Aging Puerh.


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby Tead Off » May 27th, '14, 23:35

kyarazen wrote:
Tead Off wrote:The only thing I would worry about is if the bamboo itself was giving off a strong odor. The bamboo is good protection, though. Try one jar with no plastic and the other with the ziplock. It's good to experiment. The main thing is to not contaminate the teas or expose them to the elements.


it could be an important component to get a certain storage flavour though :mrgreen:

I guess that would boil down to a personal preference. I know that the tea I've had that has been stored within pieces of bamboo stalk, I didn't care for. But, someone else may have a different experience. The main thing here is to try to understand what one is aiming for when aging a tea and not just let chance decide it all.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby Puerlife » May 28th, '14, 09:58

A goal, hm. Well, since I like young sheng I suppose preservation of aroma and flavor and protection against excessive humidity and odor are all more important than aging, which will happen anyway even in a plastic bag from what I've gathered from your posts, Teadoff. Hopefully I'll learn a lot about storage at the tea expo in KL next month.
I've been communicating with a new Malaysian friend who recently wrote this:
Quote from a senior collector who bought his few 88 Qingbing in early 90s and is still keeping them "Keeping raw puer tea in a water / non-porous jar is widely practised here as you see teashops are doing it everywhere. A lot of misinformation / confusion and most tea literature will advise against storing such a way to prevent accelerated ageing and also absence of tea aroma (i.e. tea oil that gives aroma cannot forced out). Personally, I will not do it especially for long term storage (>5 years) due to higher humidity & stale air trapped at the bottom of the jar which may have negative ageing impact on the tea. I have friends who tried this to prove a point and after 10 years of storage in such jar, the tea lost its aroma, taste flat and not long lasting". Just my two cents.

This same friend stores his new Dayi shengs (he loves Dayi) in a non-porous clay jar but not for more than three years to avoid accelerated aging. After that I don't know how he stores them.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » May 28th, '14, 10:46

sawadee.

indeed it is important to know what you like work towards it. i like nice good gushu shengs in the range of new to about 7-10 years. very seldom drink hk style now

regarding your other method in the jar, the issue of the tea becoming flat can be either due to the processing method, or that the water content of the cake was incorrect either. i would like to use the sealed sponge analogy again, if your sponge is wet, you seal it up, the sponge will remain wet forever as long as the packaging impermeable.. same for tea.

i've crudely in lab, determined the water content of the various 7-8 year old teas that i had liked, and also that of those that i dont, which is now becoming a way for me to standardize to be able to keep the aging within control.

Puerlife wrote:A goal, hm. Well, since I like young sheng I suppose preservation of aroma and flavor and protection against excessive humidity and odor are all more important than aging, which will happen anyway even in a plastic bag from what I've gathered from your posts, Teadoff. Hopefully I'll learn a lot about storage at the tea expo in KL next month.
I've been communicating with a new Malaysian friend who recently wrote this:
Quote from a senior collector who bought his few 88 Qingbing in early 90s and is still keeping them "Keeping raw puer tea in a water / non-porous jar is widely practised here as you see teashops are doing it everywhere. A lot of misinformation / confusion and most tea literature will advise against storing such a way to prevent accelerated ageing and also absence of tea aroma (i.e. tea oil that gives aroma cannot forced out). Personally, I will not do it especially for long term storage (>5 years) due to higher humidity & stale air trapped at the bottom of the jar which may have negative ageing impact on the tea. I have friends who tried this to prove a point and after 10 years of storage in such jar, the tea lost its aroma, taste flat and not long lasting". Just my two cents.

This same friend stores his new Dayi shengs (he loves Dayi) in a non-porous clay jar but not for more than three years to avoid accelerated aging. After that I don't know how he stores them.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby William » May 28th, '14, 11:16

kyarazen wrote:sawadee.

indeed it is important to know what you like work towards it. i like nice good gushu shengs in the range of new to about 7-10 years. very seldom drink hk style now

regarding your other method in the jar, the issue of the tea becoming flat can be either due to the processing method, or that the water content of the cake was incorrect either. i would like to use the sealed sponge analogy again, if your sponge is wet, you seal it up, the sponge will remain wet forever as long as the packaging impermeable.. same for tea.

i've crudely in lab, determined the water content of the various 7-8 year old teas that i had liked, and also that of those that i dont, which is now becoming a way for me to standardize to be able to keep the aging within control.


