American storage


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American storage

Postby bonescwa » Feb 4th, '14, 13:37

I know this topic has been beat into the ground, and I have read everything I could find on the topic so far, but I still have questions. I have searched the threads on this forum, read some bloggers who wrote articles on the topic.

I mainly want to know what someone would advise a person who lives in the northeastern US (cold, dry winters and hot, humid summers) to do? I would like to buy quality new sheng but I don't want this to be damaged over the years. I figure that the tea would go dormant in the winter, not be damaged, and just play catch up in the spring when the heat and humidity increase.

I guess I am not primarily looking to age the tea, more like prevent it from drying to the extent that it declines.

I was also thinking about using an opaque plastic bin with a couple of wet paper towels in a bag and put it near the heater or something but I am wondering if that is even necessary? What's a good way to get out the plastic smell from a container like that?

Sorry if this has all been written somewhere before.
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Re: american storage

Postby miig » Feb 4th, '14, 14:03

Hi bone,
I suppose that you're, like me, not a Pu expert yet :)
What seems to be clear is that it is a difficult thing to add humidity, and that doing so inside an airtight container will probably have unfortunate consequences.

Of course you know the whole science about humidors, artificial climates and so on... I agonized about that in the past months too. I read a LOT and what I came up with is the following: There are a ton of different opinions, and no one really knows too well, because theres hardly anyone who stored PU in the west for decades. So some educated guesses, and some not-so-educated ones too.

What I'd suggest is the following: Don't let youself be irritated too much with all that technical stuff. Just buy a couple of teas and seal them up in airtight bags. They won't turn bad that way, and its not worth the fuzz if you don't plan on storing them for 10 or 20 years... in two years, they won't change dramatically anyways.

Then, drink, read on, and get some more experience. I for example don't have the means or the will now to create a collection... I just have a couple of cakes, which i drink, and enjoy and otherwise do other things with my time.
If you get hooked and start a full collection, a couple of years in an airtight bag won't have ruined your tea, it will be fine. So then you can plan a storage area and do all that fancy stuff. If you expose it to dry air, the tea might dry out and become unpleasant, and if you expose it to wet air, it might get moldy.

So why not seal them up for the time being, drink tea and see how much further you will want to take this?

P.S.: What you might add is a "waking up phase" - This is, like the whole storage question, partly a question of belief, but I'm convinced that especially the teas that have been sealed airtight should be go through that: It means to break up a portion of the leaves and store them for at least a couple of days, or better some weeks, in an non-airtight container before drinking. You can try if you notice an improvement, and decide for yourself if you think this helps the tea.
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Re: american storage

Postby Teaism » Feb 5th, '14, 11:56

+1
miig ... I am very impressed with your approach and explanation on this tricky issue. Especially the part on drinking along the way and the waking up phase. Totally agree with you. Of course the sealing part too.

Oops... I hope I didn't open the pandora box.

I won't say anything more or answer any rebuttal. My apologies!

Cheers! :D
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Re: american storage

Postby mr mopu » Feb 5th, '14, 17:44

I agree on the "waking" up of the tea. I always wait at least 2 weeks after receiving it to drink any of it. I feel that since it is sealed up in shipping for at least a few weeks and in varying temperatures the waking up is necessary.
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Re: American storage

Postby bonescwa » Feb 5th, '14, 23:36

Thanks for responding,
I normally do the waking up thing with what I've been drinking do far (mostly samples) and it probably helps.

Im getting tired of the sample thing. When I get done with a sample, I want a lot more of it. And I like pretty much every sample so this might end up being a lot of tea. I like pretty much everything I've tried in its own way (teaurchin new sheng, 90s sheng, big factory shu) and I like to buy things in bulk in general, especially if I can get a deal.

