interaction with air. It is the air that enhances the natural fermentation process. An ideal place to put the Puerh tea would be on a open shelf in a den or a room. A kitchen pantry/cabinet is not a good place because of odors from other foods kept in it. Puerh has a strong ability to absorb other odor in the environment. If you put the tea in a storage cupboard, make sure the other storage items have no odor. Open the cupboard door frequently is certainly a good idea.

I think none of us has a lot of experience storing Puerh tea in US cities because Puerh is relatively unknown to Americans until recently. Generally speaking, natural change of humidity during seasonal changes is fine, so long as there is not huge fluctuation of humidity within a short period of time.

My philosophy is that there is not a lot I can do about the climate and weather of the place in which I live. The tea still will age, but may be at a slower pace, as the place I live is quite dry. So long as my Puerh tea is of good quality and I take good care of it, I will enjoy it regardless.

Linda Louie
Bana Tea Company

jeffoman on September 6th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Storage
I live in a small apartment so I have few choices for storage but I do have a pretty good, solid cupboard that I open several times a day. I came up with an idea for storing the 100g sheng tuochas that I have unwrapped and tasted and I was wondering what you think.

I just use a small jar about the same size as the tuo and use a regular coffee filter fastened with a rubber band as a cover.

It's what I do when I take a week's worth of tea off of my cakes, which I then re-store in paper bags. That way I have tea from several cakes (or my broken shoucha tuos) ready for drinking. I can write the name of the tea on the top of the coffee filter.

It seemed like a good way to keep the shengcha pieces of tuo together and still let them breathe while being able to see how they are doing. Is this a dumb idea?

What about putting a vase half full of water in this cupboard (it's small) to provide a little humidity?

Thanks!

Jeff Oman
Linda Louiellouie on September 7th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
Re: Storage
I think you are doing the right thing. You said you use a small jar. Is it air tight? Actually, you don't need to use a jar. Wrapping the tea in a paper bag or a coffee filter is good enough.
As to adding a little humidity in the cupboard, that should be fine. Make sure you change the water periodically. You said you have a pretty humid summer where you live. Your teas would do fine even without it.

jeffoman on September 7th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: Storage
Yes a small jar.

The coffee filter is the lid so the tea can breathe (I think). It's so much easier using a jar because then I don't have to shake small pieces out of a bag or loose them unwrapping from paper. Then I can use them as well to store the parts I pry off my bricks and cakes. I just want to be sure that the porosity of the coffee filter is enough to allow enough air so the little critters that help ferment the tea don't suffer.

We do have relatively humid summers but our winters are bone dry, and coming soon.....sigh.

Thank you!

Jeff
Linda Louiellouie on September 7th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
Re: Storage
Oh, I misunderstood. I thought it is a closed jar. I think the way you store the Pu-erh is well-designed and thoughtful. I know exactly what you mean about the potential messiness of the loosened tea leaves. I don't like the broken tea leaves getting all over my table or counter and wonder why no one has ever done anything about it. For that reason, I designed a custom-made box to fit the cakes for my customers. The box is stack-able, can see-thru from the top and has a label on the side to indicate what tea is stored inside.
jeffoman on September 7th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: Storage
Good Idea!

Very much what I had in mind except mine don't stack.
I hope that sometime soon I can see for myself as one of your customers.

Jeff
jasonwitt on September 5th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
Good to learn these things.
I'm learning all about Pu-erh with special focus on its spiritual effects on me. It's clear that I have a different experience with different kinds of Pu-erh tea. I'm interested in what aging the tea will do to me as far as a spiritual feeling, and I know it's not completely separable from the flavor of the tea. It's good to know about the differences in humidity here in determining what kind of experience I might get.
jeffoman on September 6th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
I agree, there is something profound (spiritual) about pu-erh; something that touches you. Before I began exploring it, my favorite teas were my Monkey Picked Wu Long and my Jasmine Bi Luo Chun. Now I barely touch my other tea cupboard (although I did enjoy some Jasmine Pearl today).

Pu-erh speaks to you. It's an adventure in tea and it's methods. The millennia of tradition that refined it, the beauty of the tea cakes and in the pot, the amazing land and trees that provide it.

It's a living tea. And it can live a long time. It captures all your senses and does something really special with them. I've never gotten that feeling of well being I get from shoucha from another tea. And shengcha can be so full of Qi, so Yang, that it can be even be alarming sometimes.

Even the brewing of pu-erh is special and requires gongfu (thoughtful skill).

Learning about how to store it is like learning how to nurture this living tea and how these different enviroments effect the tea and then in turn affect you.

