Cha Dao series on Puerh aging


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

Postby brandon » Oct 22nd, '08, 20:13

You can find an 1985 tuo cha from hou de that was stored in a very dry place. The color is much the same as a new puerh - yellow. It has mellowed, but not transformed in the way of something of the same vintage stored at a higher RH. If it is ever going to resemble a traditionally aged puerh, it is nowhere close. SLOOOOW. This thing is almost as old as I am.

I compared it to a tuo cha from the 90s that Eanglin had found, which took on much more of a traditional "aged" characteristic. These tuos came in identical boxes, but this doesn't necessarily prove that they are a similar recipe or even from the same factory (Xiaguan, presumably).
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Postby Salsero » Oct 22nd, '08, 20:51

brandon wrote: You can find an 1985 tuo cha from hou de that was stored in a very dry place.
But is 50% RH a very dry place?
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Postby shogun89 » Oct 22nd, '08, 21:27

My pu stay at 50%-70%
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Postby odarwin » Oct 22nd, '08, 22:43

as little as i know about pu erh storage, here is my experience so far...

at home, where i keep most of my pu, (all shou by the way) the humidity is a bit high, 65-85%, but it rarely gets to 80-85% except on continuously rainy days... lots of people say that i shouldn't worry and just leave it as is, and actually, i only found mold on the cakes when i cant resist and got too worried and placed my cakes inside a box... after a week of rain, i had a tea session with a cake that i got from malaysia, its a 2004 shou, i noticed that the taste was bitter, and very unlike the taste when i purchased it about 3 months ago. i also tried another cake, this time the cake i also got from malaysia which was a bit damp... the cake that got mold, i scraped off the mold and tried to brew it, it tasted like burnt japanese paper. i really dont know what gave the odd flavors to my tea, and im trying to investigate on that...

at the office, i brought 2 types of shou from home, one is the damp cake, and the other also from malaysia, both cakes really transformed in the office (59-62% with aircon) i noticed lesser off flavors. i break the cakes and i put them in small ceramic jars, i also keep some broken up cakes in a paper wrapper waiting in the office. the paper i use as wrapper are mahjong table paper...

Image
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i also noticed that the smell of web bamboo leaves were disappearing little by little. i was really satisfied with the results when i brought it to the office even only after a few weeks, but i really dont know about long term storage in the office. i would assume that its not good, as its all artificial air...

for now, i like the tea that i store in the office better than at home, but i need to compare them more and test it more, different storage jar, paper wrapper and hopefully big clay jars... i agree with a post in cha dao that "to air is divine" and also clouds point on achieving a stable humidity level....

will keep you guys posted on developments :)
-darwin
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Postby Salsero » Oct 22nd, '08, 23:01

Thanks for the information, Odarwin.

Those ceramic jars are just absolutely gorgeous. I don't know what they cost in the Philippines, but they would cost a king's ransom here! Are they really as big as they look in the photo? Maybe 8" across?
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Postby odarwin » Oct 22nd, '08, 23:25

hi sal,
thanks for your comment, but dont be fooled by the picture,
its really very very low quality jar, it cost only $2 here! its 5 inches diameter
:D

-darwin
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Postby thanks » Oct 23rd, '08, 05:13

odarwin wrote:i agree with a post in cha dao that "to air is divine" and also clouds point on achieving a stable humidity level....

will keep you guys posted on developments :)
-darwin


I keep my teas in a basement, which is not as "wet" as you'd expect it to be. Usually around a fairly stable 65-70. I originally kept them all on a shelf that had nothing covering it in the front or the back, so there was decent airflow. Within just a few months, they all stopped emitting any smells, and the flavors started to die out. I moved them into a cupboard near the floor where they have little airflow, and they have been there for almost a year. What a fantastic difference! The smell almost immediately came back, and they've been doing just fine. No mold, no off flavors, no more blanding either. I open up the cupboard door at least once a week, but I don't leave it open all day, just for about five minutes, then I fan the door from closed to open rapidly a few times to circulate the air in there then shut the door. So far my teas are aging exactly how I want them to. "Natural storage". Not dry, as that would take forever, and not wet, as that would lose some complexity. I can't wait until all of our teas in the west start to mature and we get to share them and see the results of our different storage conditions. We seem to be pretty obsessive about documenting such things so that we can all benefit from the information later.

I'd be careful about the airflow, however, too much can blow the flavor right out in my experience. If they're in tongs, you're completely fine though. Tuochas in boxes, bags, or bamboo are also fine.
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Postby odarwin » Oct 23rd, '08, 05:40

you are right thanks,
i store my cakes in their tong wraper, some are paper and some bamboo leaves and some cotton bags, and i only break them and air them when the cakes that im consuming is about to run out already... does anyone have experiences to share about airing before consuming?

-darwin
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Postby thanks » Oct 23rd, '08, 05:44

odarwin wrote:you are right thanks,
i store my cakes in their tong wraper, some are paper and some bamboo leaves and some cotton bags, and i only break them and air them when the cakes that im consuming is about to run out already... does anyone have experiences to share about airing before consuming?

-darwin


I usually do a week to two weeks in a bowl covered with a paper towel.

Sometimes I can't wait though :lol:
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Postby shogun89 » Oct 23rd, '08, 15:15

Glad to hear all the different types of storing going around! I think that dry is defiantly safer than wet, less risk of mold.
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