Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor


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

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby tst » Apr 14th, '13, 02:10

I ended up getting a 50W heater made by EHEIM. I have no idea about the amount of evaporation I'm getting up here near Sacramento, but I do have to add a fair amount of water (1-2 qts?) every other day or so. Been trying to keep my levels around 72F and 70-75%, but I get more temp variation than I would ideally prefer. I'm still looking for a heavy-duty sheet/blanket I can buy that is made of natural fibers (wool or cotton) that I can drape over the sheets/blanket I am already using to provide better insulation and help maintain a more consistent environment.
User avatar
tst
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Sep 19th, '
Location: Northern California

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby solitude » Apr 14th, '13, 13:20

My setup worked quite well but since it is in my parents house I can check it only every now and then. Last year in november the temperature dropped suddenly and since the central heating was switched off in my room the water condensed and some of my cakes were covered with mold.
I cleaned them, separated and I will let them to air out for a couple of years and will see whats next with them. The rest will air out also for a year or so and then i will continue but with lower humidity and more air flow and using this setup only in summer season (april-october) while during the rest of the year no additional heat/humidity will be added.

Never the less after 1year I noticed already some changes which I like, many of the young teas lost their edges and become richer and rounder.

The bottom line is that it is better to be safe than sorry and mold is a real danger, on the hand a little mold on a cake doesent mean that it has to be thrown away (in my opinion). So, as soon you see signs of mold it means you have the upper limit of the temp/RH what can be used :).
User avatar
solitude
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Nov 8th, '1
Location: Basel (Switzerland), Slovakia

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby tst » Apr 14th, '13, 15:56

Solitude, would you happen to know some of the temp and RH numbers of your pumidor?
User avatar
tst
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Sep 19th, '
Location: Northern California

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby solitude » Apr 14th, '13, 17:10

tst wrote:Solitude, would you happen to know some of the temp and RH numbers of your pumidor?


The heater was set up to 25°C and the humidity was between 70-80%. This was ok during the warmer months when the temperature in the room was ranging between 20-25°C.
But when the temp in the room droped to 17-18°C the moisture started to condense in parts of the pumidor which are far from the heat/water source, mostly on the walls of the cupboard.
User avatar
solitude
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Nov 8th, '1
Location: Basel (Switzerland), Slovakia

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby theredbaron » Apr 14th, '13, 17:26

solitude wrote:The bottom line is that it is better to be safe than sorry and mold is a real danger, on the hand a little mold on a cake doesent mean that it has to be thrown away (in my opinion). So, as soon you see signs of mold it means you have the upper limit of the temp/RH what can be used :).



Your experience (not the first such i came across) confirms my severe doubts over the benefits of pumidors: small enclosed space, high humidity and no sufficient airflow make very difficult to control conditions.
It is suggested that in colder climates humidity in rooms should not exceed 60 to 65% as the danger of mold growing on walls is too high.
Some molds are not dangerous, but other are very unhealthy. Tea that has had mold growing should be tested before consumption. I would not take the risk.
theredbaron
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby futurebird » Apr 14th, '13, 18:27

theredbaron wrote:Your experience (not the first such i came across) confirms my severe doubts over the benefits of pumidors: small enclosed space, high humidity and no sufficient airflow make very difficult to control conditions.
It is suggested that in colder climates humidity in rooms should not exceed 60 to 65% as the danger of mold growing on walls is too high.


I've been starting to think the same thing.

I'm also not convinced that teas won't age in normal conditions in the US or UK-- they'll just age more slowly.
futurebird
 
Posts: 593
Joined: Feb 12th, '
Location: South Bronx, NYC

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 14th, '13, 20:24

I don't store a lot of tea at home. So it's easy for me to say things :mrgreen:

Theoretically, I believe if you store puerh in a room, then the smaller the room, the better. If you store puerh in a pumidor with humidity promotion, then the larger the pumidor, the better. So my conclusion is, pumidor works the best for people with large home but without small rooms - then you build a large pumidor inside a room. Large or small is all relative. But smaller environment has more edge effect and dramatic fluctuations. That's why when people store tea in a room, typically the tea is some distance from the wall.

