Regarding long term storage


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

Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby whatsinaname » Oct 5th, '11, 12:24

Hi Tim,
Do you no longer recommend using rubbermaids for refine storage? Do you still use this method?

TIM wrote:
Think wine cellar or cigar humidor, perhaps? Good Luck
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby TIM » Oct 5th, '11, 12:42

whatsinaname wrote:Hi Tim,
Do you no longer recommend using rubbermaids for refine storage? Do you still use this method?

TIM wrote:
Think wine cellar or cigar humidor, perhaps? Good Luck


I highly recommend using clean rubbermaids for refine storage if you have over 6-100 tangs. But you have to know what you are doing.

http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/200 ... rt_02.html
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby zzenster » Oct 5th, '11, 18:48

I think 70~75% humidity is too high. I read it somewhere that the ideal humidity is 60~65% and temperature 25 to 30C. Need good ventilation and needs to be dark.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby TokyoB » Oct 5th, '11, 22:37

TIM wrote:
whatsinaname wrote:Hi Tim,
Do you no longer recommend using rubbermaids for refine storage? Do you still use this method?

TIM wrote:
Think wine cellar or cigar humidor, perhaps? Good Luck


I highly recommend using clean rubbermaids for refine storage if you have over 6-100 tangs. But you have to know what you are doing.

http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/200 ... rt_02.html


TIM
Sorry but what sort of Rubbermaid items do you use? Large plastic boxes? And what do you do about humidity?

Also I have heard some theories about storing sealed cakes.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby Bryan_drinks_te... » Oct 7th, '11, 11:48

Hello All -

I recently cracked open my 2009 YS Mang Fei - and it looked fine. In fact, it tasted better than when I tasted it a year ago. I feel lucky that I'm not seeing mold or anything worse.

I've stopped doing the steaming and I am just replacing the water with room temperature water. The humidity is stable - staying around 68 - 72 %.
The tea cabinet smells great, with nice woody, sweet aromas. I'll update again if anything changes.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby hop_goblin » Oct 28th, '11, 12:45

Even China will have months of low humidity. Definitely give it a time out. 70% is optimum and a couple of months of low humdity would do well. my pu ranges from 70% RH for approx 7 months and 5 months of lower RH. The smell may be from your cabniet. I would definitely inspect it for warping and other signs of humdity.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby TokyoB » Oct 28th, '11, 17:01

hop_goblin wrote:Even China will have months of low humidity. Definitely give it a time out. 70% is optimum and a couple of months of low humdity would do well. my pu ranges from 70% RH for approx 7 months and 5 months of lower RH. The smell may be from your cabniet. I would definitely inspect it for warping and other signs of humdity.

How do you store your pu? The problem with keeping it just in a closet in doors is that the A/C is on in the summer months, thereby lowering the RH.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby Catfur » Oct 28th, '11, 17:33

TokyoB wrote:
hop_goblin wrote:Even China will have months of low humidity. Definitely give it a time out. 70% is optimum and a couple of months of low humdity would do well. my pu ranges from 70% RH for approx 7 months and 5 months of lower RH. The smell may be from your cabniet. I would definitely inspect it for warping and other signs of humdity.

How do you store your pu? The problem with keeping it just in a closet in doors is that the A/C is on in the summer months, thereby lowering the RH.


The A/C in summer is nothing compared to the heater in the winter (if you live someplace cold, like the northern half of the US). The heater doesn't lower the absolute humidity, but the air being heated has a very low absolute humidity even if the relative humidity is high. At 20F 100% RH translates into something like 15% RH when heated to room temp. Either way, most places in the US, you need to run a humidifier of some kind (even if it's a bowl of water or wet rags in a closed cabinet or something).
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby TokyoB » Oct 29th, '11, 09:25

Cat fur - agreed. There is a humidifier on our furnace. I live in the mid-Atlantic coastal area so while it is not as dry as say New England it does get pretty dry at times. The furnace humidifier can cope most of the time but sometimes when it gets very cold I also use cold-mist room humidifiers in a couple of rooms to keep the RH up.

On a related topic - I am still not clear on how TIM was storing cakes in Tupperware but also putting in a dish?? of water. I would be afraid of the whole thing getting tipped over and the cakes getting wet.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby solitude » Oct 31st, '11, 11:53

This is an interesting topic. There is not too much information about the long term puerh storage in the European or North American countries (actually, I didn’t find any). Here, in this period when the heater is on, the temperature in the rooms is 20-22°C, and the humidity is around 50%. In the cupboard with my puerh, I have two big bowls with water so the humidity is 70-80%, what should be ok, I guess. Every few weeks I pour hot water in the bowls so the temperature goes to 25-27°C, and the humidity is 90-100% and stays like this for a couple of hours. I suppose this should help to “soak” the cakes with water.

