Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor


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

Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby BioHorn » Apr 15th, '13, 11:54

"Batten the hatches limeys. Post response ahoy!"

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.

*Solitude stored their tea in a separate building. This is not the norm.

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

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

* What are you trying to prove with these links. I read them both and still do not understand. Are you simply trying to emphasize the danger of certain molds?
Or that too high humidity is a bad thing?

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.

*There are risks in all endeavors. Mitigating those risks is another matter. If one in these climates is to keep a sizable amount of pu for some time, they have not option.



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.

* If I could, I would send it to Hong Kong to age.

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?

*I think there are not enough people to make this practical. Who is going to check-in on cakes? Rotate them? A shame, but it is unlikely to happen. If I could, I would send them to Veracruz. I seems a climate good for cigars is a climate good for pu.

*There are about 100 bings in my basement in a plastic tub. This will be the second year they have been stored at about 72% humidity. Once we get a nice rainy day, I am going to give them an "airing out." Then I will let you know how much mold they have.

*The first link you provided gives the following advice:

*"If you have mold in your home, your nose is one of the most inexpensive devises you can use to detect it." Your point about mold growing on walls is a bit flawed. The reason for the pumidor is the lack of humidity. Many rooms/ basements in the winter have the opposite problem. Usually there is some sort of home heating system that dries out the basement. It is a whole other issue if one has a leaky basement. I highly doubt you will find many TC'ers willingly storing their tea in moldy basements!

One of the guilty pleasures I have found of having this storage system is enjoying the incredible smell. Our local museum curator of Chinese art came over for tea last month. Her aunt runs a tea warehouse in Hong Kong. Just as she poked her nose in the pumidor and took a whiff, she exclaimed, "This smells just like my aunts warehouse!" Now hopefully her aunt did not have a warehouse full of moldy tea. My guess is she does not!
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby JakubT » Apr 15th, '13, 12:09

futurebird wrote:
JakubT wrote:The teas which were supposedly from circa 50% RH in a bit colder climates, were ok after 5 years, but developed bad sourness after 10 or so (e.g., some too dry stored teas from Finepuer/Sampletea) and lost sweetness and qi. Ok, the taste was possibly somewhat "fresh" and "young", but I want my tea aged, not fresh and young.


Which teas from sample tea are "too dry" in your view?

I really like to compare notes, I have a lot of their teas.

So, far I like "1980's Tong Qing Hao Tea Cake, Green" very much, I think it's what some would call wet... though I wonder if it is what those who don't like wet would call "roach tea" (really... roaches, people? as a NYC'er just the mention of such things gives me the willies, :cry: ) --

I also like "2003 Xiaguan "WDJG" Hong Yin Tea Cake, Green" to me this is an almost perfect tea (could be a bit more mature... just a bit) to me this is "dry" and must free-- do you like it (if you've had it) or is it "too young and dry" for your taste?

I just want to compare notes so we know if we are talking about the same thing. It's like the blind men and the elephant:

blind man 1 holds the tail and says "I've found a paint brush!"
blind man 2 holds the trunk and says "I've found a boa constrictor!"
blind man 3 holds the leg and says "I've found a tree!"

:lol:

Agreed, it is always good to compare notes.

I wasn't crazy about the Tongqinghao... Enjoyable, yes, but it was probably too far from puerh from 80/90s I drink usually.

The Hongyin was fine, I think. I had all the 2003 "X-Mark" and I thought a couple a bit better. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the Xiaguan 8653 more than the other 2003s from there as it was completely smoke-free.

I thought, e.g., the 95 and especially 2001 7542s to be too dry. On the other hand, I enjoyed the 2004 a lot, I can recommend that (and it's the cheapest one too).
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby futurebird » Apr 15th, '13, 12:14

Bio, do you have any "control cakes" -- that is cakes that you are keeping outside of the pumidor that are identical to those inside?

Would you be interested in doing some sort of experiment along these lines. I really think we need more information. Maybe pumidors are the way of the future.

When we talk less than ideal conditions in the US are we talking about AZ... ? Extremes?

PS. The "quote" tags it will help people to read your post. :mrgreen: faq.php?mode=bbcode though they can be a bit of a pain.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby Teaism » Apr 15th, '13, 12:37

BioHorn wrote:* If I could, I would send it to Hong Kong to age.



The last few trips I made to Hong Kong, I have seen them sealing up all their tea, the camphor tea they had was dumped to the wet storage group in Malaysia.

Also there are still a lot of dry stored masterpieces and collectors hold on to them for enjoyment amongst the few who appreciate them. I humbly state that I have personally tried those from 1950s onwards and they are truly incredible. Those are from the generosity of the old collectors and tea masters.

Having said that, we should learn from the past and look forward to the future. The old tea are too risky and expensive to look at now. Get the best new tea now and store them correctly and be patience and enjoy them along the way.

