Tead Off wrote: MarshalN wrote:
Drax wrote:And at some point, I'll have to read more about the Hojo claim about vacuum sealing pu'erh... to be honest, it sounds very dangerous. Some microbes become quite deadly when put in an oxygen-free environment... (I know that wasn't the point of the blog post, but kind of hard to ignore).
The whole point of buying puerh is so that they become something better - aged, they become more complex and more interesting teas. Putting them in vacuum bags completely defeats that purpose. You might as well go drink green tea.
In discussions with someone in Singapore, they told me that many long time collectors (20+years) there have been storing their cakes in sealed plastic food grade bags with great results. The protection against moisture and the loss of flavor/aroma are kept minimized. The theory is that there is enough oxygen within the cake itself to allow the continued fermentation/aging. Hojo goes one more step in vacuum sealing his cakes. These people insist their cakes are doing very well like this, some for more than 20 years! I sampled 2 cakes this week that have been stored like this. One was a 2007 LBZ, the other was a 2005 Daxueshan. Both were superb. These are not inexpensive cakes! When I was first told this, it went against everything that I have read and thought. But, I can't discount what I tasted and I can't dismiss the claims of these collectors who swear this is the best way to store Puerh here in SE Asia, at least.
You hit the jackpot for storing tea. I am very hesitant to talk about this but I think I should share my personal experience.
This is a personal experience and opinion which I am comfortable with and whatever debate that comes along after this, I will just acknowledge it as another personal opinion.
We are free to do whatever we want or believe with our tea collection.
Against all conventional wisdom that many believed, the final truth for me, is to taste tea that been stored in dry, seal food grade bag. Tea will aged well when sealed, just imagine the forgotten tea in the sealed tin can, they do aged very nicely whilst keeping all its flavour. Airing tea will lead to a lot of problem with tea. The main enemy is the moisture and also the surrounding odour when the tea is exposed to. In some humidity, tea can absord 10% of moisture in an hour. Moisture attract mold and more problems. Tea is also a magnet for surrounding odour too.
Storing tea in sealed food grade plastic aged the tea very well whilst keeping all its flavour. It will be, when aged, super smooth, sweet and aromatic when stored that way. I have tea from 1960s to present that has been stored this way and whatever advise I get against it, the final truth is to taste the tea. Rightly or wrongly, this is my personal experience, and I stick my neck out to stand by it and share with you all.
Hojo, went one step ahead, storing tea in Mylar bags and insert oxygen absorber in vacumn pack condition. Oxidisation can still happen but I think at slower pace but I am convinced that eventually when the tea aged, it will be fantastic too. That prompt me to move to this direction for older tea, like those in 60s -80s. From experience, the newer tea is fine and aged well in sealed food grade plastic as the main concern is moisture, rather that oxygen IMHO. I am repacking some my older tea now in 5mil Mylar bag without oxygen absorber, but in vacumn condition. There are still oxygen in between the compressed tea but the moisture out for good.
So the neck is out on the chopping board, the truth is out there, I am just sharing my personal experience, right or wrong, it doesn't matter.
Give it a thought and don't find out that this is the right way 10-20 years down the road.