Since the puerh storage is a long term process taking years or decades, things like humidifiers which have to be refilled every few days and are plugged in all the time are too much work and energy for me.

Maybe once, when my puerh collection will be too big I will dedicate a room where the radiator (coming from the central heating) will be in a stabile “vertical” position with a wide open water container on it. This would require only the water refill, though this could be also easily automatized, (but this is just a brainstorming :shock: ).
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby Cole » Nov 2nd, '11, 00:39

What a great thread! :D

I'm looking into building a small sheng puerh collection (I started with lots of samples and a couple boxed shu cakes), but I'm short on storage space and humidity. Could anyone suggest or snap pics of their cabinet/small standalone setup?

I'm in California -- where more than 10-15% humidity means that it's raining outside -- so I think a bowl of water and a humidity reader will be essential if I don't want my cakes to "die." It doesn't sound like dry storage is really an option on the west coast :(

Solitude (and others with long-term storage experience), have you had any problem with funky odors in your dark, damp cupboard like the OP? The rubbermaid idea sounds promising, but I worry about the utter lack of air flow...
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby solitude » Nov 2nd, '11, 11:01

Cole wrote:What a great thread! :D

I'm looking into building a small sheng puerh collection (I started with lots of samples and a couple boxed shu cakes), but I'm short on storage space and humidity. Could anyone suggest or snap pics of their cabinet/small standalone setup?

I'm in California -- where more than 10-15% humidity means that it's raining outside -- so I think a bowl of water and a humidity reader will be essential if I don't want my cakes to "die." It doesn't sound like dry storage is really an option on the west coast :(

Solitude (and others with long-term storage experience), have you had any problem with funky odors in your dark, damp cupboard like the OP? The rubbermaid idea sounds promising, but I worry about the utter lack of air flow...



I am new in collecting and storing puerh but i think 10-15 % of humidity is not enought to age or even "survive" . You can try the bowls with water and sponges in a cupboart and see how the humidity change.
When I bought my first cakes and stored them on a shelf the typical young sheng punget aroma started to fade, so I got a simple device to check the humidity and temperature and checked around the house. The highest vale was 50-55% of RH. I switched to the bowls in the cabinet system and it increased up to 70-75 % while there is a small aperture for ventilation. I have also a large bowl next to the heater so the humity is 60-65% in the room. The heavy sheng smell is back what makes me happy, will see how the cakes change in the following years.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby Cole » Nov 2nd, '11, 15:30

solitude wrote:I am new in collecting and storing puerh but i think 10-15 % of humidity is not enought to age or even "survive" . You can try the bowls with water and sponges in a cupboart and see how the humidity change.
When I bought my first cakes and stored them on a shelf the typical young sheng pungent aroma started to fade, so I got a simple device to check the humidity and temperature and checked around the house. The highest vale was 50-55% of RH. I switched to the bowls in the cabinet system and it increased up to 70-75 % while there is a small aperture for ventilation. I have also a large bowl next to the heater so the humity is 60-65% in the room. The heavy sheng smell is back what makes me happy, will see how the cakes change in the following years.


That's what I was afraid of -- cake death! I didn't know you had a little ventilation hole, which sounds like something I should factor into my cabinet equation.

I should get a little humidity detector to see what the actual humidity in the house is. I'm thinking it has to be higher than outside, but I would be very surprised to find it's more than 20% unless my kettle's going full steam.
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby Cole » Nov 8th, '11, 04:46

Sorry to bump this thread again, but I was thinking of using medium-sized Rubbermaid containers to hold the start of my Pu collection. If I can get the smell out, I figure it'll give me a way to easily increase humidity and make sure the cakes can mingle and age together .

Does anyone have experience aging cakes like this (aside from the few links I've read in this thread)? I'm wondering if I should cut a slit in the top for ventilation, or scrap the idea and build something made entirely out of WOOD! Decisions, decisions...
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Re: regarding long term storage.

Postby solitude » Jan 1st, '12, 16:15

The system with the bowl of water in a cupboard doesn’t work very well during the winter. Since the place where I store my puerh is quite cold the water evaporation is limited (17-18°C, around 60% of RH) so, I tried a slightly modified setup

- An old unused bookcase
- One of the shelves is slightly modified (see the pictures below)
- Two bigger plastic flower pots, in one of them a "secret ingredient" - aquarium water heater

Water containers with the heater adjusted to 25°C on the bottom shelf. The upper shelf has holes for air circulation.
5.jpg
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The tea is placed on the upper shelf (in paper bags) but can be also on the bottom one.
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The front side is covered with a rug which let the tea "breath"
7.jpg
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After a few days the temperature is inside 20-21°C and the humidity around 75%.
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