As for humidity level, by the way, here is a photo posted by Cloud of Hong Kong on a tea forum about his own tea storage:
Image
(Chinese readers can click the photo to find article location.)

Just to clarify, this is not the constant temperature or humidity year around (about which Cloud made some explanation about how reasonable fluctuations are not bad at all). But this may help to break some dryness-phobia :wink:
User avatar
gingkoseto
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 2141
Joined: Sep 24th, '
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby Maitre_Tea » Apr 14th, '13, 22:29

So I went for it and got a second hygrometer. I placed one on the middle shelf and one at the very top of the shelf on top of a pile of cakes. The RH on the middle shelf is hovering around 79% while the top of the pumidor is clocking in at around 73%. Looks like older stuff will be going on the top.

Hopefully I won't have the same temperature dropping problem that solitude did. Even at its coldest Southern California is pretty warm, and there's zero chance of my room not being exposed to central heating in the winter.
User avatar
Maitre_Tea
 
Posts: 803
Joined: Sep 3rd, '0
Location: Claremont,CA

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby BioHorn » Apr 15th, '13, 00:32

theredbaron wrote:
solitude wrote:The bottom line is that it is better to be safe than sorry and mold is a real danger, on the hand a little mold on a cake doesent mean that it has to be thrown away (in my opinion). So, as soon you see signs of mold it means you have the upper limit of the temp/RH what can be used :).



Your experience (not the first such i came across) confirms my severe doubts over the benefits of pumidors: small enclosed space, high humidity and no sufficient airflow make very difficult to control conditions.
It is suggested that in colder climates humidity in rooms should not exceed 60 to 65% as the danger of mold growing on walls is too high.
Some molds are not dangerous, but other are very unhealthy. Tea that has had mold growing should be tested before consumption. I would not take the risk.

Who suggests not exceeding 60-65% humidity. Colder climates. How cold?
User avatar
BioHorn
 
Posts: 525
Joined: May 2nd, '1
Location: Shaker Heights, Ohio USA

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby Teaism » Apr 15th, '13, 00:49

I admire all your passion and effort on Puer storage. It takes tremendous effort and the commitment is for a very long time. Practically I am not sure whether the commitment is sustainable.

There are many alternative storage solutions which are more convenient and practical which you may like to consider. From my experience of Puer sheng storage over one or two decades, sealing up the tea works well for me. The tea aged slowly but beautifully keeping all its natural flavours and aroma. Sealing also prevent excessive absorption of moisture and odour. Tea is not only highly hydroscopic but also absord all surrounding odour. Many vendors expose their tea to accerate aging for ease of selling.
Aged tea by sealing will produce a tea that is smooth, clear, clean and full of flavour and aroma. The air in between the tea is enough for the sloww aging process. The same observation can be made for wine and many other food products, they all aged well by sealing.

So this is a personal experience and definately works for me. It may be right or wrong way but it is my right to say it and share the two decades of experiece.

I know there are a lot of difference in opinion on this issue, but we are all entitle to our rights and believe.

Having said that, I would prefer to spend the time drinking tea rather that responding to any rebuttal to come. :D

But I am really glad that I didn't expose the tea 20 years ago, having tried the the same tea in different storage conditions. I definately prefer an aged tea that is that is smooth, bright, clear, clean and full of flavour and tea aroma; rather than the same aged tea with cloudy color and cabinet or earthy taste with cockroach aroma. :D

Have a great tea day my friends!
User avatar
Teaism
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Jan 5th, '1

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby theredbaron » Apr 15th, '13, 03:02

BioHorn wrote:Who suggests not exceeding 60-65% humidity. Colder climates. How cold?