And with aged sheng being so expensive now, I guess this is just another thread hoping somebody has a way to do it for cheap, without having to deal with humidors and such. I'm young so it's kind of like, if I have the chance to get new and teenage sheng now, forget about it, and not ruin it for 40 years that would be cool, but I know that's not likely unless I live in HK or Florida.
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Re: American storage

Postby TIM » Feb 6th, '14, 00:56

Depends on which state you gonna spend your life in.
Last edited by TIM on Feb 6th, '14, 02:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: American storage

Postby MarshalN » Feb 6th, '14, 01:58

bonescwa wrote: And I like pretty much every sample so this might end up being a lot of tea. I like pretty much everything I've tried in its own way (teaurchin new sheng, 90s sheng, big factory shu) and I like to buy things in bulk in general, especially if I can get a deal.


There are a few things that would worry me with this paragraph...

1) You like everything you drink. That's fine if you're drinking only high quality stuff, but something tells me you're also drinking lots of dross. That's the way of the new drinker going on a sampling binge. So.... you should try to learn how to discern the good from the bad. That, unfortunately, comes with some experience and also perhaps a more experienced friend showing you the way. Where do you live?

2) Things you like now may not turn out to be all that great down the road. Buying in bulk before you've accumulated said experience is very risky and is a surefire recipe for regret later on.

3) While deals do exist, they pretty much only exist in the Asian marketplace and only if you spend a lot of time looking. For puerh sold to the West there are rarely, if any, bargains to be had. If anything, there are lots of scams (or something like it) with crap pu being sold as premium.
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Re: American storage

Postby bonescwa » Feb 6th, '14, 04:28

Thanks for your input marshaln, your blog has really helped me. I'm from the Cleveland area. What I take from most of the puerh peoples' advice now is that if you don't have access to the Asian markets, you're being overcharged in general, and many times for an inferior product. Things sound pretty tough even in Asia itself, for that matter. I feel like I understand what people are telling me not to buy, but very little about any kind of good purchases there are for a western tea drinker except the young essence of tea and teaurchin cakes. There probably aren't good opportunities for westerners, so if I like drinking puerh, I pretty much have to settle for mediocre or inferior products at this time and/or drink overpriced young sheng.
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Re: American storage

Postby paxl13 » Feb 9th, '14, 14:39

Hi Teachat!

I did some research on the subject and I still have some question. This weekend I finally bought myself a couple of cakes and I was wondering on how to store them. I am a bit worried about ziplock bags b/c they actually smell something if I smell them from really close. Is it something I should worries about or It won't change anything ? Also, my humidity / temperature in my home varie a bit.. < from 18c to 21c, from 20% to 50/60% of humidity in summer >. Basically I'm not looking to age them, I just want to drink them this year and maybe next year but that's it. So.

TL;DR: Can I store everything in one big ziplock bag and not worrie about anything? Should I store them separatly ? < the cakes i have are only shu >

Thanks!
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Re: American storage

Postby wyardley » Feb 9th, '14, 14:47

I wouldn't put them in bags... just put them in some kind of odorless container like a good quality cardboard box, or else in a non-smelly cupboard of some sort (away from food / grease, light, etc.).

Generally, people keep sheng and shu separate. You don't need to keep pu'er in a sealed environment.
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Re: American storage

Postby paxl13 » Feb 9th, '14, 15:04

So basically keeping the on my desk is fine as long as there is no direct sunlight on them! The temp varies only from 18 to 21 in the day and the humidity is always lower than 50 even in summer so I should stop worrying basically!

Well thanks for the answer! Anyone else can chime in if they have ideas !

Cheers,
Xavier
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Re: American storage

Postby wyardley » Feb 9th, '14, 15:15

I would keep them semi-enclosed rather than on a desk - box, drawer, cabinet...
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Re: American storage

Postby paxl13 » Feb 9th, '14, 15:26

I'll enclose them in a drawer after I'm bored seeing them!

Thanks
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Re: American storage

Postby bonescwa » Feb 12th, '14, 22:54

what about storing them in a greenhouse? do you think 90-100% humidity is too far and will cause mold?
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Re: American storage

Postby tst » Feb 12th, '14, 23:17

That would depend on the temperature imo. However, general consensus will be that levels that high are excessive and not desirable.
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