Every month I promise myself I'm going to get that Mao Xie I've been wanting or more of my Mount Emei Mao Feng. Then I see that pu-ehr I haven't tried yet and my small (very small) monthly budget for tea is gone.

Pu-erh has taken over and I like it! (maybe there is a living organism in the tea that is responsible: KIDDING).

Jeff Oman
jasonwitt on September 6th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Yes, I like Shengcha for its strong Qi that's even "alarming." I prefer that to a feeling of well-being. And I can confirm that Pu-erh has taken over for me too.
jeffoman on September 6th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Being over 40 and a little too thoughtful for my own good, I've done "alarming" in more ways, more times than I care to count. The prolonged derangement of the senses that I've pursued has calmed to the pursuit of peaceful well-being from a perfect cuppa tea (amongst other things).

Gate Gate Para Gate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!

But to each his/her own
Linda Louiellouie on September 7th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
"Alarming or well being," here is a quote from my webmaster about Pu-erh tea. "Stopping for a cup of Pu-erh tea has meant a moment of personal time, aroma therapy, an energy lift and a privileged feeling like I am enjoying the very best teas in the world." I think she sums it up so very well.

Linda Louie
Bana Tea Co.
jasonwitt on September 7th, 2009 06:16 am (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
I certainly agree now that I think Pu-erh teas are the best of all in the world. I've wondered about the aromatherapy part, too. Is it similar to the scents of Oolong that studies have shown can be so calming? To me, Pu-erh has been more energizing than calming so far. With that energy lift.
jeffoman on September 7th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
That's interesting.

Before pu-erh I smoked a lot more than I do now, I'd say I smoke significantly less now, because the tobacco smoke interferes with my ability to savor the tea's scent and flavor. I also notice much less desire to smoke since I started drinking pu-erh.

I loved the smell of my Ti Kwan Yin too, of course, but to less affect.

I think I find pu-erh more calming because I drink far more shou than I do sheng. I like it very strong. The first couple of times I brewed sheng I did it wrong and had a bad experience. It's been hard to shake that first impression but I think I've done it and have pretty much only shengcha coming this month. I think shoucha is more tolerant of brewing mishaps. Soupnoodles turned me on to Jingmai and I can't wait to get try it. That LONG wait from China.....


Jeff
jasonwitt on September 7th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
I was only able to handle the Sheng after drinking some Shou. It was that powerful for me. At first I couldn't sleep even when I was tired and that caused me some anxiety. But I've gotten over that once I acclimated to Pu-erh with some confidence that it wouldn't hit me so hard with the Shou. Now I no longer worry about sleep because I don't fear I can't do it. This is teaching me that my approach and attitude has a lot more to do with the kind of experience I have than I previously realized.
jeffoman on September 7th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Exactly!

The confidence I've gotten with shoucha, the ability to just intuitively prepare it, has relieved the anxiety I too experienced with shegcha. But I kept reading about all these great experiences people were having with sheng and I knew I was missing something.

There really is a reason brewing tea is gongfu. Not just throwing a teabag in a cup, or measuring and timing according to a formula, that you learn with time is really just a guideline.

Now that I've gained a bit more confidence I can't wait to try more shengs.

Jeff
jasonwitt on September 7th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
I haven't had a bad experience though with brewing the Shengcha so I'm not sure what you mean here. I felt my trouble with it was just that I needed to get to know it and have the right spiritual approach. All I know is the Shoucha brews well with Gong Fu with multiple short steepings never reaching 2 minutes and the Shengcha I've had to brew for never under 2 minutes. Now, I'm fairly new to Pu-erh so I don't really have that much experience with it. But I'm not sure what you mean about bad brewing here.
jeffoman on September 7th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
For my first few brews of sheng I used a pot that was too big (400ml), poured too slow, and way too much leaf without much in my stomache. Those young Ancient Tree teas can be pretty strong. I'm also new to pu-erhs. I felt quite unwell.

As far as brewing I actually do the opposite. With both teas I start short and move to long. I like shoucha strong so my first steeps can be just a few seconds using more tea rather than longer infusion times. Then I turn down the heat until I want to squeeze the last bit of flavor out by raising both the temp and the time. Kind of like Wu-Longs.

I haven't really established a technique with sheng yet but I don't think I could drink a 2 minute brew for my first cup.

One thing is for sure though. Tastes differ, and there is no arguing with success. If you like it, you like it.

I have my little dragon egg pot ready. All I have to do is get my first batches to get here (well I have tried three other shengs, they are there in my cupboard). I was fortunate in that YunnanSourcing had a pair of small Jing Mai cakes: one sheng, one shou. I can try them both. Have some other goodies coming too including a Banhzang shou cake I won at auction for $1.00 and the most beutiful teacup to drink it all in:

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php ref=mt&listing_id=26771629.

I have very little extra income to play with, but I had a lucky month.

Jeff
jasonwitt on September 7th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Well, I don't have a lot of extra income either and I'm not really impressed by the more expensive Pu-erhs at least so far. I can go with cheap ones for everyday drinking and just buy expensive ones in minute amounts. I couldn't see your teacup online with that link you gave but a dragon egg teapot sounds really cool.
jasonwitt on September 8th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Nice teaware. I thought the Dragon Egg might be one of those illustrated pots. They're hard to use, though. I thought about getting a tetsubin after I read they can make more difference in the cup of tea even than Yi Xing teapots.
jeffoman on September 8th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
A long time ago, before I even drank tea, I wandered into a antique store and the guy had a box full of Yixing (like 20 pots). He only wanted 100.00 for them. I thought they were beautiful and got them fast before he could change his mind. Some of the best were broken over the years being on display. Others made great gifts. But I have a teapot for every style of tea I drink now. I really like the simple ones, like my Dragon Egg, which is a beautiful green blue with tiny yellow flecks. The cover rings nicely.

What's a tetsubin?
jasonwitt on September 8th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
A tetsubin is one of those cast iron teapots but it's a pot for steeping and not a kettle for heating. I may end up going with that because I have Yi Xing cups that I steep in but could use the tetsubin for Pu-erh and just pour it into the Yi Xing cups. That way I'd be using both the iron and the clay. I'll eventually do the research on it I need to make a decision.
jeffoman on September 8th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
We were talking about tea storage a while back. I've found these little bags works great for storing small, or even 100g tuos and even loose teas. The owner's a pretty decent guy too.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400071968470&category=1238&emailtemplateid=15613487&sellerid=RiQT1QfV9O0smukrS4h9RQ==&buyerid=L6rwn9EkeWtLaH5YrD+4dA==&refid=store&ssPageName=ADME:B:SEMK:US:LISTG
jasonwitt on September 8th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Oh, whoa. Those are incredible. I'd like to get colorful stuff like this from Yunnan. Definitely. It's one ethnic group I wouldn't mind identifying with. I don't have an Ebay account but this might make me get one.
jeffoman on September 8th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
YangHanYun, the seller of these little bags on eBay, is trying to do a lot to bring local small producers to the international market. He knowledgeable, and very willing to answer questions and hear suggestions. A great reason to get an eBay account.

Jeff
jasonwitt on September 8th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Yeah, this company is on my wish list now so eventually I'll get around to doing Ebay. I'm Pu-erh-focused enough that it's going to happen when I get some time.
Linda Louiellouie on September 9th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
I'm glad you two are having so much fun discussing various topics--from qi to sheng Pu'erh to Yixing tea pots and the Yunnan fabric bags. Your tea pot is beautiful, by the way. So are the little fabric bags. The price is also very reasonable.

Have either one of you tried to brew Pu'erh using a Gaiwan? A Gaiwan is a three piece bowl that can be used as a cup or a tea brewing instrument. Gaiwan does not add to the flavor of the tea that a well-seasoned Yixing pot can because it is in porcelain. However, Gaiwan is very good when it comes to enjoying the aroma of the tea. You can do this experiment:

Warm the Gaiwan with boiling water for two minutes. Put 4g of tealeaves into the gaiwan. (Do not add water) Cover the gaiwan and wait a couple of minutes. Lift the lid and smell the aroma. It's intoxicating. You can sense the aroma that you may not be able to taste in the tea. When you brew the tea in a gaiwan, you can do the same with each brew. You can also smell the leaves in the bowl each time you empty out the tea.

Gaiwan comes in two sizes. I have small hands so I prefer the smaller size.

Linda Louie
jeffoman on September 9th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
I have a lovely Gaiwan, and white porcelain is really appealing to me, but I have big fingers. For teas brewed at lower temps like delicate greens it works ok for me but with pu-erhs and red teas I burn my fingers. Yixing is perfect that way. It has a very low thermal conductivity. I suppose like everything else the Gaiwan just takes practice.

I'm going to try that experiment with one of my more fragrant teas. The few times that I have used it to brew I found the aroma even sticks to the cover.

Jeff
Linda Louiellouie on September 9th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
Ha ha, no pain, no gain. Every tea drinkers has burned his or her fingers one time of another. Yes, it takes practice to control the bowl when you pour the tea. Open the lid a little bit, hold the bowl with your thumb on one side and your third and fourth finger on the other. Tilt the bowl when you pour out the tea and use your second finger to stablize the lid. Once you get a hang of it, it is very easy. Trust me, my fingers have been burned many times.
jeffoman on September 9th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
Re: Good to learn these things.
I know!
I had two Gaiwans. One of paper thin porcelain with the Heart Sutra printed on it. It was really pretty, but it got dropped when my fingers were burned. Just the lid broke, so I use it on my altar now with a tea-light candle in it. I guess it worked out ok, but I like my other one too. May be I need to get a cheap one to practice with.

One thing I like with my larger Yixing pot is to wait for it to cool a bit and hold it between my hands. I like moving my hands over smooth warm clay. Tea drinking has something to offer all the senses.

Jeff
mcgelligot on September 12th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Storing Pu-ehr Tea
I am wondering if storing Pu-erh Tea could be done in an old cigar humidor. I have a small one and my wife somehow talked me into giving up cigar smoking. This could be a way to make good use of it, and perhaps acquire a more healthy obsession.
jeffoman on September 13th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Re: Storing Pu-ehr Tea
(Seemed like things were getting too quiet)

I was thinking that would be perfect!
I was in a humidor the other day and thought how great it would be for pu-erh. Can't afford cigars anymore but I still love the smell.

If you could get the scent of cigars out of it. Isn't cedar used a lot too?

I find that pu-erh actually curbs my cravings to smoke significantly so you might be killing two birds with one stone.

Jeff Oman
mcgelligot on September 13th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Storing Pu-ehr Tea
Thanks for the reply. I'll have to give it a try.
Linda Louiellouie on September 13th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Storing Pu-ehr Tea
That is a very interesting question. Since I don't smoke cigar, I know very little about cigar humidors. I tried looking it up in the internet, but it does not tell me a whole lot.
Without knowing the specifics of a humidor, I would consider the following:
From the pictures I saw in the internet, some humidors are made of cidar. I would be concerned about the odor of the cidar wood. It will affect the tea cake.
It is important for Pu'erh to be able to interact with air. Will your tea cake be able to "breath" in a humidor box?
Jeff made a good point about the odor of cigar. If the odor is present, you may not want to use it, unless you want your Pu'erh to smell like cigar. ;-)
One thing you can do is to experiment yourself. Age a tea cake inside a humidor and one outside of the humidor. Check for the differences of the tea cakes in six months. It may give you a good answer as to what you want to do in the long run.

Linda Louie
theearnedarf on September 14th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Storing Pu-ehr Tea
Several folks on Teachat have done just that -- bought purpose-built cigar humidors WITHOUT cedar... mahogany or walnut can be used instead. It takes a while for even the natural wood smells to fade enough that tea can be placed in it. Most wood humidors made for the US market are made with cedar - the proprietor of the humidor company says that a lot of European cigar lovers prefer a less scented wood. The humidors were custom made by http://www.aristocrathumidors.com/

There are photos of at least two of their setups at:
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?p=82216

I got one of these to experiment with, since it's fairly dry where I live; I haven't posted any photos yet. These setups are fairly expensive - roughly $1200-2500 US for a small to medium sized unit.

The other problem is that they are designed to be sealed most of the time; this means that the humidifiers don't need to be filled often, but unless you open the door frequently, the tea won't get much ventilation. Another risk is that the environment inside will be *too* stable. I am thinking of turning down the humidity during the winter to sort of simulate the natural aging process, but of course it's impossible to perfectly simulate nature.

Another tea friend here in LA used a large clothing wardrobe (cloth with a foil lining), and has a large kitchen breadrack and a humidifier (with controller) inside.
jeffoman on September 13th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Linda is right.
Cedar wood and cigar scents are both penetrating.
Try a 100g cake of each, shoucha and shengcha.
As Linda has been pointing out, air movement is really important too. The walk-in humidors I've been in were ventilated. Maybe not enough?

Jeff Oman
jackpong2jackpong2 on September 25th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
Tea storage
I had read through your postage and the comments. I do agree with you to certain degree on the conditions of the tea storage conditions .
However, I would to suggest that the most suitable is condition for Puer tea is 70/80% of humidity and temperature should 70/80 degrees.
Which is the normal condition of South East Asia climate/ tropical climate ( (inshort tropical/equatorial climate ). I think so far Malaysia and Singapore conditions are the best condition to store puer tea.

The reason why I had stated such claims are due to the some experiments that myself and some hardcore puer tea lovers had done previously.
We had did what your master had similary done which we had use Menghai 1996 water blue label 水蓝印 tea from Hongkong and Malaysia storage. The results are similar as well. These tea was store in their respective countries for 13 years.
And it had proven that the "dry" and clean storage puer tea will have longer life span on the aromatic and freshness of the tea.

Some of the tea collectors in China now are looking for Malaysian storage teas as they had claimed that the Malaysian atorage teas are the cleanest and have the best preserved aroma for Puer tea.

However the Malaysian tea will not be as smooth as the HK counterparts with the same age ( due to the humidity and wetness of the storage )and they do need more time for fermentation. Teas store in Malaysia will need at least 10 to 15 years to get the aged smooth and aromatic feeling.
However, the original and the freshness will be well maintained.
The Malaysian storage puer tea brew colour is golden brown whereas the HK Brew is reddies dark brown.

Anyway, there are some tea lovers who does love the "wet storage" tea as they had claimed that these tea are smooth and have heavy aged taste.

And I do agree with jeffoman that Puer tea is a living tea as these tea could change from a ugly duckling to a beautiful swan when it ages beautifully.
Those who interested to have some Malaysian storage can PM me and I would send some to you for sampling as I am from Malaysia.

I am NOT trying to hard sell Malaysian storage tea but I think Malaysia storage tea does deserve some recognition on its own status and accord.
My two cents comments
jackpong2jackpong2 on September 25th, 2009 10:03 am (UTC)
Tea storage
I had read through your postage and the comments. I do agree with you to certain extend on the conditions of the tea storage conditions .
However, I would to suggest that the most suitable is condition for Puer tea is 70/80% of humidity and temperature should 70/80 degrees.
Which is the normal condition of South East Asia climate/ tropical climate ( (in short tropical/equatorial climate ). I think so far Malaysia and Singapore conditions are the best condition to store puer tea.

The reason why I had stated such claims are due to the some experiments that myself and some hardcore puer tea lovers had done previously.
We had did what your master had similary done which we had use Menghai 1996 water blue label 水蓝印 tea from Hongkong and Malaysia storage. The results are similar as well. These tea was store in their respective countries for 13 years.
And it had proven that the "dry" and clean storage puer tea will have longer life span on the aromatic and freshness of the tea.

Some of the tea collectors in China now are looking for Malaysian storage teas as they had claimed that the Malaysian storage teas are the cleanest and have the best preserved aroma for Puer tea.

However the Malaysian tea will not be as smooth as the HK counterparts with the same age ( due to the humidity and wetness of the storage )and they do need more time for fermentation. Teas store in Malaysia will need at least 10 to 15 years to get the aged smooth and aged feeling.
However, the original and the freshness will be well maintained.
The Malaysian storage puer tea brew colour is golden brown whereas the HK Brew is reddies dark brown.

Anyway, there are some tea lovers who does love the "wet storage" tea as they had claimed that these tea are smooth and have heavy aged taste.

And I do agree with jeffoman that Puer tea is a living tea as these tea could change from a ugly duckling to a beautiful swan when it ages beautifully.
Those who interested to have some Malaysian storage can PM me and I would send some to you for sampling as I am from Malaysia.

I am NOT trying to hard sell Malaysian storage tea but I feel that Malaysia storage tea does deserve some recognition on its own status and accord.
My two cents comments
Linda Louiellouie on October 13th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Tea storage
Thanks for such a detailed analysis. I have never tried Puerh stored in Malaysia and would love to try some for educational purposes. I do have a question. From what I was told speaking with Puerh merchants in China and Hong Kong, teas stored in Malaysia undergo aging faster due to the heat and high humidity. But you are indicating the opposite. Are you saying the weather in Malaysia is drier than in Hong Kong or China?

jackpong2jackpong2 on October 14th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Tea storage
Hi,
I will not dispute what the merchants had told you.
let share with some geographical facts that may explain my points.
They are right that in tropical countries like Malaysia, we are definitely much warmer and more humid that those in HK and some parts China. However please the above facts are only apply some months of the year. Why, during the summer some part of China are much warmer than Malaysia and during wet/ winter season HK and southern part of china are actually more humid than in Malaysia. When a PUER tea is overly soaked with moisture,then you have this wet storage effect..( That is reason why HK storage are consider wet storage.) Once a tea is soaked , an acute frementation will take place even the temperature is low, in fact when the frementation taks place it actually raises the temperature of the tea itself.Of course not to mentioned that it will artificially aged the tea. ( thats why wet storage have the woody and earthy taste but does have the aged and smooth feeling )

However , in Malaysia the temp and humidity are very constant but it does not 'Wet' the tea. therefore it will gives you the clean taste feeling.
But because of the a very constant environment, frementation does take place in a very constant manner.
Well I leave to you to decide which environment does the frenentation faster.
Lastely, Kindly give me your addres so that I could post the sample to you .
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