I have read it in a article on legal and health issues concerning rental property in Germany regarding mold growth on walls, and how to prevent mold growth.

I have seen houses and apartments with heavy mold growth on walls in Europe. Some of them came through leaks in walls and windows, others simply from rooms not having been aired enough. If mold grows on walls, it can also quite easily grow on tea. As we have read about on numerous occasions, such as right now from solitude.

It is entirely up to anyone to ignore pumidor experiences such of the one of solitude here - i personally would not want to go through this.

Here are the first two links i found when briefly googling "mold and poison":

http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-impr ... c-mold.htm

Basically - with the use of pumidors we are dealing with too many unknown factors since pumidors are a rather recent invention to artificially increase the aging process of Pu Erh by trying to copy climates of geographic locations in which Pu Erh has aged well naturally. Yet we have no scientific data, or long term empirical evidence of the effects such pumidors have on tea.
We have though numerous examples of how the use of pumidors went wrong, which at least shows us that it is a very risky undertaking.

Some climates in the US, for example, are definitely less than ideal to age Pu Erh. What i would suggest is that some of you may get together, and find a storage place in a better suited, more humid and hot climate in the US - such as Florida, share the expenses, and store your tea there together. Or that somebody who lives in such a location may rent out storage space for Pu Erh lovers who live in not so well suited locations.

I have heard that in Malaysia there are storehouses in which Pu Erh aficionados can rent space to store their tea long term. Would that not be something that you can do in the US?
theredbaron
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby Tead Off » Apr 15th, '13, 05:03

The Red Baron and I would be happy to store all your high-end Puerh cha for a nice yearly charge plus a % of your tea! We will even invite you to come and drink it with us once a year so you can see how it is doing. Doesn't include plane/hotel/transportation charges or meals out. :lol:
User avatar
Tead Off
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 3367
Joined: Apr 1st, '0
Location: Bangkok

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby Teaism » Apr 15th, '13, 05:18

theredbaron wrote:I have heard that in Malaysia there are storehouses in which Pu Erh aficionados can rent space to store their tea long term. Would that not be something that you can do in the US?


Malaysian Puer tea drinkers are distinctively divided now. One group for dry (sealed) and another group for wet storage tea. You can find good and really awful tea there at the same time.

So it is the smooth, bright, clear, clean and full of flavour and tea aroma tea drinkers group vs. cloudy color and cabinet or earthy taste with cockroach aroma tea drinker group. :shock:

I am definately in the first group but really uneasy when the second group invite me over for tea. Not sure whether to educate them or disappear into the forest. :D

But seriously,common sense will tell us that high humidity tea with mold will definately not be healthy.
User avatar
Teaism
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Jan 5th, '1

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby theredbaron » Apr 15th, '13, 05:30

Tead Off wrote:The Red Baron and I would be happy to store all your high-end Puerh cha for a nice yearly charge plus a % of your tea! We will even invite you to come and drink it with us once a year so you can see how it is doing. Doesn't include plane/hotel/transportation charges or meals out. :lol:



:lol:

That may be a way how i can continue to afford living here... :wink:
theredbaron
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby theredbaron » Apr 15th, '13, 05:39

Teaism wrote:
Malaysian Puer tea drinkers are distinctively divided now. One group for dry (sealed) and another group for wet storage tea. You can find good and really awful tea there at the same time.



I am definitely in your camp - clear and clean! But aged!

I don't seal my teas here in Bangkok - i store them naturally, in a shady place in my house with sufficient airflow, yet without the fan blasting on my teas.
But Bangkok is less humid than Malaysia, with a lot more seasonal change in both temperature and humidity. During the rain season though i am very careful - regularly sniffing my teas, and shifting them as well.

So far, over the past ten years of storing Pu Erh i have no reason to complain.

I have tried such cockroach taste tea in Malaysia - it's not for me. I find that moldy taste simply revolting.
theredbaron
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 1st, '1
Location: Bangkok

PreviousNext

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation