Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?


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Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby Cole » Oct 1st, '12, 16:15

Hello, all!

I've been looking into picking up a small-ish standalone cabinet to store my growing pile of puerh. Currently, it's in the tea cabinet in my kitchen (away from light and odors; with shu four shelves up from the sheng), but the cabinet shelves are chipboard and it's becoming cumbersome to take out all my tea accoutrements to get to my pu.

Could anyone suggest a small (<3-4ft) stand-alone cabinet that would work well for storing around 10-15 cakes and bricks? Also, what kind of woods would be preferred so that no additional smells steep into my tea? I'm not looking for anything fancy (ideally under $75; mass-market OK), but something that would hopefully last me a few years until I really need that pumidor :wink:

Any comments/suggestions welcome!
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby shah82 » Oct 1st, '12, 17:04

Try searching for armoires? They can be multipurpose, fit anywhere in your place where you have unused depth, and can be used to keep different items such that everything is easily accessible. Moreover, I suppose it wouldn't be all that difficult to rig up a moistening unit inside one of the divisions, should that particular armoire have them.

Get an old one, more of a chance to tell if it's scentless, and the scented ones will be obvious.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 1st, '12, 17:53

Personally, I'd go with glass and stainless steel over wood as they're inert materials and less likely to affect the flavor of your tea. The store across the street stores several tongs in long glass counters. To my relatively inexperienced palate, their tea tastes great!
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby BioHorn » Oct 1st, '12, 19:19

I have been having good luck in food grade plastic bins. Mine is 90 quart/ 85 liters. Packed, it seems to have enough pu erh mass to make "critical mass." The pu seems to feed off itself and the aroma that comes out is pretty amazing. Granted this is only the end of year one.

Reaching correct humidity is more of an issue. I plan to try a Cigar Oasis XL. For know the Boveda 72% packs have worked admirably in keep an even humidity level.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby Cole » Oct 1st, '12, 21:04

Wow! Some really great ideas from all of you -- thank you very much for the incredibly thoughtful responses!

I think a smaller food safe plastic bin would be a perfect temporary fix while I look for an armoire or glass solution. I was at first worried about mixing different regions of tea in the same container (since I only have a handful of cakes; not tongs), but I shouldn't worry too much about this, right? I just didn't want all my tea to taste the same, but as long as there's proper ventilation I should probably be alright.

Could I bother you for a snapshot, BioHorn?
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 1st, '12, 22:47

Plastic not so good - I'd take cardboard boxes over plastic any day.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby BioHorn » Oct 1st, '12, 23:02

Cole wrote:Wow! Some really great ideas from all of you -- thank you very much for the incredibly thoughtful responses!

I think a smaller food safe plastic bin would be a perfect temporary fix while I look for an armoire or glass solution. I was at first worried about mixing different regions of tea in the same container (since I only have a handful of cakes; not tongs), but I shouldn't worry too much about this, right? I just didn't want all my tea to taste the same, but as long as there's proper ventilation I should probably be alright.

Could I bother you for a snapshot, BioHorn?

Sure.
Here is my current set-up:

Image

The container is in the basement and covered from light.

Cardboard is not a viable option for our northern conditions. If I were in HK I would certainly take M's advice. (Cloud, I believe, also write up an article on cardboard storage.) Is it standard practice for personal use there?

I sure wish I had a spare corner in HK.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby TIM » Oct 1st, '12, 23:04

Looking good bio :wink:
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 1st, '12, 23:24

Why cardboard over plastic M? Most of the cardboard I'm around all day is pretty funky, even after a few years. Rubbermaid/Tupperware containers are food safe and are used in the cigar community for "Tupperdors" (large plastic humidors) with good results.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 2nd, '12, 00:30

Well, I worry about over-humidity in plastic, which doesn't breath. Cardboard does smell, but so do a lot of other things, including plastic.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby tst » Oct 2nd, '12, 00:36

MarshalN wrote:Well, I worry about over-humidity in plastic, which doesn't breath. Cardboard does smell, but so do a lot of other things, including plastic.


I think this is the one thing that has deterred me from going with plastic ... most new plastic storage bins have a nasty smell to them. I've been using banker's boxes and am happy with the result so far.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 2nd, '12, 00:39

tst wrote:
MarshalN wrote:Well, I worry about over-humidity in plastic, which doesn't breath. Cardboard does smell, but so do a lot of other things, including plastic.


I think this is the one thing that has deterred me from going with plastic ... most new plastic storage bins have a nasty smell to them. I've been using banker's boxes and am happy with the result so far.


I think banker's boxes is probably best with the vent on the side and easy opening.
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 2nd, '12, 00:41

True, new plastic containers do have an odor too. You could always leave the lid cracked to let air in if desired though.

It seems like glass may be the best option. I may have to pick up a glass cabinet up later in the game. :)
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby Cole » Oct 2nd, '12, 00:46

To those using plastic storage: did you poke a couple holes in the top for air flow, or "season" the tubs before you used them? Or do the ones marked specifically for "food storage" have less plastic funk to them?

I'm in Northern California and could certainly use a little help with humidity... This just might be the ticket!
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Re: Standalone, Affordable Puerh Storage?

Postby tst » Oct 2nd, '12, 00:47

MarshalN wrote:
tst wrote:
MarshalN wrote:Well, I worry about over-humidity in plastic, which doesn't breath. Cardboard does smell, but so do a lot of other things, including plastic.


I think this is the one thing that has deterred me from going with plastic ... most new plastic storage bins have a nasty smell to them. I've been using banker's boxes and am happy with the result so far.


I think banker's boxes is probably best with the vent on the side and easy opening.


Yeah, love the vent on the sides. My little set up over the past 2-3 months (hottest, driest months of the year for us here in/around Sacramento) has been churning along at around 78 degrees F (+/- ~4) and 64% RH (+/- ~6). It's a temporary storage setup, but as I learned two days ago (when I removed the water and the RH dropped ~10%), it's much better than it would be otherwise.
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