Well, way OT again. I will rest my case on this issue.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby theredbaron » Apr 15th, '13, 12:45

BioHorn wrote:
*"If you have mold in your home, your nose is one of the most inexpensive devises you can use to detect it." Your point about mold growing on walls is a bit flawed. The reason for the pumidor is the lack of humidity. Many rooms/ basements in the winter have the opposite problem. Usually there is some sort of home heating system that dries out the basement. It is a whole other issue if one has a leaky basement. I highly doubt you will find many TC'ers willingly storing their tea in moldy basements!

One of the guilty pleasures I have found of having this storage system is enjoying the incredible smell. Our local museum curator of Chinese art came over for tea last month. Her aunt runs a tea warehouse in Hong Kong. Just as she poked her nose in the pumidor and took a whiff, she exclaimed, "This smells just like my aunts warehouse!" Now hopefully her aunt did not have a warehouse full of moldy tea. My guess is she does not!



I have seen mold growth in dry climates on walls due to not airing enough and increased humidity causing mold growth on walls as regardless of the dry outside climate a micro-climate has been created. Basically - a somewhat similar situation that is created with pumidors.

As to Hong Kong warehouses - well, these are highly professionally run large warehouse with certain periods of increased humidity, and other periods of drying out cakes to lose the wet taste. They are not little boxes or cabinets in which cakes are kept in high humidity. And i have tasted teas out of Hong Kong with that "traditional storage" which i would not want to try ever again.

One or two years of storing is by far not enough to give any judgement yet on the tea. Lets talk in 5 to 10 years, or after you aired out your tea.

I can only say that i have read too many of such experiences in which teas stored in pumidors went bad and am therefore very wary of such devices.

But I don't want to get into another such discussion yet again. You just do what you want to do. It's your tea, and i can only hope that your pumidor storage will turn out well for you.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby Teaism » Apr 15th, '13, 12:48

theredbaron wrote:
BioHorn wrote:
*"If you have mold in your home, your nose is one of the most inexpensive devises you can use to detect it." Your point about mold growing on walls is a bit flawed. The reason for the pumidor is the lack of humidity. Many rooms/ basements in the winter have the opposite problem. Usually there is some sort of home heating system that dries out the basement. It is a whole other issue if one has a leaky basement. I highly doubt you will find many TC'ers willingly storing their tea in moldy basements!

One of the guilty pleasures I have found of having this storage system is enjoying the incredible smell. Our local museum curator of Chinese art came over for tea last month. Her aunt runs a tea warehouse in Hong Kong. Just as she poked her nose in the pumidor and took a whiff, she exclaimed, "This smells just like my aunts warehouse!" Now hopefully her aunt did not have a warehouse full of moldy tea. My guess is she does not!



I have seen mold growth in dry climates on walls due to not airing enough and increased humidity causing mold growth on walls as regardless of the dry outside climate a micro-climate has been created. Basically - a somewhat similar situation that is created with pumidors.

As to Hong Kong warehouses - well, these are highly professionally run large warehouse with certain periods of increased humidity, and other periods of drying out cakes to lose the wet taste. They are not little boxes or cabinets in which cakes are kept in high humidity. And i have tasted teas out of Hong Kong with that "traditional storage" which i would not want to try ever again.

One or two years of storing is by far not enough to give any judgement yet on the tea. Lets talk in 5 to 10 years, or after you aired out your tea.

I can only say that i have read too many of such experiences in which teas stored in pumidors went bad and am therefore very wary of such devices.

But I don't want to get into another such discussion yet again. You just do what you want to do. It's your tea, and i can only hope that your pumidor storage will turn out well for you.


Well said my friend! :wink:
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby BioHorn » Apr 15th, '13, 12:50

futurebird wrote:Bio, do you have any "control cakes" -- that is cakes that you are keeping outside of the pumidor that are identical to those inside?

Would you be interested in doing some sort of experiment along these lines. I really think we need more information. Maybe pumidors are the way of the future.

When we talk less than ideal conditions in the US are we talking about AZ... ? Extremes?

PS. The "quote" tags it will help people to read your post. :mrgreen: faq.php?mode=bbcode though they can be a bit of a pain.

Sorry about the lack of quotes and may try to clean it up a bit.

I can understand your idea of having a control. While possibly an interesting experiment, I do not want dry and crispy cakes.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

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

JakubT wrote:Anyway, aged tea is, in my opinion, not so much about taste, as about general feeling and qi.


This can often be that the aged tea has lost its taste from exposure during storage. This is one of the reasons sealing the tea is done. Why shouldn't an aged tea have good taste and aroma after 20 years. Didn't you read what Teaism wrote about HK getting rid of much of their aged teas. Those people are learning the hard way. Puerh doesn't need to taste like old socks or thousand year old eggs to be good! :D
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby BioHorn » Apr 15th, '13, 13:12

theredbaron wrote:
I have seen mold growth in dry climates on walls due to not airing enough and increased humidity causing mold growth on walls as regardless of the dry outside climate a micro-climate has been created. Basically - a somewhat similar situation that is created with pumidors.


