TokyoB wrote:But how can you ensure that the bacteria that are beneficial for proper aging do have sufficient humidity to grow?
Also, teas aged in Hong Kong and Taiwan obviously are exposed to rather high levels of humidity.
The humidity can be controlled the same way as how the shops in HK or Taiwan do or store in a semi-closed container with water in it to provide humidity or use "pumidor". So... the controlled aging done by controlling the humidity artificially
There's no way to ensure that we grow solely bacteria which are beneficial for aging. The teacake itself contains already all kinds of bacteria during processing, shipping, etc.
But we should make sure that we don't add much more additional bacteria into the tea.
Some microorganism can release chemical substance during the metabolism, that hampers growth of others.
If I am not wrong, one of the bacteria beneficial for the puerh aging release some kind of penicillin-kind- substances, which is literally an antibiotic. So.. pu aging could have "self-protection" by natural.
But if this bacteria is outgrown by others, things will be different.
That's why the storage should be clean, free of insects and do not introduce more microbes unnecessarily.