Would you share the results that you have achieved? :D
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby kyarazen » May 28th, '14, 11:50

William wrote:
kyarazen wrote:sawadee.

indeed it is important to know what you like work towards it. i like nice good gushu shengs in the range of new to about 7-10 years. very seldom drink hk style now

regarding your other method in the jar, the issue of the tea becoming flat can be either due to the processing method, or that the water content of the cake was incorrect either. i would like to use the sealed sponge analogy again, if your sponge is wet, you seal it up, the sponge will remain wet forever as long as the packaging impermeable.. same for tea.

i've crudely in lab, determined the water content of the various 7-8 year old teas that i had liked, and also that of those that i dont, which is now becoming a way for me to standardize to be able to keep the aging within control.


Would you share the results that you have achieved? :D


only after you've gone through all the samplers i've sent you! :P
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby Tead Off » May 28th, '14, 12:42

Puerlife wrote:A goal, hm. Well, since I like young sheng I suppose preservation of aroma and flavor and protection against excessive humidity and odor are all more important than aging, which will happen anyway even in a plastic bag from what I've gathered from your posts, Teadoff. Hopefully I'll learn a lot about storage at the tea expo in KL next month.
I've been communicating with a new Malaysian friend who recently wrote this:
Quote from a senior collector who bought his few 88 Qingbing in early 90s and is still keeping them "Keeping raw puer tea in a water / non-porous jar is widely practised here as you see teashops are doing it everywhere. A lot of misinformation / confusion and most tea literature will advise against storing such a way to prevent accelerated ageing and also absence of tea aroma (i.e. tea oil that gives aroma cannot forced out). Personally, I will not do it especially for long term storage (>5 years) due to higher humidity & stale air trapped at the bottom of the jar which may have negative ageing impact on the tea. I have friends who tried this to prove a point and after 10 years of storage in such jar, the tea lost its aroma, taste flat and not long lasting". Just my two cents.


Your post caused me to re-think what I suggested. I think I spoke too soon regarding long-term storage in a ceramic vessel. I'm so used to storing teas that I'm drinking presently in ceramic which is not the same thing.

Personally, I use boxes, cardboard, to put my cakes into. Most are in ziplocked bags inside of them. The place that I store my cakes is able to get some airflow, but very minimally and not direct. This is a big difference from keeping cakes inside a covered ceramic with no airflow, however minimal. I open and close the doors to my storage as the humidity dictates, to lower or preserve it.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby William » May 28th, '14, 16:05

kyarazen wrote:
William wrote:
kyarazen wrote:sawadee.

indeed it is important to know what you like work towards it. i like nice good gushu shengs in the range of new to about 7-10 years. very seldom drink hk style now

regarding your other method in the jar, the issue of the tea becoming flat can be either due to the processing method, or that the water content of the cake was incorrect either. i would like to use the sealed sponge analogy again, if your sponge is wet, you seal it up, the sponge will remain wet forever as long as the packaging impermeable.. same for tea.

i've crudely in lab, determined the water content of the various 7-8 year old teas that i had liked, and also that of those that i dont, which is now becoming a way for me to standardize to be able to keep the aging within control.


Would you share the results that you have achieved? :D


only after you've gone through all the samplers i've sent you! :P


Haha, fair enough my friend! :mrgreen:
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby bagua7 » May 28th, '14, 20:22

How about storing them underground, i.e. cellar, like they do for ageing wine.

Is anyone doing it?
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby AllanK » May 28th, '14, 20:52

bagua7 wrote:How about storing them underground, i.e. cellar, like they do for ageing wine.

Is anyone doing it?

It couldn't be a damp cellar. Cellars are usually damp. Good if you want moldy tea though. It might work if you live in a very dry environment like Arizona. I don't imagine their cellars are damp.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby Exempt » May 28th, '14, 22:10

AllanK wrote:
bagua7 wrote:How about storing them underground, i.e. cellar, like they do for ageing wine.