You are trying to say the sealing is going to cause mold? The levels we are dealing with here are much lower than HK in the summer and do not cause mold. The levels inside my pumidor do not cause mold. If it were to occur, it would have happened by now.

One or two years of storing is by far not enough to give any judgement yet on the tea. Lets talk in 5 to 10 years, or after you aired out your tea.

You are assuming I am going to leave the tea there for ten years.

But I don't want to get into another such discussion yet again. You just do what you want to do. It's your tea, and i can only hope that your pumidor storage will turn out well for you.

I appreciate the sentiment.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby theredbaron » Apr 15th, '13, 15:06

BioHorn wrote:

You are assuming I am going to leave the tea there for ten years.




Now i am somewhat bewildered.
Even in hot and humid climates 8 to 10 years of storage is generally the minimum before Pu Erh is drunk, and i know people that won't touch it before it has been stored at least 15 to 20 years.
How long do you plan to store your tea, and what changes do you expect in less than ten years?
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby theredbaron » Apr 15th, '13, 15:08

Tead Off wrote:Puerh doesn't need to taste like old socks or thousand year old eggs to be good! :D


+1
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby BioHorn » Apr 15th, '13, 15:19

Teaism wrote:
BioHorn wrote:* If I could, I would send it to Hong Kong to age.



The last few trips I made to Hong Kong, I have seen them sealing up all their tea, the camphor tea they had was dumped to the wet storage group in Malaysia.

Also there are still a lot of dry stored masterpieces and collectors hold on to them for enjoyment amongst the few who appreciate them. I humbly state that I have personally tried those from 1950s onwards and they are truly incredible. Those are from the generosity of the old collectors and tea masters.

Having said that, we should learn from the past and look forward to the future. The old tea are too risky and expensive to look at now. Get the best new tea now and store them correctly and be patience and enjoy them along the way.

Well, way OT again. I will rest my case on this issue.

Thank you for your response, Teaism. I have enjoyed your posts on TC. And appreciate the contribution of your knowledge.

Those old teas prices are out of hand. The rate of price increase is staggering.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby BioHorn » Apr 15th, '13, 15:21

theredbaron wrote:
BioHorn wrote:

You are assuming I am going to leave the tea there for ten years.




Now i am somewhat bewildered.
Even in hot and humid climates 8 to 10 years of storage is generally the minimum before Pu Erh is drunk, and i know people that won't touch it before it has been stored at least 15 to 20 years.
How long do you plan to store your tea, and what changes do you expect in less than ten years?


I plan on storing some of it for 15-25 years. Not all of them may be in the current conditions.

The changes, I expect, will be somewhat slower than "traditional" storage.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby wyardley » Apr 15th, '13, 15:44

Sorry, but I am not buying that there's tea from before 1970s or 1980s with pure dry storage (let alone completely sealed) for its entire life. Such teas would almost definitely been under traditional storage in HK before ever being exported to SE Asia at all, and most people would also not have had vacuum sealing capabilities at their home (or anywhere) at that time. Also, I think pu'er being treated as such a fancy and expensive tea is really a new phenomenon, so I'm a bit skeptical that anyone would have taken such care in its storage before the mid or late 1990s. Of course, some people probably stored the tea in their home with a less hot / humid environment than a warehouse, but the tea surely would have been warehoused before ever reaching that person (not to mention that transport was likely a lot slower in those days, and was probably mostly by sea).

And just to be clear, storing tea in a cellophane bag in a very humid climate is not the same thing as a pure vacuum seal. Of course, some teas like fangcha or tuocha came in boxes which prevented airflow to a greater extent than, say, cakes. Personally, I've had teas that have been stored this way for a long time, and I do not enjoy the taste, compared to teas that have had some more humid storage (especially for this type of tightly compressed tea which often has broken bits or lower grade tea in it).

Of course, in SE Asia where it's very humid in many parts, people would have to store tea carefully, but the situation for those of us in many other parts of the world is very different.
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Re: Pu-Erh Placement in Pumidor

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 15th, '13, 18:51

Nowadays among Chinese drinkers, many people denounce humid storage like there is no tomorrow. But among the knowledgeable Chinese tea people I know, few of them would denounce the real professional humid storage - although most of them prefer dry storage, they have respect to professional humid storage.
On the other hand, I've never drunk a tea stored in desert. So I don't always understand what people mean by "too dry" storage.
I feel in many discussions - both in China and in US (and could it be the same situation in SE Asia as well?) - when people discuss on storage, professional humid storage is mixed up with toxic moldy tea, dry-storage is mixed up with desert sand dunes. Besides, not everybody in the dry-storage camp has had excellent dry-aged tea, and not everybody in the humid storage camp has had excellent humid-aged tea, let alone excellent stored tea of the other camp. Even if we have to compare apple with orange, we've got to compare a good apple with a good orange.
I can never eat Italian black olives (including the good, non-moldy ones :!:) and once believed nobody could possibly like them :mrgreen: I think it's ok to have personal preference. But aren't we all too young to say the final words :mrgreen:
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