Storing Oolong

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Storing Oolong

Postby Antihero » Mar 16th, '12, 17:33

Greetings,

Has anyone used the Airscape canister for storing Oolongs for long periods of time?

http://www.planetarydesign.us/products.html?paction=airscape

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby teaisme » Mar 16th, '12, 17:50

I hear a lot of recommendations to store oolong airtight if you don't plan to re roast often.

Airscapes are not airtight. Now if you cover the two holes on the inner lid, and the small holes on the clear outer lid, lined the inside with some oolong stained paper it could possibly make a very nice long term storage vessel.

I will say they are pretty good at keeping manufacturing odors neutral. Will not impart a plasticy or heavy metallic smell to your teas.

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Chip » Mar 16th, '12, 18:39

I cannot listen to the videos on this 'puter ... but I think after you plunge the plug, you flip down the lever which closes off the two vent holes and creates a bit of a vacuum?

It is funny, I had in my mind thought of a more rudimentary but somewhat similar contraption years ago. I like their concept, design, and pretty much like the execution. Though at this stage of the game I am not giving up on my current system.

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 16th, '12, 22:26

What's your current system Chip :?:

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Antihero » Mar 16th, '12, 22:50

Chip,

Yes, when you plunge the plug the holes push out air. then you flip the handle down and close off the two vents.

Would this be a better canister?

http://www.enjoyingtea.com/blceca.html

I'm looking for a canister to store two 2011 Shui Xian Cakes i bought.

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Chip » Mar 18th, '12, 02:04

SilentChaos wrote:What's your current system Chip :?:

Well, for greens I am pretty fanatical, but this is an oolong thread. I usually just throw oolong into a double lidded canister. Or leave in a foil lined zip pouch.

Green storage I have posted a bunch of times, recently here: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=15953&p=202637#p202637

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Chip » Mar 18th, '12, 02:15

Antihero wrote:Chip,

Yes, when you plunge the plug the holes push out air. then you flip the handle down and close off the two vents.

Would this be a better canister?

http://www.enjoyingtea.com/blceca.html

I'm looking for a canister to store two 2011 Shui Xian Cakes i bought.

For "darker" oolongs, the enjoyingtea one would be quite fine. It is also good for greener oolong.

Though now I am curious about the plunger canister ... :mrgreen: I would think this would be pretty good for longer term storage of greener oolongs. You could even get nitrogen spray from a liquor supply store and nitro flush it. :idea:

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby SilentChaos » Mar 18th, '12, 05:07

Antihero wrote:Chip,

Yes, when you plunge the plug the holes push out air. then you flip the handle down and close off the two vents.

Would this be a better canister?

http://www.enjoyingtea.com/blceca.html

I'm looking for a canister to store two 2011 Shui Xian Cakes i bought.


I've been contemplating a vacuum sealer machine. All my green-oolongs and high mountains come in vacuum sealed packages, which supposedly stored away from heat can sit for 2 years. And, I've seen decent vacuum sealers around (locally) for like 25 bucks.... :roll: hmmm...

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Antihero » Mar 18th, '12, 08:50

Chip,

I bought both to try out. I will update you on how the airscape canister performs over a long period of time.

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby teaisme » Mar 19th, '12, 13:46

I think the vacuum route is a much better idea then the airscape if you are going for airtight...

Even simpler and probably still pretty effective is to just get a mylar style bag that many vendors ship their teas in, push out all the air after you put in your tea, seal it, then put that into a bigger mylar bag, repeat and seal.

With the airscape you are going to have lots of pockets of air in between the balls/stripes and at the top next to the lid(unless you push down on the tea really hard and crush it).

Btw, I have used these before...I know someone who has a ton of them. They are nice canisters don't get me wrong, but if airtight long term storage is your concern I would look elsewhere. I know what they say they do...but I really don't think they are airtight.

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Chip » Mar 19th, '12, 15:26

Antihero wrote:Chip,

I bought both to try out. I will update you on how the airscape canister performs over a long period of time.

Great! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on both, but especially the Airscape since this is a new product for me.

I was curious enough that I contacted the company with a "special request" ...

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Chip » Mar 19th, '12, 15:34

teaisme wrote:I think the vacuum route is a much better idea then the airscape if you are going for airtight...

Even simpler and probably still pretty effective is to just get a mylar style bag that many vendors ship their teas in, push out all the air after you put in your tea, seal it, then put that into a bigger mylar bag, repeat and seal.

With the airscape you are going to have lots of pockets of air in between the balls/stripes and at the top next to the lid(unless you push down on the tea really hard and crush it).

Btw, I have used these before...I know someone who has a ton of them. They are nice canisters don't get me wrong, but if airtight long term storage is your concern I would look elsewhere. I know what they say they do...but I really don't think they are airtight.

I was looking as closely as I could to the lid interior on the video. I would have to see one in person.

Of course, the mylar route leaves a lot of potential for leaf breakage as well as you push the air out repeatedly and just getting banged around on a shelf.

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Antihero » Mar 19th, '12, 20:19

I am going to order a Kaikado caddy also. I wrote Postcard Tea asking some question about the canister for aging my Shui Xian Cakes. Here's his reply:

Thanks for your mail.

Kaikado's caddies are airtight. 2 even have a inner slide down lid
to create a vacuum like space. The inner material is always a
tin alloy but I prefer the outer layer to be tin too as it has not smell
unlike the brass and copper. As you know there are many schools
to thought about ageing Oolongs. Some do not on purpose keep
their teas airtight, some re-roast, some prefer not to. All I can
say is that Kaikado's caddies are excellent for tea storage and
130 years of hand making them has shown this.

Best

Tim

I thought it was interesting when he said: Some do not on purpose keep their teas airtight. What would be the benefit from this process?

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Herb_Master » Mar 20th, '12, 19:28

Antihero wrote:
I thought it was interesting when he said: Some do not on purpose keep their teas airtight. What would be the benefit from this process?


With greener Oolongs most prefer to preserve their freshness

with medium oxidation and medium roasting some will want to preserve them, others may like to accelerate the aging, maturation and development.

with Heavy roasted Oolongs one may have to wait a year or more while the roast subsides and makes the tea drinkable - allowing oxygen in will speed this up.

If you get a large enough quantity of an Oolong, store it in different ways and over a year or two keep sampling to see which you prefer.

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Re: Storing Oolong

Postby Chip » Mar 20th, '12, 19:55

Chip wrote:I was curious enough that I contacted the company with a "special request" ...

... to which they were happy to oblige ... stay tuned for a special opportunity for TCers to try an AirScape! :mrgreen: :!:

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