Is anyone doing it?

It couldn't be a damp cellar. Cellars are usually damp. Good if you want moldy tea though. It might work if you live in a very dry environment like Arizona. I don't imagine their cellars are damp.

A wine cellar would work great as long as you have enough tea to fill the cellar, can have the temp at 70-80F, and can have the humidity at 70-80%. I've seen pictures of warehouses that use underground storage for long term investment puerh storage. I don't know what wine cellars you're referring too AllanK but I've never seen a wine cellar above around 65-70%RH and that's only at around 60-65F which is not enough for mold as that's going to be even below the "dry stored" climate condition territory.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby Exempt » May 28th, '14, 22:14

Tead Off wrote:
Puerlife wrote:A goal, hm. Well, since I like young sheng I suppose preservation of aroma and flavor and protection against excessive humidity and odor are all more important than aging, which will happen anyway even in a plastic bag from what I've gathered from your posts, Teadoff. Hopefully I'll learn a lot about storage at the tea expo in KL next month.
I've been communicating with a new Malaysian friend who recently wrote this:
Quote from a senior collector who bought his few 88 Qingbing in early 90s and is still keeping them "Keeping raw puer tea in a water / non-porous jar is widely practised here as you see teashops are doing it everywhere. A lot of misinformation / confusion and most tea literature will advise against storing such a way to prevent accelerated ageing and also absence of tea aroma (i.e. tea oil that gives aroma cannot forced out). Personally, I will not do it especially for long term storage (>5 years) due to higher humidity & stale air trapped at the bottom of the jar which may have negative ageing impact on the tea. I have friends who tried this to prove a point and after 10 years of storage in such jar, the tea lost its aroma, taste flat and not long lasting". Just my two cents.


Your post caused me to re-think what I suggested. I think I spoke too soon regarding long-term storage in a ceramic vessel. I'm so used to storing teas that I'm drinking presently in ceramic which is not the same thing.

Personally, I use boxes, cardboard, to put my cakes into. Most are in ziplocked bags inside of them. The place that I store my cakes is able to get some airflow, but very minimally and not direct. This is a big difference from keeping cakes inside a covered ceramic with no airflow, however minimal. I open and close the doors to my storage as the humidity dictates, to lower or preserve it.

Sorry for the confusion.

If most of the cakes are stored in ziplock bags why does it matter what they are placed in or how much airflow you provide the area with? Whether they are out in the open, in boxes, in a sealed container, or whatever else you can think of to put them in the ziplock bags are going to prevent nearly any airflow from occurring. If you are one of the people who are under the assumption that sealing the cakes is the way to go for long term storage then it matters much less what you store the bags in than someone who stores the cakes in just the wrappers/tongs.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby AllanK » May 28th, '14, 23:22

Exempt wrote:
AllanK wrote:
bagua7 wrote:How about storing them underground, i.e. cellar, like they do for ageing wine.

Is anyone doing it?

It couldn't be a damp cellar. Cellars are usually damp. Good if you want moldy tea though. It might work if you live in a very dry environment like Arizona. I don't imagine their cellars are damp.

A wine cellar would work great as long as you have enough tea to fill the cellar, can have the temp at 70-80F, and can have the humidity at 70-80%. I've seen pictures of warehouses that use underground storage for long term investment puerh storage. I don't know what wine cellars you're referring too AllanK but I've never seen a wine cellar above around 65-70%RH and that's only at around 60-65F which is not enough for mold as that's going to be even below the "dry stored" climate condition territory.

If you have a specially constructed wine cellar it might work, the average basement in many parts of this country is damp and prone to flooding and mold. It did not sound like the poster was specially constructing a basement wine cellar at expense. It sounded like he was talking about adapting an existing basement. One basement flood in my mother's house would have ruined any puerh placed there.
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Aging Puerh.

Postby Exempt » May 28th, '14, 23:26

AllanK wrote:
Exempt wrote:
AllanK wrote:
bagua7 wrote:How about storing them underground, i.e. cellar, like they do for ageing wine.

