Too dry storage?


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

Too dry storage?

Postby taitea » Dec 8th, '08, 14:53

If a cake is stored in a terribly dry atmosphere for a few years (say RH < 45%), can it's life be recovered? Or is it basically a dead cake that will just stay dry?
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Re: Too dry storage?

Postby TIM » Dec 8th, '08, 15:10

taitea wrote:If a cake is stored in a terribly dry atmosphere for a few years (say RH < 45%), can it's life be recovered? Or is it basically a dead cake that will just stay dry?


IMO more then 5 yrs is a dead end....
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Postby shogun89 » Dec 8th, '08, 16:02

This is a question that I have wondered about for a long time now. No one seems to know. I am hoping that it just means they age slower but I dont know if thats correct. If anyone knows, please share!
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Dec 8th, '08, 19:34

From what I understand, the main effect of RH has to do with the microbial aspects of pu'erh ageing. I really am not sure (although am very interested) in what different RH actually do in terms of this. Do different things grow in higher/lower RH% that would effect the cake in different ways? A number of questions like this come to mind...
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Postby Manatoa » Dec 8th, '08, 20:39

If the environment is steadily that dry, I don't think it'd have much of a chance. If there were seasonal swings giving it at least some period of sustained humidity within the year it might do fine.

One of the big problems is that the flavours in the tea seem to sublimate in very low humidity. Anyone who ages cigars or other tobacco can attest to the loss of flavour they experience when they're left bone dry for extended periods of time.

If you have no choice but to store some tea in excessively dry conditions I think it's a good idea to drastically reduce it's exposure to air. I'm not sure that sealing it off entirely is a good idea, but you definitely don't want it to be too well ventilated or you'll end up with flavourless tea.

Where I live there are major seasonal changes in humidity from a low in the 30's RH in winter (all six months of it) to highs in the low 80's in mid summer. In winter I put the tea away in drawers and cabinets or even just cover it with layers of cloth after it's dried down to the low 60's RH and there's no real threat of mold. In the summer it goes in an un-air conditioned room that gets relatively hot and humid. So far my stash is aging pretty well. The tea seems to mature with a vengeance after the dormant period of winter is over.
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Postby lydia » Dec 9th, '08, 04:27

To store the cakes, just put them in a place without flavor. Let the cakes be exposed to the air rather then put them inside the drawer. The cakes will be oxidated in the air slowly. It does not matter if the place is too dry. It will have a pleasant pure taste after 5 years for pu erh cake and 10 years for green pu erh cake.
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Postby TIM » Dec 9th, '08, 04:44

lydia wrote:To store the cakes, just put them in a place without flavor. Let the cakes be exposed to the air rather then put them inside the drawer. The cakes will be oxidated in the air slowly. It does not matter if the place is too dry. It will have a pleasant pure taste after 5 years for pu erh cake and 10 years for green pu erh cake.


I really do hope is that easy.... Lucky for you that the climate is great for aging in Canton.
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Postby shogun89 » Dec 9th, '08, 16:02

I just finished putting each cake in a paper bag then putting them in a cardboard box, in order to reduce airflow as Manatoa mentioned. Is this a good idea or not?
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