Is anyone doing it?

It couldn't be a damp cellar. Cellars are usually damp. Good if you want moldy tea though. It might work if you live in a very dry environment like Arizona. I don't imagine their cellars are damp.

A wine cellar would work great as long as you have enough tea to fill the cellar, can have the temp at 70-80F, and can have the humidity at 70-80%. I've seen pictures of warehouses that use underground storage for long term investment puerh storage. I don't know what wine cellars you're referring too AllanK but I've never seen a wine cellar above around 65-70%RH and that's only at around 60-65F which is not enough for mold as that's going to be even below the "dry stored" climate condition territory.

If you have a specially constructed wine cellar it might work, the average basement in many parts of this country is damp and prone to flooding and mold. It did not sound like the poster was specially constructing a basement wine cellar at expense. It sounded like he was talking about adapting an existing basement. One basement flood in my mother's house would have ruined any puerh placed there.

It definitely does depend on how you are defining basement/cellar.
Finished basement typically is the same environment of house and surrounding area, however prone to flooding due to pipes under homes
Unfinished basement/cellar are typically wetter than the local environment but still dependent on area
Cellar specifically for aging meats/wines/cheeses are probably optimal as they would have temp and humidity controls
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby Tead Off » May 28th, '14, 23:55

Exempt wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
Puerlife wrote:A goal, hm. Well, since I like young sheng I suppose preservation of aroma and flavor and protection against excessive humidity and odor are all more important than aging, which will happen anyway even in a plastic bag from what I've gathered from your posts, Teadoff. Hopefully I'll learn a lot about storage at the tea expo in KL next month.
I've been communicating with a new Malaysian friend who recently wrote this:
Quote from a senior collector who bought his few 88 Qingbing in early 90s and is still keeping them "Keeping raw puer tea in a water / non-porous jar is widely practised here as you see teashops are doing it everywhere. A lot of misinformation / confusion and most tea literature will advise against storing such a way to prevent accelerated ageing and also absence of tea aroma (i.e. tea oil that gives aroma cannot forced out). Personally, I will not do it especially for long term storage (>5 years) due to higher humidity & stale air trapped at the bottom of the jar which may have negative ageing impact on the tea. I have friends who tried this to prove a point and after 10 years of storage in such jar, the tea lost its aroma, taste flat and not long lasting". Just my two cents.


Your post caused me to re-think what I suggested. I think I spoke too soon regarding long-term storage in a ceramic vessel. I'm so used to storing teas that I'm drinking presently in ceramic which is not the same thing.

Personally, I use boxes, cardboard, to put my cakes into. Most are in ziplocked bags inside of them. The place that I store my cakes is able to get some airflow, but very minimally and not direct. This is a big difference from keeping cakes inside a covered ceramic with no airflow, however minimal. I open and close the doors to my storage as the humidity dictates, to lower or preserve it.

Sorry for the confusion.

If most of the cakes are stored in ziplock bags why does it matter what they are placed in or how much airflow you provide the area with? Whether they are out in the open, in boxes, in a sealed container, or whatever else you can think of to put them in the ziplock bags are going to prevent nearly any airflow from occurring. If you are one of the people who are under the assumption that sealing the cakes is the way to go for long term storage then it matters much less what you store the bags in than someone who stores the cakes in just the wrappers/tongs.

The ziplocked bags are not airtight. They are not shrink-wrapped or vacuum packed. Environment does interact with the tea inside but it is a more controlled one.

Even if I were using sealed bags, I would not put them into a damp environment or one where there was no air exchange at all. Others may disagree with this. Tea needs protection at all levels. You want to optimize all conditions as much as possible.
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Re: Aging Puerh.

Postby Puerlife » May 29th, '14, 12:33

Teadoff, I am glad to see you write that putting a bing in a ziploc bag and then putting it in a cardboard box works. I had been suspecting that but really wanted to hear it from someone else for confirmation. I got additional confirmation from a Bangkok vendor, who I went down and met today, and they also said don't use jars for longterm storage. Great people, really good tea.
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